In many ways, the location and the sublime views from Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, near Stavanger in south-west Norway are irrelevant, because what is important is the journey to get there. It is a hike up an expertly engineered and well-maintained stone staircase that is as much of a marvel as the finale itself.
There’s an ancient beauty to the stairway and it comes from the fact that Preikestolen – like nearly 300 other natural stone staircase projects in Norway purpose-built over the past two decades – has been crafted by teams of Sherpas from Nepalese communities living in the shadows of Mount Everest.
There was a time when Norway’s mountain paths would only see a handful of local visitors. But social media has changed all that, and over the past decade, the country has seen such a dramatic spike in overseas travellers keen to Instagram its viewpoints that something has had to give.
Mark Delstanche, 47, has become the first person to solo row from New York to London. He set off from Battery Park, New York on June 14, and after 97 days he crossed the finish line at Tower Bridge, London. Since the beginning, Delstanche has faced complications. His boat Square Peg was custom-made with a flywheel-powered propeller, which broke early in his journey. He then rowed through some of the worst weather in years. Over the three months, he endured eight major storms and seven capsizes. The storms damaged most of his electronic equipment. During one capsize, he twisted his knee.
On his around-the-world voyage, he left Plymouth August 27, 1966, sailing the 14,100 miles to Sydney in 107 days. Embarking again on Jan. 29, 1967, he returned to Plymouth around Cape Horn in 119 days, the 15,517 miles being the longest passage made by a small sailing vessel without a port of call. He was knighted in May 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II. His last solo voyage in January–February 1971, from Portuguese Guinea to Nicaragua, covered 4,000 miles in 22 days. He died shortly after illness in 1972 prevented him from making the solo transatlantic race. His books include the autobiography The Lonely Sea and the Sky (1964) and The Gipsy Moth Circles the World (1967).
For the 40th time, Jane Dotchin has set out on a seven-week pilgrimage along rural byways from her home in Hexham, England to Inverness, Scotland.
How many 80-year-olds do you know who travel 1,000km overland each year? Age is just a number for Jane Dotchin from Hexham, England, who has done such a trek annually since 1972. This year, her 13-year-old pack pony, her disabled Jack Russell terrier, and a few personal items were all she needed for the trip.
Dotchin puts on her eyepatch and an orange safety vest, packs her kit and Jack Russell terrier Dinky onto her horse, and sends it. From her home in Northumberland, near the Scottish border, she’ll ride all the way north to Inverness. It’s a tradition that started decades ago for Dotchin, with a deferred animal care request and an inkling of freedom.
Millican Dalton, Jean Brown and Mabel Barker having a brew-up in 1935. Photo Mabel Barker Collection
Milican Dalton (Apr 20, 1867 – Feb 5, 1947) the British self-styled “Professor of Adventure”, was never motivated by adrenaline fuelled adventure, by speed, or by winning races. He lived in a cave in England’s Lake District and led camping and climbing trips up the local mountains.
He outfitted himself and his clients in lightweight gear he designed and sewed himself, specializing in tents made of tightly woven Egyptian cotton. In the rain the fibers would swell, tightening the weave and rendering the shelter water resistant, if not exactly dry. He sold handmade rucksacks, advertising them as “half the weight and one-third the cost” of the Norwegian packs in vogue at the time.
Millican did most of his sewing in the winter, when not climbing trees or, weather permitting, skimming across icy ponds on handmade wooden skates or sliding through the forest on skis—a skill he acquired in the Alps before the First World War. His handmade clothes were habitually left un-finished as frayed testimony that in Millican’s eyes, hemmed shorts should never stand in the way of a good ramble.
Millican didn’t see any reason why Barker or other women shouldn’t climb hard rock, or otherwise do as they pleased. That was only one of his unorthodox beliefs, all of which he espoused freely. He relished a good argument, and though he was sometimes called him the “Borrowdale Hermit” he was as sociable as he was opinionated. He welcomed visitors, occasionally leaving handwritten invitations to take tea with him at “Sinbad’s Cave.” Those who obliged would often be goaded into political discussions, which Millican pursued with gusto. He was a socialist and an outspoken pacifist who once wrote Winston Churchill during the height of the Blitz, demanding the Prime Minister make peace with the Germans. It seems the local air raid warden had climbed up to the cave to demand Millican douse his fire, infringing the Caveman’s liberty and provoking his ire.
Joni Sweet, at Forbes, ranked the top ten states for hiking in the US »
1. Alaska 2. Arkansas 3. Hawaii 4. Washington, D.C. 5. Iowa (tied for 5th place) 5. Arizona (tied for 5th place) 7. Utah (tied for 7th place) 7. West Virginia (tied for 7th place) 7. Nevada (tied for 7th place) 10. North Carolina
The article ranked Kentucky, followed by New Hampshire at the bottom of the list.