Day 10: Richmond to Ingleby Cross

Day 10: Richmond to Ingleby Cross

Starting Time: 8:00 AM
Finish Time: 8:30 PM
Total Milage: 24 miles+
Bed & Breakfast The West End Bed & Breakfast

It’s days like today you both dread…and thank God for. I knew being this would be our longest mileage stage that we would need to get and early start. We had an 7:30 AM breakfast at the West End. Ian ( we’ve been meeting a lot of Ian’s on this trip) sorted us out in style with a helping of salmon and scrambled egg on toast that rivaled anything else we have had on the trip taste wise. There was even Chinese from Macau staying at the B & B that night who we chatted with for a moment before we departed.

I was so happy to set off a 8 AM but then things took a turn for the worse. We got lost taking the “short cut” through Richmond that Ian had suggested. I’m sure it was easy…just not for us. 20 minutes later we were right back at the entrance to The West End which, of course, put me in a great mood.

As we started out again Gabriel started, “ouching” and limping, pulling over to a bench on the side. Removing his boot revealed a nasty blister developing above his ankle. Pulling out our medic bag we affixed a blister bandage and then a little gauze and tape above that. Putting his boot back on he continued to wince in pain as he tried to shimmey down the street. He pulled over onto another bench to sit down while I looked at my watch.

Gabriel replaces some tape on his foot

8:40 AM.

40 minutes out we had accomplished about 200 meters.

Not a good start when you have 24 miles to go through grain fields and cow pastures.

For the first time I was wondering if Gabriel was going to be able to do the whole walk. Our luggage still hadn’t been picked up at the bed & breakfast and Packhorse allows walkers to ride with them to the next destination if they feel they need a break or are hurting to much.

I thought for a moment that Gabriel could ride with Packhorse and I could walk the stage meeting him in the evening and giving him a good day’s rest.

But my goal, dream really, was that Gabriel and I would dip our boots together in The North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay having done the WHOLE Coast to Coast walk.

The voice of our new friend Tim was ringing in my ears from a few days before, “If you skip a little you’ll always know you hadn’t really done it.”. I think the same voice was ringing in Gabriel’s mind as well because as tempting as the thought was he said, “I’ll just go barefoot on that foot.”
“No way,” I said, ” you can’t go 24 miles barefoot”
“Let me try” he answered,” I can wrap my foot in the adhesive tape in the med kit.”

He wrapped his foot and we made our way through Richmond.

( Gabriel later confessed to me that he thought I wouldn’t really allow him to ride the bus…which wasn’t true but either way…it worked out for the best)

Our travel maps are hand drawn in the “Stedman” guide and allows the walk to be done in map “sections”. Most days we needed to get through 6 – 8 maps…today we had to get through 11. With Gabriel moving faster now we completed the first map about an hour later.

“How are you doing? I asked.
“Good, I can do this.” he responded
I shook his hand and said “congrats, we made it through map 1…only 10 more to go.”

We were fortunate that the elevation changes were negligible on this stage. Mostly flat pastures and grain fields…and lots of mud. A couple times we stopped to re wrap the tape and admire Gabriel’s mud caked bare foot.

I must admit I didn’t know if he could do it. I mean to walk a mile or two…or even 5….but 24 MILES! I started though to get that Band of Brothers “leave no man behind” thing going. When I was unsure of direction I would run off first and scout the correct way so that he didn’t have extra walking to do. It became my mission to get him to the Park House Bed & Breakfast even if we didn’t make it until midnight.

Lots of fields today!

Surprisingly, Gabriel got fairly quick on a barefoot so after a slow start we began to get into a rhythm. I’ve gotten pretty good at estimating time on the road and figured unless we had a breakdown, we could arrive before 10:00 PM when it got dark. ( Thank God for summer sunlight hours)

About 4:00 PM we came into Danby Wiske where the White Swan pub was. We were both getting tired so I said we could grab a very quick drink but then needed to get walking again. I went inside while Gabriel tended to his bandages. When I came out Gabriel said he wanted to try putting his boot on. I was excited as I had been nervous that at some point he would hurt his barefoot making the situation even worse. As he drank his coke, we began to clean his foot off with wet wipes and give him some fresh padding for the blister.

Beverly helps Gabriel’s blister

Boot came on…we walked…I waited for the wince of pain!

It didn’t come…

Gabriel was limping but using his walking stick to support himself better. We journeyed down the road…

It was at the pub that we met two German Coast to Coasters doing a father – son adventure as well. We chatted for a few minutes but as we were moving slower with Gabriel’s foot, they said goodbye and moved ahead. Then the father double backed and offered some painkillers and ibuprofen that might help Gabriel. That’s what I have really enjoyed out here on the trail…the camaraderie of people all doing this goal together and helping one another.

But we figured out that Gabriel had walked more than 13 miles with one barefoot wrapped only in some adhesive tape!
Gabriel limped at the beginning but eventually the foot worked itself out…we were on our way.

About 8:00 PM we arrived at Ingleby Cross and at this point I was wishing we were staying here and not at the B &B a mile further on. We bypassed the pub even though we were very hungry as my guide said the place we were staying at provided food. Besides it was getting late and I knew the hosts would start to worry soon. Sure enough as we approached, and all terrain vehicle approached and our landlady, Beverly, had just headed out to see if we were OK.

We walked the last 1/2 mile (all up hill) to the Park House.

WE HAD MADE IT! I can’t think of a time I was more proud of my son. With this behind us I knew we could make it the next four days to Robin Hood’s Bay!

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About Steve Hackman

This is a blog of my son Gabriel and I's travels across England on the Wainwright Coast to Coast walk. I'm a 45 year old American living in Hong Kong and Gabriel is a 14 year old high school student. This is a father - son adventure I'd been planning since before Gabriel was born.