I was really happy today to be joined by my sister Karen and my mum (74 years young) for this farmland and towpath stage essentially along the Staffordshire Way. Karen and I left Uttoxeter and started to fight our way through overgrown hedgerows, long grass and over some almost impossible stiles before the coup de grace, a hidden path across the middle of a field of rape seed well over head high. Karen lost her water bottle and walk guide somewhere in the midst of all of this – we did not go back to look. On top we had a couple of heavy rain showers before reaching Abbots Bromley for lunch. Amazingly we had only done 7 miles !!
After lunch with my parents and Cath, my mum stepped up to join Team Johnson for the afternoon. We kept to lanes where we could but still had a few fields to cross and my mum showed fantastic agility getting over a few stiles. We passed by Blithfield reservoir through a couple of small villages and the odd useless stile and joined the towpath of the Trent and Mersey Canal for the last few miles to Little Haywood, passing a rather large gathering of Canada geese families with their young going for an afternoon swim. Our progress was much better and we arrived ahead of schedule so treated ourselves to a well earned drink at the Lamb & Flag before strolling the last half mile to the Seven Springs car park on the edge of Cannock Chase. Staying at my parents tonight in my home town of Stafford – first night in a proper bed for what seems like a very long time.