Walk completed August 28, 2011

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Decision

I love to walk, and I love to walk long distances even more. My long distance resume includes Wainwright's Coast to Coast in England, the West Highland Way in Scotland, the Irish Coast to Coast, and the Shackleton Crossing of Antarctica's South Georgia Island -- the latter being only 25 miles, but the most difficult trek I've ever done. When not on a long distance walk, I train in Yosemite National Park. You can't find a better playground than Yosemite, and it's in my own backyard.

So why would I trade a summer's hiking in Yosemite for a walk in Britain? I had narrowed my summertime hiking holiday to two alternatives:

1. Walking the world famous 210 mile John Muir Trail -- whose start in Yosemite and finish on the summit of Mt. Whitney are both within a few hours' drive from my home; or

2. Walking the lesser known (at least in the U.S.) 1200 mile End to End Trail from John O'Groats to Land's End -- from the northeastern tip of Scotland to the southwestern tip of England.

To decide, I weighed the advantages of JOGLE against the disadvantages of the JMT:

Advantages of John O'Groats to Land's End:

• Summers in Britain are less dry
• No dust on the trails
• No real mountains
• Midges are small
• More beer in a pint
• A 3-month holiday from work

Disadvantages of the John Muir Trail:

• Rain gear goes unused

• Some trails may have snow
• At least 50% of the trails are uphill
• Bears are large
• No pubs
• A 3-week holiday from work

So there you have it. Stay with me over the summer, and find out if I made the right decision.
Email me at My1200milesummer@gmail.com

My Yosemite backyard: