Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Day I'd Been Dreading for Months

Thursday, July 10th. 15 miles to Wall. I had been dreading this day for months, wondering if I was in good enough shape to keep putting one foot in front of the other for fifteen miles.

It turned out to be a lovely cow and sheep day.

On Ms. Jacqueline's front porch, I slipped into the high-top boots Kathie had grown out of after she'd thoroughly broken them in. We donned our rain gear, and set off through cropland – some sort of grain. Not being farm people, none of us knew what the grain was, but it sure was purty – especially with orangey red poppies volunteering here and there.
We looked for the wall, vallum, and forts, but there wasn’t much to see. What the heck is a vallum anyway?

I slipped going down a muddy, poopy hill and caught myself from landing on my butt by landing on my hands instead – special.
Stanley Plantation – fairy forest! Where are the leprechauns?

Walk, walk, walk! Thank God for moleskin. By now I was layering it on my heel and left ankle.

We stopped at Heavenfield and looked around. St. Oswald Chapel sits atop a hillock in the field where the Saxons and Celts waged a fierce battle in 635 A.D. The site is kinda eerie. Or maybe I was just tired.
By the time we found the Hadrian Hotel in Wall, my knees were stiff as a board. This “hotel” was pretty dumpy too but again the people were nice.
Kathie and I had to share a bed but I was so doggone tired I could have slept standing up.

In the bar/restaurant downstairs, Kathie asked the barmaid about local beers that might be similar to Corona. What is there about us Americans that we expect people in other countries to know what we’re talking about when we ask for a Corona? We noticed that the guy behind us – another American - was snickering.

After dinner, Kathie and I found some muscle soak stuff on the edge of the tub in the public bathroom on our floor. We promptly filled up the tub with hot water and some muscle soak, and sat on the tub rim soaking our poor puppies. I also tried to massage out my shin splints. Notice I said “tried”.

(Photos of me getting ready to fall on my butt and the leprechaun forest were taken by Joan. The rest were taken by Kathie and me.)


Katharine said...

I'd forgotten about that foot soak stuff! My, it was wonderful!

Somewhere along the way you're going to have to give a lesson on the difference between ditch and vallum.

Pat said...

No, YOU'RE going to have to give a lesson on the difference between ditch and vallum. I can't even pronounce it correctly.

Katharine said...

And it was actually a guy bartender, even the more embarrassing. I said indignantly the the guy who was snickering, "Well, you can't learn unless you ask!" Put him in his place. I have a feeling Patty will have more to say on him later.

Katharine said...

OK, somewhere along the saga I will give a lesson on ditches and vallums. Verra important information.

Kappa no He said...

I would not have ever, ever left that fairy forest. Even if I could have walked fifteen miles. Oh, and the church, too. Brilliant!!

And a word that wikipedia doesn't know. Woa.


Pat said...

Yeah, Terrie - I will never, ever forget that fairy forest. The light and trees and grasses were just magical!