Blog updates are only on an
"ad hoc" basis when I have something to say and will not be
particularly regular. Latest entries first.
21 December 2012
I used Google Maps to show the start
point of my walks and to identify the towns/villages
in which advertisers of accommodation are located. I was asked how this was
done by someone wanting to draw routes on Google Maps. It was easier to
explain this visually rather than try to verbally describe it and I produced
to using Google Maps which I make available here In case this is of use
to anyone else. The principle of creating lines/markers is the same. I have
also set out a way of transferring GPX routes to Google Maps.
7 years ago, I purchased some Páramo
gaiters. They have a fabric strap at the front on which is a metal hook
which goes over the boot laces. Recently when preparing for a walk, one of
these hooks snapped, which I can only put down to metal fatigue. The other
hook was also showing the early signs of a crack. As one end of the fabric
strap is stitched and the other has a large press-stud, there was no obvious
way to replace the hook. I therefore emailed Páramo asking for advice.
I expected was the option to purchase some kind of supplementary hook which
in some way clipped over the strap. What actually happened was that Páramo
asked me to send them the gaiters. Today, only about a week later, I
received them back fully repaired, thoroughly cleaned and re-proofed. It
turns out that Páramo give a lifetime guarantee and have done all
this for nothing. Although I am punctilious about washing the gaiters after
use, I could never get them as clean as Páramo have done. They now look
quite literally like brand new. Only a little visual wear on the press-studs
down the front give their previous use away.
also sent a free set of the rubber straps which go under the boot.
well done Páramo. If only everyone
gave such great customer service.
a request from someone for advice on which of my walks in Yorkshire could be
done via public transport. It struck me that this might be of interest to a
few people. Most of my walks are circular so they can obviously be started
at any point on the circle. I have started with the Yorkshire Dales and
North Yorkshire and will gradually work through the areas.
set myself a goal of publishing at least 100 walks on this site by the end
of 2012 and I am please to note that with the addition of my last Devon
walk, at least for this year, from Salcombe to Blanksmill Bridge and Snapes
Point, I have reached the 100. This is especially gratifying having been
denied use of my boots for a few weeks after the incident on 22 August - see
below. Back to Northern paths now.
from the news, it is most unlikely that a great deal can be done about the
die-back affecting ash trees in our country and that the result will be a
30% loss of trees (that is 30% of all trees!). So that whatever can be done
is done, the Forestry Commission are asking for reports if the disease is
spotted and there are instructions as to what to look for - see their
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/chalara. Walkers are ideally suited to
spot outbreaks. It will be very sad if we lose all our ash trees and even if
it is unstoppable and the trees are replaced with something else, it will be
years before the appearance of the countryside recovers. It is Dutch Elm
Disease all over again!
physio on Monday and have been given some exercises to do. I can now do some
walking as long as I take care over rocky ground/loose stones etc. Much
better now so no more updates on this sad (and now boring!) issue. I would
like to sincerely thank everyone who sent me their good wishes.
the last crutch away yesterday. I can walk half a mile or so but have to be
very careful where I put my feet to avoid twisting/turning the leg at all.
Seen a consultant who diagnosed a partially torn medial
collateral ligament. Physio booked but started exercises already from
internet. Still wearing splint at night as my leg will not stand me turning
over in bed. This is no fun at all!
the painkillers today but a bit premature I think! Knocked it this morning
and it hurt like ****!
splint off today and tried some tentative leg bending. It has got used to
being held straight and objected to being bent but I persevered. Did manage
to use it as the lead leg to climb the stairs so that is hopefully a good
sign. Using a short knee brace to help. I have to be very careful turning
though. Do not now seem to need the crutches around the house anyway.
fed up with my splint and the crutches. Being normally quite fit, I has not
realised how awkward it would be. Went into the kitchen on day 2 to make my
breakfast, then realised I could not carry it through to anywhere else with
crutches. Although I have mastered going upstairs, coming down is a bum
sliding affair. What this makes me realise is how difficult life must be for
the permanently disabled. Only when you lose abilities do you appreciate how
precious they were. Need to appreciate usual good fortune more. Huge respect
to the paralympians.
the standard bits of advice one gets for hiking is, where possible, do not
walk alone. This was brought home to me in a big way yesterday when walking
on the NY Moors. Looking for a route down a steep bank, I trod on some
heather with my left leg to find the heather bush was actually over fresh
air. My leg shot into space and the sideways motion caused my right leg to
twist sideways. Now knees are not meant to work that way and I found myself
in absolute agony stuck in a cleft between two rocks. My "good"
leg was in space and unable to gain any purchase. My right was useless and
the angle I was at meant I could not get leverage to use my arms/elbows to
lever myself out. Had I been on my own, I could have been there still.
Memories of Touching the Void came flooding in!
I was with a friend who was able to pull me out. There was a painful
struggle back to the car and home (though we managed a pint first -
priorities!). After a trip to the local minor injuries unit and X-rays, I
now have an ankle to thigh splint bristling with Velcro to prevent me
bending my leg and provide support for my torn ligament. It will be some
weeks before I am able to resume hiking. Fortunately there is no damage to
the joint itself.
many years walking, this is my first incident. Let's hope it is the last.
have had a couple of interesting communications over the past few days.
This was from a lady in Scotland who arranges a walking week for 5 friends
each year. They came to the Yorkshire Dales and she wrote to thank me for my
walk directions they had used for some walks. They had such a good time that
they are planning to return again next year to do some more. She also
suggested an amendment to one of my directions which I have now incorporated
– for which I have thanked her. It was nice that she took the trouble to
detail the amendment precisely.
The second was from another lady who has only been walking seriously for
about 8 weeks and has already completed 4 of my walks and has clearly found
the directions useful. One of these was Burnsall to Grassington which I only
mention specifically because readers might be interested to know that second
only to my Scafell Pike from Wasdale Head walk, the Burnsall to Grassington
walk was consistently the most visited of my walks over the last 6 months.
do not know why I find this surprising, it is after all a lovely walk but I
think I perhaps expected a better known walk such as Ingleborough or Pen
y-Ghent to be ahead of it. Maybe the fact that it is a more straightforward
walk simply makes it accessible to more people.
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