Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Twenty years

Twenty years ago today, I did my first walk. It was a short one, from the Cat and Fiddle pub in the Peak District, over to Cheshire's highest point on Shining Tor, along the ridge past Cats Tor and then back via a valley.

The last operation on my ankle had been six months before, and I had a vague idea to do the Pennine Way before the anniversary of that operation. In the end I missed the target by three or four months, but that simple stroll along the Derbyshire / Cheshire border started an obsession that has never quite faded.

In those twenty years, I have completed 1,029 walks for my website, during which I walked a total of 18,124 miles. I have ascended or descended 1.5 million feet (290 miles), written a million words of notes for the website, and not many fewer for directions. I have taken many photos, of which 83,435 are ready for use on this site.

In that time I have gained a wife (who is for some odd reason still with me), and a son. Where I was renting, we now own a house that makes me feel rather disreputably middle class. My hair is greyer (and longer), my stomach larger, and my bones and muscles moan and ache where once they were silent. I have met many people, from trailmates to people who are now firm friends. And some who have sadly faded into the mist.

There are still so many places I have not been, and the map of my walks remains blank in too many areas. My yearning - my desire - to walk has not dissipated.

I may not achieve another 1,000 walks in the next twenty years - indeed, with a young son to look after it is highly unlikely - but I do hope to continue seeing the best (and sometimes worst) of what our wonderful country has to offer.

Perhaps I might see you out there. If so, please say hello.

Memories forever dear, holidays of yesteryear.

Walk totals

Total mileage18,124.4 miles
Total ascent1,531,311 feet (290.02 miles)
Total descent1,532,388 feet (290.22 miles)
Total words in notes1,159,158 words
Total words in directions787,935 words

Walk records

Longest walk#91631.5 milesBrandon StationWymondham station
Shortest walk#112.9 milesStanton Moor car parkStanton Moor car park
Most ascent#2396700 feetCayton BayFlamborough North Landing
Least ascent#153 feetWaterbeachWaterbeach
Most descent#2396758 feetCayton BayFlamborough North Landing
Least descent#153 feetWaterbeachWaterbeach

The obligatory map

And here is a rather poor quality map of all my walks. There are far too many large blank areas...

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