From Diggle to Hebden Bridge: it was a long day.

Miles: 17.1

Elevation gain: 1903ft

Today was a lot. And a lot of different things. First off, it was 17 miles. And that is a lot. The first seven miles flew by with no problem. We were feeling good and keeping a strong pace. The weather was overcast but warm.

Walking above Diggle

We came across this adorable little cafe in a container and we stopped for tea and a roll.

From there, I could not get a flow again. The next ten miles sounded like this:

Tie your shoe. Get the rock out of your shoe. My arches a kind of hurting. It’s kind of hot, I need to take my fleece off. Where’s the water? I need a drink. Do you have the snacks? I need to re-balance the shit in my back pack. My feet are burning. It’s cold so I should put on my jacket. We just could not get a flow. Didn’t help that it was miles on a flat gravel road. Miles of it along reservoirs. So I tried a few things.

I took a walking nap. Ric was enjoying the walk so I tuned into his steps and rested. It actually worked for a couple of miles. Until Ric “woke me.” Then I ate m&ms while walking — yep, just like when we were kids. M&Ms are good medicine. We talked about politics. We talked about sex. Still my feet burned. And it was hard to divert attention. We kept walking.

We sat on the edge of the trail for lunch. I boasted that we were two-thirds of the way through. Ric said “what’s the good news?” Tee hee. Good news: we only have five miles left. Bad news: we have five miles left! and it turned out that we had seven! Our map was inaccurate.

Once we escaped the long flat road, at the top of the descent there was a marker. The Aiggin Stone has been guiding travelers over the Blackstone Edge between Standedge and the Calder Valley and Hebden Bridge ( a trade route) for over 600 years.

And then there was a weird and kind of awful spire. Apparently, built on a sacred ground to honor a host of unknown men. It was ugly and I kept thinking about how men erect shit like that to honor their manhood. Stupid use of resources for something so ugly. And we kept on.

Medieval Stone Guide

So we kept walking. Ric was easy in his steps today, easier than yesterday. Yesterday I was moving with ease, but today it was an effort. We wound through farmland and along an old canal before arriving in Hebdon Bridge.

Once to our room, I finally got a long bath, which felt heavenly. Tomorrow we look forward to “short day.” Only ten miles! I hope the map is right.

I’m hoping that tomorrow I get my walking legs. We have been told that days three or four will become a lot easier because your body kicks into the walking mode. It is apparently a shift in how the body responds. I am excited to feel these walking legs!

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