Things I collect
So many things, dust, bugs, rejection letters, but really miles (All right EU, kilometres), miles and peaks.
I started walking as a boy, serious walking that is. I’ve always had a great sense of direction (Funny thing that, the sun setting in the East, let’s keep moving) and a willingness to explore. There aren’t many blank parts of the map, but you can always leave it in its case.
In order to pull this off you need to have endurance rather than stamina. I’ll stop for breath on a hill, and I’m by no means the fastest walker out there. The thing is, tomorrow I can get up and do the same thing over again. When I think about it these are probably good traits for a writer.
With the advent of GPS I’ve even kept tracks.
Here are a few fun ones:
This shows a trip I took a few years ago in Henry Coe State Park, in California. I had a business trip and rather than stay in a hotel for a few days to make up my week (and cheaper airfare) I took my backpacking gear along. One of the advantages of lightweight backpacking is you can fit it in a suitcase. I was testing out solo backpacking with an eye to the AT. I was “the backpacker” in the park that weekend. Did I mention it’s only 15 miles or so from San Jose?
This is a walk in the Peak District from Hayfield to Edale and back. We missed a train so it went a little longer than usual.
This is one near home I organized for the scouts. It was designed for a two-night over 18 miles trip for the backpacking merit badge. It was the first time I tried trail-runners (fancy trainers with vibram soles). I haven’t looked back.
This one is from this year’s visit to the UK. It’s a warmup for Mt Snowdon. It’s also neat because you visit about 6 disused quarries. There are a many mine-pits on the south side of Moel-yr-hydd, so you have to be careful. It’s so beautiful that I think I’ll try learning Welsh so I can visit after Brexit.