I don't remember the author or the name of the book but the gist of the description still comes into my mind as I wander the Dales.
"A lazy no-good slouch of a road, twisting and turning, and slowly climbing the hill with no particular destination in mind, as if one day was as good as the next".
When I'm on a journey in the Yorkshire Dales I delight in finding the narrowest, most twisting lanes, particularly when they don't seem to have any real purpose apart from meandering through the countryside. I love to think about the hundreds of people who've travelled those tracks through the ages, and to wonder why they journeyed.
It's fascinating to think back to medieval times when monks owned huge swathes of land and were rich from the proceeds of wool sales. They moved stock and raw materials along some routes that still exist such as Mastiles Lane that once stretched all the way from Malham to Fountains Abbey. Ancient packhorse routes were used to carry lead and wool. The Craven Old Way from Dentdale to Ingleton was one of these. Drovers routes were used to move livestock, often walking incredibly long distances.
Many of these old routes still exist, although their purpose is not always obvious. I like to think of them as "lazy lanes" thanks to that half-remembered children's storybook.
PS. If anyone recognises this or knows the author (I think his name was Leon something!) or the exact quote, please do let me know. I'd love to re-read the book and find out why I found this description so memorable!