I had just taken a couple of pictures of the brick-built Victorian church when the heavens opened and Clint was bombarded with repeated sallies of hailstones. I jumped back inside him for shelter as he screamed "Ouch!", "Aargh!" and "For ****'s sake!" as the hail bounced off his silvery bodywork. Soon it passed and I donned my boots ready for the long circular walk I had planned. It was meant to be around seven miles, finishing with a mile and a half stretch north of The River Went.
"O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams." - Hamlet Act II scene ii
8 May 2021
As you will know yourself, in these lives that we are leading things do not always go to plan. And so it was yesterday when Clint and I drove out to the flat lands north of Doncaster. We parked up in the village of Sykehouse which claims to be "Yorkshire's longest village" and I have no reason to doubt that claim. After all, from one end of the settlement to the other it is just under eight miles.
But please see this snippet from the A4 map I took with me:-
The broken black line along the blue river marks the
boundary between North and South Yorkshire
By this point I had already tramped six miles or so. The black line heading north is England's main east coast railway line connecting London with Yorkshire before heading up to Newcastle and Edinburgh. The railway passes over The River Went at the very point that a public footpath crosses a deep V-shaped drain and then goes under the bridge.
The path goes under this bridge on the left
However, the footbridge over the drain is presently totally kapput and the path under the bridge appeared so treacherously muddy that it would have been easy to fall into the river. I decided against it and headed south by the railway track hoping to find another route back to Sykehouse.
Oh lordy! I was now off the map I had printed so I had no idea where any paths might be or where they might lead and there was nobody about in the tiny village of Fenwick to ask. It was like a small ghost town.
Holy Trinity Church, Sykehouse
Following local lanes that crisscross the flat agricultural landscape I found myself plodding an extra six miles back to Clint who was still smarting from the hailstone battering. And to use a term favoured by my German blogging friend Meike, I was well and truly "knackered" when I turned the ignition key to head home.
So that was a plan that went wrong, simply because a small section of a footpath was more or less impassable. It doesn't happen very often and I have already reported the issue to North Yorkshire Council - Public Rights of Way Department. I wouldn't want other walkers to face the same problem.
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I like the sound of the flatlands north of Doncaster.ReplyDelete
To think I had never heard of Sykehouse. It sounds like the village in a detective story by Gil North.
Hailstones were the subject of a short piece in New Scientist: each one is as distinctive as a snowflake: our strange and baffling world !
Didn't Walter De La Mare get hailstones into one of his poems? Surely Heaney did too?
I like your map showing North and South Yorkshire. Is the ghost village of Fenwick on every map or only on ones printed by Tasker Dunham and Associates?
Did you call in and enjoy the sublime silence of Holy Trinity?
I am reading a book you would enjoy.
*This Life - Why Mortality Makes Us Free* by Martin Hagglund.
A decent man, but he thinks he's wiser than St. Augustine.
Tasker Dunham and associates have thorough and perfectly adequate mental maps of that area.Delete
Tasker Dunham Ltd is a vulgar multinational that puts profit before people. On principle, I refuse to purchase mental maps from them.Delete
As for Holy Trinity, Sykehouse (built on the site of a much older church) the door was locked by order of Saint Boris - the patron saint of scarecrows.
The global giant for which I work as Night Security Officer (minimum wage)Delete
is making a corporate raid on Tasker Dunham Ltd. I'm insider trading here.
My company is called Eleven Kepler. I pass the lonesome night on my laptop.
For further information go online:
*20 Strangest Planets that are both interesting and terrifying.*
By Neringa Utaraite. Bored Panda.
This stuff is like Ayahuasca without the vomit and green snakes.
Tasker would like it on planet 4Gliese which defies the laws of physics.
As Daniel Dennett said, the final truth is going to be weirder than we dare imagine.
You do like to live life on the edge, YP.ReplyDelete
Are you by any chance related to Dr Livingstone?
The flatlands north of Doncaster are most unlike the plains of Africa - I presume.Delete
Pollington airfield - where everyone from that area learned to drive.ReplyDelete
In the war it was called RAF Snaith so the airfield would not be confused with RAF Pocklington.Delete
Well that's a walk you won't soon forget.ReplyDelete
And now studying maps back home I see I could have taken paths that would have cut four miles off the detour! Grrrr!Delete
I was going to say that having a phone with GPS would not have averted the problem but with that hindsight knowledge, it might have. But you don't need to get a phone. Honestly.Delete
Some of my co-workers were walking the Seven Sisters last Sunday and they encountered hail too!ReplyDelete
I guess it's inevitable that some paths will be impassable now and then for whatever reason. I think I would have turned back and CRAWLED under that bridge, no matter how muddy I got! But you got some extra exercise, anyway.
In the big scheme of things I suppose that it was not a big deal. Maybe I was being a wimp but I didn't wish to get my camera wet.Delete
Mmm.. the sky in the church photo does look rather threatening, but I'm glad that the hailstorm didn't last long.ReplyDelete
How annoying to have to retrace your steps, but if you'd had your maps on a smart phone, you might have found a shortcut. In a couple of years' time, when you take Phoebe with you, she'll be able to sort out a better route using her phone.
As always excellent photos, and last one is exceptional - you've captured such a tranquil scene.
I am glad you like that last picture CG. It does indeed convey tranquillity.Delete
I'm with Steve on this one, I would have risked the dodgy path under the bridge rather than get lost in the wilderness.ReplyDelete
I made it home. The most annoying thing is that there was another path which would have saved me about four miles - but it was just south of my map.Delete
I like the swans under the bridge. I see there were no Billy goats Gruff to chase you. I once detoured five miles backwards hiking p when a Limousin bull grazing with his wives asked me: "What you looking at?"ReplyDelete
Never argue with a bull - unless of course you are a sabre toothed tiger.Delete
Well, you and Clint both had a hearty kvetch.ReplyDelete
"Kvetch"? I had to look that up! Now I am going to kvetch about your conclusion!Delete
Oh a hearty kvetch is good for the soul.Delete
This reminds me - in a roundabout sort of way - of the mountaineering adventures you were writing up; Imagine going to Nepal all those years ago - no maps at all; indeed in may cases you were going there to make the map! That's what I so admire those pioneers.ReplyDelete
Also as a ps - try downloading Outdoor Active on your phone and then you have full UK maps always with you together with your GPS location - it is free by the way - or for reasonable subscription for OS version, though not needed. It used to be call View Ranger but now I think you have to sign up using Outdoor Active who have taken it over. Great app and a lifesaver in some situations.
Trouble is I do not own a phone.Delete
Ouch! An extra six miles when you thought you were close to the end of your walk.ReplyDelete
You summed it up well.Delete
Interesting! We had hail in this area the other day ranging in size from a pea to a golf ball....luckily Casa de Barlow was spared! I would have been pissed if my garden that I've been sweating over had gotten ruined by hail. It's happened before.ReplyDelete
I love the word "knackered"! I'll always associate it with our friend Meike. :)
Hail Jennifer! That word is not normally used in polite company but Meike is very polite and thoughtful - as you know yourself.Delete
You can certainly walk. I am not sure I would like eight miles of village really.ReplyDelete
It is a very strung out village - along the main road with many fields between the first and last house.Delete
You got beautiful photos, but I don't like the thought of hail on the head or walking that many extra miles. Still, an unexpected adventure isn't a bad thing. Excellent blog fodder.ReplyDelete
Ha-ha! I like that term "blog fodder" Margaret.Delete
So what have learned here?ReplyDelete
Mr. YP is fit.
Mr. YP needs to download bigger maps because sometimes size does matter.
Mr. YP may or may not consider buying a smart phone with a GPS and map app.
Mr. YP takes lovely photos.
Clint is smarter than Mr. YP? This is hard to discern, two such different species.
Hope you made it home in time for supper. I'm guessing you slept well last night:)
Hmmm… I suppose I shall have to adapt my use of the word knackered. But I am glad I am perceived as polite!ReplyDelete
As for the impassable footpath, it reminds me of the day my sister and I wanted to walk from Ripon to Ripley and had to take a detour to avoid a field full of cows (with calves). After what felt like hours of struggling under a scorching hot sun through fields with plenty of prickly plants attaching themselves to our clothes, we reached a road and thought we surely had to be really close to Ripley by now. Imagine our frustration when the first road sign we saw read ‘Ripon 4 miles’!
This has become a sort of running joke with us since. Whenever we walk and the road or path seems to go on for much longer than expected, we look at each other and say Ripon, 4 miles.