In September I went on an amazing adventure with a buddy named James Mosley. He's been a great friend of mine for more than 30 years. We hiked coast to coast across northern England. This is the final part of a series of articles about that hike.
DAY 8 - TO SEE THE SEA
This was it. The final day of a long journey with the sea in sight. We had cut it down to 12 miles from 15 by doing some extra miles at the end of day 7. We were out early because we had a train to catch in Saltburn after the hike..
The final approach featured some incredible views yet again.
We started off on the high cliffs overlooking Saltburn and slowly made our way down through the woods and more farm fields into the town below.
I have running joke with my English friends. I don't get rained on. Somehow, every time I visit England the sun stays out and the rain stays away. We had all kinds of extra clothing and wet weather gear with us and we used none of it.
Here we were, eight days into a hike that kept us outside for eight to 10 hours every day without feeling a drop of rain. Maybe James is the same way now too. As I sort of expected, we walked toward Saltburn by the Sea with sunburn from the hike.
It was a relief to see the sign telling us we were just 1 mile from being finished. That mile took us past the Saltburn viaduct before we were finally on the road approaching the water.
It felt so good to be finished. The route is 132 miles. We probably walked about 105 because we skipped Day 4. We still think it counts and it still feels like we did something pretty cool.
Speaking of cool, the North Sea is freezing cold, but we stood in it with bare and blistered feet for a while anyway.
The hike was a challenge at times and that was what we wanted. With a half dozen or so Pikes Peak hikes under our belts, we knew we could handle a steep climb or two, or six in a row!
It was fun. It was eye-opening and breathtaking. It was an accomplishment. The pictures don't really tell the story of the views, and the words don't really tell the story of the experience. I'd do it all again tomorrow!
We'll talk again soon.
Don Ward is a primary evening news anchor at KKTV 11 News. With his partner Dianne Derby, Don can be seen on 11 News at 4, 5:30 and 10 pm Monday through Friday. He can be contacted by email at email@example.com.