We’ve been planning for the Cumbria Way for several months, and now the walk is eight days away and it is still difficult to comprehend. Familiar routines crowd around as I sit typing up this post, but the cats are fed, birds, too, and a table of gear awaits a final packing, and all else is simply mental. Anticipation. Checklists. A touch of…dread? Can we walk that far in a day? How deep is the deep end of life’s pool, really?
I expect the Cumbria Way will surprise and please us with its personality, but I’ll miss one element of the English landscape absent there and that is its rivers. There will be spacious views from the fells but no meandering channels flowing through fresh woods, no murmuring conversations to make long miles easier. The Dales Way spoiled us in that way, especially along the wonderful River Wharfe.