Why 36 Miles?

In the Quantock Hills on the west coast of England is a trail once walked by Samuel T. Coleridge. He was a big fan of walking and often roamed for days on end, sleeping at a friend's before continuing on his journey. Today tourists and fans of Coleridge can walk that same trail, though since it's through the hills, it's more of a hike
According to Celtic Trails, this is what the intrepid hiker can expect: The 36 mile walk begins from Nether Stowey where Coleridge lived to Wordsworth’s House in Alfoxton Park.You ascend the slopes of the Quantocks Hills, designated Englands first AONB, a patchwork quilt of high moorland heath, woodland farmland, and deep wooded combs, where with an early start you catch sight of some of the 1000 plus Red Deer.

Your route continues over the rolling Brendon Hills, through well farmed rich red soil pastures segregated by beech hedges and interspersed by winding combs and small rural hamlets and into the Exmoor National Park.

Your final section of this splendid walk continues along the beautiful high central moorland edges of Exmoor, and the highest point along the way at Lype Hill, with expansive views over to the North Somerset Coast and Wales. You skirt Dunkery Beacon descending to the end of your walk at Porlock and the sea at Porlock Bay where it joins the spectacular South West Coast Path.

I've researched this trail for a book I wrote, and a part of me wished I could take that walk, see what he saw, write poetry, and generally pretend I was somebody else. Because in reality, I could never do that. In reality, I am a slug. In reality, I weigh 365 pounds and I can't remember the last time I went for an actual walk. But all of that is going to change now. I've quit smoking entirely, I've quit sugar, and I don't drink. I've been to the doctor to get an official diagnosis of depression so I can start anti-depressants to help combat the sense of fatigue, laziness, and pure lack of caring that characterizes my life. I've bought a new pair of walking shoes. Tomorrow it begins. My goal is to walk these hills on May 14, 2011. That gives me fourteen weeks to whip this lump of lard into shape. 

Here's a picture of me taken on the day of this writing, February 6, 2011.


The purpose of this website is to chronicle the next fourteen weeks with reports of my daily walks, what I eat, my general feelings about myself, and hopefully a spectacular photo gallery of the Quantock Hills. I'm going to try to walk outside as much as possible, weather permitting, but when it's too bitterly cold or snowing, I will use the treadmill.