A Picnic in my Kitchen: Not Doing the Lyke Wake Walk

posted in: Outdoors, Personal | 6

I have had picnics in the rain before. I am a member of that family who would sit on the beach in our raincoats eating jam sandwiches and blue and white striped crisps, determined to enjoy our day by the sea whatever the weather. I would swim in the sea with the rain pouring down. I would splash in the puddles in my jelly shoes. I would sit in the car soaking wet eating ice cream. Having been brought up holidaying under canvas in the UK every opportunity we had, the British weather is not something that will stop me having a good time.

Lyke Wake Walk - Picnic in my Kitchen

This particular picnic, though, was not to be. I was supposed to sit and eat it on the top of a hill with an awesome view. I would be somewhere between Osmotherly and Ravenscar, dipping into my little SIGG lunchbox for another cube of cheese or highly calorific pork pie. Or maybe digging to the bottom of my bag for a handful of jelly babies or my favourite pumpkin seed 9-bar. As you know as it’s been the focus of my attention for a little while, this weekend I was meant to use up all the training and preparation I’d done over the last four or five months by completing the Lyke Wake Walk with Jenni from The Thrifty Magpies Nest.

Sadly the Great British weather had very different ideas. After a lot of thought, many text messages and an unhealthy obsession with studying weather maps on the Met Office website, Jenni and I reluctantly decided to postpone our Lyke Wake Walk attempt. Despite wanting to be “big adventurers” and ramble across the North Yorkshire Moors in less than 24 hours whatever the weather, we realised that sensible had to win this time. Trekking 40 miles across moorland in fog, heavy rain and thunder storms was not a good idea.

Lyke Wake Walk - Route Planning Maps and Guide

Disappointed, I unpacked my food stash from my day pack and sat and ate my peanut butter sandwiches and buttered malt loaf at my kitchen table, frustrated that the view was of a brightly coloured television showing a really rubbish quiz show rather than heather and hills, brooks and woodland. I was (am) sad. Sad that our big plans had been thwarted by a bit of weather before we’d even started. Well, quite a lot of weather.

The overriding factor in not travelling up and giving the walk a go was that this challenge, this adventure, was supposed to be a really fun thing to do. We always knew it was going to be hard, and might involve some tears, but ultimately we had decided to do this thing in the spirit of “yes is a doing word” (if you don’t know about Say Yes More go check it out). This massive day hike was just to see if we could. And there was no point putting ourselves in the danger that heavy rain and poor visibility would by setting off at 4am on Saturday morning only to have an incredibly miserable time or worse, getting injured or lost (or both) and having to rely on a rescue team.

This is not the end of our Lyke Wake Walk journey. No way! We haven’t cancelled our intentions, merely postponed them. At the moment we are looking at setting a date in the Autumn (other things are preventing us from setting a date sooner), and are already praying for better weather in October than we’ve had this weekend. The training and preparation must continue… I’d better find some more day hikes to keep my legs in check.

Lyke Wake Walk - OS Maps

If you fancy joining us for our Lyke Wake Walk challenge, then please give us a shout.


6 Responses

    • Splodz

      It was a shame, we were (are) both very disappointed. But we will do it later in the year, mostly likely October.

  1. Ian Evans

    Hi – I hope you managed to arrange & complete a Crossing. This year was the 60th Anniversary of the original walk & there were some celebrations (low key) including a recording of the Radio4 show Ramblings which did part of the Lyke Wake Walk (see LWWalk wiki page & New Lyke Wake Club website). To fully appreciate this Walk you also need to get some of the background & its association with the Lyke Wake Dirge (an ancient funeral lament from this part of Yorkshire), The Dirge starts ‘This ‘ere neet, this ‘ere neet, Ivvery neet an’ all. Fire and fleet and candle leet, And Christ tek up thy soul. When thou frae hence away ‘art passed, Iveery neet an’ all. To Whinnie Moor thou comes at last. And Christ tek up thy soul…..’ The Dirge tells of how the deceased’s good deeds (or lack of them) are assessed and determine the soul’s ultimate fate (Paradise, or somewhere a good deal warmer!). The association of the Dirge with the Walk lead to the formation of the Lyke Wake Club based on the Dirge and local Cleveland folklore. When you complete the Walk, don’t forget to submit a report to the New Lyke Wake Club to become a Dirger or Witch (as successful Lyke Wakers are known). Ian Evans

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