Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ridgeways

There's a thin line, or a couple of thin lines, that run from The Wash all the way to Cornwall. The Wash is a big bay just above the south eastern part of England that bulges and is basically called East Anglia. Cornwall is in the south western part of England that looks like a witches toe pointing toward Brazil. These lines are roads or paths that have been there for thousands of years. The easy number is five thousand years, back to the Bronze Age. Others will say the pathways have been there for ten or twenty thousand years, but the Bronze Age is so much more comprehensible than the Stone Age to us people as we are today.

When the English enclosed their land, divided and marked it into chunks, these pathways had to settle with the idea of enclosed land. The route they took had been kind of random. It depended upon the weather, what bits were muddy what bits were dry. They couldn't just wander around on property without causing high dudgeon from those who reckoned upon the correctness of owning land, and as the years passed the lines too became more constant in their demand for their own rights, and finally when it was almost too late, they found support from the souls of men and women who have interests in hiking boots. It's not a pretty story, I know, but that's the way of it.

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