Wall Walk - Part 2
Hadrian's Wall runs up and down the crests of hills, stretching into the horizon.
For centuries the Wall served as a convenient landmark for farmers and herders of the neighborhood. Occasionally, sections of the wall would be dismantled, the stones being recylced as fenceposts and field markers nearby. Serious, systematic preservation of the wall began in the middle of the 1800s.
"Crowds Throng the Wall"
I came across a few people every now and then walking the wall as I was. Sometimes a couple, sometimes a solitary traveller like myself. No tour buses - at least not on the wet and soggy day I was there.
"Vercovicium Fort (aka Housesteads)"
A National Trust property
It was about this point that the moisture in the air began to fall as rain instead of just hovering as drizzle. I was very grateful for my Columbia rainjacket and my Vasque hiking boots - I learned what "waterproof" really means.
One of the mile stations.
The Emperor Hadrian was an enigmatic fellow. He's generally regarded as one of the best of Roman leaders, outstanding even among "the Five Good Emperors" of the second century C.E. Yet not that much is really known about him. It's said that he had a youthful lover, Antinous, whose untimely death enfolded Hadrian in a melancholy from which he never escaped. I enjoyed the French novelist Marguerite Yourcenar's reconstruction of his life in her novel, "Memoirs of Hadrian."
Looking eastward toward Crag Lough
The "highest" point of my wall walk was between milecastles 40 and 41. The area is known as "Windshields Crags," and I'm sure that if the weather had been good I would have had excellent views in all directions. According to my survey map, it's about 345 meters above sea level here - about 1500 feet.
I was heading back to the rail line at Haltwhistle when I passed the Milecastle Inn. A warm pint of bitter would have been welcome, but the Inn doesn't serve between 2 and 6. It looks like a nice place for a pint. (It's on the B 6318.)