A good nights sleep, a lay in and full english awaited, fed and watered I bid a fond farewell to the lovely owners and rejoined the path which runs to the back of the BnB.
I’ve been quite fortunate so far, paths have been well marked and straightforward, forest tracks stretched for miles like a maze through Dalby forest, interspersed with stunnig views across Allerston High Moor.
I passed by a clear fell of trees, a cash crop cut and left bare and stark amongst the greenery of the pines, greying and twisted remains sat lifeless on the ground, I stood and gazed, new life had begun to shoot forth from replanted trees, i moved on and was greeted by views of Blakey Topping from The Old Wifes Way.
From this point I could also see a large and distinctive tower, its sharp shape very much standing out in the landscape, I mused this being a bond villains lair but have now found it to be RAF Flyingdales radar tower. This whole area is steeped in history and mythology, an ancient fertility route, a hill for worship and sacrifice, stone circles, witches and giants all within a few miles.
I crossed the busy A169 avoiding the speeding traffic and looked out upon the Hole of Horecum, a large valley shape cut into the landscape, Few people were seen other than cars passing by, I chuckled at the name (again) and headed off crossing a short section of Moor and into a dense woodland.
After a short downward section following a burbling brook, jogging down steep stairs, I came upon a collection of fine wild orchids,
Newton Dale Holt railway sat quiet and sedate awaiting its request stop, like the forest before I trudged the forest tracks and climbed short and steep mountain bike sections before joining flatter forest tracks. These sections were quite boring with the stark bright stones partially blinding me as I went, the hard paths now beginning to hurt my feet, a pressure spot was forming in the middle of my foot, I had no idea why as these shoes have never caused me any issues before.
After some 13miles in, I happened upon a pair of mountain bikers who asked me for some directions, best I could offer was their current location, the friendly pair sped off laughing that they always get lost and I trotted onto my route, a little down the path I spotted what I thought was a stick, but as I neared to within a few feet the stick began to move.
In all my years of being outside this is the first time I have ever come face to face with an adder, excited I began filming only to move back when it began hissing at me as I was to close.
I passed Masuley Cross and an acient well festooned with ribbons, before crossing into an even denser and slightly unnerving woods (the type where people go missing), Cropton forest held little other than a feeling of impending doom and long gorse which scarified my bare legs.
I emerged onto Hamer Moor and stopped to refuel and check for ticks, I was horrified to find about 10 of the little buggers scrambling round my legs looking for a place to bite, thankfully none had taken hold and with a quick flick they were moved on. I sprayed my legs with a pungent natural oil spray and set off again.
A relatively short moorland section awaited, I followed my intended route with OS doing its usual theres a path but there isn’t a path, luckily being dry the going was easy, curlews buzzed me from above, the scene descending into something akin the the film The Birds, lambs ran to mothers and some became seperated in other fields, I provided assistance and reunited them, using my inner hearding sheep dog skills to good effect.
Before long I was entering Rosedale Abbey, my end for the day and meet up with my brother, a few pints were had as we sat in the sun, watching the world go by. We stopped the night at Low Bell End Farm (yes i choose it because it was cheap and sounded funny), lambs, sheep, chickens and even a Peacock created a rather calming but noisey soundtrack for the evening.
We enjoyed a few beers and a BBQ, but the usual park run weather returned and a colder wind mixed with rain turned up. We sat cosily in the van and after I had showered, re-checked for Ticks and played wth my now loose toenail before climbing into my sleeping bag for the night.