But I'm glad I went. I'd shown willing.
The highlight of the night for me was driving back along the Military Road at Sunset. It shows that I have fallen 100% in love with this area of the world. If you'd told me that I would feel like this 20 years ago I would have looked at you as if you were an escaped lunatic. I thought (then) that if you went as far West as Hexham you fell off the edge of the world.
The countryside is extraordinarily green and luscious. Hawthorn trees, with their pretty white flowers, are flowering in abundance standing like guardians of each village, each outpost. As I sped past them the sun was setting against Hadrian's Wall showing it in relief on the right hand side of the road.
Half way along the road I wound down my window so I could hear the wind rushing in and around the car. I find that every time I drive along this road I discover new sights (and sites), fresh sounds varying with the time of day and season. Do those magnificent looking gates, lost and forlorn, lead to Aydon Castle I wonder? I remind myself to check the map when I get back. (They might be a reminder of the remains of Halton Castle. Need to do some more research.)
The famous Sycamore tree at Sycamore Gap (as stood under by Kevin Costner in 'Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves') seems even more beautiful in the crepuscular light.
It is a joy and a treasure to experience all of this and more. I try to sear these pinky blue views in my memory bank. I reach my destination. I park my car and the bats swoop overhead.