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25 + 78 points

Straight Line by Yoda, Fiona, Majyk

March 8th, 2009 7:59 AM

INSTRUCTIONS: From a starting point of your choosing, walk in a straight line as long as possible. All obstacles are to be surpassed with the minimum deviation from your line.

Continue until the whole project becomes untenable.

Text by Fiona
Photos by Majyk, Yoda and Fiona.


I have been wanting to do this task for ages but have been waiting for inspiration. I felt it would be hard to walk in anything like a straight line on the Island because the towns are too small to give it a really good go and the countryside is broken up into farms and fields with no right of way so you have to go around absolutely everything. I thought of Parkhurst forest, with a compass, as that's the only way to tell if you are going in a straight line in heavily wooded areas, but that didn't seem exciting enough. Besides, I want to save the forest for some future tasking.

Then my friend Becki asked me to go walk her dogs with her and I saw something I had forgotten about for years. A really, really long pipe! I used to come walking here with my grandparents and I always wanted to see where it went and climb along it but they wouldn't let me, 'cos i was quite small.

I invited Yoda because he has ninja like balance and is slim and spry(ish). The night before we did the task I met up with Majyk in a nightclub and told him what we were doing and he asked very enthusiastically if he could come along. 'Of course', was the answer.

The pipe runs along side the old railway line and is totally and utterly straight. It is also really, really long. I don't know how long it took us to get from one end to the other, but it was a good mornings work. Unfortunately we had to start real early 'cos Yoda had double booked himself and needed to be somewhere by two.

It was great fun, really scary on the high bits, scarier than I expected actually. Also, for the whole length of the thing we could hear a really wierd noise from somewhere in the woods. I don't know what it was, but it sounded exactly like lots and lots of monkeys. There deffinitely aren't any monkeys on the Isle of Wight, apart from in the zoo, and we weren't anywhere near the zoo, so it must have been a flock of unusual migratory birds or something. Don't know. But it sure as hell did sound like a load of monkeys.

More of the tale is written with the pictures. Enjoy...

+ larger

01 The beginning.jpg
02 Showing them the high bit.jpg
03 The start of the pipe.jpg
04 First wobble.jpg
05 Wonder what it's for.jpg
06 What is she doing with that tree.jpg
07 Getting swampy.jpg
08 With many obstacles.jpg
09 Not a time for loose shoe laces.jpg
10 Obstructions.jpg
11 Ground just starting to drop away.jpg
12 Show off.jpg
13 A little bit higher.jpg
14 Higher than it looks.jpg
15 Shadows show how high we are.jpg
16 Legs wobbly now.jpg
17 Scooching past annoying obstacle.jpg
18 Ooh there's a knobbly bit.jpg
19 Whew, something to hold onto.jpg
20 Time for a roll-up.jpg
21 But I'm still trying to get across the river.jpg
22 Bit closer to the ground now.jpg
23 More obstacles.jpg
24 This thing goes on forever.jpg
25 This thing really goes on forever.jpg
26 So easy when it's low.jpg
27 The end of the line.jpg
28 Hooray.jpg
29 We conquered it.jpg
30 Then we went for a play.jpg
31 Retraced our steps.jpg
32 For a bit of an adventure.jpg
33 Found some tunnels.jpg
34 Yoda got a bit stuck.jpg
35 Not sure what they're doing.jpg

21 vote(s)

Favorite of:


memory, return, balance, dangerous, waterhazard

13 comment(s)

No, wait, come back!
posted by Waldo Cheerio on March 8th, 2009 8:14 AM

Awesome. Creative. But don't leave me hanging, what was at either end?! Why does this exist? Who made such an exacting structure, capable of supporting the weight of three adults, in a perfectly straight line across the Isle of Wight?!

I have no idea...
posted by Fiona on March 8th, 2009 8:46 AM

I am guessing it has something to do with the steam railway that used to be there but I don't know. There was nothing either end, the pipe just dissapeared without a trace. I guess it was overground at that point because the ground was so uppy-downy and covered in streams and pools. There was a famous pipeline across the Island which was something to do with the war (second world war I think), it was called PLUTO and went across, mostly under, the whole Island and under the ocean (PLUTO stands for Pipeline Under The Ocean). I don't think, however, that this was part of it.
I will see what I can find out for you, Mr Cheerio.

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on March 8th, 2009 9:58 AM

How about a geo-tag?

Can we see it from space using the Googlemachine?

Possible location
posted by SPJ on March 8th, 2009 10:11 AM

I think it's somewhere around this area:

Isle of Wight, UK
Link: Google Maps

I think I've seen this pipe before, but can't remember exactly where.

(no subject)
posted by Fiona on March 8th, 2009 10:46 AM

Its in among trees though so probably not visible. Don't know.

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on March 8th, 2009 2:10 PM

I just scoured that map looking for a trace of pipe, and couldn't find it. I was looking for that creek that it crosses seeing as to how there was plenty of blue sky above it, but couldn't even find that. Well, I found a creek in there, but it was likely not that creek. I really wanna see that pipe from space more now.

posted by Majyk on March 8th, 2009 11:22 AM

I have 2 things to say:
1: I AM THE PIPE NINJA!! i can conquer the length of any pipe!!
2: the pluto pipe pops out on the beach next to fishbourne along woodside beach.

(no subject)
posted by susy derkins on March 8th, 2009 10:06 PM

Oh, wow, I think you guys should be getting the fleur on this one. I loved the treadmill, but vertigo loaded tasking is even better in my book.

(no subject)
posted by Cookie on April 8th, 2009 1:49 PM

M's legs went wobbly from just reading the description.

posted by Fiona on May 5th, 2009 1:03 AM

Not quite as glamorous as I thought. Asked one of my Grandparents, who seems to know everything about the Island, and he said it was an old sewage pipe. Pretty ancient but probably still in use. Oh well, it was still a good adventure.

posted by Fiona on December 4th, 2009 11:59 AM

Apparantly there were monkeys nearby, I have it on good authority. Don't know why though.

Straight line!
posted by bro lyx on February 14th, 2010 7:24 AM

I love the straightness of the line you walked on! And also the obstacles that you had to cross. That pipe-walk was great! I would have loved to do it myself :) Can you guess at the length of the pipe? Or how long it took you to "cross" it?

(no subject) +1
posted by rongo rongo on March 5th, 2010 3:50 PM

This is a perfect straight line adventure.