Adventure in the Dales

Adventure in the Dales

Kagi and I had a really exciting week last week. There are lots of stories to be told, and although it is no longer lent so I probably won’t be blogging daily, I’ll try to tell them.

First, I’ll tell about the climax of our week. In the autumn, +Kara and Forrest blessed us with a gift of a night at a bed and breakfast where they spent a night while in England. Kagi and I were looking forward to using it for months, but obviously needed to wait until I got back to use it. It worked perfectly to take a few days in the Dales during the university’s Easter break.
Kagi also arranged with Jako and Anneke and their family to visit and coincide with our trip so we could get a day out together. They stayed with us on Sunday evening and then Monday morning we headed out, planning to meet them at Bolton Abby.
We rode our bikes down to the train station about a mile from home and took the train to Ilkley, a beautiful town on the edge of the Dales. From there, we rode our bikes to Bolton Abby.
Our cycle route from Ilkley to Bolton Abby. It’s about 7 miles, and thankfully mostly down hill.
On some of the Abby ruins, next to the main part and looking at the main house. I believe all of this belongs to the Duchess of Devonshire. We had a picnick here. It was nice but it was unbelievably cold. 
Kagi skipping rocks near the Abby.

After our lunch, Kagi and I headed off on our bikes toward the bed and breakfast. Here is the route we took:

It was about 20 miles to our destination.

I loved this — a solitary ewe with her lamb in the Dales.
When we came upon this Kagi and I did a little exploring. It’s a very old ruined building.
One view of the inside.
We think this was a defensive tower from some of the signs we saw around.
I thought the flower boxes in the walls were interesting. Between them and the fire places you can imagine what this might have been like.

We continued cycling, and at one point were held up by the traffic:

Finally, exhausted but very happy, we arrived at the Tudor House. The owner served us tea with brownies and a dessert bar, and we decided to spend the evening in. We really enjoyed being there!

Our room.
Fresh flowers on the window sill.

 In the morning, we had an absolutely wonderful breakfast made from local produce which included everything you could imagine. We enjoyed our time eating and then relaxed again before heading on our way.

The B&B owner recommended the scenic route back to civilization. It was beautiful…

And then we came upon a little problem since we had bikes.

But the only option was to keep going at that point!
I know… looking cool!
Eventually, we made it back to the main route. We rode along this canal for 10-15 miles before getting on a train toward home.
It was a really nice trip, and it was also nice to get home and rest up:-)!
Lovely Walk

Lovely Walk

Today I took a walk in the late afternoon through some of my favorite places in this area. Here are some pictures from my journey.

I began my walk in the “Heaton Allotments” which are little individual gardens which I believe people rent and use. It is a beautiful area with paths and hedges on the top of “Heaton Woods” which are beautiful — more to come.

I thought this fallen tree was really interesting looking.

The view from the top of Heaton woods. You can see several nearby towns.

Apparently this part of England is known for these special stone fences which were painstakingly built. Here, you can see only part of it is left standing.

Walking back through the Allotments.

Then I walked down through Lister Park. There are so many beautiful parts of it!

I think this best captures the mood of the day:-).

My Trip

My Trip

I must have been weighed down as I considered what to write about earlier and decided my walk up the hill would be a worth-while blog. I actually wrote most of another blog but decided it needed too much work to iron out before publishing tonight. So we’re back to the original idea…

Since Kagi and I don’t have a car we do our main grocery shopping online and have it delivered. We did our big shop last week. Today I needed to get a few things we’ve run low on, particularly because I’m leading Global Cafe’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration tomorrow night.

While at the store there was an attempted robbery. It actually was kind of funny, a guy walked in and filled a big bag full of groceries. The man behind the counter had his eye on him via the security cameras, and while I was at the counter the guy walked out. The grocer ran after him and brought the overflowing bag back in. Overall, and interesting thing to watch. It kind of seemed like it happens all the time.

So I walked down the hill (it’s only a 1.33 mile round-trip which makes the fact that I decided to document my struggle rather comical) and visited the local grocery shop. I got what I needed and then knelt on the store floor to pack it all into the backpack which I had (thankfully) thought ahead enough to bring with me. Then I began my journey back up hill:

It was a nice day and I enjoyed a (very) slight diversion through the side of the park. I liked seeing pigeons, ducks, geese, and possibly a swan all in one glance in the pond!
About at this point I was feeling the burn. My house can almost be seen on the left just past the white building.  The hill’s slope is pretty painful at this point… and it’s clear that it’s going to get worse.
The hill is worse and sadly you can’t see the house anymore. But it really is getting closer.
So here’s what all of the fuss is about. This is the backpack I was using. Doesn’t look that bad, does it?
I felt a little better about my internal moaning when I saw all of this again — now in my kitchen. This counted as my weight-lifting for the day! (Note: each of those bags of flour is 1.5 kg).

Life without a car is certainly different!


I always thought running hurdles would be more fun, interesting, and exciting than just running straight through a race. Similarly, I think I’d enjoy a warrior dash much more than a straight-forward long run. One of the things I struggle with the most while running is the mental battle to stay interested and engaged when my objective is just to keep going, one step after another.

I guess that is true for much of how I live my life. I like having shorter-term objectives to keep me focused and interested while working toward the prize. I like hurdles.

That’s probably one of the reasons I like living internationally. There are lots of interesting things that happen, lots of surprises and diversions. Life is very rarely boring. It can be both challenging and rewarding.

Some days, it feels like you are flying through life, leaping over barriers as they come. Other days, you’re reminded that there are far more opportunities to fall on your face or break your leg.

Either way, it’s an adventure.

Body Shapes

One of the things I found most surprising and fascinating when I was in Bostwana is that the manikins at the malls we went to (there are many very nice malls in Gabarone) are quite different than the ones we have in the States or the UK. Instead of straight hips & flat butts they have the pleasantly curvy figure more celebrated in Africa. I thought it was awesome! Wish I had taken a picture…

Packing Light

Packing Light

As I packed for London, I knew that I wanted to do a lot of walking and would need to keep my stuff with me almost all of the time. So I decided to pack carefully. I managed to get everything needed for two days (including formal clothing for a conference and reading materials for 10 hours on buses) into this bag:

Fully-packed bag for the conference trip.

Here’s how I did it:

This is just about everything I took. on the left is my packing cube with all clothes and underwear, and my belt, shoes, clutch purse, and make-up bag. In the middle are the essential toiletries for a shower (which went into another packing cube), and a London tour book (actually wasn’t necessary, oh well). Behind is my backpack which I think already had a few snacks in it. On the right are the clothes I actually wore the next morning.

Here is the main section of my bag. See how neat packing cubes make everything? The shoes and belt went on top.

I could have taken a lot more, but was thinking I’d probably need to carry whatever I took for up to ten miles of walking over the two days in London. I love walking in general and especially like seeing a city that way. One of my rules of thumb for exploring is that it is done best with as little baggage as possible.