I've just finished Walking Home: A Poet's Journey by Simon Armitage. What a fantastic adventure! Hiking the Pennine Way has now made my to-do list. I asked my father if he would try it with me when he retires and he seems game for it. And now I've started the book referenced by Armitage (Footsteps by Richard Holmes) as part of his inspiration for his epic hike. I suppose I never thought too much of it, but rambling seems to be the sport of choice for poets and writers.
Before my current period of suburban domesticity, I used to hike often. I enjoyed hiking alone and had a few secret spots in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. I even had my own private waterfall. Well I suppose it was shared in some important respects. During the week I was often the only visitor. On weekends during the autumn, it could draw a handful of visitors. On the drive back to Washington DC, I would stop off at the greasiest burger stand and indulge myself.
But now I have a toddler. Super cute as she is, she comes with an incredible amount of baggage. It would seem a bit selfish -- just a bit -- for me to take off for a few days of hiking without her and her mother. So now my hikes are limited to a few hours on the golf course.