Walking the world

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The world has been calling me to walk in it lately. It’s telling me that I need to go places on foot, instead of by car or even by train. I need to go walking in the Olympic Mountains, across the UK, in the Nisqually Delta, on little trails in my neighborhood.

The picture above is part of the South West Coast Path in England, a continuous path along the coastline of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. It links to many inland paths across the moors and old mining areas of Cornwall. And then there is the famous Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales… not to mention Scotland and Wales, which are full of ancient walking paths.

I took the first step today, now that the weather is above freezing. Well, maybe not the first step. I did buy all my hiking gear last fall and put it to some use. But I had no desire to go out in the ice and snow this winter – I choose to walk above 40 degrees :) I’m optimistically hoping that we’re back to normal for this area and I can start being outdoors some.

In any case, today I walked the 3 mile trail behind my house, just a little neighborhood trail that goes through some forest, a bit of wetland, and some parks. Over the next six months I’ll be working up to 8-mile hikes on uneven terrain in preparation for a walking tour of Newfoundland in July. And then perhaps next fall… a month in England?

Imagine a coastal walk where each day brings new scenery, mining ruins, interesting geology, little villages, side paths to moors and mining towns, beaches, pubs, and wildlife. Every few miles there is a little town with places to eat and spend the night, so the length of each day’s travels can be chosen according to the terrain, weather, and level of energy. Public transportation is good, so there’s no need to worry about getting back to where I started from.

The only things I really need are sturdy shoes, layered clothing, tide tables and detailed walking maps and I’m good to go. Oh, and binoculars :) However far I get in a month is how far I get, and if a pub, B&B, or a book looks enticing, I need go no further that night. I might just disappear off the face of the earth for a while… or to the face of the earth, as the case may be.