Willow Bark Fingernails

Anyway, today thought I could chat about a little yomp (that's Navy speak for hike, just in case you thought it was something naughty) I done the other day, about roughly 25k and some of the random stuff that goes through one's head whilst walking.

As an outdoorsman, I am very well connected with nature as I am outdoors every day, all the time, immersed you might say. Imagine you wanted to learn Spanish, your best bet would be to move to Spain or Latin America, that's how you become fluent and even take on local accents, (usually starts with all the swear words) well it's no different in nature and I'm fluent Spanish too, from living there. The reason I mention this is, that maybe there is a perception that folk in my line of work are deeply connected with nature (we are) and have a very acute awareness. This is true, however it doesn't mean that we don't have random thoughts and drift on something really far fetched every now and again.

So anyway coming back to the yomp, I was heading on a standard route into the Mourne Mountains, doing 4 summits and then pitching up a wild camp at Fofanny reservoir, yes it is actually called that. There's a sign where someone rubbed out the "Fo" I still don't know who Fofanny was or meaning, but that sign tickles me everytime.

Long story still long, my random mind waves seem to always come to me walking in the hills. I'm pretty sure I once had a conversation with myself once, whilst climbing Slieve Donard about eggs and egg shells. Anyway I just sat here trying to remember some of those thoughts and for life of me couldn't remember. I think at some stage there might of been something along the lines of willow bark finger nails WHAT? WILLOW BARK FINGERNAILS??? That would perhaps appeal to vegans who like longer fingernails but hate plastic, or anybody that hates plastic for that matter. Why did that even pop into my head? Well it must have been when I was carving with some willow the other day and a chip come off and it looked like a nail. Well less plastic, but willow bark would sure take a pounding. Some ones gonna make a killing with that.

OK, so sometimes I have ridiculous thoughts, no big deal, at least I didn't regurgitate a quote and try to sound intellectual, You see that often these days.

First day yomping, was dead on, found a cracking penny bun (a very big tasty mushroom) in Donard forest, unfortunately it succumbed in my net bag, humping it over 4 summits, through wind and rain. I felt a bit like that mushroom, a bit battered, my left knee was giving me grief and loads of other twinges as well. Yes, I'm definitely coming into my own as a decrepit fogey, but still enjoying every second outdoors like a child enjoys chocolate, never changes.

Wild camp was good and pleased to say that the site wasn't in bad shape, I was expecting loads of rubbish, after 2020 had become the year of covid and apparently also the year of the litter tossers and an overall increase of rubbish at beauty spots during lock down etc. But here it wasn't the case.

After a decent night's kip, I headed out and on to Tullymore Forest. Over there I found a sweet spot with more penny buns, the motherload. At this point I felt I was on a foraging roll, so I wanted to keep my foraging bag at hand and pack up my walking poles. Another belter I might add, so here I was trying to fold my Z collapsible walking poles, couple of seconds, bish, bash, bosh and they're stowed, B***cks that never happened I had a 15 minute fight with those b*tards the locking mechanism was seized and I had constantly keep wacking the mechanism to try and get them to fold down. Luckily no one walked past, otherwise they would have seen a bloke kneeling in the woods next to some massive mushrooms bashing a walking poles on a stone, which would have been a pretty odd sight.

Well after my walking pole episode, I managed to get underway again bimbling on through the forest. Must have been another 3 hours until I reached Newcastle, finishing off the micro exped. But my final thought, is that a random thought is never far away, and is usually one for a chuckle.