Monday, 14 June 2010

She must be getting better

For anyone who is following the progress of Einich the trainee search dog. I'm pleased to announce that we are now working through assessments. We still have a quite a way to go, at least 7 full days, it can go pear shaped at any time. Mick our training officer said "joy, just don't count them". Don't worry, I wont. Our assessment day on Saturday wasn't an easy one for Einich, or myself. It was quite a warm day with no becks in the area for her to cool down. I carried water and a collapsable dog bowl around with me. Despite the heat she still indicated reliably when she found everybody. I made a big mistake of not wearing the right boots on the hill, causing me to hobble in pain round the latter part of my last area. I really should have known better!!

My next assessment, all being well is in July.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Spring Backpack

Beinn Dearg Mor from Achneigie

Spring seems to have arrived all at once, it's only a month late! I left the Lakes in a heat wave to start a planned backpack in the Fisherfield area with a couple of two, and four legged friends with the hope of sketching and spending some time in the wilderness. Unfortunately planned trips never seem to work out for getting good weather. A few showers can bring special light to the landscape, especially with the fresh spring colours, however, these particular forecasted showers seemed to merge into one leaving no gaps to temporarily dry out. I'm afraid to say we walked out early. Karen volunteered to hitch back to the car while Pete and I stood in the damp with the dogs slowly getting midged! What wimps! Not all was lost though! after a night in the dry and a nice hot shower we were rejuvenated and ready for another day in the hills.

We did cheat a bit! This wonderful bothy (Location - I'm not telling) was too inviting so we took the opportunity to dry out.

The forecast was improving all the time so we had a day in the Fannichs. It was here we came across two very fit runners who where clearly enjoying the day. After a brief chat we found out one of them, Stephen Pyke was attempting to summit all the Munro's in 40 days to raise money for the John Muir Trust. This was day 36 and he was on target. With spring arriving late, he must have started out with quite a bit of snow on the tops. Progress of his amazing journey can be followed on his blog, and the John Muir Trust website is

Stephen Pyke (Left)