Of Mice and Men
Fairey Firefly PP566 on Meickle Bin.
(Distance covered = 5.3 mile)

 As the Girls had a lift up to a Competition at Glenboig with another dancer called Alice; and her Mam, it meant I was free to have a 'silly o'clock' start in the morning and no deadline to be back. I had therefore hatched a very ambitious plan to visit 7 crashsites in one day in the northern Peninnes.

My plan was scuppered however when Alice took ill, so the Girls no longer had a lift meaning Blueberry Esmerelda Muffin II was needed. So instead of a 20 mile hike around the Northern Peninnes I had to settle for a 3 to 4 mile hike to the crashsite of a Cessna Centurion in the hills above Lennoxtown.

Parked on the B822 in the hills above Lennoxtown.

If I had enough time after visiting the Cessna I figured I could have a walk over to Meickle Bin afterwards to find some other pieces of Fairy Firefly PP566 that lie on it's western side. Driving up the B822 from Lennoxtown I could see the area where the Cessna crashed was covered in clag, and as it was raining as well I decided to do Meickle Bin first then hopefully the weather would improve to go over to the Cessna site.

This forest track runs up the northern side of Lecket Hill to within a mile of Meickle Bin.

I could have followed a good forest track that runs along the side of Lecket Hill to within a mile of Meickle Bin, but the longer I stayed on the track the more woods I would have to negotiate. After about 1 mile at the point where the distance through the woods onto Lecket Hill was the least, I left the track and started walking uphill through the trees.

Off up through the woods.

The view back down to the forest track was much more inviting.

The going through the woods was surprisingly easy and I was also sheltered from the rain so instead of going straight up onto the open hillside I started going diagonally. When I eventually emerged out of the top of the woods onto Lecket Hill the going proved to be very difficult, I kind of wished I'd stayed on the forest track to its closest point to Meickle Bin. This would have meant about a mile through the woods but as the going had been so easy up onto Lecket Hill that shouldn't have been a problem.

Meickle Bin from the northern end of Lecket Hill.

From Lecket Hill across to Meickle Bin was one massive Bog, but my new boots were coping admirably so when I arrived at the Bin Burn which is at the base of Meickle Bin I still had dry feet.

above and below:-A couple of Waterfalls on the Bin Burn.

Above and Next 3 photos:-A few more pieces of Fairy Firefly PP566 lying on the western side
of Meickle Bin.

As it had taken me a lot longer than I expected to walk over to Meickle Bin I deduced that It would now be a bit of a rush to get to the Cessna site, so as we are up this area regularly and because there aren't that many sites to visit I decided I would leave that one for another day. This decision also meant I now had plenty of time to get back to the car so I continued north along the side of Meickle Bin to where I could follow another burn back down to the Bin Burn.

Back at the Bin Burn, a mile downstream from where I crossed it earlier.

I was now at a point that was only half a mile from the forest track that I had followed from the car, but it was all through woods with no paths, remembering how easy it was through the woods earlier I wasn't particularly bothered about that but as soon as I entered the trees I realised they were a lot younger than the earlier ones and the going was a lot harder.

Back into the same woods as before but here the trees were a lot younger.

Battling through these trees was not pleasant but at least I was getting some good navigating practice, as without the compass I could have walked round and round in circles without realising. About halfway across to the Forest Track I encountered an area of even younger trees which were all but impassable necessitating a detour, which meant a bit of careful navigating to avoid becoming lost.

Back onto the forest track that led right back to the car.

My theory that the weather might improve as the day went on was correct as by the time I emerged from the woods onto the track it was lovely and sunny, but my plan to visit both Meickle Bin and the Cessna crashsite on nearby Dunbroch Hill had gone out the window long ago.

A Boeing 757 flying over Lecket Hill, not sure if it's just taken off from Edinburgh or just about to land at Glasgow?

Not exactly the day I had planned, in fact everything didn't go to plan, but I still had a very enjoyable walk even though it didn't seem like that when I was battling through the trees. I also gained a bit more experience in navigating through thick woodland and learned a valuable lesson, that being, if you want to walk up Meickle Bin do it from the Loch Carron side!. Most importantly though Heather did extremely well against some tough opposition at her competition in Glenboig and came away with a trophy and a bit of prize money.

Photo taken on an earlier visit to PP566 wreckage near the summit of Meickle Bin showing the location of the Cessna crashsite on Dumbroch Hill.

Another photo taken on an earlier visit to Meickle Bin. In the background is Lecket Hill with the narrow area of trees running behind it which I went through on the way out and the wider area to the right I went through on the way back.

*-Earlier visits to the rest of PP566