Saturday, 27 August 2016
The 2016 Challenge, day 3: Dalmally to Tyndrum (3)
As I trudged along the track, though, I began to hear sounds. The unmistakable sounds of heavy diesel engines, belonging to heavy construction plant. There were more than a few of them, and they were not standing idle for the Sabbath. They were working hard.
I continued for about a kilometer and a half along the track, and then I stopped and had a thought. Tomorrow was a long day, with an even bigger day the day after up on the Lawers ridge. If I carried on and was able to pass through the construction site, well and good. But what if I couldn't? What if they turned me back? This wasn't going to be like the quarry on day 1, with an easy alternative route open to me. If they turned me back, I was either going to have to try to force a detour through close-planted pine trees (not viable), or I was just going to have to backtrack all the way to the road and follow my FWA instead, with a huge amount of sterile distance added to the day trudging up and down this blasted track!
I thought about it. If I turned back now, I'd only have walked 3 sterile kilometres. I could live with that. And then I'd follow my low level FWA, and be all set for tomorrow's mountain work. This I could live with ... even though it meant that I should only have done 1 of the first 4 Munros on my route card. Pressing on and being turned back, however, depending upon where exactly the construction site was might add 6, 8, or even 10 sterile kilometres to the day. Not to mention the demoralization it would cause. Plus, it was a hot day, and there were no high level water sources.
The more I thought about it, the more obvious the answer seemed. So I got up and trudged back to the road, where I turned right and followed my FWA.