Since the last entry have been concentrating on completing the E2 northern link between the Pennine Way and the Stafford Way, which I am glad to state, is now completed. It has taken a further three walks to arrive at the Staffs Way, with the first walk from Mossley down to Marple being remember by the quantity of planes on their final approaches to Manchester Airport. Not that I heard too many with my headphones on. On this walk I saw the last of the moors but had a clear view across to Kinder Scout and was only 7kms away from the Pennine Way. Travelling out by train to Marple, I passed the train that in less then 10 weeks time I'll be travelling on to the start .
The second and third walks, with the exception of 5 miles on the High Peak Canal, were travelling along the Gritstone Trail. This has been a great walk, following the ups and downs of the hills which make up the trail. Following the rain in the last weeks, the last few miles walk to Rushton Spencer, could have done with some of the grit on it deteriorated into mud. To say that I'd walked the entire length of the trail, last week I ventured to Kidsgrove, the start of the walk and walked to Mow Cop, to complete the entire lenght. To make this into a decent walk having travelled up, I continued it along the South Cheshire Way, another walk in need of grit to soak up the mud. I passed Little Morton Hall, a Tudor hall which I remembered visiting on a school trip some 36 years early.
Would have thought they would have sorted out the warped floors by now!
At the other end of the E2, I completed the 4th leg by walking from Kingston Bagpuize into Oxford. Returning by bus (not using Swindon this time) I asked for a single to Kingstone Bagpuss (remember the kids programme?) Having walked the last 2 miles at speed and run for the bus at the end of the walk, looking flustered and asking for Bagpuss, lead to strange look from the bus driver. I can now say I've reached my target on the Thames Way before I concentrate on some more altitude walking. Those mountain legs are taking there time returning and the Thames Way is just too flat.
The E2 north walks, with there hills have helped with typical daily climbs of around 750meters, but I'm now looking for more mountainous stuff.
One already bagged a couple of weeks ago was Snowdon, up the Rhyd Du path and down the Snowdon Ranger path with a detour onto another summit. This walk proved to be outstanding, walking through fresh falls of snow the scenery and snow covered rockscape was dramatic, added to which was the clear views from the summit. Found on the ascent was a wallet which has since been return to its owner, lucky name and address helped.
Next weeks sees a Wainright bonanza up in the lakes, centred on Ennerdale. Over the bank holiday I plan to bag a future 10 Wainwrights, getting nearer to the 214 total and building up the leg muscle at the same time. Also its time to increase the pack weight in preparation for the 15kg pack. I was hoping to reduce this weight but currently it seems to be going up, the wrong way. One such increase is changing from a foam mattress to an air . I think the extra comfort the weight gives will be worth it.
The Stafford Way is almost complete, with just one more leg, the finale into Kinver, followed by a celabratory meal at the Vine Pub, the location of meeting my wife two years ago to the day on the LEJOG. Fond memories.