Day 1: Milngavie to Drymen

Funny thing about Nature – you think She would want to be appreciated and reward those who wander into Her most remote landscapes with sunny smiles and pleasant greetings. Instead, She does her best to knock you flat on your back and rub it in your face that you would really rather be home with cocoa than outside pretending to be an Adventurer.

Trail markers
Trail markers feature the thistle.

Milngavie (pronounced Mullguy) is a pleasant village on the outskirts of Glasgow. The cobblestoned streets and tiny shops and lampposts draped with flower baskets are a beautiful sight to travelers who know that they will see little of civilization for the next few days. As we shouldered our packs, the skies opened up and I swear I heard a trace of laughter in the thunder rumbling in the distance. We traipsed through many a muddy farm field that day, getting wetter by the minute. I quickly realized my dollar store poncho was not up to the task of protecting me or my pack from the driving rain and eventually gave up. I comforted myself by imagining a hot shower that evening and a full meal complete with all the scones my belly could hold. I kept this vision in my head for internal motivation over the next few days though we only had a couple of chances to enjoy this delicious pastry.

The elusive scone snack.
The elusive scone snack.

Seven hours of hiking brought us to another pleasant village where we stopped to ask for directions to the campsite. Amused locals pointed us in the right direction – back the way we came. Apparently we’d missed our turn and had to retrace our steps couple miles. At this point, my friend Sean started looking up Uber cabs on his phone. Unfortunately, the closest driver was 45 minutes away. It could have been a mule cart for all we knew, so we remained on foot(plus we decided that would be cheating).

Reaching the campsite brought little relief. The ‘campsite’ turned out to be a fallow field where a few wooden wigwams had been constructed by the resident farmer  to charge desperate hikers exorbitant fees to stay out of the rain. Clever man. The less said about these accommodations the better, but suffice it to say we woke up the next morning achy, filthy, and more than ready to move on. Hey, we knew it was going to be an adventure!

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