Bike from Campsite near Beadlam to Thirsk, then train back to Manchester
Noisy neighbours last night. No, not the campers (there was only one other tent there). There was what sounded like a large flock of geese on a neighbouring farm that honked a lot in the night. The horses and the cattle in the adjoining pasture had a few things to say in the night. And a kennel full of hunting dogs launched into full cry at some point in the middle of the night. And we woke to a light rain.
We packed up as much as we could, without taking the fly off the tent. Had a "Wheetabix" breakfast drink each (like our Carnation breakfast drinks) and some Pecan Pie flavoured pecans and raisins, then it paused raining long enough to put the tent away. Not that it really mattered since it was our last night of camping (sniff...) but hauling an extra couple pounds of water in the form of wet gear wasn't on our agenda.
I finally had Garry the Garmin figured out. He made bad decisions when I gave him too much to compute, so I just gave him info on a need-to-know basis. I looked at my trusty paper map, and said, Garry, get us to (town x), which is about 5 miles away. Then when he did well on that, I gave him another mini-goal. However, I got suckered back into trusting him with a bigger job, and it caused us about 3-4 extra miles and one LONG climb. Not that it was a big deal, but I'm telling you, he can't be trusted.
After a long descent, we stopped the village Post Office in Ampleforth, which was also the grocery store. They had homemade scones, and we each inhaled a couple. And a café mocha (shared). And since I hadn't fully explored the candy selection in the UK, I picked out something called a Walnut Whip. And a Yorkie chocolate bar. Those lasted about 5 miles. I checked into mailing a big brown envelope of maps home, but I thought that £10 was a bit much, so I kept hauling them around.
There was a humble bike pushing session to get us out of the village, then we were flying down hills and pedalling hard to get up the next one. I thought I saw ABA (another bloody abbey) through the hedge, and sure enough, we came upon one. We didn't explore it though, and carried on. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/by...
Now there were decent cross road signage for our next destinations, so it wasn't any bother that Garry had run out of juice. When we got to the White Horse of Kilburn, we locked up our bikes and walked up.
Then it was a couple more ups and down and we were in Kilburn, where a cheese tray and a pot of tea had our names on it. This was at the Robert Thompson "Mouse Man" museum. £99 for a small cheese board to take home seemed a bit much, so 3 little wooden mice came away with me as souvenirs. http://www.robertthompsons.co.uk/visitor-centre/
It was quite simple to follow the road signs to Thirsk (we were determined not to have to push our bikes anymore, and it was a close one, but we made it up the last few hills). The last bit was on an A road but it wasn't too busy. Thirsk is Darrowby in the James Herriot books. This was the last item on my list of places to see. To see Skeldale House, after reading about it for so many years, was pretty neat. It was a worthwhile stop, and we could've spent more time there.
Then it was on to the train station, which was very unfriendly to bikes loaded down with panniers. We had to go down 2 flights of stairs with our bikes, which was actually worse than going up 2 flights at Carstairs. I took a set of panniers off, which made it easier, but should have taken both sets off. As usual, as luck (or the efficient UK rail service) would have it, we only had to wait about 40 minutes for a train back to Manchester. The conductor looked at our tickets and our bikes and said, "You didn't want to bike back?" We could see the White Horse of Kilburn for miles and miles as we headed south and west. The train got fuller as we neared Manchester. It went through some long tunnels in the Leeds area as we worked our way through the Pennines.
Then a train switch at Manchester Picadilly onto our first very crowded commuter train (it was 6 pm and folks were heading home, out of the city), but we got our bikes on and off without too much trouble. One more set of stairs to ascend, a couple short jaunts on now familiar streets, a stop at one last pub for supper and a pint, and then back to the hotel to pack everything up again.
I had the tent fly spread out in the bathroom all night, drying out. It was to go in my luggage, and I didn't want to go over my weight limit due to bringing water to Canada. Packing up the bikes was easier this second time.