Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Out of the Shire; Into the Fire

Why he had to wake us up at 4:30 AM, I'll never understand, but Merry was insistent. Fatty was kind enough to lend the hobbits some ponies, so everyone's spirits are a little higher today. I'm still running, but my speed is pretty slow. We're keeping up each other's pace very well.

Fatty led us to a huge gate in the hedge. We passed through it, the door clanging shut behind us, and were all reminded that we had just left the boundaries of the Shire. Home is behind.

It's very unnerving here in the Old Forest. I have to keep reminding myself that Trees Don't Move. We keep losing the path to the Bonfire Glade, even though it was just there a second ago, I swear it!

Total miles so far:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Crickhollow: We'll leave the light on for you

Five miles of running/walking today for me! I'm starting to feel like a proper adventurer.

(Not the actual High Hay Hedge, but close.)

Parallel to the road we find ourselves on is the High Hay, a huge hedge (say that 10 times fast!) between the Old Forest and the land of Buckland. This is a strange place, and while it's not exactly creepy, it's certainly not the place for a picnic. I'm rather glad I don't have the baby with me today.

The hobbits spent the night feasting and gossiping with Fatty Bolger, who made them as comfortable as possible. Frodo wants to retire here. It's too foggy and freaky for me. I keep thinking I see movement in the forest. It's probably just my imagination.

Total miles so far:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The hobbits cheated a bit today...

I started running this week, training for a 5K race. The hobbits are having none of it, and somehow managed to convince Maggot to take them to the Buckleberry Ferry landing in the back of his wagon!

All those guys do is EAT! I don't know where they put it all!

I managed a good bit of running while those lazy sods were munching on mushrooms:
June 18 - 2.5 miles
June 20 - 3.75 miles
June 22 - 3.75 miles
June 23 - 3.75 miles

Total miles so far:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Short Cut to Mushrooms

The woods are behind us now, and the land is becoming increasingly more tame. This is the edge of the Marish, and you can see how the fields are sectioned into farm lands.

Frodo freaked out a little bit when he realized we were at the edges of Farmer Maggot's field. Something about dogs, I think. Apparently he's afraid of them. Baby and I saw a couple of small dogs along the way, but nothing to be concerned about.

Maggot met us at the gate and gave us some beer and food. There was talk of "That Baggins Chap" and a shadowy figure asking around about him. Hobbits aren't in the habit of talking to foreigners, so I doubt he learned anything. Did I mention hobbit food is delicious?

All these mushrooms made me think of this:

Total miles so far:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Short cuts make long delays"

We slept late today. Well, Frodo did. Everybody else was up at daybreak. Frodo and Pippin argued about which way to head, mostly because Pippin had us all excited about drinking at the Golden Perch at Stock, but Frodo wanted to head to the Buckleberry Ferry. As usual, Frodo won.

His "shortcut" ended up leading to a thicket of brambles around a stream, which was none too fun to cut our way through. But it made for excellent cover, when Sam noticed a Black Rider checking out the river valley. We trudged through the bushes and brambles -- hot, sweaty, scratchy, tired, and lost. We waded through the stream, which Pippin recognized as Stock-brook, and came to a forest of oak trees that were extremely dense, but at least on level ground. It was pouring down rain by this time, and conversation was at a minimum. This leg of the journey will probably not go down in history as the best time ever had by a company. It didn't help matters or morale any when Pippin decided we'd turned too far south and suggested backtracking, which Frodo nixed.

Thankfully lunchtime was salvaged by our realization that the Elves had refilled our bottles with a pale gold drink that had a slightly intoxicating effect. After that, the rain didn't much bother us, and the walk was actually becoming enjoyable again -- until we heard the shrieking. Nobody said it out loud, but I knew the wailing came from Black Riders. So much for enjoying the trip.

Total miles so far:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Elves, SIr!

We had traveling companions these last few miles -- exiled High Elves!  Sam was thrilled and awed, Frodo took it in stride, and Pippin just about fell asleep every half mile. I'm more of a dwarf person myself, but I enjoyed the singing.

Our Elven traveling companion, Gildor Inglorion.

The elves have a strange effect on everyone. There is a peaceful quiet about them, even as they speak their ancient language. Once Frodo displayed his knowledge of the High Elvish language, there was little conversation thereafter. The path was green and woodsy and hilly, and you could see the lights of the village of Woodhall below us.

We camped at Woody End. The baby and I went to bed early, but the hobbits and elves partied into the wee hours of the night. What they could possibly be talking about for that long is just beyond me. I heard "black riders" mentioned a few times, which made me more nervous than I cared to admit.

Total miles so far:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...

The road, which had run straight for several miles, has now bent left and goes down into the lowlands of the Yale on its way to Stock. But another road branches off to the right, winding through an oak forest and headed to Woodhall. This is the road Frodo decides we need to take.

It's a picturesque route, in some ways, because one of the first things we came across was a huge hollow tree that would make a great playhouse.

We haven't heard hoof-beats for some time, so we're settling down a little bit. Frodo launches into a rather appropriate song:

Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.
Then world behind and home ahead
We'll wander back to home and bed.

Total distance thus far:
39.68 miles