It's Saturday June the 1st.
I was in two minds to go walking today since I've not been sleeping much the last couple of nights.
Anyway, I decided to go along and take my car to the start myself in case I'd need to abandon the walk.
We're a group of eleven today, nine ramblers and two guest walkers. Shorty is today's leader and his report will follow. Crusty is today's back up and the guest walkers are his son and a friend.
This walk is a variation of one we did in 2009
We park up at Auchinleck by the Penkiln and head along the forest track towards Drigmorn.
We cross the ford at the Green burn. A short way downstream the Green burn joins the Pulnee burn to form the Pulbae burn which eventually flows into the Penkiln.
After a short stop at Drigmorn Farm we continue on.
Drigmorn has quite a history. It was apparently once occupied by the family of Alexander Murray the eminent philologist. In Chambers's Edinburgh Journal of Saturday the 18th of February 1832 he wrote an article entitled 'Biographic Sketches' in which he mentions returning to Drigmorn.
It was also the home in the 1940's to a mentally handicapped young lady by the name of Ina Chesney who's lifestyle inspired a poem and a painting.
Is this the remnant of military manoeuvres ?
We continue upward..............
...............time for a sweetie break
As can be seen from this picture, I'm at the back.
There's a fine view back to Wigtown Bay.
It was around now I decided I wasn't going to make it on this walk. I told Shorty I was going to just take my time up to the top of Drigmorn and probably return the same way. They then headed off and I took my time climbing.
Imagine my surprise then when ten minutes later I saw the group below me.
They'd taken time out at a viewpoint...................
....................where pictures had been posed for.
I decided I'd rejoin the group.
The top of Drigmorn having been reached we pass the interestingly named lochan Fuffock
Ahead of us is the lower of Millfore's two summits
It's a hard pull.............
............but I make it and even have the energy to take a picture
Our next target now is the White Lochan of Drigmorn just about visible in the above picture.
Today's walk requires a lot of down and up. I'm OK with the down, it's always the up that bothers me.
Behind us there's some folk just arrived on Millfore
White Lochan of Drigmorn.
Lunch time. I get a seven timer skimming.
Though not photographed today the stone building now in ruins was the store for curling stones when this was a curling pond. It was apparently built by soldiers stationed close by during the Crimean War
Back on the move with great views of Loch Dee
The ford at the Loup of the Laggan
We now make our way up towards the Nick of Curleywee......
.................and onto Bennan Hill
the weather turned sour
I reckon this photograph would win a competition. It's title would be ' Sorry about the weather, but have a sweetie, it might help'
I was now wishing I hadn't caught them up on Drigmorn.
After more undulations we eventually drop down to the forest track below Black Benwee hill.
It's a couple of miles back to the cars.
In the end I'm very happy I persevered.
No scones today though it's a late finish.
Shorty's report will appear here.
Wigtownshire Ramblers – Saturday 1 June 2013 – Auchinleck Circular
Eleven ramblers met at the Auchinleck Bridge in the upper reaches of the Penkiln valley above Minnigaff. It was a lovely spring day with warm sunshine and white puffy clouds but more like early April than the first of June. The group set off cheerfully up the road past Auchinleck House and soon reached the ford below Drigmorn Farm. They were interested to learn that at one time this had been the home of Alexander Murray, now mostly remembered due to the monument on the New Galloway Road.
They crossed the ford in the Green Burn, which fortunately was only trickling down the valley. The alternative bridge could only be reached through brambles and a barbed wire fence. After a brief look at the house which had been occupied until 10 or 15 years ago and had no power, telephone or running water, they started the climb across the moor towards Drigmorn Hill. The route zig zagged up the slope following the harder ground and a route used by the farmer on his quad bike. The slopes soon steepened and serious climbing began and the ramblers puffed their way to the summit of Drigmorn Hill. A brief pause ensued to regain their breath and admire the views back down the valley to Wigtown Bay and upwards to the grand circle of the Minnigaff Hills. The south-western summit of Millfore rose before them across a shallow col. The route lead past the small dark waters of Fuffock Loch and then up the slopes towards the summit.
On reaching the high point excellent views to the east and north opened up. Hills as far as Screel Hill at Castle Douglas and Criffel on the Nith were visible in the distance. The corner of White Lochan of Drigmorn, the target for the lunch stop, could be seen peeping between the lower hillocks. A steep descent along the tops of the cliffs of the Red Gairy followed by an undulating route took them towards the Lochan. Looking back they caught sight of another group of walkers ascending the main summit of Millfore. A cheery wave and the parties continued on their separate ways.
Lunch was taken in the lee of the steep slopes around the White Lochan with views towards the Rhins of Kells range. The water was mirror calm only disturbed by the passage of small vortices of wind and the occasional pond skater. The lochan was once used as a curling pond and the remnants of a small stone building must have acted as a store for their equipment. A long walk in before enjoying their sport.
After lunch the ramblers climbed over a small ridge and then descended steeply towards the Black Loch and the Loup of Laggan. Here they crossed the old drovers’ road which traversed the hills from Minnigaff towards White Laggan and Loch Dee. A short, steep climb and the group reached the small lochans at Five Pound Well where they turned south towards Bennan Hill. The clouds were now sweeping in from the west and waterproofs were hurriedly donned. A short sharp shower ensued followed by a period of drizzly rain. The group continued southwards following deer tracks and rough heather over White Benwee and Stronbae Hill. They then turned down the slope, again following quad bike tracks which lead them to an ATV track through the recently replanted forest. The sun had emerged again and the ramblers walked cheerfully down the track to the forest road.
As they descended the forest road they looked back across the Pulnee Burn to see the steep outward route and Drigmorn Farmhouse. They were concerned to note that a number of the larch trees were apparently dead, both along the road and in the younger plantations across the burn. Further down the road a few large larches had been painted with a “?”. It was hoped that this was not a further spread of the Phytophthera ramorum disease as it would be a pity to lose this attractive tree from our forests.
The walkers then followed the roads across the Penkiln Burn and back to their cars; a tired but happy group.
Next week’s walk will be on a new route across the Rhinns from Lochans to Dunskey. Meet at the Riverside Car Park in Newton Stewart at 09:00 or the Breastworks Car Park in Stranraer at 09:30 to share transport. The walk will start from the Lochans Hall at 10:00. (NX 068 567) If going direct to the start please contact the walk leader to check arrangements. New walkers are always welcome but please contact the walk leader for further information on 01776 860315.
Members going to Gordon’s Barbecue are reminded that contributions are now due.