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We checked out early from our hotel so we could walk around Nottingham a little.  We went to the castle first then took photos near the walls and the Robin Hood statue.  We then headed out north towards Doncaster, passing Sherwood Forest on the way.  We stopped for some traditional breakfast at a rest stop on the way.  Before long, we were in Doncaster and pulling up to the house to meet Dan’s cousins.  We sat and chatted awhile over coffee before they took us into Leeds.

In Leeds, there was an enormous Gay Pride march.  When we first got there, it was busy but things weren’t too out of control.  We stopped for a beer and then went to a restaurant to eat.  From the restaurant, we could see men in heels and dresses and others running with gay pride flags running into the streets for the start of the parade.  There was also a man in a kilt and full outfit.  We had to walk back through this crowd on the way to the car to find the Royal Armouries.  The streets were so packed I felt like I was in India again.

When we finally got to our car and the Royal Armouries, we went inside and walked around the free museum to see all of the years of warfare and tools during the reign of England.  There were scenes from ancient times as well as scenes from the conflicts in India and other territories.  Inside a fancy tent set-up, we watched bits of film of jousting from movies.  In the corners of some rooms were stations where one could insert a pound and shoot and holograms.  This is when I learned that the cousins shoot trap.  They regretted not knowing before because they would have taken me shooting with them.

Back at their house, the kids showed me their guns and the grandpa talked about them.  Dan and his cousins took pictures together and talked about their families.  They also asked for pictures with me.  Before long, Dan and I had to be heading out.  We thanked them and followed some of his cousins in their car to the highway where they pulled over and waved as we continued on.  We set out sights on Richmond to the north, a stop along the way to the A66 which we were told we should take into the Lake District.  In Richmond, we were able to photograph the castle, waterfalls, and other buildings in the small town center.  We left and photographed a bit of the Yorkshire Dales before catching A66.

Our goal was to camp somewhere near Keswick for the night.  We became hungry and decided to stop in Penrith before we reached the Lake District in case things would be closed.  It was raining but we found our way into a quaint pub.  It was decked out in American license plates and we had wonderful conversations with the woman who runs it.  She’s been to America many times and loves it.  She opened the kitchen for us so we could have some traditional food and we also tried a local beer.  She and the older men at the bar gave us directions for a petrol station and we thanked her before heading out for Keswick.

It was very dark by the time we reached Keswick and we could not locate the campsite we saw on the map.  We circled the city a little before deciding to head south towards Grange.  The back roads were dark and eerie from the fog that was lingering on the pavement.  We turned to cross over a bridge and realized we must be next to one of the lakes.  We finally found a campsite, but no one was at the entrance.  There was no gate, so we drove in.  We found a spot that was empty and not near campers.  There were no other tents around and it was still raining, so we decided to lean back our seats and sleep in the car.  It was a chilly night.


Me in front of Nottingham Castle at the Robin Hood statue.


Leeds Gay Pride decorations.


Dan and family.


Crazy hair.


In the Royal Armouries.


Dan with family.


Dan with more family.


Richmond castle.


View from A66 passing the Dales.


Decor in the pub in Penrith.


Our local beers, peas, eggs, and chips.