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]

Friday, 18 March 2011

East to West: 1 Day Till The Off

Random Thoughts:

1) My bag is packed. I weighed it and gulped a lot to find that it weighs 9.5kg without any water. Then I took my food bag out and weighed it and that comes in at 2kg (5 days evening meals, plus 2 days snacks and lunches). Deduct the weight of the gas too and I’m down to nearer my usual 7ish kg baseweight. Plus, of course, the gas and lotions and potions are all currently full for (hopefully) the only time in the trip.

2) Mick’s bag isn’t packed, so no news yet as to how much his weighs.

3) Things have been so hectic that I’ve not put together a full kit list for everyone’s perusal (being too hectic has been one reason for not doing that; the fact that I was still changing my mind about what kit to take late this afternoon may also have contributed).

4) By way of a departure from the last couple of big walks, I’m not taking my lovely OMM Villain this year. I had a shoulder problem at the end of last year that spilled into the beginning of this year. It’s all better now, but I’ve gone for an Osprey Exos this time, as the Villain doesn’t entirely lift the weight off my left shoulder, whereas the Exos does.

5) Also by way of a departure, I’m not taking my trusty Therm-a-Rest Prolite (girly) this year. In a kit-buying frenzy last week, I threw a medium NeoAir into the basket as Mick hadn’t got around to sending his leaky one back (we’ve tried and failed to find the leak, which is very slow and just requires a middle-of-the-night top-up). I didn’t previously like the NeoAir due to the sticky fabric, but noticed that the new one is not nearly as sticky as the old. A quick squirm around on it in my sleeping bag suggested that I’ll be able to sleep on this one. Suddenly Mick doesn’t have a new NeoAir, but I do…

6) Continuing my theme of last-minute gear indecision, we nearly bought a new tent this afternoon, having been offered a Terra Nova Voyager Superlite at a very good price (yes, I know that we already have both a Voyager and a Voyager Superlite, but this was the latest, lighter model). Unfortunately, having blown up our NeoAirs and put our rucksacks in the porch, we had to conclude that the tighter dimensions means that it’s just not big enough for us to be comfortable on a 2-month trip. So, it’s Susie Superlite  that’s going to be coming with us tomorrow.

7) I just couldn’t leave it alone! I played with the route a bit earlier in the week. It was that ‘three sides of a square’ bit where we go over to the east coast at Scarborough then come back west to Osmotherley. I thought that I’d plot a more direct route, as an option, just in case we’re feeling the need for a shorter route for any reason. The problem is that I rather like the look of the shorter route. Add to that the fact that we’ve walked before a significant chunk of the ‘via Scarborough’ detour, and it looks likely that we’ll take the shorter option. I’ve got maps for both printed, so no need to decide yet.

I’m sure that I could witter on, but there are things that still need to be done (including getting a good night’s sleep) before the adventure starts tomorrow.


  1. Have a great time! You should have got a POE Peak Elite AC ;o) the tapered end might have allowed you to get two in the Superlite. There's a girly version as well.

  2. Have a lot of fun. I shall see if I can catch you and say hi as you pass through Norfolk.

  3. Robin - Noooo! I've already got six sleep mats! I've got my hands over my ears and am going 'la-la-la'. (As it goes the main issues with the Superlite were the venilation and the size of the porch, where we would have struggled with two packs (particularly as the Exos doesn't collapse down like the Villain), two pairs of shoes, a water container and the stove.)

    Martin - Hope to see you next week!

  4. And my pack came in at 10kg without water but with 2kg of food. Still too heavy really. I think we need to examine critically what we are carrying: too many additional little items that are just luxuries.

    Could just sneak them into Gayle's pack - she won't notice.

  5. Wow, tomorrow? That pack's not so bad, mine's roughly 10kg just for three weeks with three days food max. Maybe I need to look at mine more closely!
    Good luck, have an excellent time and really looking forward to the write ups.

  6. Yippee! Could do with reading a really good walk... so much easier than walking the thing...

    Good luck to you both!

  7. Not including closed cell foam ones, I have eight sleeping mats! :o)

    Looks like you have cracking weather for the first day.