Thursday, 24 February 2011

Walkabout - Day 41

It was a bitter-sweet day. But not like one of those gummy worms that make you pucker because the outside has alum/sugar on it with the gummy sugary goodness inside. No, not like that. More like an sugar coated alum gummy. This is how it went:

We started off strong. There was a slight detour after getting off the bus in Wolvercote from road to less muddy trail to more muddy, but correct trail. There is this public trail called the Oxford Green Belt that goes entirely around the city. We planned on doing a ten mile chunk of it from the north of Oxford, around the University forest (seen in the background of above picture), southward along the Thames river to wrap around the Farmoor resivor then back up the hill to Cumnor. I'm not going to try to explain all of the minute details that weren't even that exciting (though very beautiful) when we were living, breathing, experiencing them (especially because then Jenna REALLY wouldn't read this). Plus, I don't think I could explain them even if I tried.

Starting out there were pools in the fields that the path cuts through, but nothing too unavoidable. I was optomistic about my dry feet. We made fairly good time (about 2 something miles an hour) only stopping a couple times to explore/snack/trade Nathaniel carrying. Most of the time the path just wrapped along the river but at it's most magical point it pulled off into the woods and both sides of it were lined with black berry bushes. Every one of those bushes is noted in my brain for if we get to come back here during the Summer.
But as with most magical woods, this is also the place where the first challenge arose. The water was already somewhat sneaking into my socks, but nothing bad (thank you Smartwool) and at a particulary puddly area I decided to charge ahead boldly despite Jon's suggestion to cross to the more dry path a little ways over. I chose the far left rout and he followed, but on the right. This is what transpired:
There was apparently an invisible calf deep hole on the right side, but with my coaching he made it out safely. Walking up the hill from here I proclaimed it the "Low point" of the walk and regained my optimism, even though there was definite soakage on the entire sole of my foot. Little did I know, that was far from the low point, in terms of muddyness, and that my time would come to face the brown sticky beast.

Wrapping with the river, passing a few locks and detouring around a point in the trail that required traipsing through backyards and stepping precariously over fences that stretched out into the water, we quickened our pace to match the setting of the sun. Passing a small hill we come upon the north west side of the reservoir. We only went up to the rim shortly because it wasn't very pretty and there were cars up there, but we did get a view of this:
Pretty pretty. By now my legs were starting to fatigue and Jon had to take Nathaniel for the rest of the walk. Our end was in sight though, and I wasn't giving up. Finally, on the hill home, I met my adversary.

If it wasn't for the great desire to keep such a nasty substance off of my borrowed coat, I probably would have fallen. Alas, I made it out and the trip was more epic which was worth the muddy shoes inside and out. Once we got home we had nice warm showers and I said to Jonathan "You know it's bad when your feet get muddy even when you're wearing shoes and socks." We finished the night off with Tortellini and story swapping with Joelle who had taken an adventure day of her own, then laid our weary bones down to rest.


  1. Jesus has taken you out of the miry clay and set your feet on the path, and made your footsteps firm.

  2. please take Jenna and me on muddy escapades with you