That makes a lot of sense, i studied forestry and wilderness management for four years and learned a lot of how much Wood People used back in the old days, huge areas were left open for years, and cows and sheep and goats made sure no trees could Return. I think you are right, the straight road must have been open both ways, at least for some :)
Author's Response: It seems, however, that I'm the only author here who has used this idea in his stories, thus far. Others have created situations in which their characters contact persons in Valinor, but their scenes involve the use of a palant
You've made some very good points here, especially regarding the growth/regrowth of the forests.
I also think it likely that was some form of trade going on with Valinor, though perhaps the Valar simply turned a blind eye to goods being traded (well, it's not like they're passengers... except for one notable occasion, that is. :) If nothing else, it doesn't make sense that the ships would return completely empty. (Having dealt with trucks & trucking from the business end, the idea of an "empty" return trip for any but the very local hauls makes me shiver.)
Author's Response: Indeed. Consider also the possibility that a few Elves might even briefly return to Middle Earth to visit relatives who, for whatever reason, had decided to stay.
Can I just say that this makes a lot of sense to me - apart from anything else I have wondered about how Cirdan copes with all his trained sailors only ever going one way - and I do think it would be a real waste of vessels for them all to be sitting in harbours in the West.
Author's Response: Indeed! That was also my feeling exactly. Thank you for your interest and support.