Bogged Down in Britain

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Bogged Down in Britain

S-ewe-per Model

Last night Joseph and I had a conversation about bogs. We knew we didn’t want to get “bogged down” but didn’t know exactly what that meant.  Twenty-four hours later, I know exactly what a bog is. A bog is spongy ground cover that soaks up the rain. The thing is, you’re not sure it’s soaked until you step on it and your foot sinks irretrievably. In fact, it sucked up Joseph’s shoe at one point today, and I realized I’d lost the bottom half of my walking stick on another occasion!

There are stones along the way to ameliorate the difficulty of the bogs. I felt as if I was playing a perpetual game of hopscotch. And I can’t remember when I’ve done so much broadjumping. Never, once I think about it.

The Nine Standards

Another challenge of the bogs is the uneven level of the ground. Because you may or may not sink, it’s easy to twist your ankle. I didn’t twist my ankle, but I did fall. In fact, I fell twice! Joseph and I laughed so hard we didn’t make it up again for some time. But I must say, it was the softest landing I’ve ever experienced.  The spongy earth embraced me warmly and whispered “come to mama!”

One of the Cairns

We climbed 1500 feet today to stand on the backbone of England, what we call the continental divide in the states. The water flows east on one side and west on the other. At the top are “the nine standards,” cairns that are centuries old.  A cairn is a human made stack of stones, often used as markers. The wind was so furious we felt like we’d tip over. It was a stunning view, and we felt jubilant that we’d arrived.  The rain didn’t appear in full force as predicted or obstruct our view.  I was grateful.

We’re staying at an old hunting lodge at Keld in the Yorkshire Dales. The village consists of several stone buildings. We have survived Day One, 14.5 miles. Hopefully we can get a good night’s sleep. Joseph, still suffering from jet lag, fell asleep at 8:00 last night. The only problem is he woke up ready to hike at midnight.

Tracks of the bogs

Rhonda Sarantis

Rhonda Sarantis

"She's crazy and loud but she loves you!" That's what they tell my infant granddaughter to prepare her for my visit, so I thought it would be a great way to prepare you. And while I may not always be crazy or loud, one thing is always true: I LOVE people. That's at the heart of my passion for travel. I love getting to know people from different cultures who speak different languages, eat different food, have different ideas and opinions. I'm endlessly curious and make a point of reading about the countries I visit. Instead of saying "that's not how WE do it," I enjoy identifying strengths in diverse cultures, and learning about their way of life. I LOVE road trips! I have great memories of monthlong vacations growing up. Dad always had a van--before they were popular--and invited anybody who wanted to join us. My road trips within the United States will be featured in "The Lower Case Travelogs." Be sure to buckle your seat belt. I execute illegal u-turns if a bakery or estate sale is spotted!


  • Aaron

    Wonderful pictures, the bogs remind me of the tundra in Alaska.

    August 19, 2017 at 7:38 am
  • Aaron

    The bogs remind me of the tundra in Alaska.

    August 19, 2017 at 7:43 am
  • Debbie

    Loving your descriptions and the bogs. So glad you are finally able to make this excursion with Joseph.

    August 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm
  • Kay

    You are amazing!

    August 19, 2017 at 3:16 pm
  • Ali

    Beautiful countryside! Those soggy bogs sound tough. You are unsinkable!

    August 19, 2017 at 4:41 pm
    • Cindy

      Just like The Unsinkable Molly Brown, for sure!

      We are thinking of you and Joe.

      Wishing you good luck and safe journey.

      August 19, 2017 at 11:19 pm