Well 2019 has been a tumultuous year. I lost a job, spent 6 months unemployed, struggled with anxiety and depression during that time. Starting volunteering with the National Trust, then got a new job with the National Trust. Got huge pains throughout my arms and hands doing the ranger volunteering work that I was doing, so had to stop doing that. Continued working in the kitchens at the Trust, then right at the end of the year I got a new job with the Valuation Agency. So I’m officially a Civil Servant. From a starting point of a steady job as an IT manager and looking to move house and get a larger mortgage, to losing all that, and ending up sitting in bed trying to convince myself to get up, fighting with depression before pulling on my boots again to start walking. And then walking a whole lot more, which resulted in a lot of walks in the first 6 months of the year.
I ended up this year with 55 walks, which beats last year by 1 ( I still have one walk to write about from mid December, I’m a bit behind currently). I would have comfortably beaten last year but for the terrible end to the year weather wise and a silly work rota which meant I had hardly any time off from 10th December. I had 2 walks in November and just one in December, which is pathetic really and no walks between Christmas and New Year which is a first for me. The weather seemed to conspire against me, my odd day off coincided with heavy rain, or as is the case in December, it meant heading to a Christmas fair somewhere or shopping for something.
That said I’ve had some of my best ever walks this year. I’ve also added another 100 tors to my total Dartmoor list, I’ve ticked off a few more Bodmin tors and my Wainwright fells have hit 163, which leaves me with 51 to do. This final part has meant for the first time that I have started looking at how many walks I would have left, how many visits up north have I got to do. My last Wainwright fell hasn’t changed, and it will be Haystacks (as it is for many, many others) but I’ve completed my first Wainwright book this year, with the Far Eastern Fells now done. Lots of work and walks still to be done in the west and south though!!
As for 2020, well I have no plans, things will only change if I make too many plans. Although I hope to get out more than this year, especially in the second half of the year. Perhaps take the boys to Bodmin Moor and some coastal path walks again would be very good. And keep chipping away at the Wainwrights, down below 50 at least!
So what about my favourite outings of the year, below is my favourite 5 walks of the year, it was tricky to get down to 5 but these are the stand out ones
Looking back my favourite has to be the snowy Hameldown walk, one that will live long in the memory and the photo at the top of this post is from that walk. The walk with the boys up Helvellyn was especially good, it was my second time up that fell and getting a view from the top was very, very special. The final point has to be hitting 100000 hits on the website during this year, as I type now I’m just shy of 125000 which is amazing and very humbling that so many people read this site during the 4 1/2 years it has been going. So with that I will thank all of you for visiting treksandtors and wish you all a Happy New Year and happy walking in 2020.
Steve aka treksandtors