A day of easy walking and the route finding could not be more simple. Anyone who can walk can do this walk and not be distressed. A well marked trail we continue on the Cleveland Way trail. This is part of the national trail system and is well signed.
I got a ride back up to Clay Bank Top by the owner of the Buck Inn. Breakfast was delish, scrambled DUCK eggs. Smooth and creamy, done slow and low.
Going to take note.
I got and early start and forced myself to move slow. I have found when the way is difficult, I tend to take slower shorter steps. This is actually more tiring than long bold strides. Today is only 9 miles of almost flat walking. Blissfully not on rough rock, but sand small stone. The horizon is wide. If I were to relate it, this is what the central Columbia Basin would be if it had more rainfall and was not scoured by the Brietz Floods. I could simply stride along.
It is sunny, creeping into the low 80's. Here on top, a gentle breeze makes it all perfect.
Where I leave the Cleveland Way, the trail makes use of the abandoned Rosedale Ironstone Railway bed. That guarantees smooth , nearly level walking.
There are some wonderful things to discover Along the way. There are boundary stones along the way. What they are the boundary of, I don't know. They date from the 17th century. Two of them have carvings. One, the pointing finger... Hard to see
The other , The Face Stone, very obvious.
This is rare land, the heath moor. Carefully managed, it is vital ecology for the Red Grouse and for other upland nesting birds. North York Moors is the largest track of such ecology. Signs warn of ticks, so I tuck in the pants to socks.
Trails come and go and people appear as if out of nowhere. Mountain bikes obviously love this path.
I was thrilled to see grouse; lone males and a female with chicks in tow.
If you view large you might see the young.
I had to slow myself down. I was on track to hit the 9 miles in 3 hours. I didn't want to get to Lion Inn before one o'clock. I had a sit with some gents at noon. They were on a loop and said the usually planned a lunch stop on the trail, then a turn around at a pub, back to their car by late afternoon. What a great country, you can do rambles like this most anywhere. I get a sense, however, that here in Yorkshire, it is a passionate pastime.
The Inn appears out of nowhere. From a very far distance you could see the glint of sun off cars on the road going along High Blakey Moor.
I timed it just right but still beat my bags in. I tidied up as best I could and joined the gents I met on the trail for a pint of Old Rosey.
Well pint and half, when a gent is buying they don't take no for and answer.
I love my little room, not enough room to swing a cat, but nice everything, a comfy double bed and bliss itself,
The Lion Inn is a top of the line inn and very isolated. Please do visit their site. In 2010 there was an extraordinary snowstorm which stranded staff and two visitors for 8 days. The pictures on the Inns web-site and in the article from the Daily Mail are something to see. I doubt my photos will do justice.
I cannot imagine how beautiful and isolated this place must be in Winter. On a clear night the winter stars would be spectacular. I hope to get out tonight with my big camera and see what an eight seconds exposure will produce. The is the first high open horizon of the trip.
This morning, we awake to a famous Dale top fog. I am sure it will burn off in no time.