Rosthwaite to Grasmere

I was looking forward to the walk for Grasmere for all the wrong reasons: a) it was the shortest mileage of our entire walk (7 miles); b) we were taking a sight-seeing day and would be able to sleep-in on the following day; c) we were staying at The Dale Lodge and Spa and there would be a HOT TUB.

In hindsight, this was the worst day of the entire walk. We began, again, in rain. Our morning fell climb was with severely limited visibility, quite a contrast to the image above of the second half of the day. It was also one of the first truly boggy experiences. We couldn’t see in front of us and we couldn’t anticipate where the level ground below us might lay. Thankfully we were begining to make friends and my husband paired up with a British man doing the first half of the Wainwright to Kirby Stephen and he had a GPS.

As I mentioned in the Versatile Blogger post, I am not the most restrained speaker, so when my pole went through a tuft of grass into the bog and I fell into the soup muck, ripping open my knee on a hidden rock, I used a rather colorful vocabulary. Something our more refined British friends were less likely to speak aloud, and in public. In pain and bleeding, social moors and conventions were the least of my concerns.

Hubby stitched me up like new and when he asked if I was ok, my first question was: do you think I can still go in the hot tub with this bruise?

This easy day, was a day where we cursed Wainwright and Stedman and their nonchalance. Seven miles flat in the city is nothing. Three and a half miles straight up the fell and three and a half miles down again, with a dodgy knee was miserable. I held steadfast, however, to the restful day awaiting us and treating myself to some time at the spa.

The sun opened up, briefly, on the descent as chronicled in the photo above. As we entered the town of Grasmere, or Disneyland of the Lakes, the skies opened and poured the densest droplets of rain we had yet to experience. With one good leg and one passable one, I tried my best to run alongside my husband to Dale Lodge. We settled into our, you couldn’t swing a cat in it, room and I immediately tore through the room materials looking for information about the spa and there on the inside pocket of the folder was a guest pass. There was no other information about where to go within the hotel, so I hobbled down to the front desk to inquire.

And this is what she said: Oh the spa is just a lovely fifteen mile walk, all flat, in the neighboring town.

Again, I wanted to use my more vivacious and colorful vocabulary but I forced myself to swallow any NY attitude and made my way back to the room to dress my wounds.

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About 30 Ways of Walking

Gina Liotta's writing has appeared in or is forthcoming in The New York Quarterly, Slate, The Paterson Literary Review, LIPS, and The Healing Muse, among others. She lives, writes and teaches in New York.
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