This month’s hike didn’t go as planned. I never made it to my intended starting point. I wandered around somewhat randomly once I finally did set out. And I never reached “the top” of anything. Despite all that I still had sun and snow and, for the first time, my trusty canine companion Rubee tagging along. Good company, good weather, and good scenery equal winning as far as I’m concerned.
For my monthly hike, I had a few requirements: the weather had been bad all week, with snow and ice forecast, so I knew I couldn’t go too far (or too high). I also wanted somewhere that I could be confident in taking my dog Rubee along. That means no sheep, which, come on, this is Scotland. Sheep are EVERYWHERE.
I ended up targeting the Carron Valley Reservoir near Meikle Bin on top of the Campsie Fells for the hike, as it’s almost entirely contained within forestry track land (i.e. no sheep ✅) and close to get to (i.e. not too far ✅).
Alas, as the driver of a front-wheel-drive estate (station wagon to us ‘mericans) with no chains or shovel on-board, I was a bit too ambitious. On Thursday it snowed like crazy across even the lower elevations, and despite it being clear and sunny on Friday when I set out, I had to ditch my car much further down the hills than I wanted for fear of it becoming stranded in hard-packed ice and snow on a tiny two-track road up into the mountains.
So, rather than a long walk along the banks of the reservoir and potentially a trip up Meikle Bin, Rubee and I ended up hiking a lone stretch of road with the awesome name of Tak-Ma-Doon and, after veering off into dense forestry track land, finding Bob’s pool: a mysterious little swimming hole in the middle-of-nowhere that apparently was the favorite abode of another canine.
This made for a nice moment of appreciation and, along with sun and fresh air, made the day a really refreshing outing. This failed hike didn’t at all feel like a failure at all.
Here is the full route:Download file for GPS
Here is my Garmin tracker from the hike:
RIP Bob, you are missed.