I need a day out so tomorrow I am off to my local hills where I spent lots of time as a boy getting into the mountains. This was with my Dad and family as a very young boy and with the Boys Brigade. I helped make up the numbers in the early 60,s for the Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition. These were wild hills big bags and rough country my bag was bigger than me then. These may be small hills but they are grand mountains and hard country, hopefully we will have a great day. We are heading for the Corserine and Rhins of Kell Range in Galloway.
Yesterday I had an early morning cycle over my local Carrick hill it was steep and I have massive memories of this place in my youth. From the age of 12 I took part in the “Ayr Advertiser Walk “13 miles over the hill. It was hard then and 53 years later just as bad on a bike! The hill is steep and hard going I struggled maybe after my visit to Lockerbie my head was full the exercise sorted me. There is a trig point just of the top and I stopped here and ate a banana. Though just about 400 metres it was cold and huge clouds came in. There was a big sunflower on the top a babies shoe an a wee memorial. Someone’s life had changed and the loss of a child is so sad. Sadly there was lots of rubbish lying including lots of fly tipping I will go back in the van and collect it. The amount of plastic bottles and coffee cups is so sad. Why oh why?
My mind went back to the Ayr Advertiser Walk all these years ago.on the last few miles at about 4 miles from the end near the old Butlins holiday camp. My Dad and Mum were in the lay-by and I was exhausted.
My Dad said keep going “your a Whalley “and I did my Mum wanted to put me in the car. She was in tears I got up and continued and finished giving everything. Looking back It was good training for later life on Rescues or on the hills or in life when you have to pull out that bit extra. Hard love they call it.
So we head off the days are drawing in already and it is definitely colder but how lucky are we to have such love and places to go ,
Corserine is the highest point of the Rhinns of Kells range in the Southern Uplands of southern Scotland. The usual route of ascent is from the car park at Forest Lodge to the east of the hill via Loch Harrow and North Gairy Top. Forest Lodge is a short drive from the village of St. John’s Town of Dalry. Old haunts and memories !
Hiking – “I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ John Muir
I need this day out and hope my brother who is home from Bermuda enjoys it. He is in his 70’s and still runs every day. Hopefully we will take it slowly and drink in the memories of this place that is so special.
My blog on Lockerbie has been a huge eye opener to me and the feedback from the people of Lockerbie has been amazing. So many have shared their stories and said my badly written piece has allowed some to open up. Those folk have a story to tell and much good came out of that night yet so many have never spoken of it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness and understanding. This was not for me but for all who in so many ways have a tale to tell and how we can help the next generation understand and cope better than we did.
Yet we did our best.
Leonard Cohen song Alleluia
” There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”