Walking is amazing, it’s one of the best and easiest ways to get and keep fit. It gets you out in the fresh air and it’s free. You don’t need any specialist equipment, unless you’re doing something that involves mountainous regions or long distance. If you’re walking around your local park you’ll probably be safe enough with a bottle of water and hopefully you won’t need a compass.*
I love planning a walk, a big walk I mean, and by plan I mean something along these lines…
“Gayle do you fancy a walk next Sunday”?
“Yeah, sure, where”?
“Not sure, Pen-Y-Ghent? Somewhere in The Dales”?
“Yeah that’s good for me, I’ll have a look online”
This usually results in me looking online and printing a map out, which we rarely look at. (Please always be prepared) I’d like to think that by now Gayle and I are pretty well prepared for any mishap that may befall us and in an emergency we’d cope. We’ve been on enough walks together and haven’t died…yet.
Last weekend we decided to tackle Whernside, this is one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks and stands at 736 m (2,277 ft). We have walked the Three Peaks a fair few times and although there were definite moments of ‘What the actual f**k am I doing’? I loved every minute of it. It’s an enormous sense of achievement, you meet some wonderful, friendly people and the views can be astonishing. Unfortunately the views were not playing ball this time and Whernside was hidden behind some good old Yorkshire fog.
Gayle and I always plan a New Year walk, it’s become a tradition now I suppose. We started it in 2012 with a walk up Pen-Y-Ghent and as you can imagine in January the weather was goddamn awful!
To be honest I think we have usually gone up Pen-Y-Ghent, one year we may have gone to Ingleton Falls, absolutely beautiful place to visit if you ever get the chance, deeply peaceful and serene if you get there early enough. Last year we couldn’t make it up Pen-Y-Ghent because someone decided to get up the duff, thanks Gayle… so selfish! 😛 We did, however, enjoy a lovely stroll around St.Ives in Bingley. This year there were no pregnancies and so we had no excuse…
We arrived at Ribblehead, Gayle, Simon, Lynne, baby Benjamin and I, and looked in the direction of the viaduct, which we could not see due to fog, and thought,
‘Why do we do this to ourselves’. Well I shall tell you why I do it. Every time I have participated in the walking of a peak or mountain or trekked for several+ miles, I have felt incredible. There’s a connection that you make with nature that you just cannot get from looking at pictures or watching documentaries. There has been moments on each one of my walks or treks where I have happened to walk off ahead, I have entered ‘the zone’, this is basically where I have to keep going or I will stop dead and that helicopter will have to come and get me.
So I have, at times, found myself completely alone, especially when we’ve walked in such dense fog. The realisation of being totally alone was such a harmonious feeling. It was completely silent and the eerie. I couldn’t even see back down the path from where I’d just walked, the sheer drop to the left of me might as well have not been there. It just looked like the ends of the earth, very Silent Hill, just not as terrifying.
I had this overwhelming feeling of tranquillity, a total peace with the universe, this zen-like moment… and then Lynne appeared out of the murk and smashed my zen with her god awful singing! 😛
I cannot express enough how much you need to get out there in to the fresh air, you don’t necessarily have to climb the mountain just get up close and personal with it. Go and breathe the fresh air and drink in the enormity of what is out there. If you’re lucky enough to live in Yorkshire then stop letting our grand landscape go to waste. Go and marvel at it’s gloriousness and then pass it on to your friends and family how great it is! Go now…go!♥
*I take absolutely no responsibility for anyone who may become lost from walking in their local park. On a serious note if you are planning a long distance or mountainous walk, please, always be prepared with proper equipment and do your research on the route and conditions.