Friday, 30 June 2017

Dalfram to Sorn 28 June 2017

11 Present: Jim, Jimmy, Peter, Davie C, Davie M, Bob, Rex, Kenny T, Ian, Malcolm, Dougie, Gus.

Having organised the cars at both ends, we set off from Dalfram about 5 to 10. It was not bright but at least it was dry, although, as we discovered to our cost, the overnight rain was going to make it very wet underfoot.

The first section across Aird's Moss was easy going with Davie M pointing out where John Lapraik's house stood. It was only after our coffee stop at the old brig over the Greenock Water that we started to encounter some deep grass.  No maintenance had been done on this section of the path although later on in the day we came across some young guys towards the Sorn end scything and strimming and uncovering the path.

It was remarked on the proliferation of wild orchids to be found; some light blue and others a very deep purple. Davie M managed to astound Bob by pointing out some Ragged Robin, a flower which Bob hadn't heard of. At one point on the path we came across a dose of gunnera (no, not the stuff you need antibiotics for). This was neck high or in Davie C's case …  By the way, has anybody seen Davie C since?

After we passed the guys working on the path, the walk became an absolute dawdle and we arrived back at the cars 3 hours and 55 minutes after we had left the cars.  Again although not a bright day the weather had been kind to us.

Some left early to attend a Kilmarnock Academy retirement presentation while the rest of us repaired  to the Black Bull in Mauchline for FRT. The barmaid supplied us with a huge plate of pizza which disappeared like snaw aff a dyke. Our thanks go to her.

Davie M mentioned that if Alan S wasn't present on the walks, the blog wasn't getting written up. As the blog constitutes the history of the Early Ooters he felt that this should be rectified and suggested that each of us take a turn at writing a description of the walk. Let's see what happens.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Some images from the river Ayr walk

Malcolm's Brig.

Blue flies on white umbillifer.

First cut of the meadow hay in the valley.


Arrangements for 5 July

The walk will be the Dailly circle. Meet in Dailly Main St at 10:00 am.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Knock Hill 14 June

Allan, Dougie, Gus, Jim, Kenny R, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul, Rex, Robert

The morning was overcast, but, with a favourable forecast, we set off in good spirits from our usual spot next to the Gogo Burn. We walked along the esplanade before crossing over the main road and headed up to Brisbane Glen Road, which we followed until we took a left at the sign which said Knock Hill 2 miles. When we reached the farm our passage was barred by a low, net fence. Despite our attempts to get someone’s attention, no-one appeared, so we stepped over the obstacle and continued. Our thoughts were the fence was there to stop vehicles going up the track rather than walkers, and anyway we were on a recognised walking path. We stopped a wee bit later and took coffee.
The weather was still a bit overcast but it was warming up, so jackets and fleeces came off for the gentle pull up the hill. The path was getting wetter, but nothing to deter us, and before long we were at the base of the ‘cone’. No heroics here as we followed the spiral path to the top where we were joined, briefly, by another wee group of walkers. Since it was windy at the trig point we sought some shelter in the lea of the hill for lunch and encountered a brief light rain shower as we sat.
Now, how to make our descent? After some deliberation, we decided to follow Rex who led us down from the hill and on to a path through the bracken emerging on Routenburn Golf Course. Emerging on Routenburn Road, we made our way back to the main road, crossed it, and walked back down the esplanade to the cars.
Three hours and twenty minutes for the seven miles! Not descending in the direction of Knock Castle had shaved forty minutes or so from our time, but nobody was arguing.
FRT was taken at Weatherspoon’s in Largs and, as we sat on the veranda, the sun broke through to provide pleasant warmth.

14 May 2017 - Knock Hill

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Falls of Clyde 7 June

Allan, Davie C, Dougie, Ian, Jim, Johnny, Kenny R, Kenny T, Rex, Robert

When this walk was mooted last week, there was a suggestion that there would be little water coming over the falls at this time of the year. Well, what a difference a week makes! After some heavy rain, the views were spectacular. If only the water had been blue rather than brown. The amount of soil washed off the land must have been considerable.
The walk is very familiar so little need for lots of detail in what follows.
The rhodie to nowhere?
We took the clockwise route from Kirkfieldbank stopping for photos at the wood carvings and further up at the Memorial Garden. From here we took a path down to join the Clyde Walkway up to New Lanark where we took coffee in the warm sunshine beside the water wheel. Although there had been a stiff breeze, the walk so far had been sheltered and continued to be so as we progressed up the walkway. Robert, as is his want, stopped a couple to ask, in his best Kilmarnock, about the peregrine falcons. Unbeknown to oor Bob, the couple were not of these parts and exclaimed that they could not understand him. We all agreed that this was something that we had to live with, and moved on. The sights and sounds of the falls were most impressive and as many photo opportunities had arisen, we took time at the top to regroup. It was decided not to take lunch there but to start our return journey, and hence lunch was taken further down at the ‘usual’ view stop.
The rest of the walk was straightforward, although a little muddy in places, arriving back in civilisation in just under four hours. The final 150m or so out of the wood saw an access road being constructed. For what reason? Maybe we’ll find out on our next visit.
A good walk in excellent conditions!
FRT was taken at the Riverside in Newmilns, where a jovial hour was had.

7 June 2017 - Falls of Clyde

Herewith a selection of photos from yesterday. No doubt many are virtually identical to those taken by others as we all tended to use the same viewpoints. You will notice a wooden figure in one of them. No not one of the guys looking at the noticeboard but Sir Willian Wallace in the memorial garden.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Myconic pics

Following the WHW upwards

Summit in sight!

Fancy meeting you here!

Conic and the islands are on the Highland Boundary Fault line

We'll do that one in the afternoon!

A load of old cobblers!

Busy place

Looking back up

Stop for refreshments

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Conic Hill 31 May

Allan, Davie C, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Jim, Johnny, Kenny R, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul

This was the perfect day to do this walk i.e. bright and warm, little breeze, and no midges.
Meeting at the car park in Balmaha, we ignored the direct route up the hill and instead walked the two km or so back up the road to Milton of Buchanan where we veered left and headed up the road until it became a track, and continued on it until we came to the junction of the West Highland Way. We had been climbing steadily and even by now there were great views back over Loch Lomond and up towards Conic Hill (361m according to one source). Going left on to the Way, we stopped at quarter past eleven for a coffee break. As we sat we were passed by a number of fellow walkers, and even cyclists, making their way up the well-defined path.
Progress was good after coffee, with time taken for view stops and photo opportunities, and by one o’clock we were at the summit. Davie, Malcolm and Johnny stayed on the path whilst the rest made their way up the tricky wee path to the top to enjoy the fantastic view, Ben Lomond, the Arrocher Alps and beyond, Loch Lomond and its islands, Dumgoyne, to name those your scribe can remember. By this time the hill was extremely busy with folk of all ages and nationalities, so, having explored the various wee tops, they rejoined the three below and made their way downhill a bit to another view point for a stop. Dougie and Kenny R didn’t wait but continued down to the Oak Tree Inn for a spot of lunch, whilst those remining took on drinks and whatever left they had of their snacks.
The lunchers followed the Way down to the car park but the rest decided to continue down a grass track which eventually got steeper and trickier before emerging on the road on the far side of Balmaha. Following the lochside path back to the cars added another km (approx.) onto the walk and it was with relief when we were able to get changed in to dry clothes (not rain but perspiration).
Well-earned FRT was taken outside at the Oak Tree Inn, in the welcome shade.
The walk had taken a tad over four hours with Paul’s gizmo saying 7.6 miles. Had we come down the recognised path it would have been shorter. Nonetheless, this had been a great day out.