MINI WALKING STORIES
Mini Walking Stories is a project I’m doing this month to catalog what has been an AMAZING year of walking. Every day during December, I’m going to choose one photo and invite you to come along with me for a few minutes on one of the walks I took in 2022.
A Slow Descent into Borrowdale
We were coming down a steep, rocky path in the rain after a quick lunch in a drizzly fog.
Every step on wet rock was a sneaky invitation to a near treacherous slip. I was taking it oh-so-slow in the hopes that I wouldn’t fall. And even more, I hoped that my slow steps were slowing the steps of the seven others behind me.
These wet rocks are as slick as snot!
I yelled behind me, borrowing a phrase of my father’s, who also happened to be on the walk, bringing up the rear.
Use your trekking poles, and please try not to fall!
It can be hard to take slow, deliberate steps when you are reaching the point in the day when you are ready to be done.
When all you want is to hurry off the mountain and into a hot shower, you are more likely to misstep. Most hiking accidents happen towards the end of the day.
I knew that everyone was already tired from the climb up out of Grasmere to the foggy-topped Green Up, and the rain had cut short what I had hoped would be a good rest at the top.
So it took several hours for us to carefully descend into Borrowdale Valley.
Of course, no one made it down without slipping, but everyone did make it down in one piece.
Exhausted and wet.
But apart from a few bumps and bruises, unharmed.
Thank. The. Lord.
I said a prayer of relief as I collapsed onto my bunk after getting everyone settled into their rooms.
When we started out in Grasmere that morning, I was all grins and a skip in my step.
Even in a light drizzle, I was delighted to be heading into one of the loveliest valleys in the Lake District. We had barely begun and everyone was stopping to take photos, greeting sheep along old stone walls, and calling out to each other to LOOK!
I remember thinking to myself that morning, This is why I LOVE bringing people to the Lake District. It’s effortlessly charming. People cannot help but love it!!
And I always love to return.
But a few hours later, the rain had settled in and faces were not nearly as bright. At least I don’t think they were. Between the fog and the hoods pulled over heads, it was hard to see.
But hot showers and food at the Borrowdale YHA did much to revive our sopping wet crew.
It’s amazing how once you are dry and fed, you can see the day in a whole different light.
Around the dinner table, faces brighten again. Everyone can laugh about the harder parts of the trail.
The wet, rocky bits are hurdles you overcame. Look how strong you are. Maybe you even had fun.
The beautiful views of the morning come back into focus and the wet, arduous descent into the valley is fast becoming a distant memory.
For tomorrow there are new trails to blaze.
Never mind that the weather forecast is posted in the hostel reception area, and it’s calling for rain, rain and more rain ahead.
Right now a cozy bunk is calling your name.