Pre-work hike

Pre-work hike by Andrew Gills
Pre-work hike, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

Today I added my hiking stove, toilet paper, first aid kit, towel and 2L water to my pack. It now weighs 10.2kg.

I head off through the grass field listening to the birds chirping in the trees. The puddles of water are large and deep, forcing me to get my feet wet. I cross the gravel road into the bush and the worries of my world drift away.

The fire trail takes me uphill; it’s a good challenge with the pack. I stay on the fire trail as it follows the ridge line before dropping steeply downhill to a narrow valley. Everything is lush and green, such a contrast to the harsh dryness we had just a few months ago.

From the valley I walk back to the road along single tracks. The first switches back and forth up the hill through the grass trees. From the top I turn left down a spur until I reach the single track that contours on the north western side of the ridge I walked on the way out.

It’s peaceful and I have space to let my mind wander. I daydream about the Great North Walk that I’m training for and about the camping trip my parents and I are taking at Easter (destination to be confirmed). I think about the fun I will have as a Scout leader, helping 11-14 year olds become confident in the outdoors. And about where my studies might take me. It’s all part of the pleasure I derive from training.

Total: 7.62km hike with 10.2kg pack

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