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 27 January 2010

Last Monday’s Leg-Stretch

“This isn’t where the path should be” I said to Mick, poring over the 1:25k map, which I had thought would assist us as we passed over farmland that we have not before trodden.

For the second incident of ‘the path’s moved’, we were in the vicinity of the recently four-tracked west-coast mainline and it didn’t take a great deal of thought to conclude that:

1) the expansion of the railway had caused some footpaths to be rerouted (to avoid having two footbridges within a few hundred yards of each other); and

2) we had probably owned the map in question since we first moved to the area eight years ago, and thus it was quite likely that it was out of date.

Happily, a few way-marks and a bit of guessing* as to what had been done with the paths saw us back on land that matched the map.

Even more happily, although mud was still a major feature, it stayed nearly dry for nearly all of the outing.

The route was declared a success too. Much nicer than last Friday’s, taking in sections of a couple of canals as well as some well-kept farmland, with only a few paces of tarmac in the whole 14.25 miles. As for ascent, well, it was almost overwhelming in its absence at <350 feet.

 Blurry action shot as I sample a swing made out of rope and a skate-boardIMG_0472

The three spires of Lichfield Cathedral IMG_0474

Inquisitive little horse that was happy to follow us, but lost his nerve every time we turned aroundIMG_0475

(*It wasn’t until we got home that I discovered that the single-page print out of the 1:50k map, which we also had with us was up to date; it would have saved a bit of head-scratching if we had looked at it earlier.)

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