Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Hogmanay Bog Trotting.

Last day of 2013 & what better way to spend it than out on the bike, my plan for the day was to head for the hills as I still have to burn off some of the festive calories & to pick up a couple of Geocaches that had eluded me through the summer months with the vegetation at full bloom, height, bushiness & not forgetting stinginess ! After the very heavy rain that we had all day the day before the tracks & trails were muddy, saturated & in some areas flooded with the water logged conditions making for a good hard leg workout, so lets get going...

Heading in a south west direction from Innerwick up the hill roads then turning onto the start of the pylon / wind turbine road.

One last long big climb & finally at the top & what I thought to be the hard work done ! But oh no soon after here the fun begins trudging through waterlogged muddy trails.

The wind turbine sub station at the top & the bottom picture of Sparleton Hill with the summit shrouded by the cloud.

Passing by the signpost for the old roads & today following the route along to Deuchrie, the 2nd bottom picture you can make out the horse cart tracks even though the road is now overgrown & as you can see by the bottom picture some sections are saturated.

There are lots of old roads going over Dunbar Common & as I've said in a previous post I'm not exactly sure the purpose of these stones, but at this point it is like an old crossroads with the top picture is looking west, 2nd picture has a number 7 carved onto it &, 3rd picture looking east & 4th is the way that I'm heading north for Deuchrie.

A wee bit further along the same track there is another of these stones & this one has an OS benchmark carved onto it.
Finally at the end of this track before going over the Deuchrie Edge down to Deuchrie a fine chance to stop & admire the scenery through the rain cloud with a wee tipple of Scotland's finest to warm the cheeks - Slange var !

Over the edge we go & half way down a good condition sheepfold for the shepherd to check his sheep.

Some views going down the hill.
A gnarly old post well used for the sheep & cows to have a scratch on.
Derelict Lucknow cottage, such a shame I'd love to live here.

Cycling along a field track to the first Geocache & I came across this braw wee hobbit hideaway, I think it's a posh bothy for the pheasant shooters, a BBQ hut.
You won't get a better fence post than this !

Lots of waterlogged ground along the glen with Deuchrie wood on the left & Rammer wood on the right and the Rottenraw burn which leads into the Cauld burn.

Hard work battling along the boggy grass to eventually emerge onto a field side track which brings me out at Channel Brae on the way to the Halls.

The clean & tidy Halls farm, the first house which is two cottages knocked into one is the only occupied property along this row of  cottages the rest are all derelict. Also an old railway box van in a field with the roof rotten & this bush growing up out of it.

The Black Loch up at the Halls & mud, mud glorious mud.

Lots of flooding along the way to the Brunt.

I love the places mountain biking takes me, Iv'e been up & down these trails more times than I can remember & every time it's different. Can you spot the 2 Roe deer in the bottom picture ? Look for the 2 white tails.
While looking for another Geocache I was lucky enough to have time to get a photo of this Greater Spotted Woodpecker without it flying off just when I'm trying to zoom in.

The Brunt Loch & the third Geocache location of the day.
French partridges .

At long last a little bit of sunshine before it sets behind the hills for the last time in 2013 & this is the last post of the year too, I hope you have enjoyed my travels along the fields & trails of the coast & country here around my home town of Dunbar in East Lothian, Scotland & I am looking forward to a new year of mountain biking adventures & plan to go on a couple of cycling holidays up in the north of Scotland hopefully, so that's that for this year & I wish you all a very Happy New Year for 2014 :-)