Grumman Wildcat JV499 on Auchenlongford Hill.
covered = 4.2 mile/Ascent =+193m)
It was at Cummnock Highland Games that I resumed my hillwalking activities 3 years prior to this visit. Since then I'd visited most of the crashsites in the vicinity that I knew about. but there was one I hadn't been to and it wasn't to far away.
When I dropped the Girls off at the Highland
Games it was blowing a hooley and the skies were looking a bit angry in
places, so I wasn't expecting it to be very pleasant up the hills, but of
course I had forgotten to take into account my undoubted good luck with the Scottish
The Highland Dancing Stage at Cumnock Highland Games, the flagpole with the Scottish Flag is bending under the force of the wind.
Where I needed to park the car was only about 10 mile away and then the walk to the crashsite wasn't that far either, so I was going to have plenty time. By the time I'd found where I had to park the sun was shining, and because most of the way was in woods, I would be sheltered from any wind as well.
Blueberry Esmerelda Muffin II parked at the start of the track on the B743
There wasn't much of a navigating challenge to look forward to on this one, as an almost straight farm track led up to a clearing which then led to Auchenlongford Hill where the remains of the Wildcat lay.
Above and below:-Farm Track straight up through the woods
The clearing through the woods further up looked like it was going to be a boggy slog through long grass, but there was a quad track which followed the bed of an old mine railway, this made the going very easy and there wasn't much of a gradient to write home about either!
The clearing up through the top of the woods, the line of light green grass is the bed of the old railway.
The walk up through the clearing to Auchenlongford Hill was more akin to walking through a Summer Meadow than walking up a Hillside. Having said that Auchenlongford Hill is probably better described as a grassy bump than a Hill.
A little farther up the clearing,the old line terminates at some old mine workings which are at the top edge of the trees. Auchenlongford Hill is the bump on the skyline over to the left.
The Wildcat Wreckage was very easy to find as it's only a couple of hundred metres away from the old mine workings. There's just a few panels remaining. The complete tail assembly used to be here but a Local Farmer allegedly pulled it off the hill with his tractor and sold it for scrap.
Above and below:--A few pieces of the Wildcat on Auchenlongford Hill
Flowers and plane wreckage, my artistic shot for the day!
Strangely, although it was blowing a hooley at Cumnock when I left, as indeed it still was when I returned, where I was on top of the hills it was a lovely sunny day. I was able to have a sit down in the sunshine on the summit(of the grassy bump) and have my butties and although it's not the highest of hills there was still some good views on offer.
View back down the hill over the Wildcat crashsite to the old mine workings.
As I still had loads of time I had a good root around for any other bits of Wildcat that may have been windswept, I also checked out a gully about 100metres to the east in case anything had been dumped in there; there was no sign of anything else.
Same photo as above but the other way around, taken from the mine workings looking back to the crashsite(circled) and Auchenlongford Hill. A good example of false perspective when compared to the previous photo where the crashsite appears to be about halfway between the Hill and the old mine whereas this one it appears to be very near to the summit of the hill. In reality it is nearer the summit of the hill than the old miine,
Walking back down through the 'summer meadow' I noticed there was a lot of Grasshoppers chirping away. When I was about 10yrs old living at Burnhopfield in County Durham, myself and some mates would take a jamjar each and see who could catch the most grasshoppers, now however, over 40 years later I couldn't even get close enough to spot one, never mind catch any.
The old railway track is very evident on this photo, the pyramid on the skyline is a slagheap at the old mine.
After wasting quite a bit of time trying to recapture my youth by capturing a grasshopper,#fail on both accounts, I had a very leisurely stroll back down to the car and was back at Cumnock in time to watch Heather's last two dances in her competition. Of course no one at the games would believe me when I told them I had been enjoying the sunshine all day up the hills while they were battling to keep their tents from blowing away down in the Town.