John Muir was a Scot who emigrated to America where he became known as John of the Mountains. Back in the late 19th and early 20th century Muir was an active environmentalist. When he took President Roosevelt camping in Yosemite Valley it resulted in a massive change of awareness and an organisation like Friends of the Earth grew out of his efforts. The John Muir Way was opened in 2014 in recognition of his achievements, to promote environmental issues, and to ‘bring him home’ to Scotland. Be aware that it is not marked on older OS maps!
Kerriann and I walked some of this path, along the southern banks of Loch Lomond when we visited the area in our motorhome. I’m looking forward to re-visiting that area.
Because of the slight modification to my planned route I will be joining the West Highland Way a little higher up than planned which means that I missed the opportunity to purchase a guide book/map at the start of the walk.
As I’m having a day off in Strathblane I took a stroll down to the shop and cafe and had a cuppa. I asked the lovely ladies that run the teashop if they knew where I might purchase the above – she couldn’t think of anywhere. A few minutes later she came to my table with a folder -‘ I just printed this off the internet for you …. I put it in a folder to protect it from the wet’.
They wouldn’t even accept payment for the paper. So if ever you are in Strathblane, call in to the Pestle and Mortar for a cuppa and a chat.
In the shop next door I purchased more AA batteries for my GPS. If I’m walking without an OS map, even on good way-marked trails with a guide book, I want to make sure that my trusty Garmin Dakota stays working, especially if I’m wild camping. Buying the batteries reminded me of my walk across Spain many years ago.
Unbeknownst to me I acquired the Camino name of Duracell Man because of my habit of keeping going when all the others had stopped. I have never been a fast walker but I just keep on plodding. It was difficult for me to take a day off today although I know it’s the sensible thing to do.
There seems to be another game on and I can hear the raucous cheering of the locals from the bar below. Maybe there is a rule in Scotland that everyone must gather at their local bar and drink, chant and shout whenever a game is on?
I suppose this is all part of the walk. I’m experiencing Scottish culture but I do hope that things quieten down before I go down for my dinner.
Am going to give my boots another good waterproofing/conditioning with Nikwax in the hope that I can make them last the next 100 miles to Fort William. As well as the obvious damage I have just noticed how little tread there is left on them and have taken a couple of photos for the record.