Dales Way 2005

April 19, 2005 - Prelude

Somehow, I neglected to get a photo of myself on the walk, the perils of walking solo. So here is one that wife Cathryn took while on a walk in the California redwoods. Now you know who I am, now on with the story.

I couldn’t understand a word the rumpled old fellow was saying. We were sitting at adjoining tables enjoying the pub’s local ale and beef chausser dinner, but his thick Yorkshire brogue was beyond this American. Finally, l realized he was complaining about Margaret Thatcher because she put the miners out of work. But that was 20 years ago!

I was jet-lagged, tired and ready for bed. After an overnight flight into Heathrow and a tube run into Kings Cross, I caught an express train to Leeds then a short local that landed me in Ilkley. Very efficient this English transportation system! At 67 years old, this kind of traveling taxes my recuperative powers! Tomorrow morning, body willing, I’ll begin the 84 mile Dales Way footpath up through the Yorkshire dales, across the Pennines and over to Lake Windermere in the Lake District. Then on to Ambleside for two days of mountain walking. I’m using Paul Hannon’s Dales Way guide and map copies off the internet. This walk is less demanding than the Coast to Coast Walk I took last fall, but it certainly has it’s challenges. As before, I’m walking solo, carrying a 12 pound backpack and staying at B&B’s each night. Well, I’ve tried to keep it to 12 pounds, but it’s actually more like a stone. I’ve prebooked all my lodging and I have a new jacket to cope with rainy weather. In April, weather can be sunny or rainy. We’ll see!

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