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]

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Catch-up (2)

Thursday 17 February

Thursday wasn’t one of my allocated working days, and I usually try to get in a decent walk on non-working days. This week, however, I needed to pop into work on Thursday afternoon, but didn’t want that to scupper my need for a walk, so I hatched a plan to combine the two by walking into work.

A bit more consideration told me that walking 19 miles, in my current state of fitness, in order to arrive in time for a 2pm meeting, was unlikely to see me arrive in a fit state to do much, but after a bit of thought the answer was found.

By catching a bus to Burton the walk was reduced to just 13 or so miles. As it went I walked a bit further, because at the point where I was supposed to leave the Trent & Mersey canal and take to the roads I decided that I couldn’t face 4 miles on roads (I drove those roads each day and they’re not dreadfully inspiring), so I opted to walk a little further, be traffic free and not have to walk through any dodgy estates. The re-routing saw me joint National Cycle Route No. 6 – the same cycle route as we’d been on a week earlier in the Sherwood Pines Forest Park area. That set me to wonder where the route starts and ends, and a bit of Googling has told me that the route will eventually link London with Keswick.

I was pretty impressed that of the 14.25 miles that I covered, only the first quarter of a mile and the last quarter of a mile was on road. The rest of the route was entirely traffic free; I didn’t even have to cross a road.

IMG_2086 Floodedness just before the Trent & Mersey crosses the River Dove

IMG_2088Funnily enough, warnings of quicksand are not something that I associate with the Midlands. Happily I managed to clear the area without getting sucked in… 

Friday 18 February

Thursday had seen me walking under grey skies and Friday was no better in terms of weather. What was better was that I had company as Mick joined me to walk to the library to return the maps of Scotland that I’d borrowed to plan the TGOC route.

The high route was shunned due to the certainty that it would be muddier than a muddy place, and so it was to the canal tow-path that we took (which was surprisingly low on mud levels, given the mud-fests that I’d encountered the previous day).

By cheating and driving to the other end of the village first, 11 miles were covered, with a mind-boggling 200 feet of ascent!


Be thankful we don’t have smellivision; it was a smelly brewery day yesterday.

Saturday 19 February

Today was supposed to be a long walk, but awaking to the sound of rain I wasn’t moved to jump up and get out of the house. Instead I procrastinated by cooking six more meals and putting them in the dehydrator, which delayed us long enough to give the rain time to stop. Per the forecast, so it did, and off we went to the Chase to enjoy a mainly-mud-free route (or so we thought).

Well, it must have rained some last night! Never have I seen so much standing water on those paths and tracks. On some of the tracks it wasn’t even standing water; rather, we were walking up- or down-some significant streams. It had been a poor decision on my part to take a change from the perfectly water-tight boots that I’ve worn so far this year and use an old pair of Salomon’s which I know to leak!

It was dreadfully grey too, with cloud covering the highest points, but on the plus side it was dry, save for a bit of mizzle, and extraordinarily quiet (when we arrived at Stepping Stones, where we stopped for a cup of tea and a hot cross bun, there was not a single other person within sight; that has never happened before).

With 8.25 miles covered we arrived back at the car to be pounced on by two people wearing fluorescent yellow jackets and wielding clip-boards. Their mission was to conduct a simple survey, and we were more than happy to take part, but they couldn’t have chosen a worse day for it in terms of numbers of people passing by. The forecast is better for tomorrow, so hopefully we’ll get our long walk in.


Shhh! If you don’t tell anyone that I forgot the camera today then they’ll not know that this photo was taken 11.5 months ago. Today I was wearing the same hat, jacket, trousers and boots, but was rather more muddy, and didn’t have that backpack or pair of gloves with me.

No comments:

Post a Comment