September 28, 2014

Seven Days, 101.84 Miles, and 236,261 Steps

That's how my pedometer describes my walk through Scotland's Rob Roy Way. A walk that took us through (start singing now) the high roads...
 ...through the low roads...
And smack through the middle of the extraordinary election for Scottish independence from Great Britain!


 On the side of the road, we thought we met an elf who had way too much static electricity.
He told us a story about his fabulous sweater, which his mum made for him when he was eight. It developed a hole when he was 14 and he darned it. And he has never stopped darning it. He told us his name was Malcolm Applebee, which, he said, we could google. I did and expected to find he had escaped from somewhere. I didn't expect to find he was an MBOE and an award-winning engraver!

There were several other signs to add to my collection, too.
My mother wanted to know if this meant slow down...or speed up.
 And just in case you wondered exactly where the Universe got started...

Like Scotland itself, the hike was a largely a sheepfest.
The trail wound us through many pastures, each with signs requesting that we "do not worry the sheep." That's because, near as I can see, sheep as a species are already dangerously overwrought. They're a bunch of old ladies, wringing their wooly little hands dawn to dusk and just begging for some Xanax.
In their defense, they do have something to worry about.
The other animals were much more at one with the Universe.
And finally, the forests themselves were full of things I had never seen before. An old hag made out of lichen...
 A man-sized termite mound...
 A storybook array of funghi...

And this.
So that's the sights. When I return from mowing the weeds, I'll tell you about what it felt like...and everything you need to know about the Drum of Clashmore, the Wee Burn, and, of course, Cullen Skink.


  1. that was an amazing walk!
    these images are already so entertaining, I can hardly wait to read about your exploits, hurry please, weeding can wait

    1. ....and that sweater is other-worldly - it would seem in his world there is indeed no away

    2. I remember that line, "there is no away when you throw something away." Ok, I mowed the weeds and I am commencing to begin to think about how to start.

  2. Well this is a fine introduction into the Scottish highland and lowland tales of your adventures on foot. Traveling this way, out on the land, close and personal with flora and fauna and the occasional fascinating person, is probably the best way of all to experience a land. This land of sheep, my favorites as my Dad was a shepherd, to the greens of the hills, to a feeling of falling down the rabbit hole a la Alice in Wonderland and landing in the world of extraordinary fungi - it all has the makings of a once in a lifetime adventure complete with in your face signs and the poignancy of a man who has kept his Mum's sweater growing in love and remembrance. An ancient place yet moving forward with ayes and nays and this time the nays won. I wonder if Scotland will go forward again with its bid for independence...and you were there. Thank you and now that I have wrapped these wonderful photos around me like a nicely woven Scottish shawl, I await the tales that you have teased us with as well as the telling of food and drink and whatever merriment awaited you around the bend and over hill and dale...

    1. Well I was tempted by Cullen Skink so one question answered but I will say no more and let you tell of it...

    2. There's such a dilemma when setting out on a trip. To take a broad sweep and see oh so much, like we did in Idaho, or to creep in closer and closer and focus only on what your feet touch. I'm so blessed that I can do both.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Nancy. And thanks as always for the link on your blog!

  4. Hi Julie, I'm so glad you enjoyed Scotland. I live in the north of England, but have spent decades visiting Scotland; I love the place. I followed the Indy Debate with interest. Yes; how lucky to be able to discuss, debate, and vote, on Independence. No one was killed. Keep your eyes on the political developments from this.....things are getting 'interesting' here! Keep on walking....and glad you looked after your feet. Lovely to read this post. Jan x

    1. Thank you for taking the time to wave to me, Jan. We wondered if you Brits felt torn up at all by the possibility of a "yes," the ones we met didn't seem worried.

  5. on foot. this is just so the Best. so much you would not have seen and seen so well
    if not on foot