Friday, 17 September 2010

Minch Moor Magic

We were fancying a new trail run - Peter was suggesting finding something in the Lammermuirs, so I had a bit of a Google to see what I could find - and didn't find anything in the L's but found this promising looking trail down just beyond Glentress.

We printed off the little map and the instructions and also had the sense to take a compass with us! Things all started off straightforwardly. The start of the course is just over the river from Walkerburn. It started to get a bit more complicated as the map said we should take a route up left off the main forestry track. There were lots of little tracks off to the left from the main forestry track as it turned out there were lots of downhillers' cycle tracks. (I've been googling a bit more and discovered that this place is downhilling heaven for mountain bikers.)

We overshot where we were going to and had to back track and then heading up into the trees probably went wrong almost right away - we still don't know - the paths were clearly not seeing very much traffic anymore so were overgrown and unclear. We got far too far South and then had to bravely dive into the forest heading due north in the hope that we'd bisect the route that we should be on. I wish the photos in the trees had turned out better but it was very dark - and very eerie - green mosses and red toadstools and a very old path - which made you feel people used to come here before...the incident. I felt moved to promise myself that we would definitely be out of there before sundown! Eventually we emerged from the trees to a view of a run up to what must be the Minch Moor. (By now we were calling it Midgley Moor, lost and confused.) There was a path - but again - not one you'd want to mountain bike on - plenty of high heather to get caught in your spokes and brakes and stop your pedals going round. For runners it was probably easier but very scratchy and uneven. We were glad to emerge at the top and find ourselves back where we should be.

There were no further difficulties of orientation after that, a fairly straightforward 2 and a half mile run down hill which had the legs protesting a bit by the end. All in all a good day - but it took all day. As usual its night, we need to eat and I haven't had a shower yet so better get moving.

I signed up to work this weekend because they were a bit desperate and I was a bit desperate for money so today had to count. Billed as 12 miles we ran 13.58.

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