Pre-Flight Day10 – Decisions decisions

<Allison> To walk in England or not to walk in England? The UK is certainly putting a kink in our original plans. The 10 days of quarantine has yet to be lifted. What a pain! France and Italy are welcoming US visitors with no quarantine so…in the next couple of days we need to decide if England is a go or no go. If not, we will travel directly to France and begin our adventure there. Let’s not forget to mention that this also affects our dates of travel too. Exactly how many flights have we booked so far??? Guess away! The answer is yet to be determined.

Pre-Flight Day11 – How do I count this down?

From the mind of Mark

I’m not entirely sure how to count this one down. Normally I’d count down from the moment we take our first step, but the Covid preparations are so much of this trip that I feel like the flight over (even if it just ends up in a 10day quarantine) is kind of the start.

None of you probably want to read this but it’s kind of a log for posterity. I remember a quote from a war movie that went something like “The most dangerous times are the beginning and end of the war.” I think this is true as the world sank into and is emerging out of Covid. Everything seems fraught with uncertainty. Rumors of potential relaxations of rules and tightening of restrictions seem to come flooding in each day and, although I know better, I can’t stop researching. Haha. I’m addicted to preparation.

Small steps as we had Dylan come and “test”-cut our grass for the first time. He will be taking care of our lawn while we are away. My large “cylinder of life” noodle I bought as a lighter weight version of the soft foam one is probably a bust. It is too rigid. And finally I wrote up the Permithrin Party invite. These are al nits that will mean little to others but are about the only items to write about on an otherwise normal Monday.

“I️ am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless he sees that it is good for him to wait.”

C.S. Lewis

Pre-Flight Day12 – Playing with technology

By Allison

Sunday, the day of rest is perfectly situated after a long day of hiking. A joyful day beginning with praising the Lord and worship with so many friends. This afternoon we chatted with Madeline about our upcoming adventure. Seeing maps with our walking routes is inspiring and chatting about transportation and accommodations makes the trip real! Not that it was fake before mind you. This evening it is time to begin getting comfortable with posting and learning how this app works. Have to say, I am not feeling the love of technology at the moment. But practice makes perfect…after a bit of frustration.

Modern hiking, almost always connected.

Pre-Flight Day13 – Last of the Prep Hikes

By Mark

Sitting at Brinegar cabin with Allison after we flew up the cedar ridge trail and arrived here an hour early. We’re waiting for Cindy, Andrea and Jessica.

It is both exciting and terrifying to be done all the prep work and still have so much in front of us including all the unknowns of this particular Covid pilgrimage.

But very honestly I look forward to whatever comes. Unlike our other adventures where I kind of went in feeling like nothing could go wrong, this time we both know that not only is it possible but actually quite likely.

We expect at times to be hungry and filthy and even unhappy, and yet we suspect that those hours or days or even weeks will be surpassed by those where we are in awe…and there is very little more exceptional than to be standing in awe.

More later….

Pre-Flight Day17 – O Covid! My Covid!

By Mark

“Oh Captain! My Captain!”

Walt Whitman

… sometimes it feels like this trip is being governed entirely by Covid. Allison spent a frustrating day winding her way through U.K. testing requirements which must be arranged pre-departure. This is something that could likely be solved with a phone call to a real human but in the world of automated help desks and internet, finding a human is next to impossible.

I, on the other hand was occupied (rightly) by work and supporting the things I can in the 2-1/2 weeks left. It’s definitely getting difficult due to the short time left.

After work I began looking into walking options from Dieppe to Perrone which is our alternative route should a Dover crossing remain blocked. It seems there are nice walks from Dieppe west and south and even northeast but none to the southeast where we’d like to go. So, it looks to be a lot “going on our own” trekking. This is fine but it certainly would have been convenient if there was a known route available.

Well enough pre-Via musings for today.

Some History

The Via Francigena (VF) is a medieval pilgrimage path from Canterbury England to Rome Italy. It roughly follows a path recorded by Sigeric the Serious circa 990 AD.

Our plans* for this Pilgrimage however start in London England where we will walk along Becket’s Way from Southwark Cathedral to Canterbury before joining the VF.

The route from Canterbury takes you through north eastern France south through the Champagne region and over the Jura mountains into Switzerland. In Switzerland we intend to circle the beautiful lake Geneva before climbing and crossing the alps.

At the St Bernard pass we will next cross into Italy and descend through the beautiful Aosta valley and across the flat Po Valley before crossing the spine of Italy, the Appenines. The last leg of the journey will take us south into Tuscany and finally into Rome.

*plans change

The route shown is the actual route we took. Each color represents a day.