Sometimes I get itchy feet. The urge to get out and about seizes me, and I am compelled to travel. Somewhere, anywhere. My most recent trip from December and January is evidence of that, but this wasn’t the first time; it started a long time ago, and I have no intention of stopping.
Eight years ago this month my itchy feet led me to the UK to wander. The first stop was in Wales to hike up Mount Snowdon. At 3,560ft, Snowdon’s peak lacks the ruggedness of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges of my home in the Pacific Northwest. Even so, Snowdon is an excellent hike with fantastic panoramas of the region. Well worth the time.
After some research, I decided to ascend via the Snowdon Ranger Trail, staying the night at the youth hostel near the beginning of that trail. It was there at the hostel that I met another bloke who intended to hike up the Snowdon the next day. We chatted at dinner and he suggested we go up together. Already prepared to go it alone, I was nevertheless welcome to the idea of having company.
As we walked, my companion Vern told me this day was his birthday. Climbing Snowdon was on his bucket list and he was ecstatic to have the opportunity to ascend on his birthday. I, of course, was happy to accompany him for the occasion.
We walked, talked, and generally had a good time. It was Vern’s suggestion that we descend a different path. Our descent through the Ryd-Ddu path was equally amazing and at the end of it we stopped in a small town for dinner. It was a day of the unexpected, and I went to bed that night full from the rich experience.
To my surprise he offered to drive me to catch my train the next day, and given the extra time that saved, we toured a bit more around the area, including a quaint old train called the Ffestiniog Railway. More unexpected.
I’m grateful for his generosity and companionship for those two days. It’s been eight years, but Happy birthday anyway, wherever you are now, mate. Cheers!