A Deuchary Daunder - 4th April 2009

Report by Nigel Rose

Nine runners gathered on Saturday morning at the Cally car park near Dunkeld. With precise timing, a week's unbroken sunshine had changed to grey skies and mist, confirming my reputation as a bringer of bad weather. We set off northwards on a good forest road towards the Glack. It seemed to be a popular walking area as we passed a number of people, in particular, a group of about ten walkers with assorted dogs. Phil recognised some of the tracks and paths in the area, having done the Deuchary Hill race a few weeks earlier.

We passed a couple of lochans, right beside the path, then skirted between the edge of the forest and open moorland towards Loch Ordie. Fortunately the front runners had stopped by a very well made stone bridge in the track. They had already passed the inconspicuous gate in the deer fence which led to the Deuchary Hill path. There was quite a long climb through forest before we came to a small lochan tucked into a fault near the top of the hill. The last part of the climb was a grassy scramble to the trig point at the summit. It was cold and misty on top so we just had to imagine the magnificent views we would have seen on a clear day.

We went back down to the forest road and continued to Loch Ordie. On the way we passed the large group of walkers and dogs. By the south side of the loch we stopped at a row of fishing cottages for lunch. We found a very convenient boathouse to shelter from the mizzle. Suitably refreshed, we continued round the loch side, passing the walkers and dogs once again. They must have wondered if it was worth our while running. We turned southwards past Riemore Lodge and Grewshill, running through a mixture of open moorland and forest. As we progressed the road gradually improved until it became proper tarmac. We eventually came to the hub of Butterstone, signified by a red phone box and a bus stop.

We ran along the main road for a few hundred yards then turned southwards for Butterstone Loch. There was an excellent track round the south side of the loch, rather like an old railway track. The damp weather seemed to have brought out plenty of fishermen in their boats. We continued on the road round the south side of the Loch of the Lowes. Unfortunately it was too misty to see the ospreys which had recently arrived at their nest. By now it had started to rain properly so we had to dress up a bit more.

We left the loch side and headed south west on the well-marked Fungarth Trail. The wee yellow man pointed the way for us through woods, across fields and past the golf course. By one gate the ladies found a pink umbrella to shelter under while they waited for everyone else to catch up. I had told everyone that the run was 16 miles long. Somewhat embarrassingly Ian told me that his GPS had measured 17 miles and was still counting! We crossed the main road again and returned through the forest to the car park. The day was rounded off with a trip to Katie's Kitchen in Birnam, recommended by Juliette, for tea and cakes. In spite of the weather, everyone seemed to enjoy the run. After we were safely home, the sun came out again the next day.

Post script: A spell check of this story has changed the title to “The Debauchery Daunder” - take your pick!


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