Posts Tagged With: hiking

South West Coast Path: A Mad Scramble for a Room

We spent two nights in Braunton, where we discovered a bustling town center.

Our restful two nights ended in a flurry of anxiety when I discovered an email last night buried in our junk folder. Our reservation for tonight (Saturday), one that had been confirmed last February, had been canceled! Madly searching for an alternative proved fruitless Friday night, everyplace we called was booked. Finally, this morning, after some determination and creative problem solving, we found an alternative and managed to avoid a night on the park bench.

This morning the path led us out of Braunton, upstream alongside the River Taw to Barnstaple where we stopped for tea, then crossed the river, where we turned and followed the same river back downstream to Instow. Not the most inspiring walk, but the sun was shining and we knew we’d have a roof over our heads at the end of the day.

I suggested we grab a bottle of gas station wine and some KFC from the takeout next to our room. I was tired, but while I was showering Reg made other plans. “We’ll have to walk about a mile, he said, but I found a pub that looks like it might be a little better than Kentucky Fried Chicken.”

I wasn’t eager to make the almost two-mile round trip walk to dinner, but the place was awfully cute and the fish and chips delicious.
Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

South West Coast Path: So Many Stairs

Sue climbs a flight of the 30,000 stairs on England’s South West Coast Path. No, I did not add a zero. But I am adding as we walk. So far, 2,159 stairs in five days, 64 miles, and 13,200 feet of ascent.

But this is not a story best told by the numbers.

Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

South West Coast Path: Beach Walks

Walking from Woolacombe to Braunton, we passed long stretches of white sand beaches.
This portion of coastline boasts some popular surfing spots.
We also carefully skirted the perimeter of an active military installation where the popping of gunfire urged us on.
Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

South West Coast Path: Ups and Downs

A quick pose before we hit the trail.

Day 1 dawned sunny and warm…an ideal start for our South West Coast Path trek. We had a bit of climbing ahead of us, 1,200 feet to be exact, along the shore, up a forested hillside and across green rolling cliff tops where sheep and cattle grazed.

And then we plunged back down to sea level, absolutely straight down. It was a knee-busting descent that left us both wobbly at the bottom. The path has numerous days with climbing far more challenging than today, so this was a bit of a wake up call, and a good reminder for us to pace ourselves. We have many more miles to go.

Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

South West Coast Path: Endless Anticipation

It has been six months since we sat down with guidebooks, maps and iPads to book the lodgings for our South West Coast Path trek.  At the time, the trip was well in the future so we were fairly relaxed about the plans.  Now that our September start date is just around the corner, the pre-trek jitters are beginning to surface…everything from “Will our backpacks arrive when we do?” to “Can we conquer the endless, daily ups and downs the path demands?”  Mostly, I think, we are simply ready to just get going; to take that first step and announce, “We’re off!”

To get in the spirit and to offer support, we joined the South West Coast Path Association. As a part of our membership, we received a copy of their guide (pictured above) which includes, in addition to the above trail map, details of every aspect of walking England’s longest way-marked footpath.

The entire path is 630 miles, beginning in Minehead, Somerset and following the coastline down and around to Poole Harbour, Dorset. As you might imagine, that is a far too ambitious goal for carryoncouple. If all goes well, we will complete our trek at the most westerly point of mainland England, Land’s End, West Cornwall, 260 miles (give or take) from our Minehead starting point.

We’ll see you soon…on the trail!

Categories: South West Coast Path | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Thank You George Mahood

www.facebook.com/267303656684896/posts/2225309644217611

We were thrilled when author George Mahood posted an enthusiastic shout-out for Reg’s book – Camino Sunrise: Walking With My Shadows on his Facebook page. You can read George’s kind words by clicking the above link.

George has published a handful of books himself, based on his own entertaining and often outrageous adventures. I hope you’ll check them out. Happy reading!

Categories: Camino de Santiago | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Teacup and a Chimney

The day began on the Teacup Trail.
Our plan was to reach the Thunder Mountain Trail which would lead us around Chimney Rock and up to a viewpoint.
We managed to reach the base of the chimney.

While the trail up to the base of the chimney stack was well-worn and doable, it wasn’t easy. We later realized that what we scrambled up was an informal (not on the map) trail and not the recommended viewpoint we had been searching for. However, the view we had was pretty darn good!

Looking out over Sedona and beyond to the Red Rock Scenic Byway.
Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lost in the Granite Dells

The Granite Dells spill into Watson Lake reservoir.

Several folks insisted the great hiking through unusual rock formations (know as Granite Dells) just outside the city of Prescott, Arizona was not to be missed. We packed our lunch, filled our water bottles and set off over the hill to see what all the fuss was about.

We began our walk along the Peavine Trail.
A network of trails wrapped around, through and sometimes over the unusually shaped Granite Dells.

These granite boulders were formed 1.4 billion years ago, slowly exposed and shaped by erosion and weathering. Wandering through this geologic wonderland is like entering another world.

We loved the walking, but finding a shady spot for lunch wasn’t easy.
Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Red Rock Thrills

This was the high point of our hike.

The HiLine trail took us up, down and all around Cathedral Rock, connecting us with the Baldwin Trail and then to the Templeton Trail, an 8-mile Loop that took us back to where we began.

Feeling small among the rocks near Sedona.

Back on the valley floor after circling Cathedral Rock.

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Cure for Post-Super Bowl Blues


Looking for a path away from the post-Super Bowl blues? Check out our short slide show from the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Categories: Tour du Mont Blanc | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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