And welcome 2023! As we leave 2022 in our rear view mirror, the new year is already underway with a vengeance. And what a year this promises to be for FromSwamptoSummit and friends.
It needs to start with seriously getting back into shape – at least the sort of shape that will allow for some regular 15 mile hiking days. To that end, I’m trying to convince J, and our faithful training partners S and M to sign up for something called the Mammoth March.
It’s a serious of hikes held throughout the country – this one is 20 miles to be accomplished in 8 hours and takes place in the Charles H. Bronson State Forest here in Central Florida. We are already familiar with that location – you’ll recall we hiked there in 2020, as recounted in Lost in Florida – Staring Down Charles Bronson (a decent title if I do say so myself). While I think that speed and distance quite doable, it’s definitely going to take some practice. You can see from the below it’s not a straightforward path, and there are a fair amount of saw palmettos and other natural dangers to avoid.
Now, careful readers will have noted the teaser above and will be asking but why the need to train for 15 mile hikes. Well, because the latter half of this year will hold many opportunities for travel – J will be on sabbatical! To take this one step at a time, our plans for July have ranged from Egypt and Morocco to the Shetland Islands….and now we seem to have settled on Edinburgh, a hike through the Yorkshire Dales that includes portions of the Coast to Coast and the Pennine Way, followed by time in London, and then another hike that circumnavigates Guernsey, which is one of the Channel Islands.
The dales hike in particular has some long days, including two 15 milers. It’s time to resurrect the hiking poles and get out there. As I was running errands today I happened by what was once one of the premier malls in Orlando. It can’t even be described as being on death’s doorstep – it’s clearly crossed the threshold. Anchored now by a low end Macys, a Dillard close out store, and some sort of flooring or tile place. I don’t want to end up like that mall – it’s time for some adventure.
While not a mountaintop, I think that the dales can count as a summit and the island of Guernsey as a swamp! Of course, the below isn’t Guernsey; it’s a view of Lake George in New York, taken this past summer.