The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

On Saturday Last

Poking my head between the curtains and seeing a blue sky I declared that we were going out for a walk.

“Local fields and the canal, or the Chase?” I asked, giving Mick the option.

“Fields and canal” he said.

As logistically easy as a local walk is, it wasn’t what I fancied, so I sulked and pouted until Mick changed his vote to the Chase, and off we set.

We knew not whether it was the threat of rain or the imminent women’s final at Wimbledon that were keeping people indoors, but it was noticeably quieter than we’ve found it on any other visit this year – including the cold and wet ones during the less hospitable months of the year.

Despite the appearance that it was going to rain at some point, it was decidedly warm with some good sunny periods (made me regret, within the first half a mile, not wearing shorts (the first half a mile did involve me running back to the car for Mick’s forgotten hat and back, which didn’t help with the heat)), so when I spotted an Ice Cream Van at the car park at Seven Springs we diverted to give the bored vendor a bit of custom.

We fairly paced along (I was completely packless thanks to doctor’s orders), but not so fast that we couldn’t appreciate the surroundings. It’s not that often that we find ourselves on the Chase in summer and I couldn’t get over how incredibly green everything was. Places that were bare seemingly only five minutes ago were now sporting six-feet-high bracken.

Passing numerous signs that announced “You are now leaving a plant disease control area” (see this post from January for details of the disease), we noted that the consistency of signage was up to its usual standard, as we didn’t pass a single sign telling us that we were entering a disease control area and were to keep to the paths. Wonder if the battle against the ancient-oak-threatening disease is being won?

It was only a quick stretch of the legs. We were back in the car two hours after leaving, having covered 7.5 miles. The rain held off, and it was the first outing of my Roclites since I abandoned them in Chepstow last year; pity about the durability issues that I’ve had with Inov8, because they really are comfy shoes.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Gayle,Hope you and Mick are both Ok.I would very much like to join you both on one of your Cannock Chase Walks. It's somewhere I've never really looked to for walking.The year is really moving on and I have the family holiday just weeks away plus there are many walks I still need to do.So maybe I could look at a day walk in October when everything has settled down.Hope this would be Ok-I still have Mick's number which he gave to me at the Backpackers AGM.Thanks Jeff