September 1, 2008

Crossing the line

Filed under: England — sensel @ 1:11 pm

From the Lakes, 8/24:

I’ve noticed that there are lots of teen girls out walking here, with their dads, with their moms, in groups, and hardly any teen boys. There are a few under-12 boys, but even they’re outnumbered by girls their age by at least 2 to 1. Where are they boys? Home playing football? Video games?

Today (after writing to the end of a chapter) I hiked up to Walla Crags (a rocky overlook to Keswick and Derwentwater — and a draw not only because my fabulous B&B man, Andy, recommended it, but also because of the Walla Walla connection) and could not resist the additional climb to a high point called High Seat. There was a bog in the middle that even Andy’s guidebook gave warnings about. And…

There’s a fine line between “my feet are already so wet and muddy, I might as well keep going” and “completely ridiculous.” I crossed it. Near the far side of the bog I was staring into a patch of that devious cottongrass mud (see previous post) and I made the wrong choice. Bloop! In right up to my knee, and for all I knew there was no solid ground below that, either, but my left leg was then horzontal out behind me like a pontoon, keeping me afloat, and my hands had flown forward to, I guess, swim. (I didn’t learn a martial arts fall for this particular situation.) If there hadn’t been solid ground nearby to crawl out on, I’d probably be up there swimming still. Fortunately, the mud was surprised, too, so even though I was wet and covered with peat to the knee, the mud did not recover from its shock quickly enough to seep into the top of my boot (just everywhere else). I’m sure everyone who saw me thereafter wondered what my problem was, even if I was grinning like an idiot — I’ve also noticed that I seem to be the only one to get very dirty. These Brits are dainty about it, somehow. I hope I get to tell someone that I believe in the philosophy that if you aren’t getting dirty, you aren’t having enough fun.

Sidenote: I’ve also noticed that I can NOT keep my tongue in my mouth whenever my boot sinks into mud to the ankle. It has to poke out, although I CAN keep myself from saying “bleh” or the like if I try. I’m not sure what this reflex is for, or what it signifies. Do you?

Signing off for perhaps as long as a week, unless I get internet lucky down south. More later from Cornwall!

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