Monday, 12 January 2009

On a morning when the Met Office and MWIS were sending out severe weather warnings and stating that walking would be impossible even in the glens, I traveled over to meet the rest of the Milburn Sunday Suicide Club with the intention of maybe passing on Plan A and maybe trying Plan Sensible. I should have known better. So about 8.45, nine of us, including new Sunday runner Christine, set off from Ardgartan on the climb over the forestry road to Lochgoilhead, before continuing round the Ben Donich loop for 20 miles of windblown, rain soaked fun and games. Soon settling into WHW mode of walking the hills and running the flat and downhills I found myself alone as Steph ran ahead from Lochgoilhead, and the others stayed together. Bad move. I passed a side road marked only as 5km of Dukes Pass leading to a Lochan, nothing to suggest this this continued to Ardgartan, so I stayed on the road I was on............ for four miles before it dead ended at a narrow path. I followed this path down a hill to two cottages where further progress required Olympian capabilities in windsurfing; sans board. The penny dropped. Even Steph's go anywhere attitude wouldn't have gotten him through the stormy waters of Lochgoil yesterday. Nothing for it but to go back and look for the trail. When I got to the Dukes Pass trail I decided to go that way, for about a mile before deciding that, as I wasn't sure whether that was the right way,I should get back to the road in case darkness over took me, or by this time exhaustion. Funnily enough, I subscribe to the theory that it is the brain that tires you as a survival measure, not muscular fatigue. By the time I got back onto the road I couldn't run another step! Luckily, it's only about a mile to Lochgoilhead from where I hitched a lift from three young lads in a very nice BMW. They had been at Drumsynie for a swim and were heading home to Hamilton, so I got them to drop me at the car park where JR was sitting with Ali and Christine. Thank God JR had had a senior moment and had forgotten to lock his car. Because he had given me the key as I should have been back before him! He probably won't make that mistake again. By this time Steph had started running back along the route to try and find me and I'd actually passed Jim and Geraldine as they searched the road to Lochgoilhead for me. Fortunately there was enough light, that they hadn't panicked and sent for the Mountain Rescue teams. That would have been the last straw! Whilst I'm grateful to the lads in the Beemer, it would be remiss of me not to share the following exchange.

Driver: Where's that smoke coming fae?
Me: That's clouds.
Driver: I've never seen them that low!

Anyway, I drove back to Alexandria with Jimmy and Ger, and Jimmy's parting shot was "Looking forward to yer blog."
OK. I hand it out, so I've got to take it. And of course I logged into the Millies web site where there was an enquiry after my health and well being from Andy. Mind you he had p****d off with Ian quick enough!
He headed the post LOST DAVIE. How can I be lost if I know where I am? Missing? Maybe.
So a late tea. But look on the bright side. 22 miles by G-map.

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