Helpful Sheep and freindly
Consolidated B-24 Liberator
on Goodman's Cairn.
(Distance covered = 7.0 mile/Ascent =+395m)
A competition way over the west coast in Stranraer gave me an opportunity to visit a crashsite in an area we don't often frequent.
I could have backtracked a bit and visited a crashsite on Cairnsmore of Fleet but as that hill is just within range of Dumfries, where we are most months, I decided to visit one that was further over to the west, and the only contender I knew of at the time was just north of Stranraer on a hill called Goodman's Cairn.
Blueberry Esmerelda Muffin II parked at Kilwhannel Farm
Finding somewhere to park was a bit problematic and the Farmer was buzzing around in his tractor roundng up Sheep, so I had to make sure I didnt block a gate or restrict a turning circle, so ended up on a grass verge between some Trees. I'm always a bit wary of walkng through Farms but as I set off down the lane I received a nice freindly wave off the Farmer. So far I have found Scottish Farmers to be much more amicable than their English counterparts, I say again 'so far'.
Off up the farm track towards Beneraid, the hill I had to cross to reach Goodman's Cairn.
After leaving the farm it was a gentle ascent along a good track which contoured around a small hill called Benawhirter passing some large electricity pylons then dropped down the other side into a wooded area known as Ballochlant at the base of Beneraid.
Contouring around Benawhirter with Beneraid in the distance.
I'd read reports on the interweb about how other walkers had been knee deep in mud while negotiating the section of path through these woods, although I found the track to be well churned up and muddy I simply walked 10 foot to the left of it in the heather and got through the woods no problem.
Out of the woods onto Beneraid, the very muddy section through the woods terminated at a large snowbank.
As I ascended Beneraid I also walked up into a cloud, so visibility became limited, there was a trig point marked on my map so I made for that, so I could acquire an accurate compass bearing for the crashsite. After following the compass for a couple of hundred yards the cloud lifted and the sun made an appearance.
Approaching Goodman's Cairn as the low cloud began to disperse. B-24 wreckage is scattered from left to right across the photo about where the three Sheep are standing.
There's three small collections of wreckage on the Hill, or to be more accurate on a Bealach between Goodman's Cairn and Beneraid called Pildinny. It is spread out in an east west direction and there is also a trail of smaller pieces leading down the hill to the east where there is another small collection lying right beside the track which comes up from the south and Lagerfater Lodge . This track would be a much shorter route so long as there is public vehicle access as far as the Lodge, but I had the day to fill in, so opted for the longer and more interesting looking route from the north.
I managed to walk right past all the scattered wreckage on the way out but when I reached the small cairn on the top of Goodman's Cairn I zigzagged back the way I'd just come and found the first area of pieces where the three sheep were standing, they can be seen running away on the above photo.
Next 16 photos:- Pieces of the B-24 scattered on the top of the hill.
Next 6 photos:-Pieces scattered down the slope and right next to the track from Lagerfater Lodge
Once I'd followed the trail of wreckage down onto the farm track I headed back to the north to look for two memorials that are supposed to be there, a Shepherd's Memorial and one for the B-24 crash. The Shepherd's Memorial is marked on the O/S map but that turned out to be just a small unmarked cairn and I couldn't find any sign of the other one for the B-24, but that doesn't mean it's not one there and I overlooked it.
Heading north on the track from Lagerfater Lodge, pieces of B-24 can be seen in the grass to the left.
Looking back down the track to the south.
Goodman's Cairn taken from the farm track, parts of the B-24 are scattered down the slope where the two sheep are standing, helpful Sheep up here!
Back over the top of Beneraid, this track runs all the way from Kilwhannel Farm to the north across Beneraid and down the other side to Lagerfater lodge, and passes within feet
of some parts of the B-24.
Apart from a bit of low cloud on the way out the weather hadn't been too bad at all considering it was the middle of winter, and as I was walking back to the car the sun was occasionally popping out and the visibilty had improved enough to be able to see Ailsa Craig off in the distance.