I created this website, a wee walk, in 2014 to document a backpacking trip I took across Scotland as part of an event called The Great Outdoors Challenge. I did the walk–from the west coast to the east coast on a route of the walker’s design–three more times. Accounts of these crossings can be found under the headings “Scotland 1,” “Scotland 2,” “Scotland 3,” and “Scotland 4.” The “Where” page describes the location of the second walk, although the maps there may be useful in understanding the routes of the other two, should the reader be interested.
I have kept this website alive to document other outings. In the “Journalism” category I have reprinted stories I’ve written for the Sunday Travel section of The Washington Post, where I once worked. The stories appear by permission of The Post, which owns the copyright.
This is a low-tech site. Here are a few words about how it works.
The stories and posts are added in reverse chronological order, with the most recent appearing first when you click on a category (e.g., “Scotland 1” and “Italy”). However, except for the “Journalism” category, if you hover the cursor over a category on the home page, a list of the posts will appear in chronological order. The name of the earliest post from the trip in question will be at the top of the list; the last will be at the bottom. This will allow you to read the posts in the order in which they were written should you want to.
The graphics are still photographs and maps, except for one piece of video.
The video can be found at the bottom of the post called “Jim Taylor’s story” in “Scotland 1,” which is about my first walk. (It’s also here.) It’s a five-minute clip from a 20-minute interview I did with a 91-year-old man while we were taking a tea break. Mr. Taylor was doing The Great Outdoors Challenge for the last time. He died less than a year later.
The story is funny, and revealing.
Released from the peonage of farm labor and able to eat enough food for nearly the first time in his life, the young Jim Taylor rapidly outgrew the clothing issued to him when he joined the Royal Air Force at the start or World War II. In the video he describes the trouble he encountered getting a larger shirt. It is a voice out of deep history and I recommend it to you.