The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Week 10 - Random Thoughts

Week 10 has seen us make our way up the middle of Scotland, stitching together paths described in Scottish Hill Tracks. Occasionally my stitching together has involved routes that just wouldn't work, but nowhere have we had any significant detours. More pleasingly, there have been a few places where we've been able to take more direct routes than I'd plotted, always a bonus when it also omits some road walking.

The weather has been somewhat less kind to us than for the previous weeks (admittedly we were remarkably lucky early on), but it's obvious that this area is in desperate need of rain (surely they could have waited two more weeks, mind!).

Pity that the rain isn't deterring the midges. I'm sporting plenty of bites.

As for gear, I think that it's time that I mentioned socks. There was a bit of discussion about socks on here a while back, with reports of longevity of between 215 and 2300 miles per pair. This is how mine have done thus far:

Pair 1 - only used for the first week and a half. Because of footwear issues I was having at the time I wanted to try a thinner pair. I approximate that these only had 50 miles use.

Pair 2 (Bridgedale Endurance Trekker) - approx. 500 miles to date and showing no significant signs of wear. After a wash and tumble dry they're still nice and fluffy.

Pair 3 (Bridgedale Comfort - the thinner pair that I started using in week 2) They've had something in the region of 450 miles use and are getting well and truly onto their last legs now. Soon to be retired to a bin.

Pair 3 (Bridgedale Endurance Trekker) - picked up in Halifax as I expected one of the other pairs imminently to start showing signs of wear. Miles to date 0, even though I've carried them for the last five weeks (so much for lightweight!).

Pair 4 (Sealskinz) - Used a few times in the first 3 weeks, until I switched to boots. Then sent home and retrieved in the latest resupply parcel, now that my boots have started to leak. There's no considerable mileage on these, often only used in camp, so they're doing fine so far.

As for my trousers, the holes in the ankles are now quite sizeable, but I'm hoping that they'll last the distance. They'll most definitely be binned at the end of the trip.

Boots: Like my trousers, it's fingers crossed that they make it to JOG. Giving them one of their now-regular washes last night I noticed that part of the rand on the back of the right boot is coming adrift. They've got something like 800 miles on them to-date.

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