Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tales of Yorkshire: Lyke Wake Walk ~ Part 2

I am very pleased to announce
that TP (hubby) has decided to continue on with his tales!
After he mulled it over for a few days (along with me taking his mug off the blog),
and reading your encouraging comments,
he's beginning to accept the concept of sharing on the internet
 and the fact it's not all that bad.

Since it's been a couple of weeks since we posted Part 1
you can refresh your memory HERE before beginning Part 2.

Lyke Wake Walk ~ Part 2

The bus finally reached  its destination. A large parking lot in the middle of nowhere. This is where our long journey would begin, but before setting off we all had evening tea. It probably consisted of something to the effect of cheese and onion sandwiches smothered in Heinz Salad Cream and hot tea from thermoses to help wash it all down. No protein bars back then. Our energy came solely from our simple meal and the enthusiasm in our bodies. We were raring to go.  I, of course, made sure to be at the front of the pack.  

 Forty-two miles of desolate heather covered moors and peat bogs lay before us. The expanse seemed to go on forever.  One teacher headed our group and the other trailed behind to make sure no one strayed off the beaten path.  There would only be a couple more hours of light to help guide us.  The further into this barren land we traveled, the less the footpath was distinguishable.  As the path continued to fade we began to understand and appreciate the need for knowing how to read a map and a compass.

courtesy of Google Images  

Everyone easily stayed together during the daylight hours and the pace remained brisk, but as darkness approached, our group became more of a meandering line with the slackers trailing behind.  Sunlight quickly gave way to darkness and misty eeriness.  The only sounds to be heard were the movements of our bodies.  No horizon or discernible objects, just pitch blackness that reached far beyond the dim beam of our flashlights.  This is when my hidden knife became a comfort and the map and compass became our guide.

From time to time, the leaders of the group would stop to check on our bearings and wait for others to catch up.  At one of these check points we noticed a rather soggy Jemima Puddleduck.  Unfortunately, I was not one of the lucky ones to have witnessed the mishap, but apparently, our beloved teacher confirmed for everyone the unseen hazard of peat bogs. Oh, how I wished I had been there to see it happen.  I can just imagine.  Hence, the name Jemima Puddleduck. Her wet pants clung to her thin body which she would have to endure for the remainder of our trek.  She took it in good stride, though, and we all continued on.

courtesy of Google Images  

As the night progressed my muscles began aching.  Each step became more difficult, but I was determined.  These moors would not get the best of me. I was a thirteen year old lad who had a reputation to keep up back at school.  I would not be the brunt of jokes, no, not me.  We had reached a crossroad where we could end our journey and be taken home.  I kept walking.

We came upon a dip in the footpath that led us down a gradual embankment.  It was during this descent that I will forever remember a most unusual sight.  On what appeared to be the upcoming ascent, there were dots of light that illuminated the hillside. At first, I wasn't sure what I was seeing, but as we got closer I presumed the individual dots were glow worms. I hoped to walk through them but, unfortunately, the footpath veered off to the right when we reached the bottom of the hollow, so I was unable to get a close look. To this day, that unusual sight is still crystal clear in my mind.

courtesy of Google Images

It was probably about two or three in the morning when we came upon a pile of rocks about three feet high, a trail marker, to let us know we were still on course.  It was here that I finally got to sit down and wait for the rest of the group.  My eyes were heavy, my body aching and listless, the rocks became my mattress and I drifted off....

~ to be continued ~