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]

Monday, 31 December 2007

Our 2007 Walking Year

Time and Motion
As I mentioned a while ago, this year I’ve written 165000 or so words on the subject of our walks (not on here, you’ll be pleased to hear – this blog just gets the scantest of details!). The verbosity gives two possibilities: I’ve been more wordy than usual or we’ve been out more.

Happily, it was the latter. It doesn’t sound like a big number but in 2007 we walked around 530 miles over 37 outings.

That total was assisted by two things: training for the K2B walk and our New Year’s Resolution last year.

I’m not a great one for making such resolutions, but a fun one like ‘we have to go camping once every month’ seemed worthwhile. As is the tradition with such declarations, we didn’t quite achieve it, but we’ve not done too badly either. Two months we missed but were out a day or two before and/or after it. July we missed completely purely by oversight.

I’m sure that we’ll clock up greater distances and more nights under canvas next year!

Being British, where a comment about the weather is acknowledged as being as good an icebreaker as any, I will mention climatic conditions.

I think that your average person, when asked about this year’s weather, would say that it rained a lot.

That was true for the summer months, but overlooks the fact that we had an outstandingly dry spell earlier in the year, which lasted throughout March and April: at the peak of our training walks.

Then it rained for a few months, but by some fortuitous timing (and thanks to limited activity), we managed to avoid most of that rain. In fact the number of times that I wore waterproof trousers between the end of May and the beginning of December can be counted on one finger (and it wasn’t that I just opted to get wet!).

So, contrary to our families’ belief that we only going walking in awful weather, this year we achieved photos featuring blue skies – and lots of them.

Memorable Bits
A word must also be said about the memorable points of the year.

We have seen fantastic views, camped in fantastic locations and walked fantastic walks. However, 2007 must be defined by the memory of having met a naked rambler up on a ridge at the end of May! We will see fine views again; we will camp in good places again; we will (I hope!) have many more fantastic walks; but the chances of us encountering a naked rambler in such circumstances again? Pretty slim I would say.

A special mention should also be made of the particular Memorable Bit that was a night spent scared out of my wits lying on the floor of a forest, all thanks to John Hee and his Hip Pack Competition. I don’t think that my night of making like a meer cat, with my head constantly popping up to look around, will soon be forgotten!

So, not a bad year from a walking point of view. Here’s hoping that 2008 is even better. In the meantime, a Happy New Year to you all!

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