Saturday, May 19

A change would do you good

I awoke to the sound of Sheryl Crow on the radio early this morning. It's a song I've heard any number of times, and dismissed it sometime ago as a nice tune but not one that especially caught my interest.

But today, as I came to, I lay there listening to the beat and the lyrics.

'A change would do you good'

Indeed. Why not? A good idea.

So instead of my usual Saturday walking haunts, to stretch the dogs legs, and my mind, I decided on something different as I got into the car.

No idea what. Just drive into the New Forest, to a familiar area, and make it up as I go.

The result was a circular route, that started in the middle of one of my other routes, ended up in the middle of no-where, and then a quick leap frog to tag onto another circular route.

Different paths. Even a different direction to travel from normal. And different sights- a field of grazing deer, with one albino in the herd. A very young foal running from sheer exuberance of life. The mare watching on.

'I thought you were singing your heart out to me'

Led Zep on the MP3 player accompanying me as I went. For some reason familiar music today sounding sharper and more evocative than normal.

'Hello it's me, I'm not at home; If you'd like to reach me, leave me alone'

That's if you can even find me. At times I wasn't totally certain where I was supposed to be. Well I knew the area, but as for the precise spot……..familiar side tracks somehow becoming unfamiliar when approached from a different direction, and at speed.

'A change would do you good'

Eventually I ended up at a tea room in Burley sometime later, watching a horde of cyclists leave. A tea garden full of detritus behind in their wake. Oblivious to other forest users it seemed.But another mystery solved - I always wondered where they went to each Saturday.

And in the sun I reflected. Sometimes its good to go and get yourself a little lost.

A change does do you good.


Sometimes I think we plan our routes too thoroughly in advance. Years ago I would just go and explore when out solo - I always carried a map but would only have a vague objective in mind. For the first part of my day I would simply walk to see what was over the next hill - I would get the map out at lunchtime to locate myself and then plan a route back to my start point.

Recently I read of a technique to improve navigation skills - scan a section of map into editing software - select circular areas around start point, checkpoints and objective and then remove the map detail in between. Print out the result - mainly a blank page and use it to navigate. (Given that bearings and distances between the circles are still accurate). Of course one needs a real map as backup!

Have never tried it yet but may give it a go at the meet.
Sounds fun. As for me this will be my first visit to the Lakes where my destinations and routes haven't already been prepared. Just winging it ths time. Which gives some interesting opportunities for risk/route safety
I think you might find it very satisfying - the 'freedom' to make route decisions on the spot according to the immediate conditions or according to your whim - "hrrm that looks like an intersting tarn over there - I may just wander over for a look see"
i agree, but i'm also wary I'm soloing
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