Saturday, 6 January 2018

The Conclusions of 2017

Wrapping 2017 at Baildon station.
Well, we all made it to 2018, which honestly surprises me after the unfolding stupidity of 2017 is considered, not a worse year than 2016, strangely, but certainly much stupider; much, much stupider. But we are not here to lament geopolitics and all that nonsense, but to instead mark the turn of another year and look back on my sixth walking season and to ponder once again the thought, what did we learn in 2017? Mainly, the reflection point is Despite the stresses, the Season was a success, as most of my walking plans came together for once, and most of the targets set back in February were achieved, despite the loss of impetus in both May and September, and the obvious lack of a Summer holiday to fit in another long distance trail. Setting my sights towards Bradford and Nidderdale turned out to be excellent choices, as both provided illuminations to the local walking territory that had not been expected, as finding a whole previously unseen city on your virtual doorstep provides so many new things to see without having to travel too far, whilst the next valley up from West Yorkshire proved to be a fine location for a break away and much closer than I'd thought it might be when summer's adventuring came around. The relatively tight focus of the year meant that I might not have ventured as afield as I might have planned, but keeping close to the territories around the city of Bradford and in the lands between the Wharfe  and the Nidd meant that a great deal of familiarity of previously alien lands was gained, and I honestly feel all the better for that. So we might have not travelled out over the Bronte Moors or up the higher reaches of Airedale, but in all a lot was gained in this tight focus, unlike the usual problems of not taking time out for rest, and failing to find any time to be sociable on my trails, indeed, I did the entire year solo, which ought to feel like an achievement, until you consider that I didn't get over to tramp in Lancashire with My Sister for a second consecutive year, or to get out with any of my walking friends, which I haven't done in any capacity since 2014 (!), a failure that I seem to lament every year.