Thursday, 24 September 2015

Cumbrae 23 September

Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul, Robert

The 'view' from the Glaid Stone
We welcomed Kenny Thomson to the fold as we made our way to Cumbrae on a damp, dreich morning for our familiar walk. As usual, there arose the question regarding the direction we should follow, but since Allan requested insisted that the hill be got out of the way first, the direction would be clockwise.
From the slipway, the Glaid Stone (127m) was reached in about forty minutes and, as tradition dictates, coffee was taken. So far the rain had proved to be insignificant and there were signs in the distance that the promised improvement might be not too far off. However, this was not a day for good views. Speedy progress was then made down into Millport and along the front to the shelter adjacent to the heliport where lunch was called for.
It was drying up nicely as we left Millport.
By the time we set off again about twelve o’clock, waterproof trousers had been dispensed with, and although light rain came and went on the road up the west side of the island, they were not really needed again. Realising that we were just going to miss the one-thirty ferry, we stopped for a few minutes at the memorial to the shipwreck before we, believe this or not, took a leisurely stroll back to the slipway for the next ferry at two.

Whatever happened to Little aand Large?
The Gogo Glen
It was dry when we reached Largs, just as well, as Paul’s car had a flat tyre. Luckily, his car did have a spare, not like most new cars, so Malcolm and he set about changing it whilst being given copious amounts of ‘advice’ from the rest of us. Wheel changing could become the Ooters newest sport following on the success of pool, boules etc. but, as was commented at the time, the F1 boys need not be worried about their jobs.
Ah widnae dae it that way, Malcolm!
FRT was held at the Village Inn at Fairlie, where the sight of Scotland beating Japan in the Rugby World Cup paled into insignificance when compared to the viewing of Robert’s holiday photos!
By the time we left for home, the sun was splitting the trees.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Windy Standard 16 Sep 2015

Present: Davie C, Gus, Peter, Davie McM and Rex

Five of us assembled at the waterworks at the head of Glen Afton on a glorious sunny autumn September morning.  Having waited in vain for some considerable time for the Irvine contingent (where were you, guys?) and being pestered by the midges we eventually set off to make our ascent of Windy Standard (698m). We walked in our usual direction to the Afton dam, the water of which was gleaming in the morning sun and proceeded on our path which eventually led us to our first coffee stop at the wee bridge at the Water of Deuch. Peter had to return at this point as he had an appointment. Having suppled us all with chocolate eclairs he set off with a spring in his step, buoyed up by the knowledge we would soon be having another curry night in October to celebrate Davie C's 60th birthday.

The climb up through the firebreak in the trees onto Jedburgh Knees proved to be a rather wetting experience due to the length of the grass and the overnight rain but before long we emerged onto the wind turbine road above the trees which would take us straight onto Windy Standard.

 Lunch was taken leaning up against one of the "windmills"  and we enjoyed the expansive views on a wonderful day when the visibility was excellent: the Lake District hills to the south, the Rhinns of Kells, Arran and Ailsa Craig to the west and the Lowthers, Tinto, Queensberry, Culter Fell hills to the east. Compared with last week's walk at Dalry this was proving a worthwhile day to be up high enjoying the sunshine and the views.

After lunch, we set off down the fence towards the Afton Water and the south-east corner of Glen Afton reservoir. Davie McM suggested taking the east path back to the reservoir steps; unfortunately he hadn't  done this walk for some time and discovered that very little maintenance has been done to this path (so what's new?);  the fir trees on either side  of the path were closing in on each other and deep pools of water  ensured that progress without getting wet feet  was somewhat difficult. Other than that, the walk under Cannock Hill and Craigbranneoch Rig was still extremely pleasant. We arrived back at the cars rough;y 4 and half hours after setting out, not a bad time for a bunch of old codgers!

FRT was taken at the Black Bull in Mauchline.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

A few more American pictures

 The first three pictures are from Zion National Park.

 The next two are from Lake Powell

 And finally we have the daddy of them all The Grand Canyon. AWESOME !!!!!!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Some info re the Baidland Hill walk

On our map, a wee short cut was shown through what is locally known as the Velvet Path. A pal of mine walked this route a day or so before we did and said we did well to miss it. The path was overgrown with nettles and brambles and was very damp in places.

The Caaf Reservoir and one other are being taken out of use and hence will be permanently drained.
(Stone from Loanhead Quarry outside Beith had been placed across the River Irvine at Campbell's Railway Bridge on Irvine Moor to allow heavy plant to cross the river to install a new sewer pipe. This work is now done and the stone is being removed and taken to the works at the Caaf Reservoir. If you looked closely at the trucks you could see water dripping out of the back of them at times - straight from the River Irvine).

I'm away to get a new anorak!

Mair fae Boab

Hi all,
Finally reached Bryce Canyon. Definitely the best view so far. The pictures only convey a small snapshot of the scale of this place. Most of these pictures were taken at an altitude of over 8000ft. Awesome.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

More from across the pond

Here are a few more recent pictures. Morning Glory, Grand Teton and Cowboy Cookout. I had the pleasure of sitting close to the horse's ass on the way back, a bit rich.

Friday, 11 September 2015

all astray in Austria

Greetings all. Monday to Friday weather sunny and cool. Really great for walking (6th to 11th Sept 2015).
I've just failed to post a picture from my tablet. Sorry. Just have to show you them next Wednesday

Pictures from our American correspondent

No Robert! I said I wanted a Dyson!

Old Faithful

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Baidland Hill, Dalry 9 September

Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Gus, Ian, Jimmy, Rex

The weather was disappointingly overcast as we met in Dalry for our excursion up Baidland Hill. The route had been well researched and so we found the cemetery with no bother and then turned right to proceed up the Fairlie Moor road. This soon became single track and although there was not much traffic, what traffic there was tended to be of the large Malcolm’s variety, as we were to find out later that work was being done at one of the reservoirs. We continued up the road, ignoring the option to follow an alternative footpath for some of the way, and soon reached the road end for Baidlandhill Farm. It was at this point that a pony was spotted coming down the road towards us, and as compassion is our middle name, it was eventually coaxed into a field housing other miscellaneous horses. We certainly hoped that this is where it should have been, but didn’t hang around for too long to make sure.
Davie said he was a little hoarse today
Not a good day for a view. Some might say the best way to see Dalry
The Baidlandhill Farm road led us steadily upwards until we stopped for coffee at the entrance to Ward Farm. The promised break in the cloud cover did not materialise and the views back down the valley were hampered by the low cloud. The sun wasn’t strong enough to burn through and there was not enough wind to blow the cloud cover away meaning that it was actually a bit chilly sitting around so we were soon on our way. Baidlandhill Farm was reached in no time and we followed the signage indicating that we should join the next part of the route by climbing a style and making a minor detour rather than going through the farm. Although no longer on tarmac, the going was still very good as we passed under the turbines on Wardlaw Wood Wind Farm and soon found ourselves on the service road. Our map told us that we should have been going through trees by this time but it looked as though much of the wood had been felled and that the service road took us through what was left of it. By this time, of course, we were well on our way down and soon emerged to see that the wee reservoir to our right, Caaf Reservoir, had been drained to allow for some sort of works. At the end of the service road, where it joins on to the Fairlie Moor road, lunch was called for.
Taking to the ‘main’ road again we passed the farm at Auldmuir with the pink paint on its brickwork and continued down to Baidland Mill and to the junction where we had headed upwards earlier in the day. We were relieved to see that the wee pony had settled back into its field and looked as though it was home. From here we retraced our steps into Dalry and were back at the cars by about one twenty, having set off just after ten.
FRT was taken at Wetherspoon’s in Irvine.

Holly wants a pair of these. Shades of Joe 90

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Lochwinnoch 2 September

Alan, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Gus, Jimmy, Johnny, Rex, Robert

A folly good show!
Jimmy and Rex had brought their bikes so they set off along the cycle track towards Paisley and on to Pollok Park, whilst the rest of us took to foot along the same track. The weather was ideal: dry, reasonably bright, warm in the sunshine (but not too warm), and little wind, so progress was good with the first stop for coffee at the Temple (or folly) on Kenmure Hill. Here Davie, the biologist, found a dead bird of prey and decided to take the ringed feet to the RSPB centre later in the day for identification.
Looking back at Castle Semple Loch
Through the rather large keyhole
Rejoining the track, and avoiding the multitude of cyclists, we headed towards our usual lunch stop at the bridge on the outskirts of Kilbarchan. Robert turned back before then as he had a family engagement to attend prior to him departing for Denver in the morning. We wished him a good holiday and reminded him to take his bus pass. There were tears in our eyes as we saw him walk back alone to his car - he had not left his fiver for the kitty!!
The return journey was uneventful, but we did notice that the wee Collegiate Church, a sometime coffee stop, was fenced off. The Visitors Centre, was reached at bang on one thirty, the agreed time to meet the cyclists. However, it was another twenty minutes or so before they arrived, not a problem since the pleasant afternoon sunshine gave us ample opportunity for a leisurely blether and to watch a couple of bus loads of college students try their hands out on kayaks, or was it canoes?
FRT was taken in the Brown Bull where, as well as other things being discussed, we reminisced about Kilmarnock’s exploits in Europe. For info: Eintracht was in season 64-65, Real Madrid was in 65-66, Leeds was in 66-67 (semi-final of Fairs Cup), Shelbourne was in 97-98 and Kaiserslautern was in 99-00. Full details can be got by googling ‘Kilmarnock FC in European football’.
Another successful day out!

I had a bike like this when I was a boy!