Well after four years, two replacement bikes, a good few inner tubes, and god knows how many swear words, I’ve come to a significant milestone. I’ve got to change the strap line of the blog. No longer a slow meandering attempt to visit all the MBA bothies in Scotland, because well, I’ve done it. On Saturday I got a bunch of friends together and headed out to the final tick of the list, a visit to Dryfehead in Eskdalemuir Forest, to celebrate with a glass of bubbly, and more appropriately for December, some hot chocolate.
After the usual torrent of early piss taking, mainly about my supposed errant directions to the road end, we headed up the hill in what could not be spun any more positively than persistent rain, and I was a slightly worried that moral would dip before our objective was reached. Happily though, with a little more chill in the air, the fat nagging rain drops turned to snow, and the walk in took on a more seasonal feel. My other concern, that I didn’t really want to emphasise while describing the walk in, was a significant river crossing just over half a mile from the bothy. I’d alluded that there would be a couple of streams ‘to negotiate’, and that the final section would be a bit of a squelch, but I was relieved that when we finally got to the ford, no one was particularly perturbed. In fact those with wellies on just glided across without a second thought. After a couple of comedy moments the group were reunited on the far bank, and with little contemplation about the return crossing, we headed on to the shelter and a well deserved lunch. Very efficiently we got the fire lit, hot drinks served and bubbly consumed, and after gobbling down some sandwiches got it together for a couple of group photos. We didn’t have too much slack time as the afternoon was already drawing in, but there was no dramas on the way back despite the fading light. By this point I was wavering about an offered lift back to Edinburgh rather than cycling back to Lockerbie, but Colin put me right, and we had time to grab half a pint and some chips before drying out on the train.