Lock Skeen Sun

As I left my house this morning, I was dreaming of a Texas sun. Or at least that was the song I was listening to, by Khruangbin, as I drove south to pick up Dave and then on to the car park at the Grey Mare’s Tail, near Moffat.

Our packs laden with food and wood, our mood and spirits were high as we climbed the initially steep path past the numerous waterfalls and up towards Loch Skeen, our final destination for the night.

After a sedate couple of hours and a gradually reducing gradient we reached the loch that would be our bed buddy for the night. We set up our tents and settled for a cuppa and to check out the surroundings.

The Loch Skeen sun was replaced for a while by the Loch Skeen snow, although nothing could take away the beauty of our resting spot. I went on an explore and headed uphill from the waters edge.

As the fire was lit, so the sun gave us a wave.

The combined warmth of my wander and the fire meant time to cool off in the Loch. The water was chilly but I was in pretty quickly and swam across to the island.

Another cuppa was waiting as I pulled my shivering shorts out of the loch and dried myself off in front of the flames.

With our steps and strokes for the day completed, we settled into our chairs and chatted, mostly about when and what we would eat. Steak and tatties were on the menu. The weather continued to change regularly although with no real extremity. After tea we went to the loch outlet and some of the little bays further around this gorgeous loch.

The evening started to close in. Drops of snow coming and going and a growing breeze made us consider retreating to our tents. The water on the loch took on the look of the sea with the waters lapping the stony edge with increasing noise and power.

And then, the clouds slowly took flight, the water calmed to almost a mirror and the wind eventually vanished. Calm was restored and we celebrated with a whisky and some gentle political discussion and debate.

There are no trees around the loch. Just two small trees on a couple of little islands. And with the temperature forecast to be freezing, we’d come up with a whole trees worth of wood. We were glad of the warmth the fire gave us as the night went on.

Even the local ghost came close for a heat.

The next day started bright and warmed quickly. The light on the hills opposite quickly filled the giant bowl that the loch sits in.

Bacon for breakfast and The King flexed his cookery muscles once more.

Eventually we packed up, sad to leave our camp but refreshed by our time in the outdoors. After numerous “hi”s and “hello”s from the dozens of others coming up as we headed down, we reached the valley floor, resplendent in the Loch Skeen sun, and the van.

The snow arrived again just as we were about to drive off. We definitely weren’t in Texas, but then again, why would we want to be anywhere else?

Loch Laidon Living

As the number of vaccines administered hits the millions, the end might just be in sight. I say that with one eye on a future that is still very much unknown. As one sage-like fellow said:

“Anything can happen, and often we are wrong. The best we can do with the future is prepare and savour the possibilities of what can be done in the present.”

With that in mind, I savoured the possibility of what I could do with a 36hr window.

I headed to Loch Laidon. For some camping, some eating, and some floating.

And watch the film here:

Dooking in the Cold(ingham Bay) Drink.

Our outdoor swimming itch took us to Coldingham Bay in the Borders for a bit of a dook.

A slow walk to the North Sea.
Getting our skins on.
Top towel girl.
Acclimatisation.
Ignoring acclimatisation!
Waiting for the waves.
Hitting the waves.
Being hit by the waves 1.
Being hit by the waves 2.
Me first!
Surfing USA.
Surfing Coldingham Bay.
U571
Coldingham Bay From the sea.
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