7 May 2010

No map, no compass

On Thursday night the plan was to run the last bit home from work again. I had planned a new route which included about 5 miles of paths and tracks that, although not far from home, I had never covered before. Before we arrived at the start of the run I realised I had left the map on my desk at work.

Should I try and follow the planned route or fall back on a well known route home? Would I get a sense of freedom just running, following paths as they appear, making choices based on feel. I wouldn't have to get the map out and consult it. No comparisons between symbols on the map and the real world. I have sometimes thought about doing a backpacking trip over two or three days with no planned route, just venture into the hills and follow my nose. Would I spend more time enjoying my surroundings.

"I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in" - John Muir

I know it is supposed to be about the journey not the destination, but I like to know the where the journey is taking me. As I was no more than 10 miles from home I could not get too lost. But as I ran over Eggardon Hill and through Powerstock Common I still spent time at path junctions scratching my head, wondering if one of the choices would lead to a dead end. I like the sense of control a map gives you, even if it is misguided sometimes.

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