Her Name was Mud

North Yorkshire, Walking

Over the years, I’ve taken you all on walks around Yorkshire. We’ve strolled along riversides. We’ve had woodland walks at wild garlic and bluebell time. We’ve gone into the Dales, both the gently rolling hillsides, and the bleaker heather-covered moorland, enjoying distant views of the Pennines. But one thing we haven’t done is have a Thoroughly British Winter Walk.

That’s what we did the other day. And by the time you get to the bottom of the page, you’ll be mighty glad you’ve only had a Virtual Walk. Our friend Chris had planned it: just a leisurely six miles or so morning’s walk, taking in three pretty villages between Harrogate and Ripon.

It didn’t begin well. Half a mile in, this was the path.

No, that’s not a stream, it’s the path. Heads bent over the map, we found an alternative, and that wasn’t so bad. Sodden fields, gloopy mud-slicked paths. But passable. Just.

In fact we got used to clambering over stiles that landed us immediately into another muddy hole, before sending us on our way across a field on a sodden path.

We were quite cheery. Until we arrived here. The map informed us there was a pathway across this field. The sheep knew better. They’d churned up the soil good and proper. There was no alternative but to squelch onwards.

Poor old Chris. Her name was Mud.

Arriving back at our cars parked in one of the villages, we were reminded that our day with friends, providing a rueful tale to tell back at home, was nevertheless a happy and carefree one. This Ukrainian flag on someone’s gate was a sober contrast, and provided details of ways to donate to one of the many charities trying to offer support and help to the beleaguered Ukrainians. There are suggestions here.

For Jo’s Monday Walk

…and Alive and Trekking’s Which Way Photo Challenge

60 thoughts on “Her Name was Mud

  1. What a muddy walk – it’s equally wet and boggy in places here. Difficult to imagine that the grass will return, but hopefully the ground will dry out soon and the washing machine get a bit of a break!
    As you indicate, all small issues in comparison with others, who must be struggling so much. Thank you for the link.

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    1. I normally avoid muddy walks like the plague, but … it was fun in a masochistic sort of way. As I walked though,, I sometimes reflected on how most of those stuck in war zones would have given a great deal to be in my muddy boots.

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    1. Quite. In truth, I might not have struggled on if it hadn’t been for the fact that I was giving some of my friends a lift. But I’m glad I did, for all that.

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  2. You would have had me turning back at that first ‘stream’. But at least it wasn’t raining as well. And hopefully coffee and cake at the end, once you’d scraped the mud off…

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      1. That’s it! You’re disqualified from walking with me! No Cafe? I never heard the like. We used to leave our boots outside. Noone was going to pinch them, were they?

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  3. My word, that looks tough. Even before reaching the reference to Ukraine, I found myself thinking of the grey skies and bleak terrain we see as the backdrop to the conflict and those trying to flee. It’s difficult not to reference our own lives against the suffering there. But you all deserve some kudos for completing those 6 miles. (Bet it felt like 60!) πŸ’™πŸ’›

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  4. It’s always a dilemma. Do you take that first squelchy step and say “what the hell” and carry on, or do you abandon. Reminds me of mud crawls in the army……..I expect to see you in Tough Mudder this year!

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  5. I remember a similar shorter walk a couple of winters ago in Plessey Woods in Northumberland. It just got muddier and muddier as we progressed! But you’re so right – what is a pair of muddy boats compared with what many Ukrainians are going through?

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  6. Goodness, what intrepid walkers you were. I’d have turned back at the first mud patch because I have a terrible tendency to lose my footing in those circumstances, ending up face down in the mud. Not a pretty sight. This walk will become legendary among your friends now – I predict you’ll still be talking about it many years hence

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    1. Sadly, you’re quite wrong. Mud + Walking goes together here I’m afraid, which explains why I’m a less than devoted winter walker. Many regard me as a wimp. I just think I’m sensible.

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  7. Got here, finally. This kind of walk made me very grumpy indeed, Margaret. I know it’s all relative but I really did abhor gungy walks like this. I’d have been no good in the trenches, God love ’em! Should we be lucky enough to get heavy rain here the mud is a delightful orange. I haven’t watched the news yet today but I’m not expecting an about face, sadly.

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    1. I’m famously a muddy walk avoider. Really, why bother? So this was a rare aberration for me. Some of my friends say I’m missing the point. I think they’re missing the point.

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  8. It is very wet and muddy around here too! Not much for those sheep to eat was there! Hope your next walk is drier and mud-less

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  9. Have you ever noticed that adventures are not for the faint of heart. The definition of adventure is β€œan unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” And they come unexpectedly as well. I knew exactly what you felt when you were half a mile in and the path before you was mud. No turning back, but moving on was the only way to go. Adventures are the best when recalled drinking tea in the warmth of coming home safe and sound. P.S. I really enjoy this virtual walk.

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The next muddy walk in prospect – I’ll send for you πŸ˜‰ . And yes, against expectations, I did enjoy it. But it’ll do me … for a while. Thanks for coming along!

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  10. Oh dear that does looks a bit of a ghastly outing. At least the weather didn’t turn against you and everybody was wearing the appropriate gear. And, of course it’s always fun in retrospect once you’re cleaned up. Can’t imagine the trauma of the fleeing Ukrainians and in that cold too. Desperate.

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    1. I don’t care for mud-rambles, but on this occasion, once I’d made my mind up, I got on with it and quite enjoyed it. After all, unlike fleeing Ukrainians, I had a cosy home to return to.

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      1. Yes, the luxury of a hot cuppa and a slice of some homemade cake too no doubt. It would be good if the Home Office could get their act together wouldn’t it?

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  11. I am glad you managed to do the walk despite all the mud. Your photos reminded me of some of the muddy walks I’ve done in the past. Can’t say I love it and I always end up with mud up to my ears (don’t know how it happens). Still, unless it’s steep and slippery, mud isn’t harmful…

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  12. Glad it’s a virtual walk is an understatement! We are getting snow right this second and I wanted to go out, but now I’m having second thoughts. Thanks for including all the ways to help the Ukranians. I will post them on one of my next posts. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks. Of course your headline charities will be different from ours I guess – sending what we can afford seems to be the best we can do. Glad you enjoyed our ‘virtual walk’, if only because it was in your case virtual!

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      1. Thank goodness, it was only virtual. I might not have made it out of the mire. I walked down a sand dune at the beach once, and I almost did not make it up again because I got so mired down. That was when I was younger and in fairly good shape. I think it would take a crane to get me through that now. πŸ™‚

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