Aug 25, 2013 at 7:22 am #1306920
spelt with a tBPL Member
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
Unremarkable men walk 40 miles for no particular reason
This week, a group of seven unremarkable, middle-aged men walked a long way for no reason. None whatsoever.
Having decided that the event should have no meaning, the group – Ian plus Mark Dorn, Simon Loomes, Chris Child, Chris Jarvis, Chris Shaw and the almost flamboyantly named Gareth Stace – chose a route which started and ended nowhere in particular.
Ian said: "Simon came up with the idea of calling it 'Beach to Bench 2013', so we found a random bench on The Nower which was not special in any shape or form.
"It was falling apart a bit and half buried in a hedge. If it had had some redeeming feature I think we would have shied away, but because a few slats were missing we thought, 'This is perfect'."
Starting beside a groyne on Shoreham beach at 6am, the group slogged their way along the Downs Link path via Cranleigh and Holmbury Hill, averting their eyes from interesting sights as they went.
Some 16 hours later, they reached the lowly bench, to the acclaim of no-one.
Asked whether the event could be seen as an insult to charity fundraisers, Ian responded: "It might look that way but it didn't even have that point to it. I would never knock anyone raising money for a cause close to their hearts.
"It's just that you don't have to. You can go and do stuff with your mates that is memorable and challenging without then having to go and tap your friends for money.
The group's efforts cannot be sponsored online, by phone or by post. There will be no Beach to Bench 2014.Aug 25, 2013 at 8:12 am #2018426
Dondo .BPL Member
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
This is wonderful, spelt. The perfect antidote to all the "epic" hikes we like to do around here.Aug 25, 2013 at 8:59 am #2018436
@attaboybradLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks for sharing.
I did something sort of like this last summer. I wanted to go camping over in Marin and, after becoming frustrated with logistics, decided I'd just walk there. I walked all day through SF, over the Golden Gate, and through Marin towards Mount Tam, set up a hammock well after it got dark just off the trail, broke camp just after dawn, and walked all the way home.
I want to do the same thing out to Point Reyes at some point. Walk from my house on Telegraph hill to Point Reyes over a couple days (and maybe back).
Most of that walk won't be "outdoors" in the sense many here usually think of "getting outdoors" since it'll be through towns and roads, but I think the merits of a long walk are mostly retained wherever it may happen.
Going to pioneer the "fancy cafe, ice cream, and boutique sandwich along the way" cook system ;-)Aug 25, 2013 at 9:20 am #2018438
Richard MayBPL Member
Going to pioneer the "fancy cafe, ice cream, and boutique sandwich along the way" cook system ;-)
Now that's a stoveless system that will even save you food weight!Aug 25, 2013 at 9:23 am #2018440
Steve MartellBPL Member
@steveLocale: Eastern Washington
Brilliant–made my day!
Thanks SpeltAug 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm #2018488
Jim ColtenBPL Member
for no reason. None whatsoever … You can go and do stuff with your mates that is memorable and challenging
Oh-Oh … you've blown it, failed completely and miserably … is memorable and challenging smacks of being a reason, doesn't it? Falls far short of the purity found in the "because" we would have offered as justification we were kids. …. short pause to remove tongue from cheek … I'm pretty sure that Mr. Skurka would have given a nod of approval to your hike plan. Nicely Done:-)Aug 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm #2018495
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>"I want to do the same thing out to Point Reyes at some point."
Bradley: A Dutch grad student i knew in the UC Berkeley Hiking Club did something similar. He'd discovered rollerblades when he arrived. Being Dutch, he'd grown up ice skating, even going city-to-city on frozen canals in the winter and took to rollerblades quickly. He rollerbladed from Berekeley to Samuel P Taylor Park on the way to Point Reyes and back in a day.Aug 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm #2018523
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Going to pioneer the "fancy cafe, ice cream, and boutique sandwich along the way" cook system ;-)
Dear me! How … lowering of standards.
Ahem. I seem to remember some custard tarts with glazed strawberries on top in the Pyrenees a few times … And there was a cake outside a patisserie in Austria once … Of course, these were local cultural things we had to examine. Of course.
CheersAug 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm #2018612
This brings to mind the great mountaineer/explorer/yachtsman H. W. Tilman, who in 1933, having finished his work in East Africa, decided to return to the UK. He bought an old bicycle, and without fanfare set out across Africa as a farewell journey – a 3000-mile adventure.
Here's to all those who have the heart of an explorer, who quietly and without public acclaim, get out and simply adventure…Aug 26, 2013 at 11:49 am #2018741
Kate MagillBPL Member
The irony being, of course, that these guys are now receiving publicity for their "un-publicized" trip. ;p
For all the philosophers out there, when does doing things "for no reason" become your reason for doing things?Aug 26, 2013 at 11:58 am #2018746
Tilman wrote a number of books about his adventures. Not sure that classifies as doing it quietly and without public acclaim….
[edited to correct spelling of his name]Aug 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm #2018751
@aldoleopoldLocale: Great Lakes
I have his book collection, "The Eight Sailing/Mountain Exploration Books". I'm sure your know that he disappeared in 1977 while sailing from Rio to Port Stanley in the South Atlantic. Their boat was lost, no clue was found, I least none that I'm aware of.Aug 26, 2013 at 9:49 pm #2018900
Yeah, Doug, I agree with you, but when you read his books, like the collection Dean mentions, you don't get the feeling that he was doing it for any public acclaim. By all accounts, he was difficult to get on with, didn't suffer fools gladly, and preferred solitude to human company.
His climbing companion Eric Shipton, seemed rather more attuned to public life, and was I fancy rather a shrewd manipulator of the social system.
There is a photo of him together with his lovely wife in one of his (Shipton's) books (which I don't now have access to), I presume of when he served as HM Consul at Kashgar 1940-42, entitled something like "Consul and consolation" (NOT the above photo), which always struck me as being rather clever (Kashgar being very remote at that time, and perhaps caught in the aftermath of the machinations of the Great Game).
In any event, Shipton and more particularly Tilman were clearly early and expert exponents of ultralight philosophy, and should be recognized as such.Aug 27, 2013 at 8:23 am #2018985
"In any event, Shipton and more particularly Tilman were clearly early and expert exponents of ultralight philosophy, and should be recognized as such."
Hi Robert, you've certainly piqued my interest in Tilman and his exploits. I've never read any of his books, but thanks to you I'll correct that!Aug 28, 2013 at 6:32 pm #2019661
Both Tilman's and Shipton's books are excellent reading, and the photos are highly evocative.
I most enjoy the many accounts of their mountaineering experiences in the Himalaya; but there is something about Tilman with his old bicycle, standing in front of the long pot-holed road that will take him clear across the Africa of 1933, that I find haunting.
Their 1934 search for the inner sanctuary of Nanda Devi and the Valley of Flowers also makes for good reading.
In addition, you might like to check out the works of Frank Smythe (F. S. Smythe), who named the Valley of Flowers, and who also explored and climbed with the two (1938 expedition to Everest). He took some wonderful photographs of the Alps and the Himalaya.
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