Photo: Blackstone River Theatre.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The TGO Challenge is one month away. I actually leave for Scotland in less than a month. I've got most everything sorted out but some things remain to be dealt with. Fortunately one thing that has long since been settled is my route plan. Since this is my first Challenge hike and my first solo hike in the United Kingdom I have selected a route that is reletively low-level and also fairly popular. While some of the distances are a bit daunting given that I'm right now in so-so shape my real concern is navigation rather than physical limitations of my body. Will I lose my way and head off on some sheep path that takes me away from where I want to go? Will I have troubles finding my way in and out of the towns I pass through? I am more apt to find sub-optimal routes than most people and this will impact upon my trip if it happens often. Having said all this I am still looking forward to the adventure I know is awaiting me.
WITH FOUL WEATHER ALTERNATIVES (if needed)
|FRI 9 MAY||Loch Duich Hotel - camban - Alltbeithe Youth Hostel||33||27||700||Alltbeithe YH|
|FWA Shiel Bridge – camban - Alltbeithe Youth Hostel||33||19||650||Alltbeithe YH|
|SAT 10 MAY||Alltbeithe YH - Cougie||33||19||550||Cougie (camp)|
|SUN 11 MAY||Cougie - Bealach Feith na Gamhna - (244 200 path to 253 187 – across moor 120°/3.5km to pylon track at 292 115 then follow paths) - Fort Augustus||33,34||24||700||probably camp|
|MON 12 MAY||Fort Augustus - Melgarve - Garva Bridge||34,35||27||1000||camp|
|TUE 13 MAY||Garva Bridge – Sherrabeg – Drumgask Fm – Catlodge – Mains of Glentrum – Phones – Lubleathann - Kingaussie||35||31||600||hotel/B&B/inn type – not sure where yet|
|WED 14 MAY||Kingussie - Ruigh-aiteachain Bothy||35||16||300||Ruigh-aiteachain Bothy|
|THU 15 MAY||Ruigh-aiteachain Bothy – White Bridge (via Mullach Clach a Bhlair – River Eidart (916944), follow river to waterfall at 913887 and follow path east from there to White Bridge).||35,42,43||28||700||camp|
|FWA Ruigh-aiteachain Bothy – White Bridge (along footpath)||35, 42, 43||22||400||camp|
|FRI 16 MAY||White Bridge - Braemar||43||15||100||lodge|
|SAT 17 MAY||Braemar - Gelder Shiel - Spittfal of Glennmuick - Shielin of Mark Bothy||43, 44||27||1100||Shielin of Mark Bothy|
|SUN 18 MAY||Shielin of Mark Bothy -Invermark Castle – Tarfside||44||18||400||Tarside green|
|MON 19 MAY||Tarfside - Cairncross – Wester Aucheen – Blackcraig – Water of Dye - Charr Bothy||44, 45||15||650||Charr Bothy|
|TUES 20 MAY||Charr Bothy – Spital Cott – Bridge of Dye – Heatheryhaugh – Kerlock Cairn -Glennskinnan – Stonehouse – Mergie – Snob Cott – Bossholes – Cheyne Hill – Blairs – Home Fm - Dunnottar Castle||45||38||750||not sure|
|FWA Charr Bothy – Mergie (use if late in day)||45||25||600||camp|
|WED 21 MAY||FWA Mergie – Dunnottar Castle||45||13||150||not sure|
|THU 22 MAY|
|FRI 23 MAY|
Making a Difference: Building New Trail from Ken Knight on Vimeo.
Monday, April 7, 2008
sunshine to build the half mile trail that would connect to the North Country Trail.
We spread out so that we wouldn't bump into each other. I was one of many wielding a fire rake. You use the fire rake to remove the doth that has accumulated on the forest floor. The fire rakers in some ways make the trail the most visible though if all you did to make a trail was clear a path with the rakes your trail would not be nearly complete. I found the work easy as I moved past one orange flag to the next. I could hear other people doing the same thing, others having conversations, the thump of a person using a McLeod in the second step of building the actual treadway, once in a while the chain saw crew firing up the saw to remove a nasty set of downed logs, along with the other sounds around me. It was great fun.
The people with McCloeds would come through after those of us with fire rakes had cleared the basic path. They came through smoothing down the path, shaving it as it were, making a tread-way that will last much longer and attract less debris. The chain saw gang made short work of several fallen oak logs in the way. Brush was moved to make the old social path less obvious. After about 3 hours of diligent work a final few of us went through with boundary white paint to make blazes marking the path for all to see. A glorious new trail was made on a fine early spring day.
The next morning John, Andy, and I would walk down the connector trail to the NCT to do general maintenance on our section (runs from 16 Mile Road to 13 Mile Road, about 6.1 miles of trail). The piece from 16 Mile Road to Highbanks Lake had been done the day before leaving us with 4 miles to go. As we walked down the new connector trail we noticed trekking pole prints. The trail had already been used by the public. I must say it was a gratifying feeling to know that even before the paint on the blazes had time to dry people had found the new trail to the campground and were using it. We even got to meet the couple with their dog as we were taking a snack break. They were quite happy with the new trail and thanked us for our work. It's always nice to actually meet people who appreciate what you are doing.
A weekend spent with friends doing something useful and being thanked by people who actually use the trails: what a wonderful way to spend some time outdoors.