Weekend fun and food…

Well, sorta. As I write this, Tennessee is in it’s 5th day of reopening. Hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors, retail, many restaurants, parks and outdoor venues are all out there with doors wide open. The weather is great and the masses are restless with pent up demand.

In this house we are resisting the urge to participate. You could say we are dragging our feet about reintegrating into “normal” life. The prevailing attitude is “wait and see”; wait 15 days and see how the pandemic is growing going. Maybe some hiking and other activities soon but meanwhile I have been keeping myself plenty active.

Over the past couple of months, I have made good strides with my running pace and VO2max. Regrettably the last seven days have been very lackluster (sigh) and I have lost a bit of my hard fought gain. The temperature is on the rise after what has been a cool, damp spring and I struggle adjusting. I know, I know, I live in Tennessee where heat and humidity are summer companions but I prefer not to accept responsibility for my performance, instead I will just blame it on a myriad of other things.

So, Saturday morning I got out for a later than usual run and it appears my heart was not in it. For some reason, I deviated from my neighborhood route and took the hilly, scenic one. I actually don’t mind this section of greenway as my legs have become noticeably stronger and I love the reward of running downhill, but today it got me. What was planned as a 4-5 mile run turned into a 3 miler at my slower March running pace. I was discouraged!

Running a section of the Will Skelton Greenway along the Tennessee River.
Heat, humidity and suntan lotion.
I seem to have my mouth open a lot when I run and hike, gasping for air most likely. As of recent, I have been working on breathing through my nose. For me it is not as easy as it sounds cause I feel like I am suffocating. But, like other things running, I am making progress.

After the run, I retired to the veranda to enjoy a cool breeze, an ice cold glass of water and to lick my wounded ego.

This is not a happy face.
This is a happy face! Watching birds and squirrels is grand.

Later in the afternoon I decided to go for a bicycle ride. After all, when the run fails, maybe the bicycle will be a success; I am a better cyclist than runner. Better that is when I cycle regularly, which I haven’t been doing.

I didn’t really want to tackle riding up the big hill we live on so I drove the bicycle down in the car and parked in a flat, shady area. My plan was to circle the main street numerous times and take a few side roads to break the boredom. My mental goal was 12 miles. Ha!! I should say here I haven’t been on my bike since early January.

My legs felt strong and the ride started out great. I wondered why I hadn’t been on my bike recently. Slowly I realized that I had picked the wrong day and time to be cycling. With great weather and shelter at home restrictions lifted, the neighborhood kids were out, lots and lots of kids. There was a gaggle of five girls on bicycles riding five across the road against traffic, a small group of three, unsteady girls riding their skate boards in the middle of the road, boys in the road with hockey sticks, little ones tagging along with older siblings. You see my problem here. The kids tended to scatter when cars appeared but could care less about a single bicycle making loops around the boulevard.

The ride became an exercise in speed up, slow down and hit the brakes. My inner Grinch came out and I knew it was time to give it up. People were rightfully enjoying this spring day and my attitude continued to deteriorate. After one last ride to the river, I loaded my bike on the car and drove the short distance home. Total miles cycled: 7.

On a bridge over a tributary of the Tennessee River.
Kayakers and paddle boarders on the above tributary of the Tennessee River. I counted over 30 people out on both sides of the bridge. Usual count, about 5….pent up demand.

Saturday night was about food. We had pizza dough thawing in the frig and I was looking forward to a good, homemade pizza. Unfortunately the dough was purchased at Fresh Market and turned out to be a do not repeat.

Prep started with rolling out the dough on a cutting board that was way too small. John, watching from the sidelines, suggested I move the dough to the granite counter top. W-e-l-l-l-l-l, even with flour, the dough stuck. Not a good beginning for the pizza.

In steps John for the rescue with a big spatula to help loosen the dough and transport it to a cookie sheet, also too small. I had in my mind that I wanted a rectangular pizza so we ended up transporting the dough again to a sheet pan with sides to contain the dough.

Toppings included hot Italian sausage, andouille sausage and low fat turkey pepperoni. We also included spinach, onions, mushrooms, Kalamata olives and mozzarella and Parmesan Reggiano cheeses. Olive oil was the pizza base.

I forgot to take a picture till we had already eaten part of the pizza.

The toppings were great but the crust was like a biscuit or, in our case, two biscuits. I am guessing I did not roll it thin enough. I wonder if the dough would have made two pizzas. Next time I will experiment with homemade crust.

With the pizza, I added a light lettuce salad with homemade white wine vinaigrette. Yum! We were stuffed.

Sunday morning I did not have the remotest motivation to run so I decided to ride my bike again but in a different location. As it turns out, this stretch of greenway was no better than riding in my neighborhood. No need to be lengthy here, miles before I threw in the towel: 7. I spent the afternoon reading.

Looks like I need to clean up my handle bars! Unused hardware and loose electrical tape need to be removed.

Sunday was another evening in the kitchen, this time sushi. John had in his mind that it would be fun to serve homemade sushi to his son and girlfriend this week. We needed a practice run. It has been a while since I made sushi at home, even longer since my sister and I took sushi making classes. I had a slight panic as I attempted to locate the rice recipe but it finally surfaced.

First step was preparing the “stuffing” for the sushi. We cut up such things as cream cheese, imitation crab, cucumbers, carrots and smoke salmon, While the rice cooked, I attempted to cover the bamboo mat in plastic wrap. The wrap did not want to adhere to itself which makes rolling the rice difficult. This was not a good start and I realized I was in a bit over my head.

With the rice cooked, we transferred it to a glass bowl and fanned (yes fanned) while adding a mixture of sugar-mirin. Now it was time to start the assembly process. Placing the rice on the nori and flipping was fine, but I couldn’t remember the placement of the ingredients on the nori sheet to make it roll correctly. Took a roll or two to get the process right.

In the end, the sushi was ok but I am not ready for sushi entertaining right now. These rolls were not as good as rolls I have made in the past and I need to do some reading, recipe adjustments and practice runs before inviting people over for sushi. That said we will have carryout pizza (good pizza) and salad with Daniel and Tess this week.

Posted in Bicycling, COVID-19, Food, Life, Outside, Running, Weekend | Leave a comment

Sheltering in Place

It has been a while since I last posted. Covid-19 has settled in to our country and like others we are “safer at home” or were until our mayor updated our status to “shelter in place.” It has been a journey.

In late February, early March I slowly began filling the freezer with meats, vegetables and our favorite coffee. John thought I was nuts but I just nodded and kept buying. Unfortunately I did not think through toilet paper and antibacterial wipes until it was too late. I had some chats with our local Publix employees and discovered the tp delivery schedule. For several weeks I set an extra early alarm on a designated delivery day to arrive before the tp and wipes were sold out. I never had to wait in line.

Beginning mid March, our neighborhood set up a series of window scavenger hunts for the kids. So far we have had banana, umbrella, W, hands and pac man days. I hung with them till the zoo animals started then burned out and dropped out. I jumped back in at Easter with hand painted paper eggs. This was not part of the neighborhood list but what I wanted to do.

Pac man day!

Many of our neighbors are outside throughout the day but scattered and no one seems to be getting too close to each other, just a friendly wave and a shouted hello. Our neighborhood book club held a zoom meeting in April and will do the same in May. We are reading “And Then There Were None,” by Agatha Christie. Restaurant deliveries have been added to the evening activities with several popular downtown restaurants/breweries parking at a designated neighborhood location on a designated day. Those who placed and paid on-line for orders, practice social distancing as the orders are handed out. This activity has been well supported by the neighborhood. John and I have participated a couple of times, a beer or two may have been included on our orders.

In mid-March the University of Tennessee closed. John continued to go in for another week or so but came home early everyday, fretting about a grad student or two that exhibited Covid symptoms (one tested positive, one negative). He finally pulled together a multi-computer – TV set up in an upstairs room where he can work with his microscopes remotely and help a few remaining grad students via phone or on line. The dog is glad he is home. We now call her the “upstairs” dog as she hangs out with him all day. I have had to do a little adjusting but am glad he is home too.

On March 24th, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park closed roads, trails and all services. The week before closing, 30,000 people from all over the country thought it was a good idea to show up EACH day in the park to hike and look at the wildflowers. While it may be an understandable decision on an individual basis, collectively not so good. Most visitors who go to the park go to the same places, Cades Cove, Laurel Falls Trail, Abrams Falls and Alum Cave. Social distancing, I don’t think so. The Park Service quickly decided that to keep their employees, not to mention the park guests safe, shuttering the park for 2 weeks was a necessity. The closure continued on, the park is now scheduled to reopen on May 9th.

Spring has pretty much come and gone in the garden even though we are going through the last of the spring series of Red Bud, Dogwood and Blackberry winters. Seems like we have had more rain than I remember in recent years and more high winds, but maybe I am just more aware this year.

Variegated Solomon Seal
Lenten Roses
Yard violets. Violets were my first and always favorite flower. I have trouble pulling them out of the garden. so usually I don’t.

As the weeks went on we slipped into a nice routine, dinner at lunch, lunch at dinner, many enjoyed al fresco on the veranda. The sun rose, the sun set and days went by quickly as we lived in a bubble. We worked in the yard, in the house and I looked forward to morning runs and sunset walks.

Sunrise through the kitchen window
Sunset from our backyard
Sunset walk with Katie
Sunset over the Tennessee River
This happened to me in early March, I have thoroughly enjoyed it!
I have spent much too much time going up and down this flight of 15 steps.
This has been my counter because I realized around 600 steps that this is incredibly boring, my mind gets distracted and I loose count. As of this week I hit 2100 steps up in a single effort (and 2100 steps down). My legs are getting noticeably stronger but this is worse than a treadmill.

My running has improved significantly. I am hitting times I could only hope for a few months ago (still very slow mind you). I ran over 74 miles in April, my highest mileage for a while. I have enjoyed the mornings out by myself. Improvement is very motivating.

Post run with a dogwood as my backdrop. The dogwoods are out of bloom now.
Running on the local greenway system
My car got washed a couple of times due to pollen but I have only filled it with gas once.

As of today, the governor has mostly reopened the state. Although Knoxville openings are regulated by the County Health Department, most things including retail, hair salons, restaurants and such have opened with distancing guidelines. My phone has been ringing with offices wanting to set up appointments-personal trainer, hair (I have decided to try a new color, my own…gray), eye doctor, massage therapist and so on and so on.

Honestly, I am not looking forward to “getting back to normal.” I have enjoyed my days uninterrupted by obligations. With uncluttered time, I focus on fitness and health. Money saved by not stopping here and there to shop has disappeared into a travel account and I have been happily planning a few adventures for 2021. While very frightening, sheltering at home against Covid-19 has offered me a glimpse into a different lifestyle, one I think I am going to try to hold onto for just a little longer.

Posted in COVID-19, Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Smackdown Storm

A freight train blew through our neighborhood early this morning in the form of a hard hitting, smackdown storm. John and I were jarred awake as intense light flashed through the windows followed by a deafening clap of thunder. Then a powerful wind slapped against the house and the walls seemed to shake.

John jumped out of bed and began fumbling for a flashlight. Lights in the living room, dining room and bedroom, all attached to the smart lightening system seemed to simultaneously light up, pause for a moment then fade into darkness. The house became eerily quiet. Neither of us could grapple with what was happening.

I struggled to shake myself fully awake; I could hear intense rain and hail pelting the windows. Meanwhile, John and his headlamp were roaming the house. A yell of “water in the hall” sent me scrambling to find towels to mop up the seepage as he rushed to pull back the hallway runner. Try as we have, we have not been able to completely seal the front door. When a hard rain hits at just the right angle, water finds it’s way into the hall. Today it was coming in fast!

s!The beauty of a gas stove and battery powered candles when the power blows!
Hot water poured through the coffee maker! Yay for early morning coffee.
Reading Jill Biden’s book, “Where Light Enters” as we await the morning light.

Then, just as quickly as it came, the storm blew out. Everything was quiet again. Battery powered candles, coffee on the gas range, a good book and headlamps got us through the darkness. Just after first light, we walked down the street to the scene where the power outage occurred. The culprit, an old pine that had been hit by lightening. As it cracked and splintered, then splayed across the road, it took the power for several streets with it.

Old pine broke high on the trunk
Pine clutter everywhere with wires mixed amongst the branches.

Some 6 plus hours later, we are still waiting for power. A utility truck was spotted headed in that direction but that has been several hours ago. While we wait, the pup and I are sitting on the veranda as John contacts family and trys to sort through work issues related to a separate power outage there. The sun is out and has almost dried out the rain, birds are singing, most of the spring blooms are still intact and a stiff wind keeps the wind chimes ringing. What started out rough has become a lively day in the neighborhood.

Posted in Life, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Cleveland Way, Day 10, Scarborough to Filey

Planned mileage: 12.0
Actual mileage: 10.5

Accomodations: Abbots Leigh
Rating: Good

Dear Leslie and Mike,

Another mini update tonight.  WE ARE DONE! We have mixed emotions about being done, we have immensely enjoyed the scenery and each other’s company.  Being out everyday with nothing to do but hike is amazing.  The stillness and solitude, much needed.  John asked about every day, “is this what retirement is like?” 

On the other hand, I have struggled greatly with my feet and I need to find some answers.  Also 13 hotels with 13 very different beds and pillows is a lot of packing, unpacking and adjustment. We are missing washcloths, bedding, the ability to control the temperature in our room and a decent sized bathroom with water contols we understand.  Yet we have asked ourselves several times, “would we do another hike?”  The answer is yes. 

We did not take a cab to the trailhead, we walked from our B&B, on the left, to the boardwalk. My feet were ok on this day.
The seaside, tourist village of Scarborough. Residential is on the backside of the cliff.
There’s our sign and we know which direction to go!
Walking along the boardwalk away from Scarborough
One last look

Today was not a difficult day but our luck ran out on the weather.  We hiked 10.5 miles B&B to B&B and my feet did not hurt much, yay! Aside from 3 ravine drops and maybe 300 steps, we hiked on the cliff edge overlooking the ocean.  We hiked in a very light rain that was aggravating enough to wear rain jackets but didn’t soak through.  That was because a cold, fierce wind was blowing up and over the cliffs that dissipated the rain on contact.  The wind was blowing inland and the force of the gusts caused issues with our footing and stability.  John estimated 40 mph with higher gusts.  We required light wool gloves for the first time today.  

Windy cliffs. The surf was quite rough on this day and we could hear the waves slam against the rocky, cliff walls.
At times, the path wandered away from the sea and into forests and neighborhoods.
Through a lovely neighborhood
But it always returned back to the sea.
Through a gate and back to the cliff’s edge.
Steps up from a ravine
Through the fog, Filey appeared

We were looking forward to getting into Filey but have been a bit disappointed.  It is the most run down of all the seaside towns we have visited, although our B&B is nice.  I believe it is still winter season (sure does feel like it) and everything closes very early. 

Trail end
We had hiked 109 miles, actually 111.5 even through we missed the full hike to Scarborough
Coming into Filey, the pansies brightened an otherwise gray day.
Most of Filey looked like this, not the pretty square above.
Boots off for the last time

By the time we got out for dinner at 6:00 pm, all of the resturants were closed.  We finally found a little cafe and take away fish and chips place.  They closed the cafe just as we walked in so we left ( B&B’s do not allow take away in the room).  Lucky us, one of the waitresses ran outside and got us.  They served us while they were cleaning up the cafe….lovely people! The fish and chips wasn’t too bad either!

So that’s it for now.  Tomorrow we make our way from Filey to Scarborough to Leeds by train.  We overnight in Leeds and catch the 11:05 flight out.  I will try to be in touch tomorrow.


So this is the end of my journals for the Cleveland Way. Thank you for reading. The trip was amazing and a really great experience as a couple. While the issues I had with my feet were sometimes overwhelming, completing this hike was important to me. We learned somethings along the way and hope to put that knowledge to use in a similar journey, hopefully as early as 2021.

Posted in Cleveland Way, England, Hiking, Travel, Uncategorized, Walking | 3 Comments

The Cleveland Way, Day 9, Robin Hood's Bay to Scarborough

Actual Hike: We took the bus to Scarborough and walked back toward Robin Hood’s Bay
Expected Mileage: 14.0
Actual Mileage: 10.0
Worst Part of the Day: Wishing we had hiked instead of taken the bus
Best Part of the Day: Taking the bus and letting my feet rest (I know, I can’t have it both ways)
Bonus: AZ Turkish Restaurant (no fish and chips)

Accommodations: The Almar
Rating: Nice accommodations, lovely host and hostess
Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hey Leslie and Mike!

A mini update…we are in Scarborough tonight in a lively guest house with an airplane sized bathroom, i.e. I put my shampoo and conditioner on the sink and just reach out from the shower to get it (no room for it in the shower).

We had our first really lovely meal at a small, neighborhood Turkish restaurant, AZ. It took about 1 and 1/2 hours so it is almost bedtime. The food was amazing.

We did take the bus from Robin Hood’s Bay this morning, about 30 minutes (with stops) on a double decker bus.  We arrived at the Scarborough train station about 9:30 where we had some time before showing up to our B&B.

From the second level on a double decker bus as we waved good-bye to Robin Hood’s Bay.
This was my great disappointment for this trip, taking the bus. I did not want to do it but my feet would not take me where I needed to go on this morning so there really was no other choice.

 Our plan was to do some hiking on the Cleveland Way but my feet hurt so much I was almost in tears.  Walking the concrete promenade along the waterfront to the trail had us sitting down every few benches.  Neither of us had much hope for hiking.

The waterfront promenade.

Strangely enough after 2 Advil, a few minutes on the trail and using my hiking poles, the pain mostly subsided.  We did a 7 mi out and back hike plus around Scarborough for 10 miles for the day. 

Looking back toward Scarborough. The tower on the cliff is part of Scarborough Castle
Seagulls amongst the rocky shore.
Walking the Cleveland Way back toward Robin Hood’s Bay.
A nice bench for lunch.
Rape seed flowers. Rape seeds are used to make canola oil.
A welcoming makeshift bench to sit and watch the sea.
These beautiful seaside days are coming to an end.

Notes: I want to add here that John and I first visited Scarborough in 2000 on our first overseas trip together during our first year of dating. I had tagged along to sightsee while John was attending a conference at the University of York. We had an amazing trip! We had been dating about 6 months and everything was so new and exciting. We saw a billboard for Scarborough Fair and impulsively decided then and there that we would take a train to Scarborough for the day.

We walked from the train station to the beach where a lively beach scene was in progress. Fair rides were running, food trucks were everywhere and visitors were walking the promenade. We had so much fun strolling, peeking in gift shops and sticking our toes in the North Sea for the first time ever. The day was over too quickly and we climbed up the steep hill back to the train station vowing to return and spend more time.

So here we were, 18 years later. We had been looking forward to this overnight stay but we were experiencing a whole different type of trip. Scarborough was much bigger than we thought and a bit more grimy than we remembered and we had just walked 91.0 miles to get here. We don’t hold the same fondness for Scarborough as we did in 2000 but we look back at Boltby, Staithes and Robin Hood’s Bay with those happy thoughts.

I think I am ok for hiking tomorrow, it is an easy 10-11 mile day and we may take a cab to the trailhead to avoid the concrete.  Can’t believe it is our last day on the trail. It has been a special trip!

That’s it for tonight, hope to update you tomorrow.


Posted in Cleveland Way, England, Hiking, Travel, Uncategorized, Walking | Leave a comment

The Cleveland Way, Day 8, Whitby to Robin Hood's Bay

Expected Mileage: 6.0
Actual Mileage: 7.75 from B&B to B&B

Accommodations: The Villa
Rating: Very Nice!
Date: Monday, May 14, 2018

Hi Leslie and Mike,

We have have finished our day and have settled in Robin Hood’s Bay though we are still waiting on our luggage drop at 5:00 pm.  Hard to believe we have only 2 days left on the trail.  Just a week ago we were starting out fresh. We have definitely put some miles on our feet, 7.75 today from B&B to B&B.   I would have to add the total up but it seems like we must be near 100.

Our hosts at No 7 Guest House in Whitby served breakfast at 8:30 sharp, no other option, so that is when we ate.  The host husband was a jolly type and he sat in the dining room talking to us and another couple and fussed with the fresh flowers in the room.  His wife was also outgoing and funny.  We were in no rush and finally got out the door just before 10:00 AM.

No 7 Guest House, Whitby (yellow building). We had a room on then second floor behind the wrought iron trim.

We had been dreading the 199 steps from Old Town Whitby to the Whitby Abbey and St. Mary Anglican Church where we were to pick up the trail but we have done so many steps that these didn’t even phase us.  We lingered at the cliff top so I could walk through the church (you know I have a crazy fascination with old religious sites) and we could view the Abbey ruins and the Old cemetery but after about 30 minutes, it was time to move on.

Beginning the 199 step climb.
I am most of the way up the steps at this point, looking back on the lovely village of Whitby.
*BTW, Whitby is famous for a stone called Whitby Jet, which is an organic stone naturally formed from fossilized wood. Queen Victoria was a patron of the stone and wore it exclusively during her period of mourning. As a person who collects jewelry for travel souvenirs, I was pleased to add a pendant of Whitby Jet to my collection.
*Another little tidbit, Whitby is also the setting for Bram Stoker’s gothic novel, Dracula
St. Mary’s Anglican Church
Caedmon’s Cross, a tribute to the earliest English poet whose name is known. Caedmon was a monk at Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey was once an Anglo-Saxon monastery for men and women, founded in 657 AD The piece of gothic abbey still standing was started in 1220 AD. I am always in awe of the ancient history and architecture in European cities.

The trail was much the same as the past few days, hugging the edge of high cliffs, watching soaring sea gulls and catching a glimpse of freighters far out at sea.  We hiked through pastures of sheep and cows, crossing through elaborate gates between pastures. A slight difference was the walking through ravines.  We hiked up and down ravines via steps in some cases and up and down via trail in others (there was not much walking around the ravines on this day). There were more people on the trail today than any day in the past. This is probably because two long distance trails merged about 3 miles outside Robin Hood’s Bay, Cleveland Way and Coast to Coast. Distance walkers mingled with a number of day walkers.

Some areas along the cliffs were separating and collapsing toward the sea. These areas were blocked off and the trail had been slightly rerouted.
Unknown ruin, exposed with the lower tide.
The trail followed a rutted farmer’s road
Sheep grazing trailside.

One of the most interesting sites was a lighthouse.  It seemed to be a modern lighthouse, not one that sat on a tall structure lile most we have seen in other places but was attached to the keepers house.  A huge black fog horn was attached to one structure and a light attached to another (I will attach a picture). We wondered, with the increased use of GPS systems, if lighthouses are still used as often.

This series of buildings is called the Whitby Fog Signal Station which accounts for the big black fog horn,.
The trail goes behind the light house perimeter wall.

Robin Hood’s Bay came in sight right on schedule, about 3 hours into our hike.  We struggled a little bit with our lodging location because the instructions were packed in my suitcase (whoops) but a nice, local lady found us looking at what information I did have and walked us almost here. 

Coming into town

The Villa is another very charming guest house. We have more space than last night but we are still tripping over suitcases. We have a window that opens (we felt suffocated last night as the window was locked) and a quick walk to the old section of town. The road to the old city is a very steep drop to the sea but since we did not hike as far today, we are ok with it. We did our exploring early and plan to stay “high” near our b&b for dinner (spoiler alert, we ate at a pub…fish and chips).

Our lodging for the evening, The Villa. We were on the 2nd floor, room with the 2 windows (on the right)
Our sweet bedroom
And decorative only fireplace.

Robin Hood’s Bay is an interesting village with many narrow alleys and stone buildings tucked amongst the alleys.  We are told it was built this way so bounty could be easily hidden and escapes made when necessary.

We walked the winding, narrow roads of Robin Hood’s Bay
While there is apparently no evidence for association with Robin Hood, by the 18th century, the secluded location made Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire’s busiest smuggling port. Locals built a maze of underground hiding places with passages linking houses. Later fishing took over as the mainstay.
Narrow alleys
The North Sea and Robin Hood’s Bay beach. We did make it to the beach to put our feet in the sea.

Tomorrow we are not sure of our plans.  We will walk out a ways and come back and take the bus or take the bus to Scarbrough and hike back a ways.

Btw, I laughed at your dream about finding me with cotton around my feet.  I think it was a sympathy dream.  But, you are not all wrong.  We are walking through and by big clumps of wool.  The sheep are shedding and wool is stuck on barb wire fences and along the ground on the trail.  John said that if I had been picking it up as we went along, you and Carol would have enough to spin for sweaters.

Couple of additional things I am trying to remember that don’t fit in anywhere:

1.  The air is not salty here.  I keep licking my lips expecting to taste salt and I do not.  We also don’t smell the sea in the constant, cooling breeze. We will miss the breeze when we return to Knoxville and it’s heat and humidity.

2.  On the list of things we miss, our sheets and blankets.  Beds here are made up will a fitted sheet and a comforter, no sheets or blankets.  There are summer wt comforters and winter wt.  Most beds are still made up with winter wt, hard to manage sleeping temps.

That’s it for tonight (luggage showed up at 6:30 pm).  Got to get ready for Day 9-by bus and foot.


Posted in Cleveland Way, England, Hiking, Travel, Uncategorized, Walking | Leave a comment

The Cleveland Way, Day 7, Staithes to Whitby

Expected Mileage: 11.0
Actual Mileage: 12.5

Accommodations: No.7 Guest House
Rating: Very Good, location is excellent
Date: Sunday, May 13, 2018

Hello Mike and Leslie,

Today is Day 7.  I think I was confused yesterday and we don’t want to repeat days (apparently in the title of the email I sent to Leslie yesterday, I said that yesterday was day 7)!  Staithes had a steady rain overnight. We woke to a heavy fog and a questionable weather forecast. We packed full rain gear and mentally prepared for the worst but the rain held off and we hiked under mostly cloudy skies.  

Soggy morning view from our second floor room at the Roraima House in Staithes.
We said good-bye to Staithes under cloudy skies with a seagull soaring overhead. As you can see, the tide was out.

Today’s walk took us 12.5 miles from B&B to B&B, mostly over cliff tops overlooking the sea.

Never got tired of the sounds of the sea rolling against the cliffs, the seagulls soaring in the air currents and the sound of wind rustling through the grasses.
This picture is a little dark but honestly, we hiked under gray, threatening skies most of the day and the landscape was at times dark and dramatic.
Sometimes the path wound around the ravines amongst the cliffs….
Sometimes the path dropped down around a ravine then a series of steps led us up to the next cliff.

Every few miles we would drop down near the sea and pass through a little fishing/tourist village with such names as Port Mulgrove, Runswick Bay, Sandsend and finally our destination, Whitby.  The villages were fun to walk through and in the case of Runswick Bay, our path took us across the beach and back up a cliff on the otherside.  We did a little beachcombing and picked up small stones for our rock collection. Lots of steps again today!

The path down to Runswick Bay
We were warned the shore at Runswick Bay might not be passable on during high tide on a stormy day but we obviously hit low tide. It was fun to walk in the sand and search for shells.
What goes down must come up on this trail and here is John headed up the steps out of Runswick Bay.

We saw more people on the trail than in past days. Most were up from a nearby villages out for a walk with their dog (s). The miles went by reasonably quick and my feet did not hurt as much till toward the end of the day.  Both of us were ready to be here about 2 miles before we arrived.  

Looking back on Runswick Bay
A proper English countryside estate.
Throughout the 10 days of hiking the path led us through farm fields. We saw many types of gates and crossings. This was an interesting crossing we scrambled over on this day. Beyond the crossing, the path continues on the right-side of the field. We were always respectful of a farmer’s property and appreciative that right of ways were provided for The Cleveland Way.
Seaside village of Sandsend coming into view.
Below the seawall at Sandsend
Sandsend is a charming village. We observed several hotels, restaurants and a golf course on the outskirts of the village. From here we walked along the road to Whitby. The tide was coming in so we could not follow the shoreline at sea level.

Whitby is the largest village we have been in since York.  Like the rest of the seaside villages, it sits on a hill with a steep decent or ascent to get to or from the water.

Arriving on the outskirts of Whitby.

Our B&B reminds me of some of the old hotels I have stayed in NYC, elegant but very small rooms.  We can almost touch wall to wall if we reach our arms out and forget leaving suitcases open, we couldn’t get around them.  However the shower is good and they have a set of the item we most miss on this trip, the washcloth.

View from the window balcony of our B&B In the distance on the hill are the ruins of Whitby Abbey.
Whitby is a picturesque tourist town!
A wide boardwalk follows the seawall from town to the sea.

Whitby reminds us of a Gatlinburg type town in the area around the water with arcades, ice cream stands and lots of people. The rest of the city appears to be a normal seaside village. We had fish and chips for dinner at a restaurant called Magpie Cafe.  This is my 3rd meal of fish and chips and I am over it!  Why do I think I like the heavily breaded, greasy, tasteless fish?  No more for me!!

We keep eating fish and chips….. I said “no more” but there will be more!
Our restaurant, The Magpie Cafe
The Whitby tourist strip crowded with people, ice cream shops, t shirt-gift shops and restaurants

Well, I can see from our large picture window in our room, the streetlights have turned on.The last of the pink sunset is fading on the horizon beyond the sea and Whitby is rolling up it’s sidewalks on this Sunday evening.  It’s about our bedtime.  Six miles tomorrow to Robin Hood’s Bay (yes that Robin Hood) and we then have to decide whether to hike the 15 mile day or take the bus.  Talk to you tomorrow…


Posted in Cleveland Way, England, Hiking, Travel, Uncategorized, Walking | Leave a comment