Monday, 13 August 2012

Day 7, Half Way There!

Sunday 12th August

Gary left Kirby Stephen at 8am this morning up the steep road out of the town heading for the Nine Standards Rigg.
Franks Bridge heading out of Kirby Stephen
The Nine standards are found 3 miles east of the town. They are found 662 meters or if you prefer, 2712 feet above sea level. Gary was full of trepidation as when he set off there was lots of cloud and mist. He was mindful that the advice is that if you're not able to see the tops of the standards at a certain point in the path then you should not go up but take an alternate route round instead.
By the time Gary had walked a couple of miles or so it had blown over so he headed on up.
The Nine standards overlooking Kirby Stephen
 According to the Visit Cumbria website: " The origin of the nine "stone men" or columnar cairns on the summit, is a mystery, and some of the cairns, which are about 10 feet tall, are now in a perilous state. According to Wainwright, whose Coast to Coast route crosses the fell, they are very ancient and are marked on 18th century maps. One theory is that they were constructed by the Roman army to look like troops from a distance". You learn something new everyday! Today was incredibly windy blowing right into the face. Hard going. It began to ease a little on the downward track. Six miles walking through peat bog followed. Happily for Gary he again happened upon fellow Coast to Coaster Stuart, (see previous blog entries).
With Stuart stomping across 6 miles of bog
Although there hadn't been any rain here for over a week, Gary still found himself in it over his ankle at one point. He saw another walker who was well and truly in it up to his shins so Gary thought he'd got off likely. He and Stuart were again able to help each other out. Progress was slow. Stuart also stuck his hand in his pocket and gave Gary a donation for his charity. Huge thanks to Stuart for all his support, financial and otherwise. Eventually they spied the welcome sight of Ravenseat Farm.
Ravenscar Farm, a very welcome site.
The farm provides another traditional stopping point on the coast to coast route. The farmers wife serves refreshments and cake. Gary recommends her cream tea! Here Gary met his Dad, Alan who continues to provided support in all its many forms. It was here that Gary heard a voice say "Are you the bloke that's doing this for charity?" Gary promptly received 2 more donations! One made by John from Surrey a walking guide who is currently talking a party of walkers Coast to Coast and the other from another John from Australia, who's one of the walkers with the party.  Fantastic stuff!, many thanks to both Johns.
The walk only crosses 2 counties, Cumbria and North Yorkshire. Today saw Gary cross the Pennines and on into North Yorkshire. A massive boost.
Half way! HOORAY!!
Up till now all the rivers Gary crossed had run west into the Irish sea. From now on all the rivers would run EAST to the North sea. I asked him how that felt, "Good it feel really good. I'm feeling really positive".
Wain   force in Keld

Gary made it into Keld at 3pm. After a shower, change of clothes and short rest, Gary and Alan headed off to find a phone signal. Gary celebrated making it half way at The Black Bull in Naseby, which is located in the "middle of nowhere". Time to enjoy a Steak & Ale pie washed down with a pint of Black Sheep, which was billed as "Great Yorkshire Beer". Gary concurs!
Ukulele song of the day...Gary was unsure at that point having his mind firmly set on beer, pie and heading east..........

***TOTAL DONATIONS £1202!***THANK YOU ALL***. If you haven't already donated, it's not to late. Just click the Green button to the right of the screen to take you straight to Gary's Just Giving Page.

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