Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wall to Housteads The Longest 9 Miles We've Walked

Just outside Wall where we had stayed at the Hadrian Hotel.
The first stile.
Our path took us along some major roads.
And across Chollerford Bridge.
Here we are at Chesters Roman Fort.  
This is the changing room with alcoves for your clothes.
Clem is enjoying the hot bath.
In the frigidarium.
Oops!  In the boiler room.
Getting tired and less than halfway there!
Mom's not tired.
Gorse flowering beside the wall.
The Romans gave up digging the wall ditch when they encountered this hard dolerite.
A temple to Mithras.  Evelyn is inspecting the altar stones.
Really tired at stile XX.
Happy to have found a pottery shard.
This sheepdog met us at this gate and led us for the rest of the walk.
See him out in front of Greta?  He'd stop and look back expectantly.
This pasture had bulls and a friendly horse.

A milecastle.
A turret.  There are two turrets evenly spaced between milecastles.

Aah!  Sheep stampede.  You can see the reason between and behind the two sets of sheep on the right.  The black dot is the border collie herding the sheep toward us.
And right on by.
Mom and dad with the wall stretching out behind them.
Still with us miles later.
At last!  Here is a turret and at the crest of the hill, our destination: Houseteads Fort.
We were so exhausted.  With all the zigging and zagging and up and down our trek had been closer to 12 miles than nine.  I called our lodgings to come and pick us up.  We're at the bottom of the hill I told them. When I had called in the morning to arrange our pickup they had said call when you get to the bottom of the hill.  You have to go back up the woman said.  The car park is at the top of the hill.  Greta pitched a fit.  She was screaming at me.  Then she said, "I'm sorry.  It's not your fault.  I'm just so tired."  But she walked up the hill nonetheless.  No car park.  I called back.  "Oh, sorry, I thought you were somewhere else.  You'll have to walk down the hill."  Greta raged all the way down the hill.  When mom, dad and I got there Ev and Clem were feeding her salami in an effort to placate her.

By the car park we saw this.  I asked Greta if she wanted to go on it.
She shouted, "I never want to go up or down anything ever again!"
Here we are the next morning, feeling better, and glad that we have a day of rest to visit Vindolanda.


  1. I can't stop looking at these pictures! Everything is so atmospheric, and even the girls' personalities seem written on their faces. Greta, you may be tired now, but you will never forget this experience. And Susan -- it seems to me this is better than a triathlon for your average Supermom! My heroes.

  2. Nice pictures, see you next week ! Antoine.

  3. Jennifer, I think you're right--they won't forget it! Maybe for Greta it will become a dim memory, but it was long enough that getting up every day to walk almost seemed like a way of life.

    Antoine, thanks! We can't wait.

  4. The Greta quotes were priceless - Ruby would be proud. And I can sympathize, I think I threw at least 3 fits like this with the last few weeks of school (I'm not going to put together one more project - paper - portfolio). Love JAKE

  5. Kel, are you done, then?! Congratulations!!!