Hike Southbound through Britain with Daryl May
Click for Northbound hike
DS38 Wall at Hawksheads
Above: Can anyone inform me what this structure is,near Hawksheads, Lancashire?
Below: Man works while dog sleeps
DS38 Barge on Lancaster canal
Days S33 - S43                                                                  North of England
Day S38 - Beetham to Galgate
Day S37                           Fine weather at last                               Day S39
  Southbound Home
    Start hiking here
Scottish Highlands
Central Scotland
    Southern Scotland
North of England
English Midlands
    English West Country

Northbound Home
Monday, March 31, 2008

Time of departure: 9.00 am
Time of arrival: 4.00 pm
Place departed: Beetham, Cumbria
Place arrived: Galgate, Lancashire

Miles: 18
Cum miles: 516.2
Percent complete: 53.2

Bed sign New Inn, Galgate *
Cost for bed only: 30 ($60)
  Overview of both hikes
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I know that I mention the weather a lot. That's undoubtedly because weather is so significant in hiking. Today, it was blue skies and a warming trend (to 50 degF, 10 degC) until early afternoon. Even then it stayed dry but overcast.

Unsurprisingly, I made good progress. My stride got in a groove. I didn't need many rests, and I could have covered more than the 18 miles I did. In the end, I stopped mainly because I found a convenient place to sleep. I'm also mindful that an excessively hard day "today" seems to result in a short day "tomorrow". It doesn't pay to overdo it.

In the middle of the day, my route took me along the Lancaster Canal, before taking a dirt bridlepath through Hawksheads to Bolton-le-Sands. I feel a special affinity to this shortcut, as if I've discovered what no one else knows. That's not true, of course, because you can see it on any hiking-quality map. Boot and horseshoe imprints can be seen side-by-side in the mud.

One of the intriguing things about isolating oneself by taking a long hike is the enjoyment you get from contact, by email or phone or in person, with one's friends. I mentioned meeting Richard and Linda yesterday. Alan Sloman, Gavin Meldrum and Ian Shiel are hikers who've generously kept in touch. My aerospace friend, John Gilbert, is constantly in contact, and we're planning an impromptu end-to-end night with his hiking club when I pass through Somerset. I also hear from Peter Price, and Robert Milner has generously offered me overnight accommodation with his sister-in-law, Shelagh in Glastonbury. (It's not clear whether Shelagh knows about the offer.) Not to forget John and Andrea Tippetts! It's Grand National weekend just coming up, and accommodation is going to be a problem. If their limousine were to spirit me to Dore on Friday evening, and bring me back to the exact same point Sunday early . . .

My former teacher, John Saunders, may visit me when I reach the Midlands, and Peter and Rosalind Bolton have offered an overnight bed - with transport to and from my route. Dave and Sylvia Howes, who greeted me in John o' Groats last May, also hope to make contact again. Bob Cartright plans to interview me for a podcast while on the hoof.

I also hear from readers of the journal whom I've never met, but who are fast becoming friends. Mark Alvarez, Chris Wright, Neil McKenzie are but the most recent. They're invariably sympathetic over my travails, and tight-lipped about my failings.

I've also heard from Mark Moxon, doyen of the hiking web, who's embarking on the interesting project of walking over the London underground for charity. That's not quite the contrived idea that one might think. Riding underground, each line and station start to take on their unique subterranean character. But aboveground London has been enormously shaped by the underground. Click here for more on Mark's unique project.

Day S37                                      2007 and 2008 Daryl May                                       Day S39