#walk1000miles – November 2019

Another month in which I’d anticipated a lower-than-average tally of miles; mere weeks away from the birth of 2020. Let’s see how I did…

03/11 – 8 miles – Mendip Hills (Brunel Walking Group)
10/11 – 12 miles – Llanthony Loop (walk leading)
17/11 – 9 miles – Mini Ten Tors (Summit or Nothing)
24/11 – 8 miles – Marlborough Downs (Brunel Walking Group)
Total for November 2019 = 37 miles

November was a month that began at a steady pace but barely shifted up in to a higher gear, or didn’t keep the revs up for long, if it did make it.

I remember that walk on the Mendips, where we started in Blagdon, crossed Blagdon and walked on towards Cheddar… I’ve more recently accomplished something similar with my new Meetup group. Some of the going was wet underfoot on both occasions!

Seven-days later and we’d have colder conditions to contend with…

It was my turn to lead a walk and we were destined for the Black Mountains, once more. I’d rescheduled this walk from a rainy day in October. Having kept an eye on the forecasts, I knew that snow had probably fallen overnight and that our day was likely to feel very cold… If also dry and somehow sunny.

I do like walking in the snow. Each of the few experiences I’ve had have been memorable and perhaps for different reasons. I do not enjoy leading groups through gale-force winds and knee-deep drifts… But a day on the hills with fewer to look out for and a more assured footing beneath me… That can work well.

I like walk leading and there were so many highlights from this day – even if much of the snow had evaporated by the time we got around to the second half of our circuit!

Another week passed and I was faced with the surreal prospect of meeting Trev Lewis – that man on YouTube from Summit or Nothing!

Along with numerous others, I will feature in his video when it appears (possibly this Sunday at 21:00…). But another memorable day and one I’ve already written about on this blog. I don’t do enough walking on Dartmoor – this was my first of 2019!

My final outing for November was also with Brunel Walking Group – for the third time in one month. We headed east to Wiltshire – for me, I’m almost certain it was a first on-foot return to the county since completing The Ridgeway last summer.

As you’ll see above, though, we weren’t blessed with any form of long-range vision. In fact, the visibility had been better back on Dartmoor! It was good to revisit a short stretch of The Ridgeway, stretch my legs and meet a couple of new faces to the group – proving that not everyone waits until the New Year to excuse themselves in to a resolution.

Total for November 2019 = 37 miles

I know that I could push myself and commit to reaching the one-thousand mile mark one final time… As I’ve previously said, I won’t be repeating this (as the #walk1000miles challenge) next year. My aim will be to simply log my walking progress. But right now, it feels like it would be a big push to achieve that, with or without the longer nights and shorter days.

Current total for 2019 = 924.5 miles

This time last year, I was recovering from Dartmoor’s many downpours and an otherwise-excellent weekend away with Brunel. That’s something I’ve chosen to opt out of this year… Otherwise, I might’ve been thirty-miles better off right now.

My motivation to get outside is lacking right now. I write this as I’m contemplating only my second ‘weekend off’ from walking this year. I know I’ll regret come the return to work… But at this time of year, it is increasingly hard to find free time to spend outdoors. I’m generally tired and feel as though many things are catching up. I don’t currently have that motivation or drive to do things by myself, for myself, although I’ll happily make that effort for others and to be with others.

I expect this will later change as the temperatures and daylight hours begin to increase.

Thanks for reading.

Author: Olly Parry-Jones

I live in Weston-super-Mare, close to the Mendip Hills in Somerset and I enjoy time spent outdoors, whether that's walking, camping or backpacking. My day job involved making furniture from recycled wood (I'm a furniture maker and carpenter by trade). I have two blogs: Olly Writes (woodworking, DIY, baking) Walks With Olly (walking, camping and kit) You can also find me on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. My second YouTube channel is titled 'Walks with Olly'.

Please leave your comments below

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: