Tight nuts required!
Bristol Blenheim P4848 below Beninner.
= 6.4 mile/Ascent =+436m)
Yet another Competition in Dumfries for Heather, yet another opportunity to bag a couple more crashsites for me.
My plan was to go and look for two crashsites in the area of Cairnsmore of Carphairn, one was quite a famous Spitfire, as it was named 'Blue Peter' and it's recovery was covered on the TV show of the same name, the other one was a less well known Bristol Blenheim.
Very limited Parking at the start of the track to Moorbrock Lodge.
The first problem I encountered was finding somewhere to park, There was room to park a few cars either side of the double gates at the entrance to the Moorbrock Lodge Estate but there was a No Parking sign. I drove a mile further up the road but could find no where else to park so returned to the gates and parked as far into the grass verge beside the gates as I could, hoping not to repeat my experience while trying to visit the Prentice in the Kilsyth Hills*.
Off up the track towards Moorbrock Lodge.
This was another one of those days when the weather was a bit naff on the way up but improved considerably as the day went on, in fact by the time I'd parked the Pug, put my gear on and set off up the track, the sun was shining.
Beninner on the left and Greenhill on the right with Moorbrock Hunting Lodge below it. Cairnsmore of Carphairn is between them in the distance,with it's top hidden in cloud.
I could have taken a shorter route to reach the Blenheim crashsite by turning left just before I reached the Hunting Lodge and going through a clearing in the woods but as I had my bike and I was wanting to continue on to the Blue Peter Spitfire site up beside Cairnsmore of Carphairn after I'd checked out the Blenheim, I took a longer route via Greenhill.
Approaching Moorbrock Lodge.
Thanks to Scotlands right to roam act I was able to follow the track up and past the Hunting Lodge without having to worry about being chased by any Hooray Henrys with shotguns. I followed the track up a steep incline behind the lodge which went straight up towards the top of Greenhill but then made made a sharp turn to the left and contoured around the hill just above the top of the woods.
The track up Greenhill through a clearing behind the lodge.
Above and below:-The track countoured around the side of Greenhill towards Beninner.
Just as the track around Greenhill started to turn north there was an ideally situated Firetower just above the clearing that I was planning on using to get down to the Blenheim crashsite. The crashsite is not actually on Beninner but on a relatively flat area below it.
The Firetower where I chained the Bike, don't know why I bother chaining the bike up when there's no-one around for miles.
An unexpected advantage of taking this longer route was that the track I was following was quite a bit higher up than the crashsite ,so I was able to sit on a rock beside the Firetower and spot the wreckage through my binoculors before I descended down the firebreak.
Above and next 27 photos:-The wreckage of the Blenheim is well scattered and includes the crankcase of one engine and quite a few cylinder heads, as the Bristol Mercury engines fitted to Blenheims had 9 cylinders and there was more than 9 scattered around the site,some of them had to be from the second engine.
The trickiest part of reaching this crashsite was a very fast flowing burn that was just a tadge too wide to be able to leap across, where I crossed on the way was not an option on the way back so I ended up walking quite a way back downstream until I found a suitable spot where I crossed by first lobbing my rucksack over then taking a running jump, my right foot landed on the opposite bank but my left foot didn't quite make it so I ended up with a very clean left boot.
I could have jumped across the top of this waterfall but I didn't fancy the consequences if I slipped on landing.
It took me just over an hour to reach the Firetower and it would only take 20 minutes back to the car, it's a lot quicker and easier going back downhill on the bike than pushing it uphill. I probably would have had enough time to go further up the glen to visit the Blue Peter Spitfire site, but I decided to have a sit down on an sunlounger shaped boulder and chill out in the sunshine for a bit instead. I figured I would leave the other crashsite for another time as we're at a competition in Dumfries at least once a month and I'm beginning to run out of crashsites to visit in that area.
The Blenheim wreckage is scattered in the area circled in yellow.
I did have to stop a couple of times on the way back to the car as I was going a little bit too rapidly down the bumpy dirt road and the vibrations had caused a few nuts to come loose on my bike and things had started to fall off, luckily not including one of the wheels!