Monday, 25 June 2012
Balloch Country Park.Route 7 And Beyond.
When you go cycling on a regular basis walking in weather like this can sometimes feel like wading through treacle at times.Its so slow.With cycling you always get a breeze and the distance you can cover is far greater.Though sadly not as great a distance as I used to manage on a bike.I,ve decided I,m in training anyway for a longer run across the Islands.Its good motivation to get fit again.
For those on foot a three or four hour round trip walk from the car park takes you past the fairy glen outside the park limits and up Whinney hill near the quaintly named Knockout.This is an interesting and twisting route up a path beside a little gorge then through mixed forest.
From the park on minor roads out past Blairquhanan following route 7 to just before Croftamie village where a signed footpath/cycletrack leaves the road and leads through the village and across the Endrick Water.The Endrick is a lovely river ,full of graceful loops,sandy beaches but waist or head deep for much of its lenght (Don,t ask me how I know).Luckily a bridge has been built across it here on this path/cycleway.
From here back onto the minor road though the hamlet of Gartness with its famous salmon leap pot rapids (also on the Endrick) then out via the villages of Killearn and Balfron by the Camoquhill Douglas minor road.
Both Balfron and Killearn sit fairly high up on ridge lines with the great continuous steep wall of Stronend and Carleatheran behind, well seen in this photograph.Two of my favourite hills.
Next up was Dalfoil then the B818 and the B834. The reason for this was I was curious to see if I could cut across the White road up over Cameron Muir.White roads are always an adventure.Its not the first time I,ve had to backtrack miles after being unable to carry on due to either landowners catching me in the act and turning me back, locked gates and fences too high to lift the bike over or rivers without bridges that were too deep to cross.Always an adventure!
I could see why.It was an excellent balcony trail with extensive panoramas over the whole area,As I climbed higher bog cotton, Curlews and skylarks made it magical.I even spotted a yellowhammer or scribble lark as it used to be called in my youth due to the ink like wavy markings on its eggs How can nature be so perfect?.Ever wonder where the idea of an ink nib or a ball point pen came from.Most of our best ideas came directly from nature (like flying in planes) yet today we wipe it out without a backward glance. Both yellowhammers and Linnets were very common birds around Glasgow in my youth.I even used to hear corncrakes in the small boggy area near the old fire station where a flooded quarry was.Not so common now though. R.I.P the yellow bunting.
When I reached Gallangad the road was out,completely washed away by a previous flash flood by the looks of it,just a deep ravine of soft crumbling earth where tarmac once stood.Luckily for the stranded community and me another short white road was nearby, leading through Gallangad farm and this was obviously what the locals were using in the meantime as "take care,children playing" signs were up in the courtyard.I kept an ear open for farm dogs, always a concern passing through someones property like this.
The rest of the journey, following signs down to Jamestown, a suburb of Balloch proved less eventful and I was soon back at the car.
A good run and some more quality scenery and exercise. I don't do diets.I,ll eat anything brave enough to land,crawl,swim , hop or plop onto my plate so its always good to get a decent workout.
Yeah! Punish that flabby beach ball of a gut up and down them gradients.Unfortunately once I got back to the house I was starving and stuffed my face again til the buttons popped.
But it must do you some good.That's what I tell myself anyway.Another great day out.Off now to sofa surf and watch the last two Game Of Thrones with a monster bag of crisps and a coke.
That,s a very good well made series but an indicator of a TV company trying to capture a dwindling market which sees the Internet and its porn as the main competition in the battle for ratings which is wrong.Like it or not porn drives the world now.It would be even better with less sex scenes in it.But even that too owes a big debt to George MacDonald. 7 kingdoms! Wonder where they got that idea from?
For anyone interested in a time when new ideas were the substance that mattered most to teenagers.A time before Tattoos, gimp masks and tounge studs for children, I,ve put a link up on Greenhill part one.
I could and will explore this network of links for the years left to me.There is so much in here to a time mostly forgotton and 100,s of dusty books to read by clicking Lilith.
Nearly every great idea in the present has its acorn buried in the past.Its as well to remember that boys and girls before you wipe it out.