I came back exhausted from a dance weekend on Sunday evening and opened up my stats to see whether Carys Bray‘s fascinating blog had clocked up any more visits. Reader, imagine my surprise when I realised an old story of mine, The Strid, had received 677 views in two days!
At first I was worried; had someone hacked into my account and were they, at that moment, hacking into those of my contributors? It’s a horrible feeling. I asked around but no one else seemed to have experienced anything unusual.
Eventually I had the bright idea of asking one of the people who had left a message why he had come. It turned out that a site I had never seen, cracked.com, had run an article about the five places in the world most likely to kill you, and the Strid came in at number 3. It’s an entertaining and informative piece – the pointy rocks are pretty startling – but most readers seemed to think the Strid was the scariest of all. As there is surprisingly little information about the Strid on the internet, my story came high up on a google search!
The Strid is a channel of water about seven feet wide, in itself not that impressive, until you realise that the whole of the River Wharfe has been forced into that narrow space. No one knows how deep it is, the main danger being from whirlpools that would pull the hapless adventurer into underground caverns and tunnels that have been eroded over millenia. It is said that no one comes out of the Strid alive, which is something to consider before you decide to jump the easy-peasy gap.
The Strid gave me nightmares for years before I was even allowed to see it, my parents being of nervous dispositions where their children were concerned. I wrote the story a couple of years ago for a thousand-word competition in Yorkshire Ridings Magazine and it was shortlisted and published. I’d welcome any feedback if anyone has time to read it!
The number of virtual visits now stands at 965. I would encourage everyone to visit the Strid, and the surrounding area, for themselves – it’s stunning. I would say that, of course. You can take the girl out of Yorkshire…