The Adventurers Three

The Adventurers Three waiting for a bus.

Guest post by Levi here. It’s been a long dream of mine to just ramble around the English countryside. The English have a concept of “Walks” that is bit different than us in America. In America we have “trails” which usually involve “hiking”. In England they have “paths” which usually involve “walking”. So this afternoon me and two other bold adventurers (Jack and Sam) went on a walk. Suzanne and the rest of the kids were needing a rest day.

Things started off good when a the bus that picked us up had a double-deck. It’s whole different view on the second story.

After a longish ride and a confusing connection we made it to our destination: Kidlington. We were actually following a map provided by the Oxfordshire County Council so I felt pretty confident about our path.

To actually get to the walking path we needed to find St. Mary’s Church, which because of it’s tall spire, it wasn’t too hard.

St. Mary’s Church

This would be the first of many amazing churches seemingly planted in the middle of nowhere.

We cut around the church and found the path, which we had to enter through a “kissing gate”. We had lots of fun speculating about the origins of that name.

We followed the path and quickly came to a winding stream and another little church.

Then we made the first of many wrong turns and ventured off in the wrong direction into something that looked straight out of the Wizard of Oz.

It smelled like were we in a perfume shop. After about a mile of this I stopped for a drink and happened to check my map. We were way off course. To be fair, these trails are basically just signposts in farm fields, it’s really easy to get turned around. We doubled back.

The correct path brought us to open fields where we walked right past horses grazing and lots of sheep. We even had to navigate the same pasture as two bulls, which made us a bit nervous.

Thankfully the horses were not interested in stampeding us. The lambs were adorable.

Our path led us to another church and an old ruined manor.

This was where we made our big mistake. A note to the Oxfordshire County Council: Your map is super confusing at this point.

We took a wrong turn, made our way through a tunnel under a railway, climbed over a gate and found ourselves TRAPPED! trapped in a field enclosed by electric fencing and surrounded by sheep! sheep with lots of baby lambs! It was cute until we realized that there wasn’t any way out of the field. We spent about half an hour trying to find an exit with it slowly dawning on us that we weren’t on the path. Finally we sighted the path, on the other side of the electric fence. Desperate, I had to hold the electric fence down with my backpack for Jack and Sam to jump over and then jump over it myself.

It was one of those “Don’t leave the path” moments, like the dwarves in Mirkwood. Thankfully we were back on track, un-electrocuted.

We quickly came to a canal lined with barge boats. I think if I were a single man, this would be my perfect home. With six kids, it sounds less fun.

After walking along the barge for a while and passing a little tea house, we entered a green little wood that followed along the river.

My pictures really cannot do justice to this place.

A few shots of my faithful companions.

Finally the forest opened up and we saw the top of St. Mary’s Church.

Our adventure complete, we hiked back to the Black Horse Public House and raised a celebratory glass to our bravery.

Then we went home for we were quite tired and sore after all that walking.

O, out they went a’walking
The brave Adventurers Three
A’walking not a’hiking
For they were sore of knee

Despite a map confusing
Only slightly lost their way
And when a bull encount’ring
Bravely fled by the wrong gate

And when caught by electric fence
And surrounded by terrible sheep
Quickly escaped in thirty minutes
The brave Adventures Three

O, out they went a’walking
The brave Adventurers Three!

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