Saturday May 6 Horton-In-Ribblesdale to Hawes

Today is supposed to be 10 F cooler. Hooray! It was uncomfortably warm yesterday. By 8:30 I was passing the Crown Hotel and turning onto the PW drover’s track. Climbing up the fells over Horton, Penyghent looms on my right and Horton recedes on my left with a clear track ahead of unremarkable landscape.

Just past Old Ing Farm, I come to a beautiful beck at Calf Holes or, as Wainwright calls it, Dry Laithe Cave. The beck disappears into the cave and looks fascinating to explore, but I press on along a walled packhorse lane. I pass ruined stone houses and barns in scenic meadow land, culminating at Ling Gill with it’s dramatic rock sides and a lovely 16th century bridge. Definitely photo worthy and fun to walk on the limestone in the water. Continuing on a packhorse track, I began climbing through bleak peat moors towards Cam End, the upper reaches of isolation. What an uninspiring climb, but it was good to reach the Roman Road which I remembered from walking the Dales Way the previous year.

Here, at the junction of the Pennine Way and the Dales Way, I had a quick lunch and continued past Cam Houses to the Hawes turnoff. I saw a couple of solo walkers and two cyclists on the Roman Road, also a Royal Mail truck turning in at Cam Houses. From here, I noticed an easy way to access the Roman Road from Cam Houses, much better than that bloody, muddy Dales Way path that I took last year. It was quite a nice walk to Hawes with a peaceful valley on my left and Dodd Fell rising abruptly on my right. I met a few daytrippers out of Hawes, it felt like a veritable crowd.

At Gayle, just before Hawes, I noticed some people in a parking lot looking at what seemed to be antique cars. It was actually a car show of the DRK Motor Club. The cars were spectacular, but not antique, only looked antique. DRK is a 3-wheeled two-seater open sportscar made in the 1980’s using a Renault 5 engine and front suspension, with body of plywood covered in aluminum. Only 59 were made, excellent workmanship by a retired mechanic. Apparently, the cars became an instant legend loved by all. I felt honored to see them.

Back on the path, I passed a church, rounded a corner, and there was the White Hart Inn in the middle of Hawes. I’ll eat there later. It’s only 3:30, so I have time to look around this interesting old market town. I had coffee at a cafe with hordes of motorcyclists out front. They were all over town, Hawes being one of their favorite destinations on weekends. At the outdoor store, I bought a package of Compeed plasters for the blisters which are beginning to develop on my feet. I definitely wanted to get some of the famous Wensleydale cheese for my lunches, so I sampled several flavors in the market. The original plain one suited me best.

On to Fairview B&B, a lovely old stone two-story Edwardian house. Barbara gave me a large en-suite room with a luxurious double bed. The single room I had booked was taken by a cyclist. Too bad!! I’m looking for a computer to send an email home, but theirs was not available and the library which has internet was closed. I feel bad about not contacting wife Cathryn since I arrived in England.

Dinner at the White Hart was an excellent lamb shank with cumberland mint sauce, potatoes and vegetables. Bombadier ale by John Wells was strong and very good, a new one for me. The pub was full of cyclists watching a soccer game, noisy and friendly. Back at the B&B, my room has TV w/DVD and a collection of movies in the hall. There is also a mint on the pillow. Ahh, this is very nice!

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