Saturday, May 7, 2016

Day 41: Mist and Mud and Hills oh my! Kirk Yetholm to Hethpool

We started out the day with another great breakfast and headed out.

It was misty and very foggy -- it was hard to see anything. We did, however, witness the introduction of one new cow into the group below -- lots of dancing around by the cows and calves when that happened! We had to stop and watch -- such joy!:

And the sheep were playing as well -- after the lambs were done staring at us!

We had another good ascent and it was still very misty -- 

We met some of the people we had seen at the inn as well as new people on the trail. Almost everyone stops and talks to each other. It is interesting the amount of instant bonding you have with people who are doing these walks!

There were some people coming down from the Pennine Way. One couple with their dog were on their way to where we just came from-- the Border Hotel in Kirk Yetholm is where they go for their free half pints and to 'sign the book' that they made  it the whole way! I saw three people come in yesterday. It is amazing to me the number of people doing these treks with their dogs!

St. Cuthbert's way out of Kirk Yetholm ran in tandem with the Pennine Way trail before it broke off. Interesting markers on the trail too!

We arrived at the Scottish/English border. We learned later from a shepherd that we missed quite a wonderful 360 degree view. Oh well! I was happy we made it on the trail in the mist and mud!

We kept on sloshing through mud and muck as we continued on. 

At one point we came to a planted forest of pine trees and had a quick sandwich. 

Some very nice ladies from Edinburgh were making the trek as well. We talked with them as they waited for their friends to catch up with them. 

One of the men who started out with us but went ahead quickly also came by us as we were talking to the ladies -- he was with another lady who, in the thickness of the mist/fog lost her way as he did. They made it back to the trail and joined us for a bit before they took off again.

On the way down we met the shepherd of the pasture we were walking through. He was very kind and spoke to us for quite a while. There were originally 9 shepherds on these farms with 4 extra during lambing. Now there re only 2 but they can do it using the 3 wheeled  motor bikes -- it used to be they had to walk the entire area which is why they needed so many. He loves the area and was happy we stopped and talked with him and appreciated the beauty around us. He said on any weekend there may be 200 who walk on his farm (which is allowed here and part of the trail system). He told us it makes him sad to watch the ones who literally just have their heads down, going fast  and are "getting through" the trail instead of really enjoying the beauty all around them.

On the road to Heathpool of course I found another interesting sign:

And the road was quiet and lovely.

At Heathpool where we were supposed to call the cab company we had no cell service. Neither did the postal worker we stopped. He suggested we ring at the back of either the first, second or fourth house -- he especially recommended the first house. We did. The lady was lovely and phoned the taxi and the B and B for us. Whew. The postal worker swung back around after his deliveries to make sure we were okay.

We were picked up by the taxi and taken to Tilldale House -- the owner is lovely. 

A walk around the town (yes, really) and we had to stop for tea and a scone. And of course take some pictures:

Steve had to stop here -- and was like the preverbial kid in a candy store:

Off to dinner at the Milan restaurant and we were back early to rest up for tomorrow's walk.

I didn't write this earlier in this post but there was something wonderfully freeing about walking with limited visibility. I was never scared and I never thought we'd be lost. Without being able to see in the distance we had to navigate, well, blindly. Uou couldn't see upcoming twists and turns until you were almost upon them. I think the reason I wasn't afraid is that I prayed and just knew we'd be safe -- and when two seasoned hikers found themselves lost -- I thought to myself that they needed to slow down and just BE in that mist -- to understand that they couldn't rely on the senses they usually relied on to guide them. I rested in God's hands.

Total steps walked today: 18,481 7.14 muddy miles.


  1. Love the final thoughts about just trusting in God and slowing down. Perfect reflection