28 May 2014

Going Where the Road Leads

The other day, we headed out to see if we could find the ruins of Cranmore House. It took us all of about three minutes to do it. They are right down the street from us, but behind iron gates and set back a bit, so although we’d walked past them many times, we’d never noticed.  That was quicker than expected, and since we were heading in that direction anyway, we kept going to Bower’s Lane and onto Bower’s Walk again. We walked to the end, coming across another Celtic snail hanging out on a stone wall along the way, and I decided to try and figure out where I was, so I went up the stairs, opened the gate and was on the narrow road. I looked to my right and told Bill that we were a few yards from where we’d been last week, when we took a road until the sidewalk ended. Had we gone a little further on that day, we would have discovered the gate and been able to walk home via the path by the river instead of turning around and going back the way we’d come!

Since the sidewalk was not that far away, and traffic did not seem heavy just then, we planned to walk back that way. Just before we got back to the town limits, though, I decided to head off in another direction. I took a fork in the road and started down it to see how far it would go. Turned out that the sidewalk ended fairly quickly, but the road had a decent grassy shoulder and it looked like there wouldn’t be much traffic, so we kept going.

We came to this section of road and it looked so fairy tale-like with the bend in the road and the tall trees on either side, flanking the dark, unknown walkway beneath. It was sunny and warm, but when we got inside the “tunnel” it was cool and smelled of pine.

We came out the other side and plodded along until we came to some farmland, houses, and the ever-present fields enclosed by stone walls. We passed a field with a horse and baby--and little horse seemed quite spooked by the weird people walking past. We passed a field with a bunch of small cows, who started mooing to announce our arrival. This got the dogs barking in the yard a bit down the road. The sheep didn’t much care.

We walked along and had no idea where we were or in which direction we were heading, and we finally started to wish we’d brought our water bottles. When we left, we had planned on a simple walk in town. We decided that we’d turn back and explore further another day. We came across this gate, which we discovered leads down to a branch of the river. There's no path or walkway or anything, but there's space to walk around or sit--there was a guy fishing there.

On our way back down the road, a dog rushed out of a yard to greet us, and the dog’s person greeted us by asking if we were on holiday. I told him we’d moved to town last month and we were walking down the road to see where it led. He asked if we’d gone all the way to the end and we said we hadn’t. Then he said the words I was hoping to hear, “It’ll lead all the way to the lake, if you keep going. Go to the end, go through the gates, take the path through the forest, and you’ll be at the lake.” I’d had no luck at all searching online for a way to walk to the lake, but there’s a big map down the street from our apartment that indicates that there should be a way along a county road--it shows a walker icon and then further down a hiker icon. “This may be that,” I thought. Bill asked how far it was and the guy said about 2 miles. Who knows whether that’s right--I still can’t find any information on this route anywhere. But one day soon, we will fill our water bottles and pack up our backpacks with those, some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit and whatever else we might want and head in the direction of the lake. We can go through downtown or we can walk along the river to get to the fork in the road. Then we’ll head back down the road and keep going this time, so see if we can find that lake!

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