Friday, June 16, was another beautiful and warm day in Yorkshire. Today, we walked our final segment from Littlebeck to Robin Hood’s Bay. Neither of us slept very well last night and we woke up kind of unsettled. We have both concluded that it was disappointment about the walk ending. For three weeks, there has been no stress about anything, our job has simply been to walk. It was wonderful. And we realize that now we head back into “real life.” But perhaps there are things we can learn from this amazing journey that we can take back into “real life.” Stay tuned for more reflections.

Once again, we started our walk in pretty Littlebeck Wood along a peaceful stream.

When we emerged into the sunshine it was warm, and a long uphill climb loomed before us. We stripped off a layer of clothing, drank some water, tightened our belts and headed up our last long hill. Along the way, we met some…wait for it…can you guess what we saw…SHEEP! What a surprise! We pastors always like to have a flock. In this picture, it appears I have the beginnings of my new flock. 

As we completed the climb, we were back on top of our last Yorkshire moor. By the way, we are still in the North York Moors National Park, it goes all the way to the North Sea. When we started our walk on the west coast three weeks ago, the heather was not blooming. Since then, with three weeks of warm weather, things have grown tremendously and started to bloom. The heather is a beautiful purple. And the bracken, one foot tall in St. Bees, is three feet tall in Robin Hood’s Bay.

This is our last moor-top view, looking down over pasture land below, then Whitby Abbey, and the North Sea in the distance.

We have gotten pretty good at finding these Coast to Coast signs. These are some of our last signposts. I have been amazed that we have made it all the way and not gotten more lost than we have. Of course, the weather has been a huge blessing in that regard. It could have been terribly foggy up on the moors and in the Lakes District. Our beautiful weather has allowed us to usually see the next landmark. We missed a couple of turns along the way, but quickly realized our mistake and corrected. We have been pleased to have both the electronic navigation on my phone and Janet’s paper maps. Between the two of us, we made a pretty good navigation team.

This sign is a teaser for walkers. It says Robin Hood’s Bay is only 2.5 miles. But that is via the roadway. For us walkers, it’s another 4 miles. But, we’re getting close.

The last “Sheep of the Day.” This one was chosen because of the setting, looking out over Whitby Abbey and the North Sea. It seems a perfect representation of the Yorkshire coast.

And this lady just really wanted her picture taken. She kept pushing her head through the gate and smiling so prettily. So I relented.

We have been anticipating this particular stretch of the walk for a couple years. As we descend this grassy path, we will meet the path along the bluff leading to Robin Hood’s Bay. It means we are within just a couple miles of our destination and we have walked, literally, from coast to coast. Such beautiful weather and views.

A gorgeous walk along the North Sea. It is hard to believe how far north we are. If you head east across the sea you will run aground in the Netherlands or Denmark.

Our first glimpse of Robin Hood’s Bay from the trail.

We have been passing through gates and stiles and wall cuts this entire journey. We have gone through hundreds and hundreds of gates, some days close to 50 a day. But this is our very last one. “Close it gently, Janet, this is one to remember.”

We have done it. As we explained in our early posts, we are expanded the C2C tradition by dipping our toes in Puget Sound and picking up a pebble there. Then, at St. Bee’s, we dipped our toes in the Irish Sea and threw in our Puget Sound stone. We picked up a St. Bee’s stone and carried it all the way to Robin Hood’s Bay. And now the finale. We dip our toes in the North Sea and throw in our St. Bee’s pebbles. The journey is complete.

We have a little ritual we do at the end of each hike at home that we call, “high five, fist bump, blow it up.” It’s our celebration of completing a big accomplishment, a safe hike, and a beautiful day in God’s creation. All those apply here. We have been doing this ritual all along the Coast 2 Coast, sometimes multiple times per day. But, my friends, this is the big one. I videoed it and you can watch it on YouTube. Please click this link to watch this 13 second video.

We began this journey in front of a sign in St. Bee’s with our good friends and hiking partners, Rich and Elizabeth. The sign marked the beginning of the Coast to Coast walk.

Rich and Elizabeth planned to only walk the first half with us and left us in Kirby Stephen to continue their vacation with other activities. And we end the walk in front of another sign commemorating the end of the walk.

Today’s miles: 10.3. Total miles: 191. Miles remaining: 0.0000000!!!

The journey is complete! This post completes the daily journal of the walk itself. Another post in the next day or so will have some more reflections on the entire experience and the highlights. As we leave Robin Hood’s Bay, and begin to make our way home, we will spend a couple night’s in York and one night in Dublin. I will probably share a few pictures from there as well.

We have heard from many of you that you are enjoying the posts and that you have been holding us in prayer. We are so appreciative. Your prayers have been answered. It has been such a joy to share the journey with you.

God bless,