Sunday, June 3, 2018

Harold Wood to Upminster -- and DONE!


I did my final section of the LOOP yesterday -- the four miles from Harold Wood to Upminster. I sabotaged myself by accidentally leaving home without my map, but then I thought, "No problem -- I'll just call it up on my phone." (I download the maps from the TFL web site.) And then I discovered to my horror that my phone only had 25 percent battery power!

So that added a frisson of tension to the walk -- knowing that at any moment I might be left mapless. The trails are marked, but the markings aren't designed to define every twist and turn. I can't see following the path without a map. So much for my years of Boy Scout training!

But by conserving power on the phone I pulled through just fine, following the path as it wandered across a section of woodland known as Pages Wood and through forests along the Ingrebourne River.


I spotted bright blue damselflies, known as banded demoiselles, fluttering among the tall grass near the riverbank.


I walked the edges of a field full of what looked like pea plants, where a crow was barely keeping his head above the foliage.


And I passed a pair of lazy goats lounging on a raised wooden platform in a fenced yard. They didn't seem interested in me at all.


And then I was back in Upminster again, where I started this walk last August! The windmill, built in 1803, is sadly still under renovation, just as it was when I passed last time. I guess I'll have to make a special trip out there if I ever want to see it, sometime after this year when the work is scheduled to be completed.


It was cool to be back in a slightly familiar place. Remember this shop? I photographed it last year but it was closed, so I missed all the fun stuff outside that truly conveys the Unique nature of the merchandise! Dave was upset that I didn't buy the stormtrooper, but for one thing (and there are many reasons why I didn't buy it) I don't see how I could have gotten it home.


Anyway, that's that! The LOOP, all 150 miles of it, has been trod by my own two feet. Kind of crazy, right?

I had elaborate plans to throw away my LOOP-walking shoes (AKA the dog-walking shoes) when I finished, because they are very bedraggled, but they seem like they may have some life in them yet. Maybe I'll use them for gardening.

15 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

That's a fine achievement Steve! Well done! You had the idea and you saw it through. I wonder what percentage of London inhabitants have completed The Loop? Just a few hundred I would guess. Trouble is that now you will have to set yourself another walking challenge! How about Lands End to John o' Groats?

Red said...

150 miles? That's a major achievement. Congratulations.

Vivian Swift said...

Raise high the roof beam, Carpenter! That is a spectacular feat -- not only requiring stamina and perseverance, but also patience and devotion. Well done!

Enjoy your well-earned rest and bask in your sense of achievement.

robin andrea said...

Congratulations, Steve! That's quite fine journey you took over these past ten months. I love that through your photos, you took us along. Thank you for that. And, yes, that stormtrooper would have been hard to take home, but also hard to pass up.

ellen abbott said...

so cool! some really great pictures and I'll take the iron work butterfly bench.

Ms. Moon said...

The crow and the goats are my favorites from this section of your walk. Those goats look positively blissed out.
Well done, you walker, you! And yes, those shoes will do fine for gardening, I'm sure.
Do you get to register somewhere as someone who has walked the entire loop? There should be some sort of recognition there.

Cheryl West said...

What an accomplishment! Do you have a next challenge in mind?

You weren't tempted by the bulldog statues for your garden?

Sharon Anck said...

Well done! That is quite an achievement. You should write a story about doing the whole walk. I bet you could find a few outlets interested in publishing it.
I love that "Unique" shop. That looks like my kind of place to explore.

37paddington said...

Congratulations, you! This is a wonderful accomplishment. And those goats. They look like a contented old married pair. Such a great picture.

The Bug said...

Woo hoo! I don't know why you couldn't have worn the storm trooper suit home.

Catalyst said...

CONGRATULATIONS! Now that's what I call an epic adventure. Well done, my friend. Tell Dave that YOU are the Storm Trooper!

Linda Sue said...

WELL DONE! That is an amazing distance, and pretty much without terror! Except for the exorcism. I would have to dash off and get a car to transport the storm trouper and the bull dogs back home- Cool stuff, but then I found all of England to be full of cool stuff, I only came home with a t-towel from the Courtauld Gallery. Anyway, I am in awe of your trip around London on foot, alone!

jenny_o said...

You have circumnavigated London - wow and well done! I am impressed but not surprised; you seem like a guy who strives to meet goals persistently and conscientiously.

Maybe you could bronze your shoes and sell them to the Unique shop :)

Sabine said...

Oh well done and massive thanks. I hugely enjoyed this adventure.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the Loop walk posts.....really enjoyed the journey.