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Wednesday Wander, Cross Keys 26/04/2023

Thanks to Kevin Alison, Daz, Emma, Julie, Andrew Paul and Toby for coming for a wander this week.

We started at the Cross Keys public house just outside of Guisborough and followed the Tees Link trail through fields up onto Eston Moor.

The climb up was a good warm-up and our collective pulses and hearts were soon pounding in time with our hard-working quads.

Once onto the path leads to Moordale Bog, which is a mishmash of small trees, bushes, and water courses we had a quick stop at the wooden cross memorial to a German World War 2 pilot who died after parachuting from his stricken plane in 1941.

from there we followed the main track up onto Eston Moor, which eventually leads to the Beacon and trig point, which looks over Teesside towards Teesmouth and the North Sea.

Back in medieval times, it was known as the Mare Germanicum, Mare being Latin for the sea. Further back when Viking raiders sailed across it in search of wealth and land it was called Vesterhavet or West Sea. Collectively in old Norse and English sagas or stories seas were known as The Whale Roads. An example of this is the tale of the warrior Beowulf, probably written in the 6th century CE, which tells of how he and his men travelled on the whale-road to free King Hrothgar from the nightly torments of the monster Grendel.

Ok, I digress, but in my defence, I find it hard to resist penning a line or three regarding name etymology.

From the Nab we ran along the ridge for half a mile or so before dropping down through woods towards Lazenby. Burnt out cars and other detritus left by wild campers infest the hillside like open sores. Left without thought or reason by individuals or groups who care nothing for themselves, others or the environment they despoil by leaving evidence of their presence for all to see.

As is the way with the natural world the trees and undergrowth seem to have an inbuilt consciousness to such things and do their best to conceal humankind's mistreatment of their habitat by rapid re growth, and soon cover all that should not be there in the greens and browns of the forest...

After dropping down we turned back to the hill and climbed up towards the ridge once more, following a deeply rutted track which at this time of the year is still spread with a porridge like mix of earth and water. Which sticks to your trainers, adding weight to already heavy, ascent tired legs.

Back at the Nab we had a quick natter around the trig point whilst behind us the lights of Teesside began to shine brighter, its shadows lengthening as the sun slipped below the western horizon.

From the trig we followed the track which runs along the edge of what is collectively known as Wilton Moor Plantations. These are a group of coniferous woods which run between Eston Moor and Wilton Lane, probably having been planted over the last 50 years or so for the timber industry.

This track eventually becomes a path between fields before leading us back to the Tees Link Trail and a downhill finish.

The tale of the tape of last weeks wander was just under 6 miles run with 900ft climbed, so not too shabby for an evening trot. Certainly enough to be worthy of a pint as a reward...

No wander next week as I will be trotting on backwards and forwards over the Severn Bridge 💪🦍.

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