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, 17 August 2012

Around Tittesworth Reservoir

The weather in this country is seldom as bad as forecast. I've said it many a time and today it proved to be the case again.

The day started unpromisingly with heavy rain, which was forecast to last all day, and it ended the same way. Yet, by a stroke of luck, it was dry as we set out to stroll around the reservoir. Great grey clouds threatened, covering the top of Hen Cloud and the Roaches, but they held their loads until we were nearly back at our starting point. We were sitting having a late lunch when the rain did come, which wasn't an ideal time for rain, but a tree protected us from the worst and it didn't really get going until our walk was finished.

Five and a half miles were covered today, with perhaps a little more 'up' than I had told my sister she would encounter on a walk around a reservoir.

Just a short (flat!) stroll tomorrow morning before heading home. It'd be nice if the sun came out for it...

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Thursday, 16 August 2012

A Quarter of a Century

It's been over a quarter of a century since my sister last walked up a hill to a trig point. But, here she is today at the trig on The Roaches. A mile and a half of walking with 500' of ascent may not seem like much to many people, but for my sister it has involved more effort than I would put into a full day of backpacking. Hats off to her!

Today (which finished up at 4 miles long) wasn't her first endeavour of this short trip. Yesterday she insisted on us going out in the monsoonal weather that greeted our arrival in the Staffordshire Moorlands. It was me that called for an abandonment after a couple of hours of continuous drenching.

I fear that tomorrow's weather will again be like yesterday's - but at least we stayed dry today and, as a result, all of our clothes will be dry when we set out in the morning, even if they don't remain that way for long.

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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Cost of a Gash on the Chin?

I had such good intentions of writing a few blog posts on subjects PCT & PCT gear related, but what with the Olympics and a generous helping of can’t-be-arsed-ness, those posts remain unwritten. However, today’s mail has caused me to pick up my keyboard again with incredulity.

You may recall that just over a month ago, on 4 July, I got off a train in San Francisco, walked down the street for a couple of hundred yards, tripped over a curb and landed on my chin. The gash was small, but deep, and wouldn’t stop bleeding, so a trip to the Emergency Room ensued, where the wound was glued back together.


*Not* a flattering look!

I was in the hospital for a total of about half an hour. About half of that time was spent in the checking-in and checking-out processes, and the rest of was spent in the room pictured above. A doctor was in that room with me for not more than five minutes, during which time she cleaned the wound, applied the glue and had a bit of a chat about walking.

Today I received the bill for the half an hour of use of the hospital’s facilities (but not the doctors fees, which apparently will be billed separately). Nine hundred and ninety one dollars!!!

Wow! Nine hundred and ninety one dollars for occupying a treatment room for a quarter of an hour, and for having some admin staff fill out some paperwork! The mind boggles as to how that can be a justifiable sum for the service received.

Needless to say, we do have travel insurance, and I will be making a claim.