Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Rocky Mountain To Wester Dod

With my new "Rocky Mountain" full suspension bike purchase I was mad keen to get out for a blast, but with my abnormal work shift pattern & family duties I had to wait more or less a whole week before I could get out on it for a spin.
 In the meantime one of my facebook friends Lynsey had posted a great selection of pictures from high up on the hills around her family farm & visiting a trig point which has been on my radar for a while, but with the construction of another wind farm project I thought the trig point was a no go zone for the time being, but after Lynsey telling me that the trig was out the way of the wind farm work I thought that this was the place to take my Rocky Mountain for it's maiden trek.
Heading off into the hills & just now everything is growing so fast with every shade of green that you can imagine on display.

Fortunately their was a gap in the hedge with a fence running through it so it was safe enough to take a couple of quick photo's, but I think it was just too hot a day for this big bull to bother about getting up to chase me.
Just where I was standing taking the pictures, there was a clump of old dung with these cool looking mushrooms growing out of it, after researching the species I can't get a positive identification of it, but it looks like some sort of ink cap variety.

 Cycling along the road towards Aikengall I took to the new straighter road built for transporting the wind turbine parts, a bit of a shame that this had to be done as a row of huge beech trees had to pay the price for the road to be made

With the sun making the occasional appearance through the clouds the heat was hot & sticky & I was looking forward to getting up onto the hills hoping there would be a fresh breeze.

Arriving at Aikengall farm & onto the rough stuff, I stopped to survey the area for cows !
 Normally there are cows in this field & I soon spotted them to the left of the track but behind the fence in another field, so I went for it & after speaking with Lynsey who's farm land I was soon about to enter & I knew that there were no cattle in her fields on my chosen route so it was safe passage without the worry of daft cows harassing me.

Now onto Lynsey's family farm & the hill climb now begins up to the summit of Wester Dod.

It was so eerily quiet slowly climbing up the Sisters Cleugh with only the buzz of bee's & the odd bleat from sheep to be heard.

Good hill tracks to climb & somewhere new for me to explore with great views a just reward for the hard work pedalling up here.
Looking back down to Aikengall farm & huge new cattle sheds being built. 

Looking eastwards towards Cockburnspath then keep climbing up over the horizon to the top.
Lots of bog cotton plants up here.

The soft grassy field track soon gave way to a hard packed rocky road so now I could up the pace a bit & get a move on. 

From high up on the hill looking down the Crow Cleugh there was more red conglomerate rock formations just like the fairy glen a bit further along the hills. Hard to imagine that these formations were formed in dessert conditions millions of years ago.

Onwards & upwards eventually spotting the wind farm heavy plant doing their thing.

Made it :-) Wester Dod trig point bagged.

From this lofty location I could see the water on the other side of the Isle of May & the oil tankers still look huge even up here.

A bit of a hazy day so distance pictures were not that great quality, above are North Berwick Law & again Cockburnspath with Penmanshiel Moor covered in softwood pine trees & the Coldingham Moor rising behind. 

A few obligatory pictures of my new wheels & the trig of coarse.

From the trig point I had planned a different route back off the hill but with the wind farm construction traffic it was not possible for now, so about turning I head back down the way I came up it was a good excuse to try out the suspension of which I was more than impressed with how it just seems to float over everything that was in it's way.
Now off the big hill I turned to head through Stottencleugh farm...

...and back onto the horrible tar-mac roads uphill heading for Cocklaw farm up the hill a bit.
I hope the wheels from this old TVR are getting restored & not been nicked !

A quick H20 top up, a quick photo overlooking Oldhamstocks & then head down to climb this unrelenting hill all the way to the top of Blackcastle Hill.
Silage production under way for winter cattle feed.

The above picture is of Wester Dod hill where I'd just come from & now I'm halfway up Blackcastle hill, but in this hot muggy heat I had to stop again to take in more fluids.

It was too good to be true..! I had to bump into them at some point during the day & that time had come...On their feet & ready for the chase...
...but to my amazement they ran away from me giving me enough time to high tail it up the last wee bit of hill & over the gate !
Haha next time maybe.

From here the road levels off for a few hundred yards to the transmitter tower & looking back the cow's are still reeling at their missed opportunity to chase a mountain biker with a phobia & is terrified of them.

Views looking out to see beyond my work & my local wee town of Dunbar which is increasing in population rapidly due to the A1 road being upgraded to a dual carriageway & now only a 20 minute drive into Edinburgh.

Loving the smells of the gorse bushes giving off a strong smell in this heat & the song of the skylarks as they soar above me.

I saw four brown hares in quick succession but all but the last one would not stand still long enough for a picture, thankfully this one did.

Taking the long downhill track off the hill to Blackcastle farm & my ride for the day was nearly done, all but a short road ride home now.

There is an abundance of wild flowers gracing the hedgerows just now from foxgloves...

...wild roses...

...elderflower, poppies, thistle...

...and many many more of which their names I do not know.
Back to the shack now & in dire need of something cold to drink & re-hydrate.

I'm over the moon with my new set of wheels & I'm looking forward to many more adventures to come.

Thanks for stopping by for a read...
...cheers the now.