Bainbridge does an excellent job connecting his walks to the concept of Place, where our understanding of local landscape takes on deeper personal meaning by connecting us to history, literature, land use, and much more! Worth following and pondering closely.
Tracking in the snow is cheating right? It can feel that way when much of the year you can struggle to find any clear prints to identify, any gait patterns to decipher, or trails to follow. You learn pretty quickly to look in track traps along wet areas, in protected dusty areas, and hopefully start to read tracks in harder substrates like leaves and grass.
Nature is our most superb and consummate teacher, and the winter season offers an incomparable smorgasbord of wild offerings to not only just delight us, but to draw out a level and quality of attention within us that institutional learning seldom achieves.
Tracking animal sign across our winter landscape appeals greatly to the sleuthing instincts, and for all the Sherlock’s out there today, it holds promise for drawing out levels of ecological understanding that surpass anything found in textbook science regarding the magical realms of relationship found in Great Nature.
It is wild.
And it may just be the best of the ‘wildness’ that Thoreau says our survival is based upon!
“In wildness is the preservation of the World” …
View original post 412 more words
So true John! And yes, Macfarlane’s The Old Ways is a gem.
Day 44 & 45
Lulsworth Cove to Swanage 12 miles
Swanage to South Haven Point 8 miles
The Royal Armoured Corps Gunnery School, on the Lulworth Ranges, was our chief pedestrian obstacle yesterday upon the day’s start. It turns out that the coastal pathway past the Cove is shut off completely during the week in order to let the tanks turn their craft, so the day became a walking detour of the first magnitude. But walking is why we are here, so we walked, and walked. It was somewhat surreal coming into, and leaving Swanage today though; realizing quite suddenly that we are at the end of this magnificent walk!
Someone once quoted (I believe Kerouac) that “when you reach the top of the mountain, keep on climbing” (aka elevated thought), so we have the same question relative to doing a long walk. What do you do when you reach the end of its trail? And the answer is, for us of course, to keep moving. Moving in particular to the long thinking that goes side by side with a long walk, and tracking down the mythic significance of why such adventures are so vital to our youth. Our aim, upon beginning this walk, was to ponder this question deeply while reflecting upon all the wisdom gained from two long standing careers within education, working closely with youth, and recognizing that something very vital is missing today within the industrial model schooling them. Time for us to digest much of that grist, and work; working to put pen to paper and setting some words upon an elevated track, and story, that may serve youth in hale, whole, and hearty ways.
And so we ended our walk along the Southwest Coastal Path of England. Forty five days of walking that have blessed us with many rich experiences, and shown us a picture of a land, and its people, that will keep the internal fires burning within us for quite some time!
Ferry Bridge to Lulsworth Cove 14.5 miles
The weather has cleared somewhat but the humidity and clouds still obscure much of the view that we had today. Better than yesterday though, and there was rain in the forecast for the later part of the day, which didn’t impact us as we were well into our evening digs before it decided to play its hand. Some beautiful walking here along the Dorset coast, with some stunning coves and cliffs to mark the way, all coupled to some ‘sea of green’ rolling fields where agriculture reigns supreme.
We were happy to be away from Weymouth, and leave the tarmac and holiday parks behind us. There is certainly an interesting history to Weymouth from the holiday getaway side of things, but the impact of unbridled growth and expansion leaves one with a decidedly different sense of the story today. It is good to retain some of the wild lands as they are the places where the wild within finds resonance with a higher law, and the stories that breathe deeper meaning into the tracks we follow. The Great Dance! When these wild places are lost, broken up, and partitioned off, we lose something of ourselves as well, for the memories become fragmented too, and it becomes easier for future generations to become lost. Perhaps it is part of the problem we face today? And why it becomes ever more important to keep these connections and pathways open!