Day 7 – Kirkby Stephen to Keld – 14.5 miles/23 km

Today I reached the halfway point at Keld (Hooray!) and finally entered Yorkshire (nice to be home after being in foreign parts for a week) – where I’ll stay until the end of the walk.

The day was described as a day of bogs. Leg sucking, black gloopy bogs, known for flooding boots, soaking feet and generally being unpleasant. As someone who loves a challenge my cousin Chris arrived in Kirkby Stephen at around 9am and we soon set off for the day with only 108 miles to go. Thankfully not all today.

As you can see it was a glorious day and having lost the gaiters during the backpack cull I opted for shorts to keep my trousers clean, just in case anything went wrong in the bogs. What could go wrong?

It doesn’t look nice and wasn’t, but I feel like I got off lightly having lost my leg down a hidden sink hole almost to my knee. A quick sock change and we were off again and still that pair of nice clean trousers in the backpack ๐Ÿ˜‰

Up to the top of Nine Standards Rigg and 360 degree views of the Lakes and Pennines.

Chris was a gent and carried my pack for an hour. I felt I could almost run up the slopes without my backpack, which is getting lighter by the day, and maybe I’m getting stronger. You’d hope so by now!

All in all it was a beautiful stroll into beautiful Swaledale and the sun is bathing the sheep dotted hillsides around my tent as I write. Memories of snow are long gone ๐Ÿ™‚

Being with my cousin that I spent a lot of time with growing up we inevitable talked as we walked about our childhoods and upbringing and the like. We had great experiences of both and it’s positively shaped who we are today. And it was just good to spend time with him again. Adding a new positive experience to both our stories.

It’s a very different story for the majority of our lads. Don’t get me wrong there are often good memories there, but there also a lot of negative ones. Experiences are like a see-saw. What you have weighed on each side can decide how you view and approach life – positively or negatively.

Today Chris literally carried my burden for while – he looked really uncomfortable…only joking Chris ๐Ÿ˜‰ – but it was massive for me. Suddenly I wasn’t thinking about my blisters or knee or back. I was just walking and enjoying.

Sadly, sometimes their mentor is the ONLY person a lad can off-load to. We all need a break sometimes. And we all need the opportunity to create new positive memories to add to the see-saw.

Highlight of the day? Other than the stunning scenery and great company and the fact that not everything hurt?

A FAB ice lolly at the campsite! This one’s for you Tris ๐Ÿ™‚

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6 thoughts on “Day 7 – Kirkby Stephen to Keld – 14.5 miles/23 km

  1. Hi Mark. What an amazing journey you are having. The bog looks interesting! Thank you so much for the lovely photographs that accompany your adventure. At last you are back in God’s own county! And over half way through! Well done. How lovely that Chris could join you today and you had a great time reminiscing together.
    Hope you enjoyed the Fab.
    God bless you and keep you.

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  2. Wow! Nice weather at last… but mud… thanks for the update! I had Ben on the phone today. He was excited to tell everything about their visit to you. He told me he cooked a curry for the supper, great! Have a good start of the week! Sam has also his challenges, going back to school step by step with the strength of everyday… Love, Alice and Sam

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  3. Great to see the terrain you have been covering, and most of it stuck to your boots!
    Your journey is showing what we all need; purpose, direction, provision, determination, support team and God.
    You are painting a picture of the very things that In2Out give to your lads.
    Keep on painting. And for everyoneโ€™s sake, please put your trousers back on ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Ah fabtastic. I missed out on that and missed out on another beautiful walk with a great man. Thank you for inviting me, it was a blessing. You are doing great work and a great walk. Keep it up and may the fabs be with you.

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