Walk completed August 16, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014, Day 8, Tadpole Bridge to Lechlade, 9 Miles

Today was a rest day for me – only 9 miles. After a busy weekend along the river, I was looking forward to a quiet, uneventful walk. John, the lock keeper at Rushey Lock, assured me that today would be a quiet day on the river. He was kind enough to take some time to explain the operation of the river’s weir system, which controls the flow of the water all the way to London. It’s hard to imagine the narrow river flowing past us (and only 8 feet deep) becomes the deep wide river by the time its tributaries add to the flow.

John, with former Niven fishing lodge
Like many of the older locks on the river, Rushey Lock has an interesting history. The grandfather of actor David Niven built a fishing lodge there, and it now serves as the lock keeper’s residence. David Niven, himself, often stayed there, as did a long list of his contemporaries, such as Elizabeth Taylor. It’s hard to imagine today’s stars staying in a place so small.


Stella and Andrew

Back on the footpath, I met Andrew (from Connecticut) and Stella, his sister (from England), who were completing another leg of the Thames Path. Patrick, a solo walker approaching 80, was also completing another section.


Overgrown path (notice nettles)
Beyond Radcot Bridge, the trail passed through extensive marshlands, part of the river’s flood plain. Due to last winter’s flooding, the trail was extensively overgrown. Walking through the marsh grass was like post holing through powder on snow shoes. Each footstep sank deeply into the grass requiring a gait more akin to high-step marching than walking. The marching was easy, though, compared to the bushwhacking required to pass through the stinging nettles where the trail exited the marshland.


As many of you know, I’m not without friends in high places, and when King Arthur realized that I was in dire straits, he sent Mark to the rescue. As quickly as you could say Camelot, Mark whizzed by me in his tractor and cleared the footpath to a condition fitting for the passage of royalty. Hey, Mark, YOU DA MAN!!


But King Arthur wasn’t finished yet. At Buscot Lock, he sent the Gloustershire Search and Rescue Team to protect me just in case I were to fall into the lock. As they finished their training, these strong, dedicated and brave men sought my advice for attracting women. Of course, backpacks are best, but if you don’t have a backpack a uniform will probably do. They all sported super uniforms, and shouldn’t have any trouble attracting women once I leave the country.


But for now, I’m busy attracting cattle, some of whom seem determined to block my way. I pushed past him, however, and made my way to the B&B. It had soap in the shower. I just know that if I buy that lottery ticket, I’ll never have to work again – and every day will be a rest day like today!!

© 2014 Ken Klug


  1. As far as days off goes, I think you just got a pretty good one. Except for snow shoeing in mud and a cow messing with your good nature, it went pretty good.
    Surely those thenSearc and Rescue guys appreciated your tips on attracting the ladies....if they only knew the kind you attract....😱

    1. Well, as you know, most ladies are attracted by my good looks, but once they realize that I'm more than just another pretty face, they lose interest -- except for Janet, of course, but she claims she was never attracted by my pretty face.

  2. Boy you do get regular visits from the cavalry, in this case the mechanised division - what next. Ann and I are enjoying the blog, may the good weather stay with you.