Well, I’m here in Scotland and settling into my B&B for the night before I begin walking the West Highland Way.
I can’t believe it’s finally here!
I’m nervous. I’m excited.
And I’m ready.
I’ve wanted to do some sort of long distance walk for quite a while. But I haven’t been sure which one — especially knowing which particular trail to try for the first one. The Camino de Santiago seemed way too long at 790km (490 miles) even though it intrigues me.
Then I began to read about the West Highland Way. And because Scotland is a country that was high on my list, it simply made sense.
And the more I read about this long walk and saw images of the scenery, I knew it had to be the one.
So here I am ready to begin walking roughly 155km (96 miles) in 7 days.
I’m praying to the weather gods and telling my body that it must behave.
Everything is set thanks to Lynne from Walkers Ways who set up my trip, taking care of accommodation along the way and having my big bag transported each day to the next stop. This means I simply walk with my day pack filled with water, food, extra clothing and, of course, my camera gear. And I have support along the way should I need it.
Some days are shorter at 12 miles. One day is long at 19 miles. Most fall in between at 14-16 miles with the exception of one short one at 9 miles. That one follows the 19 miler — thankfully!
My plan is to write a bit each night to let you know about the journey that day. I can’t promise lots photos each time as I just may not have the time or the energy.
But I can promise at least one image and my words.
When it’s all over, then you’ll get more.
So please be sure to be here each day … or look in your inbox if you’re on my mailing list.
Because each day I have no doubt there will be a story to tell about this journey.
The biggest thing for me is that I feel I am walking this trail for my mom — for my Little Mama who left us just 2 years ago.
When she was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension in March 2013, I saw her lose the ability to breathe easily.
It was a struggle to do much walking as she needed to be on oxygen and on a high flow at that.
Toward the end of her life, I watched as she struggled to walk from her chair in the living room to use the bathroom. It was as though she had sprinted up a hill, she was so out of breath. It broke my heart.
So today as I set out, with a healthy heart and healthy lungs, I know how lucky I am to be able to do this.
And I do it for Mom.
And I know that she will be with me every step of the way.
If you would like to donate an amount, maybe 10 cents a mile, to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association in my mom’s name, Betty Nieman, just follow this link. This condition has no cure. Anything you can contribute would be appreciated. Thanks!