Today at breakfast, I bade farewell to Leo and Lynn, as they set off on the first of two 20-mile days that will bring them to the finish at Robin Hood’s Bay on Wednesday. After lunch today at the Lion Inn, Andrew, Dave, Geoff and I said our good-byes to Charlotte, who is suspending her walk to be resumed in August.
I also said good-bye to Harry, who is accelerating his walk and will finish before I do. I haven’t written much about Harry, one of the most delightful gentlemen you could hope to meet. He and I walked together for quite some time many days ago. That evening at the pub, I didn’t recognize him, and re-introduced myself. Several mornings later, I did the same thing at breakfast. Yesterday evening I did the same thing as I joined him for a beer. We had dinner together, and I must say he is a wonderful conversationalist. This morning as we waited for the shuttle to carry us to Clay Bank Top to resume the walk, I reintroduced myself to a stranger who turned out to be Harry.
One might think that senility is creeping into my aged brain, and that may be so, but I say that my inability to recognize Harry is his fault, not mine. You see, Harry sports a neatly trimmed grey beard, common among the over-60 crowd, that conceals his face and makes him look like every other over-60 bearded man who lives in my home-town retirement community known as Sun River. But the main reason is that Harry is an impeccable dresser. He always appears in a different shirt on the trail. Sometimes he wears a baseball cap, sometimes a tennis cap, sometimes no cap, with or without sunglasses. Hikers are always recognized by their attire, and if you change clothes you can’t be recognized. He’s quite possibly a movie star who is attempting to retain some anonymity.
If so, his cover is blown. Today, our walk started with a steep, lengthy climb to attain the top of the moor. Harry and I started together, but he’s a much stronger hiker than I, and he soon got far ahead. When I finally reached the crest of the hill, Harry and Charlotte were there talking with Dave and Jeff. With the exception of Charlotte, I was quite sure I hadn’t previously included any of their pictures in my blog. Not one to miss an opportunity, I grabbed the picture, which only temporarily reduced the melancholy as Harry and Charlotte soon set off at a pace I once may have maintained, but not any longer.
|Charlotte (with Adventure Ted), Harry (rear), Dave and Geoff|