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, 9 March 2010

K2CW Preparations


The title of this post would have been “K2CW Food – Complete”, except that when I updated the spreadsheet with the final two meals (which are in the dehydrator as I type) I also did a quick double check that the ‘staples’ quantities tied up with the meal quantities. What I found was that due to a couple of mis-calculations, we were still six servings of pasta and eight servings of rice short.

There are now six servings of pasta and eight servings of rice in the dehydrator, so by the end of today we should have all of our food cooked and dried.

Not a moment too soon either, as tomorrow we’re hand-delivering one of our food drops to Yorkshire.

Final Prep

The to-do list is long, and we seem to be adding to it as fast as we’re working through it (which at times isn’t very fast – see the next category below). In an effort at organisation, last week we translated the to-do list onto a calendar so as to keep us on track. What that has achieved is a whole new level of stress (for me; Mick is perfectly laid back) as I realise how far behind my own objectives I am and apparently without enough days to catch up.

Selection and Maintenance of the Aim

Mick would tell you that I’m not very good at selection and maintenance of the aim. The selection of the aim I can do, but then I tend to get a bit distracted (‘kangaroo mind’, that’s my problem). So, on Saturday lunchtime, after a morning of cooking, I covered the living room floor with books and maps to set about knocking off the list the ‘Plan Foul Weather Alternatives for Highland High Way’ task.

I achieved that objective quite quickly (I planned a low-level non-WHW route for Drymen to Inverarnan, then conceded that for any other high level days that turn out to be unfeasible, the only sensible option at this stage is to concede that we’ll have to take to the West Highland Way).

Whilst poring over the maps, however, it did also strike me that there looked to be a more obvious route from Carlisle up to Drymen, which route had the virtue of not repeating anything that we had done before (at the time we had a good few days of repetition from Traquair to Kilsyth).

Eight hours I spent solidly planning and plotting the new route. EIGHT HOURS! Eight hours of tapping the touch-pad mouse on the laptop, until my hand hurt with every movement. At the end of all which I decided that I wasn’t happy with the last two days of that route, even though the first few looked good, so writing off those eight hours I went back to plan A.

Not content with eight hours wasted, I then spent 2 hours trying to improve the two days to Linlithgow, at the end of which I conceded that I preferred the original.

The end result of eleven hours of solid planning and plotting (by which time Mick would claim that I was quite grumpy) was that I had changed the final ten miles of the route into Linlithgow (or not-into-Linlithgow, as the new plan doesn’t see us visiting the town).

Checking Accommodation

Yesterday I went down another rabbit hole, when the objective was verifying all of the accommodation information which I compiled months ago.

Somehow, from the simple act of checking accommodation and ensuring that we had it properly identified on the map (not wanting to repeat the incident of getting to the end of a long day to find I had erroneously marked our accommodation as being 2.5 miles away from its true position), I started messing around with bits of the route (obviously not having learnt my lesson from Saturday). In the process I did spot some improvements so glaringly obvious that I can’t understand how I missed them to start with – so I would argue that it was a valuable exercise even if it wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing.

The good news on the accommodation front was that our campsite for the second night, which isn’t open until Easter, has agreed to let us stay. The bad news was that the campsite in London, which is open all year, has said that we can’t stay due to ‘unsuitable ground conditions’; that wasn’t what we expected – we’d only called to see whether it would be advisable to book in advance.

Physical Prep

In amongst all this, we have taken ourselves out for a few walks, none of which I have had the chance yet to write up and post on here.  At the very least I ought to get around to writing a few words about the one with fifteen geocaches, eleven wee bottles and a big dunking…


  1. Ah... This takes me back...

    Does it matter that much about the route? You are bound to change it when on the hoof anyway...

    I like the 'rabbit hole' analogy... Been there too...

    If it doesn't get done, it doesn't get done. Be happy!

  2. Is that eleven little bottles or eleven bottles to pee into? Seems a bit excessive.

  3. Alan - I concede that the route changes weren't really necessary, in that the original was perfectly feasible. And, I'm sure that many more little tweaks will be made as we go, however, in most cases the changes I've made over the last few days couldn't have been done on the hoof because it would have involved walking off the map (yet more evidence for those people who believe that A4 print-out maps are the work of the devil and entirely irresponsible).

    Geoff - you'll just have to wait and see...

  4. Kangaroo Mind ...

    ... surely not :-)

  5. Hi Gayle

    What is your exact route for the 26-27 March; I may be able pop along and walk some of the route with you & Mick.

    That's if I can keep up :-)

    email is


  6. Gayle, if you are actually going through London and are stuck for a campsite my floor is available; the flat is tiny but I am sure I could wiggle you in somehow?