Thursday, 14 June 2018

Bagging By The Clyde–An Ill-Wind


Hill-baggers who, by some stroke of fate find themselves in Lanarkshire, as opposed to Lancashire, who’s only experience of said Lanarkshire is a quick trundle up the M74 may be surprised to find that the countryside around Junction 13 at Abington services holds some excellent hillwalking. Baggers who are specially fond of wind turbines will be ecstatic to discover that the Clyde wind “farm” has something over 200 turbines, some very high masts, lots of lovely roads to make walking between the hills so much easier and some kind of huge electrical buzzing installation thing with tin huts, plus various vans, cars and tractors. It also has a very fine population of hares who’s existence, I suspect, is being somewhat protected by all this industrial activity. It’s an ill-wind.


Outside of the Clyde windfarm, the hills are quiet and heathery and quite beautiful and some are heavily managed grouse-moors although, it seems that the wind-farm peeps have their eyes on even these and, in places, the grouse-shooting infrastructure is showing early signs of dereliction. It’s another ill-wind, at least for grouse and anything that’s not a grouse.


Me and LTD just had six hot and sunny days based a bit to the left of Abington and had six bagging walks based on Abington (free parking, pub, off-licence and pie shop), Crawford (Castle, shop, pub, transport-type cafe, roman fort and road) and Leadhills (Pub and shop, railway museum, lead miners’ library and grouse-moors).

In all I bagged 22 hills of various categories (won’t bore you with a list) and LTD bagged 23, the extra one being Culter Fell which we climbed along with the son-in-law and which was somewhat shortened by an impending thunderstorm, which eventually impended and scared the willies out of LTD. I wasn’t too bothered cos I had an adequate supply of dutch courage in liquid form. I’d been up Culter Fell before y’see, so it doesn’t count as a bag for me.


I’ve been predicting the Great Drought of 2018 since 1976, only altering the actual date during specially cold and soggy Junes, of which there have been many during this intervening period – usually followed by a string of atlantic storms coming off the….Atlantic, only ending in a week of warm weather during early September. Such are the perils of planning a sunbathing holiday on an island with the same latitude as Alaska. Although it doesn’t go very dark for long in summer – as I say, it’s an ill wind.


We returned to Pietwowers via Jedburgh, it being the occasion of the first birthday of a grandson who’s smiles aren’t all rictus ones.

Wot fun. Ad quite cheap too.

LTD is ecstatic to be home and has taken to his cosy stink-pit, although he does get dragged out for a daily doggy-walk or two and yesterday, for instance, we managed all of nine miles during an extended trundle over Dowfold Hill and Crook Golf Course and then a four mile ramble around Witton-le-Wear with Crook Ramblers, which was all very nice.

We’re now intent on getting on with more routine stuff and we have some guided walk reccies to do and a summer solstice “do” to do at the turning of the summer, during which we can all look forward to the nights drawing in again, dark and cold mornings, cocoa and crumpets and slipping on one’s arse on night-time doggywalks..

It’ll soon be Christmas. (Its that ill-wind again)



Dawn Linney said...

Looks like some cracking walks. What happened to the kilt though? Love Lucky's new sleeping bag.

Meanqueen said...

Love the look on that dog's face. It says, bugger off, I ain't going anywhere.

Mike Knipe said...

Dawn - Kilt had a day off on Culter Fell but I did wear it on the other 5 walks. It's better than the shorts for warm weather and I don't get any extra insect bites or nettles.
Ilona - In fact that's exactly what the dog was saying! He really hates thunder...