Day 1 – Hiking the West Highland Way
Day 1 saw me leaving Glasgow for Milngavie (pronounced Mull-guy) and hitting the trail. I was excited to get hiking and got to the train early. Arriving in Milngavie early paid off, the luggage transfer folks were early and so I hit the trail by 8:30, well sort of. I dawdled around in town and then at a local community center looking for a restroom, but by 9, I was on my way.
It was a beautiful day for hiking, the temperature was around 60F all day with clouds and sun and a little breeze. Which meant no midges! It’s still early but some blackberries had even started to ripen so I ate my first and thankfully supersweet trail berries of the year.
Critter count for today, 8 domesticated dog only 2 on leash, 2 slugs, a duo of ducks, some swans, 1 crow, a ton of titmouses and other LBBs, countless coos, a shitload of sheep, a bevy of butterflies and one lone beetle.
Not much to say on this front other than the flowers have been lovely.
Got to eat my first trail berries for rhe year and they were super sweet and awesome.
The trail also overlaps with the newly developed John Muir Trail.
It wouldn’t be a Scottish hike without a whiskey distillery on the trail.
On the way onto Drymman someone left up a gift for us Tolkein fans.
I hit Drymen about 2:15 which once my stops were factored out meant i was hiking about 2.7 mph today. This made me super happy as I’ve been working on improving my speed on flat sections. I normally hike 2.4 mph regardless of slope. This is fine going up or down but I needed to move faster on the flats, so today was a success on a mostly flat 12 mile section.
It feels great being back on the trail. Initially I encountered a string of less than friendly hikers but it improved as the day went along. I’m missing the type of instant community that forms on less supported hikes but I also realize all community takes time to form. I did meet a lovely young hiker from Germany though, her name is Ella and she was very nice.
I am returning to my 3 questions for the hike.
What was the most beautiful thing I encountered today and that would be all the flowers. These were my favorite.
What made me happy today? Quite simply a beautiful walking day in the Scottish countryside.
What did i learn today? That my training to increase my pace has been at least somewhat successful. Also that deepfried Mars bars are a thing in Scotland and not just a county fairs.
A tradition for me hiking in Scotland, my end of the hike Magnum Icecream bar.
Have a happy day my friends. – Rev Kane