Very close to the hotel is the marker for the beginning. The walk is not nationally recognized, which means there is no one correct path. There is also limited signage as a result. A map is crucial, and I have all the maps digitally available offline on the Gaia app. The satellite shows you exactly where you are and has saved us from making significant mistakes.
Monday, June 13, 2022
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Sunday morning, 6:30 London time, I found myself stumbling off a red-eye flight and fighting against a crowd of oncoming people when I realized that the left side of the hallway was completely empty. Welcome to England, lassie! (When does one become too old to be called lassie? I’ve been called this 3x. Not sure how I feel about this.) Just like driving, people walk on the left here. When traveling, I am often astonished how reflexive our cultural traditions are, how we don’t have to consider the rules when we are “with our people,” and how much effort it takes to become one with the new people we encounter. Since that moment, I’ve been in many other people’s way on stairways, sidewalks, going in the wrong door while others are trying leave by it, etc. I am constantly reminding myself to stay on the left.
Continuing travel to the rural countryside and ending in St Bees on the coast of the Irish Sea, I’m rediscovering that saying “hello” is specific to our location. My staid Midwestern hello, good morning, hi is greeted with an enthusiastic “Hiya!!” I quite like the excitement of the exclamation! It completely captures my mood on the trail in particular. Also, I usually don’t find the English language to be very musical, but spending time with Scottish people on the train and listening to how the English accents change from town to town, I am charmed by the lilting turns of phrase and syllables with slightly different pronunciation and emphasis from what I am accustomed to.
I am here to walk the Coast to Coast Trail. Much of the trail crosses private land, through pastures full of grazing sheep and cows. I am filled with gratitude for this tradition and the trust of the landowners to allow me and fellow hikers to walk on their land, a tradition no one back home would consider without getting somewhat uneasy. Strangely, there are many similarities to my treks in Peru (second trip still not documented on blog…) where many of the trails were covered with decaying animal dung and the temperature was a delightful 60*F.
Finally, just a little note about St. Bees, the village at the beginning of the hike. It’s a sleepy little town with a nice beach, hiking, charming houses, pubs, and B and Bs. We took a look into the church priory this afternoon, and it was a place for deep meditation and awe. It was founded around 1130 and history from every era was oozing out of every corner. The organ has 2000 pipes and was the last built by Henry Willis. Especially moving were sculptures by Josefina de Vasconcellos in the Lady’s Chapel. She also had sculptures in a garden outside of the church that was built at her request after her death.
Monday, June 6, 2022
I thought it would be a good idea to freshen up the garden beds with not one, but TWO yards of compost/topsoil mix. I may have overestimated my dirt needs.
Some of the first butterflies to visit the newly added soil.
Garden bed number 1 finally ridded of weeds, aerated, new soil added, and ready for planting. Look at those amazing roots on those tomato plants!
20 minutes later…
20 minutes after that…
Sunday, May 29, 2022
On Tuesday the 24th we picked them up again in the Subaru. Peggy-O had a lot less patience this time, but we made it work.
We finally felt like we could name the cria. The Farmer picked out Cherise, from the Grateful Dead song Rubin and Cherise. It means dear one or darling, which is spot on! We are thankful for the positive outcome and delight in Cherise’s antics and scampering about.