Swaledale River Valley

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Swaledale River Valley

Today we followed the Swaledale River through what many say is the most beautiful of the Yorkshire Dales. Compared to yesterday, the walk was blissful. And by that I mean there were no bogs!  We still climbed a fair amount, 1200 feet in 12.5 miles, but it was easy walking for the most part.

We chose the southerly route which follows the river, a longer route but more scenic. We crossed dozens of pass-throughs in dry stone walls, built without mortar. The walls are from Elizabethan times, and are actually two thin walls built back to back with occasional “through” stones binding the fences together.

We inadvertently took the road less traveled (code for got lost).  Our detour took us on a shaded path beneath a canopy of trees and then dumped us back into stone fences.  Since we were not on the intended trail this presented some difficulty.  We hiked up and down the steep hillsides looking for egress.  Once I was forced to maneuver through a small opening on the ground on my belly.  I think it was a prudent decision because my high jumping/rock climbing skills are nonexistent.

Heather in the Highlands

Joseph and I have grown fond of the sheep. How can you not?  They seem to have such sweet temperaments when they look at you. Joseph believes they are the perfect animal because they compliment the peaceful landscape. I’m tempted to pick up stray bits of wool snagged by thistles and wash it.

At some point in our day we realized there were large swaths of heather high on the surrounding hillsides. The purplish hue is such a beautiful color against the everpresent green.

We’re staying at the King’s Arms in Reeth, a larger village that has several shops. We checked into our accommodation with “Harper Valley PTA” playing in the background. I wouldn’t have guessed it’s a British favorite.  Our room overlooks the Village Green.

Since we arrived at 3:30 I had time to peruse the shops. I met a lovely woman, Joanna Denby, who is a textile artist. She comes from a family of artisans, and has her aunt’s paintings and father’s jewelry in her shop. I fell in love with a skirt made of English ties!  Isn’t that crazy? Won’t it be a wonderful memory of my coast to coast walk?



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!


  • Cindy

    This day sounds almost perfect…belly crawling aside😬

    Love to you both. So glad the shops were still open! What a wonderful memory of this amazing adventure.

    Joe, so glad you are there. How many sons can say that they had an adventure with their mum like you are having.

    While Rhonda was with us in Germany and this trip was brought up she was sooo excited about this journey with you!

    Have a restful night and another great day!

    August 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm
  • Nancy Behrens

    Where is a toilette ?

    August 20, 2017 at 3:57 pm
  • Amy Bell

    Yay for no bogs! Sounds like such a wonderful adventure, and you are a great storyteller!

    August 21, 2017 at 1:35 am