"Healthy Heart" AT Hike
My name is Ivor Wood and I am walking the Appalachian Trail (AT) under the trailname 'Stumbledwarf'. The AT is the longest marked footpath in the world. The record for completing this trail that ascends 16 times the height of Mt Everest over its length of 2189.2 miles (it changes every year) was set in 2015 at a few hours over 46 days – I will look to complete my walk with charitable support from well-wishers and friends in the acceptable time of 5 - 6 months. Visit www.appalachiantrail.org for a greater insight to this challenge.
I spent the first years of my working life in the frontline army, GLOSTER, having joined as a sixteen year old boy soldier. I left 33 years later as a Major (QM). On leaving the army I continued my working life keeping others out of harm’s way. Retiring at 60 will be a person that has worked every single day of his working life “man and boy”
I had a Triple Heart Bypass Operation in 2012 and ran my first mile 2 weeks after leaving hospital; it saw this as a ‘make’ or ‘break’ moment and, being here, in a very healthy state, 5 or so years on, it was clearly a ‘make’ moment: I was back at work as soon as I could find an insurer.
The British Heart Foundation was behind my 55 year rejuvenation and I vowed to give them something in return. This organisation works ceaselessly to educate, fix and rehabilitate needy individuals from all walks of life suffering from a plethora of ailments. They have educated, fixed and rejuvenated me and for that I will be eternally grateful.
In order to meet my challenge I came to the greater pool of humanity to assist me in raising the funds to get across the start line. Together we have have now got there. The rest is just a "walk in the woods" as they say and I will do that, with your support. Please get behind me and start raising some serious cash for the BHF. They are an international organisation, despite the name and their effort know no boundaries. Let our efforts know no boundaries either. Please help me get past the target figure by advertising our cause on the notice board at work, your social media sites, through your friends and family and your Herculean effort. Thank you to all in anticipation of your further support and efforts
On the 17th November I summited Mount Springer in Georgia and essentially put a full stop on a fantastic adventure that was full of kind, bright, happy, positive people (Young and Old), epic stories to equal those told by the people of middle earth and wondrous panoramic scenery that to my mind has no equal: I had completed my 6 month journey of the Appalachian Trail.
Having finished the trail, which was done in style in the company of an old Gloster friend for the last few days, I spent some time in small town America: eating, rescuing stranded canoeists, meeting the real Santa Claus, fighting my way out of my obsolete beard, making new acquaintances, visiting other “Rocks” and the first gold mine that started the first gold rush back in the days of way back when.
I started the next adventure on the 25 of November when I embarked on the 3 leg sojourn back to good old “Clackers” in deepest darkest Essex, where it all began 7 months previously.
The first leg, a flight from Atlanta to Louisville KY was without incident and having retrieved my bags I left the airports second floor internal flight arrivals and went straight to the first floor international departures. Time was not an issue and I happily sauntered along without a care in the world. Having booked in at “ticketing” I made my way back down the concourse to my new departure gate but now I was aware that I was an “ii”, my visa having expired some 16 days earlier, and was gearing myself up for the inevitable tussle I would be having at the end of the few steps that remained before I was at the TSA desk. The TSA agent simply asked if he had seen me before? He then explained that I looked like someone that he had seen on TV and we ended up at Sean Connery!!! again!!! I have to laugh when this happens because Sean Connery has his watch on his left wrist and I wear mine on the right.
Onward then to the UK where Mrs W was patiently waiting at arrivals, LHR: T2, for the man that had transformed himself from Stumbledwarf, the short and hairy intrepid adventurer, through being Sean Connery…. Yet again, into the happy smiling Ivor Wood that she had seen fit to marry many years earlier: I was home and ready for a proper cup of tea…..
Onward then to Clackers and the future that was now to follow.
Having left the trail behind me it was time to tidy up the loose ends, pull in the final donations and hand my charitable donation over to the BHF representative.
Throughout the course of the fund raising, which I will remind readers was to: (A)get me across the start line and (B)to raise funds for the BHF. I received £11847 in donations either through the funding Platform Gofundme, who incidentally have been superb throughout and made a substantial donation themselves, or in cash and cheques. The cost of the service provided by Gofundme was at a % rate of the total that they handled which left me with a very acceptable sum to donate to the BHF of £6551.52.
In addition to this various folk gave material items, their time and effort to help me get on the road. Had they not contributed the final figure that I would donate on the behalf of all donors would have been considerably less than that presented. The final financial breakdown is:
Donated through GoFundMe: £11119
Donated through cash and cheques: £728 (Some of which was in USD)
Gofundme service charge: £838.04
Cost of getting me across the SL: £4457.38
Donation to BHF: £6551.58
The personal cost to me was: financially – buy the book when it gets published to find that out! Physically – nothing, I am physically in better shape now than when I started. Mentally – I am content and at ease and still trying to stay away from all things negative. Overall, my waist is now a comfortable 30 inches, maybe 31. My neck is 15” from 14.5” and I am now around 70 Kg so have gained about 3.5 Kg. My cooking skills have improved from Raman Noodles and Tuna Singles to Pork and Pear Cassoulet, my feet still give discomfort when I initially put weight on them but that is only for the first 2 or 3 paces; the fabled “Hiker Hobble”, and my knees wake me up if I am lying on my side in bed and they are together (the solution being to put the Hammock up in the bedroom....) yeah right! At the time of writing I have a stinking cold, probably flu, and rue the day I came back to humanity again.
Thank you Mrs W for letting this happen, Thank you to the twins for producing two wonderful grandchildren and thank you K for getting a grown up job
Thank you to everyone that gave me support on the trail, prior to going on the trail and materially throughout the trail. Thank you to all of those that donated, thank you to the Gofundme team for their support and donation and thank you for the kindness shown, without exception, to all of those that I encountered along the way, even the old guy that called me a “Hobo”. To all, I cannot express my thanks enough.
So now it is time to write the book.
Warm and fond regards to all
Week 27: The NOC at Nantahala NC to Springer Mountain, GA
Mile point: 2189.1
Miles remaining: 0
Time spent on trail: 6
Nights in Hammock: 5
The Week that Was.
I have reached the end of the trail! The forest fires, which were confirmed as being started by arsonists played a part in the end but only a small part. As mentioned in the last update The trail was closed between the NOC and Deep Cut Gap so that is where I rejoined the trail. A day later they closed a further 19 miles. The trail closure effectively compressing the SoBo bubble with those behind being thrown forward so it all became a bit of a party again. I didn't see all of the bubble that I had walked with but I did get to say goodbye to a few.
The terrain wasn't to harsh but the rocks were tiresome. Some of the hills were nasty 1700 – 2000 foot ascents and there were way too many “Gaps”, but the bits in between were tolerable with the trail underfoot very pleasing. There were also too many little speed bumps on the way with Mount Springer being no more than that, a final speed bump!
The trail was smokey in many places and the inverted weather conditions. Tended to cause the smoke to sit densely in the valleys. There was a full moon all week and it rose at sunset and stayed up for the entire night. The nights were clear and cool.
I met up with Steve “Fluff” Jewell for the final 70 miles, which we managed to crack in 6 and a bit day's. We managed a brisk 10 miles on the first and 16 on the penultimate day finishing off with an early start to get up Mt Springer in a 4.3 mile dash for the line. The weather was fantastic with azure blue skies, a sharp snap in the mornings and cool but not over cold nights. Steve served his full term with the Glosters and moved to the USA some 6 years ago where he now lives. When Steve found out what I was planning he immediately offered to walk the last few miles with me through his adopted home state of GA and I was pleased to be able to help him hold up to that commitment by getting to GA In the first instance and meeting him just 9 miles into the state: only another 2180.1 to go now and he will complete his AT adventure!
We were like school kids out there. Chatting and giggling at memories as well as confessions and revelations: had there not been a total fire ban we would no doubt have had a camp fire in the evenings and would never have got (gotten in American) any sleep. As it was we were in the bags by 19:00 and up early to start in the mornings. The moon was full and bright every morning of this week and we walked for an hour and a half at dawn in its glow before breakfast which we would generally take at first light in a comfortable area. Steve lost 5 lbs, sweated his way up the hills and chatted his way along the flats and descents. Without fail he was considerably faster than me, as is everyone on the trail, up the hills and the bonus for me here was that he would have a brew on when I finally got to the top - delightful! Fortunately I am like a mountain goat on the ascents, rocks and flat so easily held my own there. I am afraid whatever is causing my calf cramps has not changed in the whole time that I have been walking. Time to see the quack I feel. Having Steve’s company for the last week of the hike was a real Boost. Until I had that level of company I hadn't realised how much I had missed it.
Mount Springer was not the monster it purported to be. It started very slowly and got a little steeper as it rose ahead of us. Steve went on ahead to do the final video and at 09:30 on the 17 November the trail became a thing of the past.
Steve excelled at “Yogi-ing” (getting food and water by looking sad and forlorn) from the many section hikers on the trail (the perfect target for yogi-ing) and our food and water supply blossomed to the point were weight, rather than content, became the issue.
This will be the penultimate Update with the final update being published once I have gotten (Got for the proper English speakers) home and reconciled the accounts. THE GoFundMe DONATION SITE WILL BE CLOSED OUT ON December 1ST so all donations must be made by that date if donating through that means and for those unwilling to donate on line Cheques can be sent to my home address. Those wishing to donate by cheque should email me for my home address at:
Cheques received after 1 Dec will be returned to sender if a return address is provided or torn up if not. A note of thanks will be sent to all hose that donate in this manner.
HEALTHY HEART THANKS
It has been another astonishingly good week of donations so Healthy Heart Thanks go out to all those that have donated. Big Healthy Heart Thanks go out to Mike and Rocky for meeting both Steve and I at the Mt Springer Car Park and taking us the 35 miles to Steve’s house. Thank you Steve for Yogi-ing a lift home whilst in the mountains!!!
Great thanks also go out to all of the wonderful folk I met on the trail, the trail angels and magic providers, the maintainers and the public of little America who have been faultless in their support and kindness towards hikers in general. In particular I would mention:
Hal and Mary, Andy and Heidi, Lucy, Lisa, Mike and Rocky and others that I am not able to recall.
And also I extend thanks to all of those that I walked and shared thoughts, memories and time with:
Walking-Tree, Pringles, White-Walker, Mojo, That-Guy and Queen-of-Slugs, Honeybuns, Tyler, Thumper, Funk-Train, Wilson-Wilson, Hobbs and Calvin, Insect, Story and Spirit, Chainsaw, Bald Whistler, Achilles, Sailor Moon, Pretty Boy, Curry, Melted Shoe, Camp Shoes, double Dip, Marshal, Junko and others that too are and were memories but not recalled.
A good friend and fellow soldier passed on whilst both Steve and I were walking and I would like to dedicate this update to the memory of Dicki Dawes, a warrior’s warrior. Commiserations to Mel and the family; I am filled with sorrow for your loss.
Fond regards to all
Regards to all
Week 26 Standing Bear Hostel, TN to the NOC at Nantahala NC
Mile point: 1950
Miles remaining: 139
Time spent on trail: 8
Nights in Hammock: 6
The Week that Was.
Down to 12 and ¾ mpd with 14 walking days to go before Thanksgiving, the day that the USA grinds to a halt. The trail has been closed from mile 137 to mile 106. 31 miles due to uncontrolled forest fires so …. 101 miles in 14 walking days = 7 ½ mpd woohoooo!!!! Although I have enjoyed every pace and minute that I have hiked this trail I will be pleased to finish and with a gift of 31 miles, that were unexpected and out of my control to do anything about, I am not looking this gift horse in the mouth at all… in fact it need not have any teeth at all!!!
The trail has been much the same as it was last week with long hauls out of gaps of 5-7 miles up to 5000+ feet and dropping down to no lower than 3000. A few “speed bumps” which were quite sharp along the way but by and large the hills and mountains have been long haul, leafy and not unpleasant.
The Smoky Mountains are the most densely populated forest regions, in terms of black bears, on the trail so you can imagine my disappointment at not seeing one during the 10 days it took me to get through them. I imagine that they saw me though. If they didn't see me then they most certainly would have smelt me toward the end as I had run out of wet wipes and even the Old Spice Original was being tested. Incidentally, If you look on the back of the Old Spice deodorant it has a great quote that says “if your grandfather hadn't used Old Spice you probably wouldn't be here now” or words to that effect. How true that would be if grandma was a thru-hiker on the AT.
The trail is on fire and word on the street is that it is the work of arsonists or campers which amounts to the same thing I suppose. Hunters try and corral their prey with controlled fires that get out of control and campers, hikers included, are not as diligent as one would wish when it comes to controlling their camp fires. Add to this a glut of pyromaniacs and an abnormally dry year and the end result, whichever way, is uncontrolled forest fires in the southern forests of NC. The smoke can be smelt all over the trail and hangs in the air in layers. The layers of smoke vary in density depending on the weather conditions and play havoc with the asthmatics on the trail, me being one of them. Once above or below the bands the smoke is not really a problem but the smell of fire is strong at all heights. I have tried to capture this in the film strip that follows.
The forests are dry, the springs are dry, the streams are dry and generally the whole place is a tinder box waiting for a spark.
America is dry this year and crossing the Fontana Dam one sees that the reservoir is at least 50 feet lower that it should be and when you consider that this reservoir is the size of a big city, that equates to a lot of water!!!! (No hose pipe ban in the land of the free though!) Not to worry, all the tears that are being shed for Hilary Clinton and the tears of fears being shed now that Donald got the vote……. Will fill all of the reservoirs 10 times over!
I took an afternoon off in Gatlinburg, great fun! It is mini Blackpool away from the sea. Lots of gimmicky stuff and shops and tourists. It is a trail town some 13 miles from the trail but sells itself on it being at the heart of the Smoky Mountains: I drank Moonshine at the Moonshine Still and for $5 could do the Moonshine Tasting challenge… which I did! This, naturally, was followed by visiting the costume photo shop to have my photo taken as a rebel soldier, doing my laundry, having a shower and sleeping off the effects of the moonshine prior to demolishing a 16 oz ribeye steak and 2 locally brewed brown ales, which is the closest thing the US does to Bitter. The steak was delicious; medium rare, with mushrooms and fried onions…and yes, fries.
The next day I ascended the highest point on the trail at 6855 feet, including the fire tower, to look over TN and NC; Clingmans Dome…..and can you believe it? I couldn't get a phone signal to share the moment with Mrs W! In fact the whole of the Smoky Mountains was miserable in terms of phone signal which was a shame as there was much to show and much to talk about!
BREAKING NEWS further fires are reported in GA. Mile 30 to 37 has just been closed. Hopefully that will be open before I get there! The authorities are very strict when it comes to letting folk loose On the trail if there is any hint of danger. It is heavily nannied and in this case, justified. However, it is up to the individual to make the jump to get to the next safe start point which they advise.
I managed to make my jump forward with unanticipated ease. I arrived at the jump off point, which coincidentally was the same place that I had sent my box to, sat down, made a cup of tea, waited for the shop to open do I could retrieve my box and enjoyed the early smoke soaked Carolina morning. An SUV turned up, asked if I needed a shuttle to get somewhere and when I declined on the basis that the cost would be inhibitive I was offered the shuttle for free and to consider it Trail Magic in the circumstances. This didn't stop with a lift to Franklin but also included a McDonalds Breakfast and drop off at a hostel. Folk have been so kind on this trail, especially in the south. Another instance of such was a few days earlier when arriving at Fontana Dam. The trail maintainers that I had met whilst descending the mountain explained that they would be at the Fontana Hilton that night, the whimsical Name given to the shelter there, and asked if I, along with others, would like to join them for super that evening in Town. The short of it was 5 hikers joined them, each expecting to pay their ownway to find that the maintainers had happily paid our bills for us and that we should chalk it up to good old Trail Magic! How about that then?
Healthy Heart Thanks go out to all the trail angels and magicians that have made this week so memorable in terms of gifts, kindness and consideration with no expectations whatsoever and to this week's donators who collectively have taken us over our target figure of £10,000 but let's not get complacent hey??? The target was only a figure so don't be put off continuing to donate. Thanks then to a few habitual donators, one colossal donation, 2 very special donations from 2 special sisters a number from true friends and a few from first timers. Every one of the donations will make a difference.
Those that have pledged to donate way back when this was simply an idea, yet have been hanging on to see if they can donate the largest sum, the time has come to do so. Two more weeks on the trail and then back to the UK to give Mrs W a big hug and kiss, so time is passing.
Next week will see me teaming up with Fluff Jewel to do the last 70 or so miles and I look forward to that. Having only 8 miles a day to do will be pure luxury but imagine that we will opt for bigger miles and finish earlier. Let's hope the fires are dealt with by then.
The weather is getting cooler so make sure you have the warm gear with y’all and as soon as I get out of these here mountains the beard is destined for the barbers floor and a ribbon will be tied around my new pony tail to keep it off my shirt collar!
Regards to all
Week 24/25 Roan Mountain TN to Standing Bear Hostel, TN
Mile point: 1950
Miles remaining: 240
Time spent on trail: 10
Nights in Hammock: 9
The Week that Was.
Unexpectedly I am still managing 15 miles per day and although I whip myself for being slow going up the hills I am still making about 1.5 mph going up and 2.5 coming down. The days are getting shorter but the elevations are getting higher so the sun is up just that much earlier than when one is in the valleys. The down side of course is that it is that much colder at the higher elevations than at the lower levels….. it gets complicated! My walking day now covers the period between 0730 ish and 1930 ish (+ or – 10 mins) so a full 12 hours to walk, eat and drink tea. Water is still scarce so I am still carrying 8 lbs of the stuff which is around 3.5 ltrs. The hills tend to be higher and between now and the end of the trail I will be staying around 3500 – 6800 and all heights between. The hills are not that steep in all fairness but seem to go on forever. 5 – 7 miles up and the same down. The paths tend to zig zag up, hence the distance of travel from bottom to top as opposed to going straight up as was the case generally in Main and New Hampshire. A mile in ME and NH had you up to 4500 – 5000 where as a mile here has you up to around 700 – 1000. My preference is the short and sharp. The paths under foot are now covered in leaves and the trees denuded to around 60% , I guess and they hide all sorts of evils, not only the roots and sticky-up stones but the super slippery acorns as well. I live up to my name at least twice daily – or as Adge Cutler might have said if he had lived lng enough to pen a song about Stumbledwarf:
“he up’d and ripped and then he slipped an he did this twice daily – a werp, diddle werp, diddle werp, diddle werp”
Well I am now well and truly into the Smokey Mountains and there are supposed to be bears everywhere. Hikers are to stay at shelters so no more “Stealth Camping”. This means that one cannot just stop where one feels that the day’s walk is over but either has to stop short of minimum daily averages or goes on into the dark until the next shelter is reached. The shelters are positioned along the trail anywhere between 8 -12 miles apart so the tired hiker could find that the planned day may just have to be extended to stay within the enforceable rules or the day shortened and a game of catch-up hiking the next day. The reasons for this is clear as are the other rules pertaining to hikers in the Smokey’s i.e. Thru hikers are to yield to section hikers at the shelters, if the shelter is full, and a section hiker turns up even if this is in the silent hours! The rationale being that the Thru-hiker is better prepared to camp outside the shelter than the section hiker….. the shelters are set at the 8 – 12 miles separation to suit the section hiker too…. Baaaa humbug.
I will be visiting Gatlinburg in 2 days and am looking forward to the fun of the Blackpool of Tennessee. Tennessee seems to be about the hippest, cheesiest state in the whole of the USA. Memphis is a great fun town, Nashville is a great fun town and Gatlinburg is heralded as a great fun town too, so thumbs up to Tennessee: I just hope I can understand the folk there as it gets more difficult with every step I take going south.
The SoBo hiker is tripping over hostels now in stark contrast to the northern lengths of the trail. It seems that there is a hostel very 3 days or so. some of the super quick hikers can hit one a night which means they carry very little food, basic sleeping gear and the cloths they stand up in. these folk that started in the north with good weather are now trying to beat the cold that is coming. Good luck but I feel they are to late now… it's here. Its hiker utopia in the south for sure, it just took a little time to fully register the fact with us SoBos
The hostels are utterly hiker orientated and the prices certainly reflect the standards with very basic bunkhouses, knocked up “privies” and real field standard showers. There is no getting comfortable in these places; in, shower, food, “Spliff” and move on. When I say Spliff I mean spliff!!! In one of the hostels, which was little more than a shack with a TV, the couple that ran the establishment offered free spliffs around at the end of the evening to ensure everyone was relaxed and got a good night’s gonk before venturing back onto the trail. No one batted an eyelid and it just seemed as normal as offering free hot chocolate before folk turned in. I can and will honestly say that I am still a pure man but am fascinated by the air of normality that goes with the ritual! I have learned so much about it. I constantly ask questions and the answers become less coherent as time passes so I have learned to ask the most important questions first and those less challenging, last. On the night of the big “Spliff” hand out, the light in the bunk house was left on all night, folk slept soundly that night, I simply pulled my hat over my eyes.
I phoned the folk that control the US visas and essentially I can stay here until the 30th which is when my flight out of Louisville is scheduled for. Although I will essentially be an illegal immigrant, just like Donald Trump’s Mexicans, I will not accrue illegal immigrant markers whilst my case is being considered….. or so I am told. Thank you America.
I will be crossing the highest point on the Appalachian trail in the next few days and as I understand it the weather is forecast to be cooler so I will need to get my woolies on.
Healthy Heart Thanks go out to Cliff who kindly gave me a mid layer shirt, although it smelt like a section hiker shirt it filled the need I had. It took me 10 miles to get it to smell of pure Thru-hiker! Healthy Heart Thanks also go out to the 10 donations that have come in over the last 10 days or so and the kind messages that accompanied some of them; too many to mention but notes of Thanks have/will be sent in acknowledgement.
Please note that I am playing catch up here so if the thanks are delayed and the dates are plus or minus let's blame the US postal service for the delays to my box. In all fairness they have done a magnificent job over the months, it is my fault entirely.
Although in trail terms the end is over the next hill and around the corner I can say with absolute sincerity that it is still the most enjoyable way to spend a day. Getting up in the morning, even in the rain and cold is not a toil, as I was asked by one well wisher, the food is no more monotonous than it was in the sweltering heat and air conditioned misery of the Middle East and the folk speeding toward the finish line are still as entertaining and engaging as they were at the beginning. The trail is as “awesome” (eeeshhh I hate that word) now as it was at the beginning of this odyssey…. I will be at a loss when it finally finishes. Think of ways to entertain me Mrs. W ;-) ;-) xx
Goodbye to my hiking Buddy “Pringles” and goodbye all those that are screaming past me on their final miles; too many to mention now and many more in the next few days that follow as they strive to beat the cold that is coming
OK, too much melancholy there! Another update in the days to come.
Regards to all
nice one ivor nice to see you sweating been a while since ive seen that,last time was on a bun run, i have donated for your course keep up your work ,need any help with your training your welcome to use my boxing gym,be nice to put a pair of gloves on with your, lol all the best for the futrue ivor,
Congratulations Ivor on the 'End' of your epic trail.......Respect
Well Done Ivor! Enjoyed meeting you briefly at Trout Creek, VA, and enjoyed your update, especially this last one. Jolly Good!!! Regarding leg/calf cramps; I've struggled with them for years, tried many remedies, and finally found a simple one that works for me. I keep a little spray bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother... look it up) and spay some on my tongue when "crampy". Do not dilute! The key is in the acidic taste, its a long story (look up a new product called HotShot (expensive) for the science). Also, I think statins (drugs for cholesterol) sometimes cause the cramps to begin with. Best Wishes! Phil
Hi Stumbledwarf. 26 weeks. How fast have they gone. You will soon be ending your adventure, and returning to a more normal daily routine. Thank you for sharing your adventure with me. I have sent you a small video of a bear in the woods. Just in case you were disappointed about not seeing one. see you soon Ivor. Massive well done
Santa Claus spotted in the AP mountains! Incredible journey Ivor, loving the chapters along the route well done matey, give my regards to fluff when you meet up.
Morning Stumbledwarf. Your doing a magnificent job, keep it going. Love looking at your last video. The colours of the trees in autumn, brilliant. Watch out during Halloween in them there woods.
Ivor - I continue to be impressed by your endurance. May we know how far you have travelled and how much more you have to go? Keep going - we're all with you.
How much further do you have to go to complete this remarkable effort?
Can not believe it has taken you all these years to learn that Gore tex is crap! To many years in the office Ivor. Great read, will you able to finish before they kick you out? Good luck and best speed. Steve
Well done, Ivor. Do keep it up. Your updates are fascinating.
Hi Stumbledwarf. Done a little research. Stay with it as this will sound bizarre. Dracunculus Medinensis. ( in humans). The worm is one to two mom wide and between 60-100cm long. The lavae enters the human by the human drinking water from an infected water Spring. It can stay inside the human for up to a year, before developing into a surface blister. It will take 2 to 3 weeks to get rid of. Walking and working is very painful whilst this process lasts. However it can also infect animals. In humans the worm is dealt with by taking medication. However in animals, this does not take place and the worm escapes. It can then survive for about 3 weeks. In this time it must be eaten by water fleas, to be able to re-develope. Hope this has not put you off your food. Good luck with your final 4-500 miles. Look forward to catching up on your return. That's after you have recovered and spent some serious time with your family and close friends, who are your real strength. Happy walking Stumbledwarf
Congratulations to all your family, especially mum and dad.
Congratulations to you and all your family Ivor, on the birth of little Vivienne mate. Thanks for the good updates, you have my utter respect. Take care
Hi Ivor. Just done a little research on repealing black fly. Wear light clothing, wear a hat with a net to cover your face. Black fly are attracted to your face by the carbon dioxide coming out of your mouth. Repellents, try Vanilla extract, Lavender, or extract from pine branches. Break open a small branch, and rub the moisture into your skin. Other than that, tough it out big man. GDP tomorrow, so hope to catch up with a few old faces. I will put in a word for you. hopefully get a bit more dosh. Keep it going Stumbledwarf. Happy days
Well done indeed , The photography is getting better , Looking more like a hobo everyday , looks like the flies are nesting in that beard ,
Amazing how much work goes into the trail the walkways and maintenance , great to see the walking is getting easier and the miles are clocking up , your photography is improving ,
Haven't forgotten you Stumbledwarf, just been doing lots of catching up. You sound happier now the terrain is levelling out. Still meeting great people and seeing amazing sights. Journey of a life time. Your bulletins are always welcome reading. Keep it going Ivor.
Ivor, well done , so good to see your progress, I have just donated £600 . From the Slashers golf society. Best wishes . Roy
Kitchener's army's test was 14 miles day with full kit. You are doing well. Keep it up with all our good wishes.
Well done Ivor. Your updates are an inspiration.