Monday, 2 June 2008

Father & Son

Outfitting The Boy for a night in "the wilderness" was never going to be hard; he's as tall as me and has the same "built for speed" physique. If nothing else, he would at least look the part.
Gear was selected for maximum comfort but the ruckies, although bulky, were re-assuringly light. A good thing as I wanted to make this as enjoyable as possible and he'd be carrying all his own gear in.

We arrived at The Linn of Dee car park at 5pm, after a mooch around Braemar Mountain Sports (energy gel shots for him and a Thermarest Ridgerest for me), where my usual fannying about was cut short by his desire to be off.

Son & Father

The walk out to Derry Lodge was a warm one, stopping every now and again to take in the views fore and aft. "Hiya's" and "Hello's" were exchanged with everyone we met along the way. Passing Derry Lodge, I tactfully ignored the wifie having a pee behind the rescue hut (The Boy never noticed). He liked the look of the pitch I'd used last week and had pre-selected it for occupation again. I'd warned him that it might be busy but, despite the weather, there were no tents on our side of the river and only three on the other.

He was keen to get a brew on so clearing the site of pine cones and sticks and getting the tents up took maybe half an hour, if that. A quick demo of how to set his stove up and he was away. In fact, he was sitting down to a cuppa before I was.

Windshields configured for fickle breeze

The Red & The Green

He'd previously poured scorn on the idea of eating dehydrated food but he set about his Chicken Korma and rice like a man possessed, declaring it "tasty" between mouthfuls.

Eating al fresco (with added midgies)

The rest of the evening was passed wandering around looking at stuff, snacking and drinking hot chocolate. A couple of deer being weird was the only distraction. We turned in at around 11.

I had a pish night's sleep and, as I lay there for the umpteenth time, listening to the deep breathing of The Boy next door, I resolved to a) research bigger one-man tents, b) buy an inflatable pillow and c) invest in a warmer "summer" bag. 12 feathers wrapped in Quantum doth not a sleeping bag make. When the birds started singing at 3:30, I knew I was on a hiding to nothing. I finally declared the game a bogie at 6:00.

Worth getting up for

I spent the next couple of hours drinking coffee and watching the wildlife, finally rousing The Boy at 8:00. He immediately set to breakfast like an old hand; stove on, drink selected and muesli prepared in 5 minutes flat.

Another couple of hours mooching around, enjoying the morning and finally packing up at around 10:00.

Happy Bunnies

The only plan for the day was head for the car and get to Braemar in time for lunch. The plan was a good one and went well. We bounced back along the track, stopping frequently to watch the herds of deer, exchange greetings with smiley people and generally having a great time.

Deer cooling off (The Right Eye Deer Gang?)

I'd explained the concept of The Ignorant Bastard to The Boy beforehand and I feared we might not find one but then, only 10 minutes from the car park, there she was. The body language gave her away; shades on, head down and striding out with a purpose. Sure enough, our "Hiya" and "Hello" were ignored and much hee-hawing and sniggering followed. Her lugs must've been burning. Our grins outshone the sun.

Still laughing yet

No fannying about in the car park this time either and we were at the Hungry Highlander by 12:30. Food selection was easy; beefburger for him, Venison burger for me. All those deer had put ideas in my head.

On the way back, I asked him how many marks out of ten he'd give our trip. "10", he replied. Excellent :o)


Anonymous said...

I'm jealous. That is the sort of dream trip I have for my son when he gets a similar age.

AktoMan said...

LOL - love the tags, Kev. I find it is families on bikes that are the worst. But it is there loss.

You were in the same place that Mike and me were camped a few weeks back. Cracking place, and a good site for a jaunt.

Love the deer photo. And the Hungry Highlander. Yum.

Big Kev said...

WD, with a wee bit of planning, it's easier than you think. Start small. Double up on everything you'd take for yourself and have a bail-out option. If you can plan and execute a TGOC.... :o)

Duncan, how much effort does it take to return a greeting? Share the joy, that's what I say. And that deer photie shows that you really DON'T know what's in the water :o) I think it was the thought of a burger & chips at the HH that made our feet so light. A gem of a place.

Anonymous said...

Good lad. Good to see you and The Boy out there.
I was clocking gear in the photies as well, I couldn't help myself.
And due entirely to watching you the last couple of weeks we're off to the Cairngorms later in the month.

Big Kev said...

Thanks ptc. I'm going to try and spend a bit more time up that way. As it is, it's woefully unfamiliar territory to me. Btw, if you're heading up, think about taking a bike, you'll get back to the chippie quicker :o)
While I'm here, Tip o' the hat goes to Duncan for his numerous trip reports on that neck of the woods. And for plugging the Hungry Highlander :o)

Londonbackpacker said...

Looks like you had a good time.

I'm going to have to come back up just so I can try out the HH, it gets mentioned as much as the cairngorms LOL.

Big Kev said...

That's an awfy long way for a bag of chips. Maybe they deliver? :o)

Anonymous said...

hahahaha... That's because the HH is about the ONLY place you can get decent grub in Braemar :)

Sounds like you had a crackin' wee jaunt with the lad. Great stuff!

Big Kev said...

Och, I think it'd be a great wee place wherever it was. Just look at that pile o' chips :o)

Aye, we had a brilliant time, thanks BD. The weather helped, of course :o) We'll be goin back sometime soon and maybe take in a hill next time.

Thanks also for stopping by, btw. Dinnae be a stranger :o)

Alan Sloman said...

D'ya know - I 'lost' this blog and have just found it again after a very long time!

Lovely post about taking the 'Boy' out - I remember taking my son Oli on the TGO Challenge - we ended up mates rather than father & son - a great experience.
Thanks for reminding me.

I shall stuff a link to your blog on mine immediately - well after dinner, anyway!

Big Kev said...

Hey Alan, welcome back.

The TGOC's a helluva of a bonding experience. Nice one. :o)

The Boy and I are so similar I knew he would enjoy a wee trip out.

Weather and circumstance have kept us indoors since but plans are hatching :o)