Heading ‘Home’


Glen Affric (photo by Tim Haynes)

Yesterday, J. and I got the maps for the 70-kilometre hike we’re planning to do from Loch Ness to the Isle of Skye this summer.

It’s a bit like the journey to Mordor, with brown trout thrown in, which made J.’s eyes light right up. The last 16 kilometres are, shall we say, a wee bit hilly. Not to worry (um, parents): we’ll do it in as many days as it takes.

We chose this trail because it goes through Glen Affric, the heartland of the Chisholm Clan (my mom is a Chisholm).

It also threads right through some of the most remote areas of the Highlands, with nary a road to be seen, and parts of the trail follow the ancient path used to herd cattle to market from the west coast.

I think it will seem strange and beautiful to be walking on ground where my great-great-great-great-great grandparents may have trod (not to mention other ancestors) before they emigrated on the ship The Pearl in 1773 (so I’ve heard).

The hike will fall in the middle of our trip with time in Edinburgh and Inverness beforehand and more hikes on the (hopefully not too tourist-thronged) Isle of Skye to follow.

Yesterday, I also delivered my new manuscript to my agent which will make a cruise on Loch Ness and a couple hours poking around the museums and shops in the monster-famed village of Drumnadrochit absolutely essential (trust me, you’ll see what I mean).

I’ve probably put in a hundred hours or so in the last few weeks finishing this book so I’m coming down off that effort and taking some time on the couch to do trip research, knit, etcetera, before I have to get up and start, uh, training.

Right now, as usual, in the aftermath of a big project, my brain is a bit of a mush-pit so I’ll leave you with something resonant and gorgeous: my distant relative (I assume), the Scottish fiddler and composer Duncan Chisholm talking about his musical project, The Strathglass Trilogy, which explores his Chisholm roots in Glen Affric and the surrounding area. Go to this link: http://www.duncanchisholm.com/press/duncan-chisholm-on-bbc-radio-3s-late-junction/

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6 Responses to Heading ‘Home’

  1. Avatar
    Amy (Two Drifters) March 5, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

    Ended up on your site via Stumbleupon. That hike sounds amazing!! My fiance and I met in Scotland (we’re both American) and just love the country. Would love to try that route at some point! Best of luck! 😀

    • Lauren
      Lauren March 5, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

      Thanks, Amy. What a great story! I’ll check out your site. Yes, the trail is fairly new and we’ve even advance-ordered a handy waterproof map 🙂 Really looking forward to it!

  2. Avatar
    Linda Chisholm January 12, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

    Oh Lauren! What an exquisite trip you will take. You may not know that your unk and I and Caitlin and Christopher took a trip to Scotland and stayed on the Isle of Sky for about a week. Unk became an expert in the distillary while there. The Isle of sky was paradise for me. The sheeps and the peeps all seemed like one consciousness. We also went to the other places you mention. I saw the Loch Ness Monster while there—at least it felt like I really did—what an atmosphere in that beautiful lakeregion. Inverness was the very best. Edinburgh is a gorgeous city and the Indian reatuarants are a great bargain and delicious, along with native oat cakes for survival. We had to find out if the Chisholms or the Andersons were the most highlandish. what is so much better about your trip is that you will be on foot so often and near the ground where the natural spirits of Scotland are—and they are powerful.

    • Lauren
      Lauren January 12, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

      I’m so excited! I think Jason will also become quite schooled in whatever distilleries we come across 🙂 Off to the gym to train….

  3. Avatar
    Naomi January 8, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    Your hike sounds like fun! And, now you have me even more curious about your new book. 🙂
    Enjoy your trip!

    • Lauren
      Lauren January 8, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

      Thanks, Naomi!

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