At this point in their journey, Frodo, Sam, and Pippin fell in with a company of elves. I am trying to imagine what it must have been like, in the midst of fear still caused by the distant presence of a Black Rider, to see something as ethereal and beautiful as elves.
If folk think that it is rare to see a hobbit lass abroad in these new, brighter days after the destruction of the dark lord, than seeing an elf is an even more privileged sight. I know that I am travelling towards Rivendell, and there are tales told that the Lord of Rivendell, Elrond, still resides there. His "Homely House" is always open to the traveler.
It must have been heartening for the original questing hobbits to have seen those elves so many years ago; knowing that they would not travel this part of the path alone.
I must pardon my absence, but the rain in this country has been hindering me in my journey. I have been fortunate in that these great oaks have sheltered me through these past few days. Every time there has been a break in the clouds, I edge a little further down the road.
It has been lonely; the roads are now so saturated with water that the mud is slick and dangerous. I came upon an overturned cart yesterday; its owner had unhitched his draft animal and had salvaged what he could. From what I could tell in the murky surroundings, he had been a vegetable farmer.
I myself found a few relatively unharmed carrots and several small potatoes. When there is enough dry wood about for me to build a fire, I shall see if I can snare a rabbit and make stew.
I hear the rain letting up outside the hollow now; I must make what distance I can.
I find myself huddled in the shelter of an oak, waiting out the latest storm. My entry must be brief, for the damp is making my ink run.
I took the right fork, away from Stock, and am on a path lined by ancient oaks. I may even be taking shelter in the same tree where the heroes did so long ago.
Hopefully tomorrow will have clearer weather...
It is much cooler today; the mist all around is leaving damp droplets in my hair and on my cloak. The fresh smell of the coming autumn is somewhat muted, but I love rain anyway, so I am not disappointed.
Unfortunately, the rain is slowing everyone's progress today. The shapes of other travelers are vague and it seems as if I have the world to myself. Merry and Pippin sometimes still sing a few of the songs they had for the road. For myself, I like the quiet. I can hear the water dripping from the leaves and gray silence covers the land much like a blanket covers a sleeping child.
Soon I shall stop in whatever shelter I can find. But the world will still be quiet; waiting for the sunlight which will hopefully shine again tomorrow.
As I pen this entry, I am sitting in the hollow where Sam and Pippin hid from the first Black Rider they ever witnessed. Wrapped in my new shawl, I can watch any passersby with relative ease as I eat my "teatime" snack--some dried fruit and nuts.
It is difficult to imagine on this somewhat blustery day how those early heroes felt when they confronted the first form of evil they had ever known. Did their bones get cold? Was all light in the world temporarily forgotten at the sight of that wraith-like creature which haunted their steps?
From some of the stories I heard in the Green Dragon, Merry and Pippin did not think so. But old Samwise...his tales had a far greater feel of truth. And Frodo's, of course. Because, as Samwise would say: "They are the tales that matter."
Finally, I have left the rolling road and can see across a river from here towards Woody End. On this side of the river a small market has sprung up. Calling the folk selling their wares here merchants is generous...they are more like peddlers.
I browsed through the few stalls, admiring some of the handcarved trinkets. One woman had a lovely collection of handwoven clothing. There was a lovely blue shawl that I admired very much, but did not have coin enough to buy it. As autumn is coming on, it would be nice to have another outer garment to keep myself warm on the road to come.
The woman caught me looking with such longing that we eventually struck up a conversation. She had seen a few hobbit folk before, and I showed her some of my own small jewelry. She was quite taken with a pair of bracelets that had some lovely orange beads. I added another necklace, and we traded on friendly terms.
Now I am camped further towards the river, and will pass by Woody End tomorrow. Sleep well!
The sun has been very hot today, with little breeze to cool a weary traveler. I am still on a rolling path, and fervently hope that tomorrow will be the last day of this.
I have heard news, however, that tomorrow I may reach a little fair that lies along this road. I may be able to sell some of my play-pretty jewelry and pick up some interesting baubles in return.
I am resting in the shade of an old elm tree, waiting for the heat of the day to pass. Perhaps tomorrow will have weather better suited to an amateur traveling hobbit lass.
Today's trek has been light, and I have had sunny weather today as the road continues to wind up and down hills. There have been quite a few other travelers on the road, mostly farmers here and there.
I did stop and trade for some additional supplies from a merchant man; he was so large and the humor that danced in his eyes suggested he had not had much opportunity to deal with hobbit-folk before.
One of the things he had which caught my eye was a collection of beads. Jewelry is much more a dabblement than anything else, but these beads reminded me of the lush grass of the Shire, which a part of me already misses.
I traded him a necklace I had made, and in exchange received a small handful of these green glass beads. As I sit and write this, I am already pondering what I shall make with them. Perhaps I shall draw a picture when I have decided.
One more day or so on this rolling road and I shall be nearer to the next village.
This is a cheeky hobbit lass who is walking from Bag End to Rivendell, in the steps of Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin. I departed on the second day of September and have been making slow but sure progress.
Today being the eleventh day, I have decided to keep an account of the happenings that meet me on the road. Unfortunately, the land after the twentieth mile marker is simply rolling hills...and if my sketchy, hand-written guide is to be believed, then I can expect much more of this for the next few days.
It has been years since those four hobbits returned to the shire, and the world is different...at least, that's what they say. We're still cleaning up the mess from Sharkey and his horrible slaves...
But past that, I have decided that I want to do it myself. It is over sixteen hundred miles to Mordor, the final place in my guide. You would think from some of the tales that it is not quite that far...but I am learning differently.
Although my first large goal for myself is Rivendell, I have set my sights even closer along the path to a very important place: The Prancing Pony. I have over one hundred miles until then, but I am determined.
The Shire itself is now behind me; I have traveled from Hobbiton through Tookland, crossed the Brandywine Bridge and am on Stock Road.
What is it old Bilbo Baggins used to say? The road goes ever on and on.
He was right!