Day 5 Great Glen Way – Drumnodrochit to Inverness (bizarro world)
You can read my last post about most of my last day hike on the Great Glen Way for the straight story. What follows is a somewhat embellished, somewhat fanciful and somewhat true story of getting lost on a mountain in Scotland. Please be aware this post contains adult language.
The last fucking mountain in Scotland and descending as well. That’s where I get lost. I came to the gate and the beware of work vehicles sign just as the forestry truck pulled up, and, unknown to me carefully blocking the trail diversion sign. I ambled down the trail only to find safety cones, crime tape and dire warnings of impending doom should I proceed, so of course I stopped and had a debate with myself about whether or not to ignore the warnings and proceed. I remembered there was a woman shortly behind me on the trail.
The plan became to wait for the gate sound and see if she came the the same way. The gate creaked, when no one appeared a couple minutes later I decided to backtrack and take the turn I’d bypassed. When I did I promptly found her wondering in circles looking dazed and confused. Not a good sign, we had found one sign but it was laying in the grass with arrows going in two directions, this would become our normal the rest of the day.
We decided to walk uphill, something counter intuitive to every instinct I had 16 miles into a hike with a heel blister the size Edinburgh developing on my heel. But you know, she had GPS. It yielded some minor success on the top of the hill as we found four college students from Prague wondering dazed and confused, checking their GPS. This of course initiated the thing that is most likely to get you killed on a hiking trip, the GPS confab.
They compared their maps amd paths, I’m sure there were mentions of things like waypoints and declinations or some other such nonsense. We could see the city. I suggested we just go downhill and catch a fucking cab. After five minutes with absolutely no resolution we decided to generally go left, thank god for GPS.
This meant uphill and over and I decided to stick with it the Aussie I’d found they’re generally nice people, and as a result of walking while still debating her own GPS we promptly lost any trace of the students from Prague. We reached the top of the hill and after consulting the GPS, went left. This connected to a road that went downhill, I was all about a downhill road and started down while my friend continued to comment how according to her GPS this direction lead to falling off the earth. Fine, at least I would be done walking.
We continued down and she remarked regularly we were doomed but I was walking downhill so all was right with my world. Eventually we saw a man and a small dog bounding through the bushes. Upon seeing me the viscious beast ran straight for me, taking up a powerful stance just in front of me obviously prepared to defend its master’s honor. The terror was immediately ramped up by hearing the killer’s name, “come here Honey.”
We negotiated with the beast and its owner, who promptly set off to lead us “back to the trail,” and of course he added it’s “just past my house.” Code, as all hikers know, for welcome to the real life version of the film Misery. But it was downhill which every good forest serial killer knows is a hiker’s soft spot so we merrily followed along.
Arriving at the base of the hill, Honey’s true nature was revealed and she took off on a bloodthirsty tear for a pond full of ducks leaping bodily into the water on the attack. Along her run she was terrifying, don’t believe me, well she flushed 4 college students from Prague out of the bushes running for their lives until they realized her blood lust had an avian focus. We were all together again, this greatly reduced our chances of being serial killed.
So as a merry band of Honey’s near victims we happily stumbled toward the city just past the graveyard of Honey’s victims.
We found actual trail signs and began following them until the diversions startred again.
It was all too much for one of our band who fell over dead on the grass. Top Gear rules, a man falls, you leave him behind. It was about then we realized the Aussie was gone. No worries, forward on to Inverness Castle. With the grief of their lost friend overwhelming them the students from Prague bid me farewell to get ice cream.
Shortly after, I found a park with restrooms and popped in. Upon walking out, the Aussie was waiting for me. Non-fazed we continued walking to our next diversion. I knew we were in full Twilight Zone mode when we passed Horney’s Pleasure Faire setting up on the park.
The GPS said cross the bridge, but the men in vests and little yellow hats refused us access, they said, “you must use the diversion.”
Now I knew why the Aussie was here, it was to usher me along before the long train of profanities exploding from my mouth, I’d had one diversion too many today.
We found another bridge and climbed one final hill to the end marker for the trail.
At that point, the Aussie revealed she had only been hiking the trail under the command of a stuffed dog, took it out of her pack and promptly photographed it at the end marker. I then quickly concluded my adventure by heading for my accommodations in the exact wrong direction. Have a happy day my friends. – Rev Kane