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Day 8 - Tan Hill Inn to Middleton-in-Teesdale

What a difference a few hours make. After such a beautiful evening the morning was cold, foggy and misty. We were pretty much sat in a cloud and so of course the tent was sopping wet.

And that’s how everything was for a good part of the day. I thought we were through the worst of the bogs, but I was so wrong. I think it took us 1 hour to walk 1 mile! In fact we walked probably 2 miles, but the second mile was walking backwards and forwards and round and round trying to find a route that didn’t involve peaty gloop up to your knees. Tris left me his waterproof socks (yes, they’re a thing) so they were put straight into use.

All in all it was pretty exhausting and even when the sun finally broke through, which always makes a big difference, it was still a lottery with every step. Take your eyes off the ball, misinterpret the vegetation, (is that the bright green moss that signifies deep water or the bright green moss that signifies really deep water?), forget to prod with your walking pole before stepping forward and a wet, gloopy trap awaited. There was this bog and that bog named every mile or so on the map. One was simply called The Bog. And it was!

But the sun did open the views which were stunning, as well as starting to dry the wet socks. The trick was to keep moving, while sneaking a cheeky glance at the scenery, before a wrong step sent you into another pool of water.

Today was meant to be an easy day! Crumbs! Tomorrow is meant to be a hard one. Does that mean it’ll be easy??? 😬

It’s really hard for a young person leaving prison to see the big picture, to see the scenery, that can be full of beauty and opportunity, instead of just the gloop at their feet. It’s amazing, and sad, how few have dreams or can imagine a positive future for themselves. Their footing feels so unstable they don’t dare to look up, or around or ahead. They just need to stay focused on surviving.

It’s hard to help someone change that habit, but it can be done - by teaching them how to walk with more ‘balance’, maybe adding some tools and strategies like walking poles, to deal with challenging situations or handle their emotions. It’s also important to teach them, show them, that a misstep doesn’t mean you have to stay in the bog for ever. You can pull your foot out, shake it off and step again, hopefully onto firmer ground.

But that’s so hard to do alone and most of these kids don’t have someone else who is going to do that for them. Which is why having an In2Out mentor can be the difference between a life constantly with feet wet from the bog or a life where it’s possible to look ahead and hopefully see a beautiful view.

Thank again to all of you who are following along and have donated. We still have a long way to go to reach £20k. Today I passed the halfway mark. Only 133 miles to go.

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Another gargantuan day Mark. Spectacular photos of the scenery and hopefully the beauty of nature takes your mind away from those sore toes and heels. Well done Evelyne for her stoic support. Wednesday and Thursday are going to be tough solo sessions and I know how that feels. Hope it stays fine tomorrow. Chris


If this were a custodial sentence…you’d be out tomorrow! Keep going! Our hearts are with you! T


Well done so far Mark that's amazing you've reached half way hope today's been good


Past the half-way mark (pun intended)! Well done, and well done to Evelyne, having to do a tough section on her first day. Hope it gets easier today. See you soon, Jim & Tink


Wooo! Half Way. You are doing us proud.

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