Lightning, thunder, and driving rain awakened us during the evening. As soon as the sun was up, around 4:00 A.M., the birds started chirping and cawing. Sue May had returned from the reunion and prepared the English Breakfast for Dennis, while I had a lighter meal. She drove us to the trailhead so we wouldn’t be drenched from walking through the field.
The trail was muddy and buggy…seems the rain attracted the flies. In places, we had to climb over the gate similar to the one pictured because the ground was flooded. No easy task with full packs.
We walked through a large Chiterns wood which opened to a large field of poppies with a clearly marked path. I felt like Dorothy leaving the enchanted forest and following the yellow brick road to Oz. The only difference is the morning mizzle did not invite me to lay down and sleep; instead it encouraged me to walk quicker.
We had to be in Kingston Blount, our destination before the B & B stopped serving dinner—on Sundays, there is no evening meal. Since there are no other eateries in town, we had to arrive there by 3:00 P.M. Additionally, it is Father’s Day and we had no reservations.
I am amazed by how straight the plow lines are in the fields. My neighbor in Hampstead, NH use to chide me for not mowing the grass in a nice pattern. He would be proud to live next to any of these farms. Turns out, the farmers use a GPS to guide them, but prior to that, farmers took great pride in the straightness of the plow lines.
I also learned that the average farm is about 3,000 acres, explaining why I saw farm buildings but not farm houses. It also explains why the fields are so large.
There was a team race today throughout the Ridgeway. For 87 miles, runners ran cross-country. The 25th Ridgeway Relay Race started on Ivinghoe Beacon near Aylesbury at 7.30 A.M. and attracted 47 teams. The race finished at Marlborough Leisure center later on during the afternoon. I was amazed by the number of older runners and the number of females entered in the race.
Our estimated seven mile day turned out to me slightly more than eleven, but we managed to arrive at The Cherry Tree in Kingston Blount at 2:30 P.M. Just in time, we were the last served.