The Valley of the Barn
"You sound happy!” came a voice from above.
"It's hard not to be!” I grinned, brought back to reality.
I could have been laughing, I was certainly singing. But at least I wasn't dancing. I'd met him twice already. And I’d been caught out. Again!
I'd had a quick chat with him as I headed past him up from Nateby on his bike. He caught up with me a while later as I stopped for the nth time to take another photo. It was shortly after my Blip that I heard the voice. As I looked up, there he sat on a picnic bench on the hill eating his sandwiches.
I’d been pondering that if we have more than one life, had I had a tough one or will I be facing a tricky one next? And if we don’t, there’ll still be stuff to come in this one and there’ll also come a point when I can’t cycle anymore. I concluded that I could only hope to root the absolute joys of these rides in my heart and my spirit for wherever and whenever I need them.
So, do I care that this lovely guy heard my happiness?
Not a bit!
I’d set off a few miles west of Richmond first thing with a wonderful ride over the wilds of Tan Hill with nobody else around and in shorts and short sleeves. Curlews, kestrels, lapwings, wagtails, a golden plover and my first swallows of the year accompanied me along the way. The biggest of queen bees congratulated me at the top with a buzz around my bike and a little rest on my thigh. I didn't see any other cyclists until I reached Kirkby Stephen.
Lunch at the newly discovered Pink Geranium had me heading off back into Swaledale on the road from heaven. I really did stop a ridiculous amount of times to take in the scenery (and a quick photo or two!) but I wasn’t in a rush so I made the most of a holiday.
Swaledale really is the Valley of the Barn and this view had me stopping and staring last week too - it was shouting to be blipped today. Go on, how many can you see?!