Day 4: Once Brewed to Gilsland
This would be the day that The Solitary Walker and I would meet the inimitable Dominic Rivron, author of the multifaceted blog, Made Out of Words. Precisely where we would meet Dominic, however, remained a mystery, so we left Once Brewed (yes, this is actually the name of a village) and returned to the undulating path that followed the wall westward.
Robert and I at Green Slate, the Highest Point of the Hadrian's Wall Path
Century Structure That Was Constructed With Stones From Hadrian's Wall
Discussion About Various Types of Relationships
Day 5: Gilsland to Newtown
Constructed With Stones Taken From Hadrian's Wall
Spotting this straight line of cairns on a small stream, we initially thought we had discovered a work of environmental art by Andy Goldsworthy.
After further exploration, however . . .
. . . we discovered a strange but fascinating spot, with a large canvass containing the drawings and scribblings of myriad people, many of whom appeared to be walkers along the Hadrian's Wall path.
Someone had also lined the stream bank with tattered pieces of furniture, covered in plastic to protect them from the elements. As you can see from the photo of Dominic above and the photo below, we sat beside the stream . . .
. . . listened to the water's music, and had a lengthy discussion about the possible meaning of the place. One thing seemed clear: Previous visitors had taken the time to mark their passages with additions to the line of cairns.
In keeping with that tradition, we decided to construct our own cairn. (For more on this streamside adventure, see Dominic's post, Almost Heaven)
In the funniest episode of the entire walk, we encountered a herd of cows at the corner of a field, blocking our access to the gate through which we had to pass. Oddly, the farmer who owned the herd approached us in the adjacent field on an ATV and said, "What are you going to do now?" Since he seemed to enjoy our predicament, we decided to approach the herd calmly and maturely. Our plans went quickly awry, however, when someone recalled a story about walkers being trampled by cows in a stampede. The herd must have heard the word "stampede," for they immediately executed an about-face and began heading in our direction . . .
This called for a brief retreat until the farmer, undoubtedly rollicking with laughter, decided to open the gate and allow his hungry herd to pass into the adjacent pasture.
Mysterious cairns on a stream, inhospitable cows, some grizzly carrion found on a section of the road we had crossed in the morning — what would be next? Perhaps two dead crows hanging form a post advertising nearby accommodations. Needless to say, we skipped the bunk house and moved on to Newtown.
Next Post: Days 6 and 7 — Newtown to Bowness-on-Solway