Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean

I haven’t been up a Munro in more than a year, so yesterday I went a wander up Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean in the Mamores. The weather was warm, but what you don’t see in the pictures is the 40-50mph wind.

The Salomon Skyline race was on this weekend too, I could see the runners over on the Ring of Steall from Stob Ban. I definitely wasn’t tempted to join in…

Carron Bothy

Last weekend, Neil, Gordon, James and I were supposed to be heading to Sandwood Bay.  But the weeks worth of torrential rain had put that plan on (pretty wet) ice.  We scoured the weather forecast for even a glimpse of sun, anywhere that the chance of rain was low-ish.  We settled for a trip to Argyll and Carron Bothy.

We arrived at the Auchindrain forest road end in sunshine and warmth, totally unexpected as other parts of the country were under yellow weather alerts. The forest road was great for walking, allowing us to travel fast, even with our heavy packs laden with waterproofs for the expected deluge.  The final 2km of path were wet underfoot.  And when I say wet, I mean tsunami wet, turned to small rivers by the weeks rain.

The bothy was clean and well maintained, despite James’ best efforts to blow it up with his exploding Jetboil.   We dropped our overnight gear, had lunch, found some deadwood for a fire and headed into the hills.  The views were superb and the breeze took away some of the heat from the sun.  The main phrase of the afternoon was “I can’t believe it’s not raining”.

The peaty brown burns did a great job of soothing the sore feet before teatime.

A peaceful nights sleep followed a peaceful evening of games and chat.  And the next day we headed back the way we came to the car, in the rain this time, but by then, it didn’t matter.

And the film…

The Sole Purpose of Your Feet is Toe-tal Fun

My feet are important to me.  We are a team.  On a daily basis they allow me to play “Chase Me” with my son and wife, run to the kitchen to grab a bag of crisps and do all the other important things a busy dad/teacher/outdoor type needs to do.  So it’s been pretty frustrating during this summer holiday that my feet have decided they need a rest and so have prevented me getting up into the hills and mountains, which is where I’d be found most summer holidays.  That exasperation has probably been pretty noticable to my wife, although she has made me smile and laugh and helped me mostly forget the annoyance of being laid up on the couch while my feet enjoy their holiday.

However, the summer has still given me opportunities to explore and spend time with Mrs Johnston and Young Johnston.  And I remind myself daily about how lucky I am to have my family and be able to do the things we do, so much of it outdoors.  For instance…

Young Johnston and I went off to find the Bunnet Stane.  And as well as admiring this rocky spectacle, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten as many hula hoops in one day before.

We’ve been to the capital to measure Young Johnston’s height.  He is now officially taller than the Scott Monument.

We’ve been teaching Young Johnston to drive cars and boats.

We’ve been looking for animals, at Blair Drummond Safari Park and closer to home.

And we spent an amazing week on Skye with Paul, Sas and Finn.

 

     

There are still three weeks of the holidays to go and loads more adventures to be had.  The photo above, Blaven, was the view from our cottage which was one of the reasons for taking the cottage in the first place.  Did I miss not getting to climb its slopes?  Yes, very much so.  But our week on Skye was one of the best wee holidays we’ve been on as a family and it reminds me how lucky I am to have what I have. After a week of the best the island had to offer, we were all…… dead on our feet.