A Summer Of Hiking…
“Wander here, a whole summer if you can… Time will not be taken from the sum of life. Instead of shortening, it will definitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal.” – John Muir
This summer, we are about to embark on our greatest challenge yet. Combining our passion for travel and our love of the great outdoors, we are going to hike 700 miles across England and the USA!
We’ve been planning this latest expedition for well over a year. So we’re really excited that we’ll finally be setting foot on the trail in less than a fortnight’s time…
Wearing our new TrekSnappy ‘Summer 700’ t-shirts!
Long Distance Walk Of A Life Time
Starting in Edale, in the Peak District, we’re setting off on The Pennine Way on 24th June 2014, where we’ll hike 270 miles north through some of England’s finest countryside. This popular long distance walk will take us from the Peak District National Park along the Pennine ridge through the Yorkshire Dales, up into Northumberland, across the Cheviots, and into the Scottish Borders where the trail finishes at the village of Kirk Yetholm.
We’ll be starting the Pennine Way from ‘The Old Nags Head’ pub in Edale, Derbyshire.
Upper Booth Farmyard – The Pennine Way passes through here on Day 1.
From here, (after a rest day or two!) we’ll take public transport to get to the start of our next long distance trail – Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast path. This 192 mile footpath runs across northern England, passing through three contrasting national parks: the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, which we can’t wait to photograph.
Grisdale in the Lake District, Cumbria. A snap shot of the fantastic countryside we’ll be hiking through on the Coast to Coast path.
We’ll be camping at Patterdale in the lake District on Day 5 of our Coast to Coast walk.
We’ve decided to take the traditional route starting on the west coast at St Bee’s where Wainright recommends that walkers dip their booted feet in the Irish Sea! The path then ends on the east coast at Robin Hood’s Bay, where the ritual foot dipping takes place once more, this time in the North Sea.
Not content with hiking almost 500 miles, we are then jetting off to the USA to walk in the footsteps of one of America’s greatest environmentalists, Scottish born John Muir, hiking a challenging 211 mile trail across California’s Sierra Nevada, named in his honour.
John Muir photographed by Professor Francis M Fritz in 1907. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
The John Muir Trail passes through Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, which showcase some of the USA’s most stunning natural scenery. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite National Park is internationally recognised for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. Our visit there in autumn 2011 is what prompted Wayne to put the JMT at the top of his bucket-list.
Stunning reflections of Half Dome on our visit to Yosemite in November, 2011.
I, on the other hand, needed some more encouragement. (211 miles hiking and camping mostly in wilderness is not everyone’s cup of tea!) But I was soon on board with the idea after being motivated and inspired by The Muir Project.
After watching the trailer for their own JMT hike, ‘Mile, Mile & A Half’ how could anyone not be inspired?! The whole set of trailers have become our regular Sunday morning viewing!
After four attempts at getting a permit reservation, we will be officially starting The John Muir Trail on 29th August 2014 from the northern terminus at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley as we were the lucky ones to get a ‘Merced Through Pass’. (These are really difficult to get hold of as daily numbers on the trail are limited.)
Yosemite is one of our favourite National Parks in the USA. We’ll be starting The John Muir Trail from Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley and have permits to hike up Half Dome on Day 1.
For almost all of the 211 mile length of the John Muir Trail, we’ll be hiking in the High Sierra backcountry through wilderness areas. Friends have asked us whether we’re worried about bears, but I’d say I’m more bothered about not being able to wash my hair everyday! But this is part of the reason we are embarking on such a journey, merely to appreciate the simple things in life and see the world’s natural wonders while we can.
A Penny A Mile
700 miles will not be easily accomplished. We recognise this will be a huge challenge for us, but nowhere near the battle that people face when diagnosed with cancer. So we have decided to complete our long distance hike in aid of a charity close to our hearts, Macmillan Cancer Support.
Over the last few years, having witnessed the devastating effects of cancer on family and friends and the invaluable work that Macmillan nurses do to ease the suffering and pain that our loved ones have had to endure, we decided that we’d like to help raise some money for this fantastic charity.
Please support our ‘Summer 700’ hike by donating a penny a mile to Macmillan.
So what we’ve done is named our epic hike of 700 miles this summer, TrekSnappy’s ‘Summer 700’ and set up a JustGiving page where people can make a small donation. We’re not asking for anything big. And we’d like to stress that we are funding this entire trip ourselves. But as we are hiking 700 miles, we’d like to ask people to take the time to just donate a ‘penny a mile’. That works out at £7 in total!
If you’d like to make a donation, click on the link below to go to our JustGiving page.
It’s sad to think that cancer will affect one in three people. No one should have to face this terrible disease alone, so please support the amazing work and dedication of the Macmillan nurses by making a donation. This is such a worthwhile charity. You never know, you may be the one needing their help someday.
Preparing For The Pennine Way, Coast to Coast and John Muir Trail
We are currently training for our mammoth hike by walking every other day. Our next post will detail more of our preparations and show you what light-weight kit we have chosen to help us complete the 700 miles.
A ‘long’ training walk in our local area in preparation for our ‘Summer 700’.
You can follow us on our journey and see how we get on with hiking each trail by looking at our blog where we’ll map our route, post lots of photos and give regular updates of our progress.
So keep following our journey here or on our TrekSnappy Facebook page, and please donate if you can!