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Devil's Arrows, © Susan Wallace

June 23 – A Room with a View
The Devil's Arrows Standing Stones

It's impossible to judge the time of day in England in June; the shadows don't begin to grow long until very late in the evening. It's after 6:00 as we leave Ripon for York and I'm beginning to wish I had that Magnum Bar I wasn't able to finish in the car park at Rievaulx Abbey.

We take the A roads, making a quick stop by the Devil's Arrows near Boroughbridge. This row of three standing stones with fluted edges, looks like the flight of arrows. They are ascending in size with the smallest two in a field and the tallest at the opposite side of the road adjoining the field. I had tried to find out more about them online before leaving for the UK but, like Stonehenge and most other ancient sites of this sort, there is little to be learned. They remain a marvelous mystery.

Back in York, we decide to go for fish and chips. It seems incredible to me that I haven't had fish and chips yet, and I have to remind myself that I'm only on the second full day of my trip with eleven more to go. Our meal is fresh and hot, and authentically wrapped newspaper; we eat our fish and chips sitting in the car near Clifford's Tower as the shadows grow longer and longer.

Having forgotten to buy drinks, we head off to a pub near the riverfront. A half-pint of Theakston's ale goes down very well as Eagle Eye Cherry plays loudly on the jukebox. It's my second half-pint of the day, and even though I know it's silly, I feel like a bit of a lush. A quick walk by the waterside finishes off this long, incredible day. A tour boat on the River Ouse drifts by slowly, playing incongruous Calypso music as the wind, which seemed to grow colder by the second, buffets me from every side.

Back in my room at Feversham, I pack my belongings which have found a temporary home here. We are all a little quiet and reflective. I am torn emotionally – sad to be leaving Yorkshire behind, but excited about the prospect of our trip north (toward Scotland!) to Catlowdy in the uppermost reaches of Cumbria tomorrow morning.

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