Distance offers perspective, but less so when it is an obsession.
Family holidays began to revolve around hiking before I even noticed it: walks led to rivers we boys could splash in; or rocky outcrops where we could pretend to be soldiers. But it wasn’t long before the walking became an end in itself.
Thereafter, mileage became crucial. Height was of interest too – and could just about excuse a lesser distance covered – but miles ruled. Any walk under seven was disregarded as being almost an embarrassment. If we ever did a three-mile jaunt along a valley it had to considered as a rest day, useful only in the final vacation tally.
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