Well, I’m afraid it has been quite some time since I wrote an update about my plans to walk Hadrian’s Wall. There are many reasons for that, which I will get to shortly.
But first a review for anyone new to this series.
For those new to this column. It’s been my lifelong dream to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall, the Roman built wall that runs from Coast to Coast in northern England. Most of the wall is still in existence and there is a National Trail that runs along most of the route, with interesting historical spots along the way. The walk is roughly 80 miles long and it takes about a week to do the entire walk. We originally planned to do the walk in September 2014. The problem is that I’m not very fit – so over the next year, I’m undertaking a series of longer and longer walks in order to prepare myself for the physical exertion needed to walk 80 miles in a week. I will not be doing the walk alone – my close Uncle Jeff has pledged to do the walk with me – he’s a keen outdoorsman with lots of hiking experience so I can’t think of a better person to join me. Throughout the journey we will take pictures, video and post updates along the way. This is the fourth in a series of articles about preparing for the walk.
Postponing the Walk
It is with a heavy heart that my first bit of news about this is not good. We initially planned to do this walk in September 2014 but alas it’s just not going to happen this year. We’ve decided to postpone the walk until Summer/Fall 2015. Why? Well, money really.
As many of you know, we spent a month in the UK a few months ago over the Christmas holidays. And while we had a fantastic time and did tons of research for our site, the trip ended up costing way more than we budgeted. As the months went on upon our return, Anglotopia’s revenue from advertising unexpectedly went in steep decline. Thankfully, income from our second business Anglotees helped fill the hole a bit but it became clear that with September just a few months away, there was just no way we’d be able to swing another trip to Britain on such a fast turnaround.
We have also decided to devote our resources to saving for a house in our hometown so that we can get out of rented accommodation. This means that instead of paying for trips to Britain, we’re going to be saving our money for a house.
We expect to buy a house this time next year and then we’ll be free to travel again – and take this walk.
So, while we’ve postponed the September Walk, the walk is still on. And those that have followed this site for years will know that when I set my mind to something, I damn well do it, eventually.
Failures in Training
One of the things I was looking forward to the most during our last trip was going on some long walks to help me prepare for the long walking required on the Hadrian’s Wall Walk. I came to Britain armed with 4 Ordnance Survey maps, hiking books and a raincoat.
Unfortunately, during our trip, Britain was hit with the worst winter rain/wind storms in recent memory. Very little walking was done as a result. I did a few short walks but no long ones.
So, while I still managed to lose 10 pounds from all the walking we did on our trip, I didn’t clock the miles I’d hoped to.
Goals for This Summer
It’s officially spring in our part of Indiana so as the season progresses, I’ll begin walking more and more. My hope is to be able to do a 10 mile walk in a day and then turn around and do it the next day. If I can manage that by the end of the summer, I think that we be a good start for next year’s training. The longest stretch of the Hadrian’s Wall walk between stops is I believe 16 miles, so I need to be able to do that in a day.
Help Preserve the Wall
We posted about this last year but it’s definitely worth posting again. The Hadrian’s Wall Trust, which manages the wall and preserves it for future generations, has launched a new innovative appeal to raise funds to maintain the wall. They’re allowing anyone to adopt a stone in the wall for just £3 (about $5 USD). Hadrian’s Wall Trust is aiming to raise funds to ensure that the Wall and the World Heritage Site survive for future generations, to visit, appreciate and enjoy. We’ve made a small donation and hope to donate more as we get closer to our walk.
Full details here. http://www.adoptastone.co.uk/
British Pathé Newsreel about the Wall
British Pathé recently uploaded their entire archive to YouTube and one of the gems they released as a lovely old film about Hadrian’s Wall. Check it out:
That’s it for now – I’ll post again in a few months to let everyone know how training has progressed!