Today is Tuesday, June 6,  and we are walking from Keld to Reeth. Even more importantly, today is Janet’s 70th birthday. If you have been following this blog, you know that one of the reasons we are on this walk is to celebrate our 70th birthdays, and to stare aging down with lots of exercise. Happy birthday to the love of my life, and the most wonderful, loving, inspirational, and kind, “hiker babe” on the trail. I love you!

Before I talk about today’s walk, I want to say a few more words about last night’s stay at Greenlands Inn in Keld. Our gracious hosts, Jude and Michael, met us at the door and warmly welcomed us in. The room was very nice and comfortable. But the highlight was the dinner. Because they are quite a ways away from anything, they serve dinners. It was wonderful. All homemade by them. Huge helpings and just delicious. It was so nice not to have to walk anywhere to eat. And the breakfast this morning was outstanding. It was a delight.

So we started out this morning backtracking to Keld and then heading up a hill that wasn’t too bad for our morning start. On our way out of Keld we were treated to more amazing meadows and pastures and also a beautiful waterfall. A waterfall is called a “force” in ‘’England.

Here is our Sheep of the Day. A lamb having its morning “lay-in” and peacefully watching the tourists go by.

More Buttercup meadows. We learned that Buttercups make especially sweet hay. In the nearby town of Muker (pronounced “moo-ker”), there is a fall hay festival where farmers each bring a bale of hay to be judged. The judges intensely sniff the hay and often the winners have Buttercups in the hay. Hmm, I suppose hay fever would disqualify a person from that kind of work.

We’ve passed many old buildings like this one. We are in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and we learned that in many cases you can’t build a new building from scratch in the national park. You have to start with an existing building and remodel it and go from there. Therefore, our BnB last night was in a beautifully remodeled building originally built in the 1700’s. The space where the current kitchen is was added on when the building was 100 years old, now 200 years ago. And there was not a straight or level surface in the entire building. Very challenging to remodel.

Speaking of beautiful. Here is the birthday girl. Ain’t she sweet!

Today, we passed through 46 gates or stiles. This is a typical gate. Many are much narrower. If I keep eating full English breakfasts, I am not going to fit through the wall. 46 gates might be our record so far, but I think we will break it in the days to come.

At about our halfway point, we stopped in our first English “tea room.” We had a cuppa and this amazing scone with jam and clotted cream. Clotted cream is kind of a mix of butter and whipped cream. This was sooooo good. It served as our lunch today.

This is a very interesting, and pretty, photo of fields with dry stone walls and “cow-usses.” A cow-usse is a cow house or a barn. Say “cow house” quickly, running the words together, and you get cow-usse. These were used to winter the cows in place. By housing the cows in the fields and splitting them up among the fields, it was easier to get the hay from the fields to the cows, and to get the muck from the cows to the field for fertilizer. Half the cow-usse would be space for the cows and the other half would be hay storage. There would be a high window in the hay end of the building through which they would fork the hay into the cow-usse. There would be a low window in the cow end of the cow-usse where they would shovel out the muck. It was a pretty ingenious set up. You can see these all over the Yorkshire Dales, even very high up in the moors.

When we arrived at our inn tonight, the innkeeper had decorated the room for Janet’s birthday and also brought us a little cake. She was so kind.

Today, we did make a couple navigational errors, missing two turns in the trail. In one case, we picked the wrong path out of three choices at a junction. In the other case, we walked right past a very faint trail where we were supposed to turn. But we are using the All Trails navigation app and it has saved us each time. Before we left home, I created our routes for each day using books and maps showing the Coast to Coast route. Those maps are all preloaded into my phone. Whenever we get off course, even by 30’-50’, my phone beeps and tells me we are off course. That happened both times today and we stopped and studied our maps and backtracked a little bit to correct our course. Amazing, the way all the technology works and it is so helpful.

It is truly a gift to be able to do this walk. We are doing great. Janet has a few sensitive toes, but by wrapping them up carefully each day they are doing fine. All that training really paid off. All our equipment works and it has been a wonderful experience so far. Of course, part of that wonderful experience is the weather. This is England, and we have been here almost two weeks, and haven’t gotten rained on (yet). Today was much cooler, but still dry. That has made everything easier.

Today’s miles: 13.14. Total miles so far: 106.69. Miles remaining: 83.31. Amazing that we have walked more than 100 miles. Tomorrow is an easy day, only 10.5 miles. Wow, I can’t believe I just called 10.5 miles easy.

Thank you Lord, for this amazing opportunity.

God bless,