It’s Saturday, June 9, and today we walked from Danby Wiske to Ingleby Cross. The last two days of walking have been the least interesting of the entire walk. We have primarily walked down gravel farming roads or through farmer’s fields. It has been flat and fast, that is good, but a little less interesting than the fascinating terrain we encountered earlier. That should change tomorrow however, as we head up into the North York Moors. Lots of climbing the next few days.

We have walked through many fields of ripening grain, but neither Janet nor I grew up in farming country and so we can’t identify what we are walking through. Can you help us? This is the first grain we saw, big green heads and broad leaves on the stalk.

This was the second grain we saw. Smaller, but longer heads, with the kind of spiny tops.

We believe that the following is rapeseed which is used to make canola oil. Notice also how dry the ground is. That might change tomorrow too. A chance of thunderstorms is predicted as well as 80 degree temperatures. We think we might start as early as 6:00AM to avoid the heat.

Today we had to squeeze through many hedges. They were tight. Makes us feel like hedgehogs, well, if I can imagine what a hedgehog might actually feel like.

Oh, and nettles, nettles, and more nettles. I have never seen as many nettles as I have seen in England. They are thick and prevalent and huge, up to my armpits in many places. A very good reason not to hike in shorts.

We have passed through a lot of gates and fences in farmer’s fields, but only one like this. A little weird, but different, you have to give them that.

Sheep of the Day! Yes, those white lumps under that beautiful tree are sheep. Napping, content, comfy, relaxed, and peaceful…I’m thinking about joining them.

Our greatest challenge of the day was crossing this 6 lane freeway…on foot. We tightened our packs, made sure everything was secure, watched for a clear space, and then ran (hobbled) for it. Pause in the center median after three lanes and do it again. And we have lived to write about it.

Those of you who have known me in any of my pastor roles will recognize this cross. I received it during my internship in 2008/2009. I wore it every day during my pastoral role in Port Townsend and I wear it whenever I do pulpit supply now. It has become a little bit of a pilgrimage cross for me as well. My friend Beverly carried it in a poor people’s campaign march in Austin. I have worn it when we stand on the street corner with our “love one another” sign. And it is accompanying me on this walk across England. It reminds me that’s we never, ever, walk alone, and that Jesus loves us wherever we are and whatever we are doing. It reminds me of the love of all of you, our friends and family.

Be well good friends, and remember you never walk alone, and that you are loved so much.

Today’s miles: 8.92. Total miles so far: 140. Miles remaining: 50.

God bless,