Sunday, 14 November 2010
The 2010 Challenge, day 1: Ardrishaig to Carron (2)
From Cairnbaan, I took the forestry path East. It was a well-made track, suitable for heavy lorries, and I continued to make steady progress, until ... I came to this sign (right).
Chemical operations ... no entry.
I looked at my map for alternative routes ... and there were none. So I looked at the sky. Overcast, threatening rain. Perfect conditions for working with chemicals ... not. I've done enough chemical operations of my own, with a little sprayer on the back of my Massey Ferguson 135, to know only too well that you DON'T go putting down chemicals when it's about to rain, as they'll only get washed away. You put the chemicals down when it's going to be fair and dry, and they'll stay exactly where you put them.
So I concluded that, in all probability, I'd be perfectly safe continuing along the track, which is what I did. It was only a couple of hundred metres to the matching sign barring access from the other direction; and one thing that is for certain is that there were no chemical operations taking place!!
Next up was the rifle range danger area. I had carefully chosen my route to AVOID this (which is shown on the map in grid square 8889, whereas I was on the track through grid squares 8790, 8891 and 8991. And yet the little building shown on the map at Grid Reference 891911 is one of those barrier huts with a big sign up prohibiting further passage if the red flag is flying. Once again, there was no alternative route, so it is just as well that the red flag wasn't flying ... because while I'll happily brave a little weedkiller or insecticide, I'm not nearly so brave when it comes to bullets!
I stopped for lunch at the path junction at Grid Reference 902919, then pressed on to the bridge over the River Add. This is a truly beautiful spot, and the sun had come out; so having crossed over, I took off my pack and lay down to sleep for half an hour or so in the glorious sunshine.