What doesn’t kill me makes me Scottish?

I can now say that I’ve climbed a mountain in the rain to look at a rock. We all woke up this morning and dressed for a vigorous hike, and after we ate a breakfast of granola and yogurt, we piled back into Pierre the Peugeot and headed for the kirk of Balquhidder.

The "new" church at Balquhidder, Scotland
The “new” church at Balquhidder, Scotland

The kirk (or the church) is where we planned to headquarter for our adventures for the day. It has a little parking lot (car park, as they’re called here). The kirk itself and its graveyard was just beautiful, with legible stones dating back to the 1700s. And there were quite a few MacLarens scattered around.

It was cloudy when we arrived. Spitting rain a bit. But it was nothing to fret about. I mean, if it didn’t rain on us in Scotland, we wouldn’t get the full experience, right?

After we took far too many photos of far too many headstones, we headed up to Creag an Tuirc, the Boar’s Rock. It’s supposed to be a 20 minute hike. It’s just over a mile. But I’m sure somebody very fit made this particular hike on a mostly dry day in order to call it a 20-minute hike.

The Padre climbing the trail up to Creag an Tuirc
The Padre climbing the trail up to Creag an Tuirc

Wow. Because it was muddy and soggy and wet and dripping and I don’t have any more words to describe just how wet and boggy it was. It was like climbing a rocky swamp when you can almost see your breath.

I don’t know how long it took us, but we made it. We reached the top of the mountain and saw the Boar’s Rock! … And it was pouring down rain. We took a video of ourselves, which The Nomad will post later, and you can actually hear the rain hitting our jackets. But we were all mostly warm and dry in our hiking gear.

Best investments ever. That’s all I’m saying. 

Even though the rain was really coming down, we could still see for miles and miles. Goodness, it was beautiful. Seriously, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Creag an Tuirc, the Boar's Rock, the ancestral rallying place of the Clan MacLaren
Creag an Tuirc, the Boar’s Rock, the ancestral rallying place of the Clan MacLaren

But we were freezing. Just saying. It was so freakin’ cold and so incredibly wet. And while we were taking shelter under some pine branches during one of the really bad downpours, The Ginger coined a phrase which will forever describe this phase of our UK adventure: “What doesn’t kill me makes me Scottish.”

So once we were thoroughly wet and thoroughly chilled, we came back down, climbed back in Pierre, and drove back to our cabin to take naps!

We’re planning to eat at The Golden Larches tonight, a little pub down the road. We’re all hoping for steak and ale pie or something similar. And then we’ll be heading back down to Carlisle tomorrow afternoon.

A.C. Williams

Amy Williams left a lucrative career in marketing to write novels about space cowboys, clumsy church secretaries, American samurai, and alternate dimensions. Along the way, she also discovered a passion for teaching other creative professionals how to use technology to make life easier. Through video instruction or one-on-one coaching, she teaches software, blogging, basic graphic design, and many other useful skills that help creative entrepreneurs get stuff done minus the frustration.

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