Friends, collies, anxious dogs,
We started out for Mount Keen on a good track, which helped to settle my tummy down a bit, and soon we got to the Queen’s Well monument. This was built during ‘the year of sorrow’, following the death of Prince Albert, to commemorate a visit Queen Victoria had made to this spot with Albert, during a trip out from Balmoral on her pony. Me and B kept looking around in case Judy Dench and Billy Connolly appeared out of the mist, as Mr Brown coxed Victoria back to happiness, riding with her over the moors.
After this we had to start climbing up a path with the hillside falling away steeply to our right, down to a meandering river. I was beginning to feel more at my ease now and even let some two legged things, that seemed like apparitions coming out of the mist, give me a cuddle. If I’m honest, we’d been walking for a couple of hours without a soul in sight and therefore, evidence that B hadn’t taken me to some desolate no man’s land was very welcome, to say the least. It’s true that the ample of supply of Primular – that I have become confident of, following good behaviour – might have had a little to do with my acquiescence too.
From there on it just got mistier and mistier. Even one of those v. v. v fast mountain hares paused to make sense of its environment, haunted by the closed in, eerie silence. A smaller, though still clear, path took us nearly to the top, with just the last few metres being a romp over a tumble of boulders to reach the summit. So, here we were again: another Munro; another trig point; another viewless photo.
There wasn’t much point in hanging around so we descended, with the track snaking lithely ahead cutting a furrow through the banks of vegetation. Not far from the summit we saw that someone had erected a boulder stone just for me and B, which we thought was very nice of them. Every now and again the mist lifted a little, in a reversal of Newton’s laws, revealing a rock face of layered terraces, on the banks of burgeoning heather. A tinge of colour hinted at the covering of purple that would come later in the summer. A carpet only to be interrupted by the battle field of boulders, left by the little louts of yesteryear after some eruption of the earths crust.
Once back on the valley track our return hike was constantly interrupted by scurrying rabbits that ran about directionless, with no sense of purpose. My own sense of purpose was thrown into free fall by the sheer weight of numbers so that, not knowing which one to go for first, I ended up back at my van in a state of dizzy frustration. Such an overwhelming day which could have only one conclusion…
And so to bed!
Love Ben xx