Journal
TMK 04 - 08 - 2010

Journal Adventures in Hiking (England and Scotland) Monday, April 5th and Wednesday April 7th Malham, England: There was beautiful scenery on the drive to Malham, and definitely the most "out of city" we have been. Malham looks like a medieval english civilization and I think they may put us to work herding the sheep if we stay here too long. We are virtually staying in Yorkshire Dales national park in a cozy little hostel where our group is taking over one entire building. We dropped off our luggage, changed dress more for a muddy hike, consulted with the information center and we were off into the english highlands. The suggested route was somewhere around 3-4 km, and I ended up with quite a few more miles under my boots. Started at Malham Cove where we encountered the serious climber gang, and headed up the 420 "steps" to the top of the limestone overlook. It is amazing the rift of limestone deposit that sweeps through the countryside in Malham. It was quite slippery and muddy on the trails today due to the rain that pestered us as we set out. We marveled at the view over the miles of english hillside and made our way over the highlands towards the Gordale Scar. These portions of hikes weren't necessarily lengthy, but the challenge came in the terrain. Gordale Scar was quite an amazing waterfall tucked behind a cove wall. Mark and I were drawn immediately to attempt to climb the roaring waterfall. After maneuvering a few rocks we decided to go for the gold and conquer the entire waterfall. [picture to the top right: mark and I with at the top of the waterfall] A few strategic holds and struggles to climb rocks while water rushes under and we were up in no time. Quite an adrenaline rush and workout for us, but a rewarding view from the highest point around waited at the top. To our surprise, not even 5 minutes later, Mr. Les Smith joined us after following us up the waterfall scramble, and we continued our journey to the Tarn through the highlands.... [picture to the bottom right: a miraculous rainbow sight from atop the hills of Edinburgh] Edinburgh, Scotland: A little relaxation, at our campus hotel is what I needed before we headed out for fish n' chips to go. Went through the hassle to exchange some dollars to pounds, but well worth it as our meal was prepared fresh to order and boxed up for our hiking adventure for a sunset view of Edinburgh. After enjoying the fish n' chips we scrambled up to the top of the cliff in the city park, and quite a bit too quickly as the sun was not setting for over an hour. It even started to rain on us a bit, but the view after, as you can see in the picture, was well worth being wet. A rainbow formed in the valley below us and we could see clear as day both ends of it. It was the clearest spectrum I have seen in a rainbow and quite a view with the peak "Arthur's Seat" in the background. Our hike afforded us views of the North Sea in the background, and the entire city on the opposite side. I took it all in awe and loved every cold minute on the edge of the cliff as we waited for sunset. Right on time, about 8:01 pm as the sun cast a series of oranges and reds over the North sea and the city of Edinburgh....

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