I’ve had a couple of emails recently, asking about the progress of my Coast to Coast 2009 journal. I know this is well overdue and although I’ve started writing it up, I’m a long way from completing it – so I must apologise to those who are waiting. Sorry. Thanks for the emails though and as long as I know people are waiting to read it, I have the motivation to get cracking on it.

I’ve also not been publishing any of my recent day walks and although I’ve been out every weekend for the past seven or eight weeks, I’ve kept the actual walks under wraps. Both the lack of a C2C journal and the lack of day walk reports are down to a single factor…

I’ve been working on another (semi-secret) project – so keep this under your hats… I’ve been writing a guide book. It came to me a few weeks ago; I love writing (and apparently people like what I write) and I love walking – especially multi-day walks. Put the two together and you have the perfect project. I’m starting small though; the multi-day path I have chosen is only 4 (possibly 5 at a pinch) days long, but that seemed like a reasonable test for my first attempt at this sort of thing.

The path (I won’t release the name of it for the time being) is not a National Trail and indeed most people won’t have heard of it. There is a guide book for it already, but it was written quite a few years ago and has had only minor updated in that time. I think I can produce a much more effective guide for the walk.

The biggest challenge has been the maps. You can’t publish a guide book without including maps and although I think of myself as quite creative I can’t draw for toffee. I had a crack at a simple mile or two of path and it looked like my grandson had been scribbling on the paper. I was quite lucky though – I mentioned my dilemma to a friend and he stated that he could draw maps. I sent him the same couple of miles I’d been playing with and he sent back a lovely pen and ink type rendition of the map. What a genius.

I’ve been walking the route over the last few weeks; taking lots of photograph and lots of notes – plotting the walked route on Memory Map and then writing up the directions. The route is almost complete – only a couple of sections still to do and I’m very happy with the narrative. It’s quite detailed, which I think a guide book should be – it covers every stile, every gate and every change in direction. I’ve decided to number the walking instructions so that it’s easier to keep track of where you’re up to.

The maps are coming along – we’re about 1/2 way through them and I’m absolutely delighted with the way they look – very professional and detailed enough to use on their own to walk the route. I’m also expecting some additional material from another friend (Tex), who is doing some historical notes for interesting places along the route. All in all it’s looking good.

So, if anyone fancies test driving my book let me know. It should be finished late this year, or possibly early 2010. It’s a four day walk taking in some fantastic scenery; it’s not too challenging, the days are about 14-15 miles each and the total height gain is less than 10,000 feet for the whole route. It’s in the north of England, with reasonable access routes.

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