Day 6: Dent to Lincoln’s Inn Bridge (Part 7/9)
Total Miles Planned: 9.0
Actual Miles Walked: 9.5
Weather: overcast and drizzly to start, but within an hour the sun came out and a blue sky full with fluffy clouds lasted the whole day. Glorious!
Pints of beer and gin and tonics consumed at the end of the day: Do we really need to be counting these?
Day Six began with a delicious homemade breakfast at the Stone Close Inn. We put on our waterproofs and headed out, but the drizzle and clouds didn’t last very long and in no time at all we shed the waterproofs and spent the rest of the day in short sleeves. I even broke out my sunglasses, which haven’t seen active duty for days.
Soon after we set out, as we walked along a paved path, we were fortunate enough to see a beautiful fox when he crossed the lane ahead of us. He looked graceful and elegant and he paused to look right at us before scurrying off into the trees. It was one of those moments when you feel a real connection to nature. But then we saw a pack of hounds come running down the hillside, howling and barking, noses to the ground. Basically, we took the position “Fox? What fox?”
Today’s walk presented a slight logistical challenge, as the guidebook we are following is built around a 7-day walk and we are doing it in eight. This is partly because I wanted us to stay for two days in lovely Dent Village, but also because….8. Don’t judge us. So today we walked five miles into Sedbergh, hopped on a bus for 3 1/2 miles to Lincoln’s Inn Bridge, and then walked back from Lincoln’s Inn Bridge to Sedbergh. Did you follow all that? It was a bit weird to walk in the opposite direction than is outlined in the guidebook, but since we are legendary and fearless expeditioners, we didn’t concern ourselves with such minor details. Did I mention that yesterday we found “North” by using the iPhone compass app? Astonishing!
It’s hard to imagine, but the views today were even better than expected. We are continuously surprised and awed by this beautiful landscape.
…though it may be slightly less beautiful in one spot. You know those Yorkshire dry stone walls that are everywhere? They are obviously strong as they have been standing for hundreds of years, even though people sometimes climb over them (or so I’ve heard). Well, today Michelle and I opened a gate onto a field and as it swung around, a large stone fell out of the wall that was supporting it. Oddly, it was the second to last stone up from the bottom. Have you ever played Jenga? Just as we were pondering the physics of the wall’s remaining integrity, the dry stone wall came crashing down! Thankfully, no one got hurt. I’ve since contacted the Dalesway Association to alert them to the site. Update: As of September, the wall has been repaired.
We had another scary moment today, when we were walking up a narrow stone farm-track that was bordered on both sides by yes…wait for it…Yorkshire dry stone walls. Halfway to the top we heard a tractor in the distance. And then it seemed like the sound was getting closer and closer. And then we saw two giant tractors coming right for us. There was nowhere for us to step aside and by the speed at which they were driving, the farmers didn’t seem concerned. We pressed ourselves up against the wall, sucked in our stomachs, and prayed. A close call!
Still in one piece (well, two pieces actually, being that we are two people) and now almost to Sedbergh to have lunch, we saw fellow walker Matt’s van parked on the side of the road (he and Guy were camping and moving their 2nd car ahead for the end of each day’s walk). Michelle, always prepared, wrote “Lisa and Michelle were here :-)” on a Post-it Note and placed it on his windshield. What fun we are!
We had a lovely late lunch at a cafe and spent some time in one of the bookshops. After all, Sedbergh is “England’s Book Town”.
Most of the other shops closed early, so we were ready to get back to Dent. We had planned to call for a taxi, but when we phoned the three local companies, we got the following responses:
- I’m not working today
- Sorry, I’m too far away
- just a weird sound coming out of my cellphone
Michelle Facebook-messaged fellow walker Matt, and he and Guy picked us up and drove us back to Dent, where they were also staying again.
Dent is such a special place, and tonight the pub was warm and celebratory. My friend Bob joined us again, as did innkeepers and friends Andy and Allison, and our chauffeurs, Matt and Guy. We shared a pint or two and had a lot of laughs. What a great joy to make the kinds of new friends who quickly become old friends. And how blessed I am to have both.