Anne K. K. Berg and myself, Geir Johnsen, are planning to celebrate my 60th. birthday in a slightly unusual way: We want to conquer the Pennine way from Kirk Yetholm to Edale. Like our ancestors we will cross the North Sea, but unlike the Vikings, we find it better to have the landing of our troops in the north. Then we plan to advance south as fast as the environment allows :-)
According to the literature available, the distance seems to vary between 400 and 467 km.
I don't intend to measure every meter to find the exact distance. I'm not even sure we will WALK the entire distance, but we do want to cover the distance somehow...
So far we have prepared ourselves by making packing lists, deciding how to, what to and when. Some physical training has been necessary, including a lot of walking in all kinds of weather: Once Anne invited some friends of us "out for a late dinner". We all love Anne for her crazy plans, but wen we finally came back to the cars an hour before midnight, in pouring rain and after an hour's walk along a road closed due to the danger of land slides and falling rocks (?), we really thought the friendship was over.
Anne with packed dinner up Mt. Godøyfjellet April 2016.
How wrong could we be! We all agreed it had been a memorable happening, and our friends wanted to be invited to the next event!!
I think we are physical fit to conquer the Pennines now, the big question is if we are up to it mentally. I mean, Great Britain is not known for its stable summer weather! How long will we be able to carry on if the rain continuously pours down day after day?
We have been to England before: Early morning at Tan Hill 2010.
This is the plan:
In good Viking spirit, we send a group of intelligence officers one day in advance. That group will consist of Anne's two sons (Erik and Adrian). Those two are very easy to mislead. They have a good nose for pubs, bars and so on... To keep them on track we also send Trine as their commanding officer.
Then on Thursday, June 9th, Anne and myself take off from Vigra airport at 6:00 in the morning. Not to draw any attention, we first go to Oslo. There we run through the terminal to catch the plane for Stocholm. At this point any spies are probably lost, so we finally head for Edinburgh to team up with the advance party.
If everything works out, we will all enjoy a good breakfast somewhere near Kirk Yetholm on Friday morning. Friday morning, June 10th we start attacking the hills below Mt. Cheviot. Then there is no way back. The plan is to put all the heavy gear into the backpacks of the youngsters, hoping this will slow them down enough for us oldies to keep up with them. But we need to push hard. We only have 5 days to get to Alston. On the 15th we are supposed to meet two Viking agents, so very English and well established in England that no one will suspect them of being Viking cahoots.
I suppose we will spend a day or two in Alston before the advance party leaves us to go home.
After that Anne and I have to push on hard again, to team up with our re-enforcement party, arriving in Gargrave on June 24th. That group consists of my son, his wife and their 3 children. They will walk with us for 5 days (?) before they make a noisy escape to Blackpool, leaving the two oldiec once more to the silence of the track.
Then there is only "a short sprint", and we are in Edale.
As you see: Easy as a walk in the park. Or... Well, when I'm involved you should always expect the un-expected! On previous occasions I have encountered landslides, avalanche, bird strike on takeoff, earthquake, volcanic eruption and flooding. Oh, yes, not to forget that time when customs officers thought we were East European smugglers, and came to arrest us in the deep forests of Eastern Norway in the middle of the night...
I hope the intelligence group will report their findings in due cause. The two oldies will for sure write reports whenever we find some Internet connection.
I think this is all for now.