West Highland Way: Glencoe Mountain to Kinlochleven

September 4, 2015: We pack up and leave our cozy hobbit house at Glencoe Mountain Resort to diligently start down the trail finding the air chilly, but the weather generally pleasant.WHW_Day7-1100155eSeems as though we are in the middle of nowhere and here appears The Kings House, which is thought to be one of Scotland’s oldest licensed inns, originally built in the 17th century. It is called the King’s House because British troops were lodged here following the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Coffee, please!WHW_Day7-1100195eThe challenge today will be the Devil’s Staircase which was named by General Wade’s road building soldiers who were lugging materials up and down it all day. ~ Wikipedia

WHW_Day7-1100218eIt’s a long hike with several switchbacks, but really not a terribly strenuous hike so far.

WHW_Day7-1100224We finally reach the top and the views are spectacular today with clear skies all around.

WHW_Day7-1100230ecrThe Love Rock comes out of my pocket for a little fresh air and is perched on a cairn at the top of the Devil’s Staircase.

WHW_Day7-1100288eBlackwater Hostel is named after the Blackwater Reservoir and is our home for the night after a little more than ten mile hike.  Nice drying room and kitchen with dorm type rooms containing cozy bunk beds. From a camping perspective, the name does not sound desirable to me since waste water is called black water. It’s not the case here, though.

WHW_Day7-1100293eSign on the side of the hostel warns dog owners to keep their poop in a group or the Paw Patrol will take action.

WHW_Day7-1100284eWe find ourselves at the Tail Race Inn at the end of the day to take advantage of their advertised special prices on meals. All eyes are NOT on us as Scotland is playing Georgia for the Euro 2016 soccer qualifier and local patrons are glued to the TV screen. FYI ~ Scotland lost.

Video below shows highlights from day seven. I was able to video the Grand Canyon Girls as they skipped across a stepping stone bridge. We have observed that they are like mountain goats when it comes to rock scrambling. One has hiked down and up the Grand Canyon nine times and the other has hiked the Grand Canyon five times. They are a couple of tough hikers with strong legs and determination.

Backpack Training: Plan A / Plan B

Summer hiking season is here and are we ready?  Well… maybe?   Maybe not?

Better late than never, so it’s time to start the training since I don’t want to look like this poor soul:

joan_1dmv1web(Face has been blurred to protect identity… but, you KNOW who you are!!)

I’m pretty confident that my legs will be in shape, but what about the rest of me?

This is my Plan A:   I have started walking with 10 pounds on my back (pack plus contents), which I plan to gradually increase and I did stumble upon the following link with upper body exercises to help balance the body.

Training for hiking with a backpack

One great benefit to these exercises is that  it should take care of the flabby, underarm skin that flaps in time with the prairie winds.  Not a pretty site.

Do I have the discipline to actually DO these workouts before I tackle the next big hill or mountain?  Maybe… maybe not?

Have no fear as I have a Plan B to help my muscles feel better at the end of the day:

wine-9974pophpwebBuen camino!