August 14, 2018: Hiking Day Seven. Kirkby Stephen to Keld.
13 miles with perhaps 1900 feet of elevation gain
We said goodbye to Kirkby Stephen after our usual hearty breakfast and set back out on the country roads, fields, and moors. We had one minor climb today, a large hill to what's known as Nine Standards Rigg.
Our climb passed a large carved chair (with a sheep, always there are sheep!).
Onward and upward, into dense fog...
The Nine Standards, straight ahead...
The Nine Standards...
Sage took the lead and navigated through the fog. There were times when we needed to stand still until some fog passed so we could see the next cairn (herd paths intertwine with footpaths up here, and we did not want to go in the wrong direction).
There are three official routes along this part of the C2C. The hiker should do the one that's appropriate to the month in which you walk (the signpost will tell you). For us, it was the Blue Route.
This is a very boggy path; we were hoping those stepping stones would stretch out for a long while, but alas, they did not. They are gorgeous where they are, though...maybe they will eventually extend?
Into the bog!
Sage continued to lead the way. At times, the mud path was clear, and at other times, it wasn't. Sage always kept us in the right direction, though.
The guidebook says to look for posts marked with blue paint. A warning...much of that blue paint is gone. For example, the post below has blue paint...a tiny speck at the very top...you might have to zoom in to see it, lol.
After what seemed like a very long while traipsing down boot-sucking mud-filled trails, we climbed over a fence and arrived at a country road...
...which led to Ravenseat Farm. This is a farm that offers hot tea and fresh scones with cream to hikers. We took a break here to treat ourselves. The tea and scones were fabulous; we highly recommend stopping here.
The farm's dog, who will gladly eat your crumbs and leftovers...
After filling ourselves with scones and cream and tea, we continued through fields toward Keld.
Just another hour or two of walking brought us to our stopping point for the evening -- the yurts near Keld.
Home sweet home! Keld Bunk Barn has both bunks and yurts for hikers. We had reserved a yurt.
We settled in and ordered a humongous dinner. Shepherds pie for each girl -- they ate every bite.
Next post -- Hiking Day Eight: Keld to Reeth