Today was magical.
If you know me, you’re likely wondering if I am in fact being serious, or adding just a touch of sarcasm.
Today was in fact magical, and I’ll tell you why.
It only rained for a few hours.
I know what you’re thinking; she’s a little out there.
Well yes, at this point I am. Nearly 20 miles of hiking per day voluntarily through Scotland. I am out there. And I may have gone a bit mad, too. But that can be up for discussion later.
We spent our evening in Fort William at this amazing little B&B named The Grange.
We would highly recommend this gem to anyone traveling to Scotland, specifically Fort William. Joan and her husband John are some of the nicest people we’ve met. They catered to our every need and made traveling, without much of anything, so enjoyable.
From the second my swollen feet hit the heated floor, I felt like I was at home.
Did I mention Joan knows how to decorate?
What used to be a small estate that their architect recommended being torn down and rebuilt, is now a glowing oasis, especially after a long day of hiking.
With such great rest, and a great breakfast before heading out (I had the traditional Scottish pancakes and Josh had porridge with whisky and cream – everything is better with whisky) , today was a bit easier to find the courage to start.
We mayyy have decided to cheat a bit on the walking though. Just a bit.
Yes, I know. Not quite the Weaver way, but I (we) were hurting!
Originally, we had planned for about 24 miles of walking.
Due to a lot of achy muscles and you guessed it, more rain, we decided to take out the beginning portion. This part, which consisted of 7 miles of road walking, we decided we’d rather take a cab and start on the trail.
Once we got on the trail, it was easy hiking for most of the morning.
We winded through the countryside, following a stream on a four wheeler path and met lots of Highland cows as we dodged cow patties and other special treasures.
PSA: Cows in Scotland have HORNS. If you come into contact with them, my only experience is this – they move out of the way and don’t care much about you.
I did almost cry the first time we came across them in our path, because I’m a chicken.
If you can’t tell, it finally, FINALLY, stopped raining mid morning and we were greeted by some sunshine and some blue in the sky.
Okay, so not very sunny, BUT the sun was under the clouds at some points and peeked out every once and a while, which felt great.
And really, at this point in our vacation, anything but rain felt like sunshine.
And really, at this point I should have known that the trail was going to become more difficult than it was earlier on this morning.
Clearly, I need to research more on these hiking trails before I commit to 90 miles of them…
You see that bad boy up in front of me? You know, the one with a kind of swerve-y, light-ish line going up it?
Yes. That would be the second portion of the hike we called “how in the world are we going to get up and over this?”
Right now. Right now is about the point in the post I could literally and physically insert and eye roll. And as much as I was eye rolling – in a very strange way it excited me, too. I kept thinking, how great is it going to feel once we make it over the mountain?
And TBH, I prayed a lot as we walked these last few days. I relied completely and wholly on Christ and on my husband to help me through. I knew that I, myself, could not make it up, down, through, beside, or around these obstacles myself. I needed Christ and I needed my husband. Both in very large ways.
It made me extremely vulnerable and uncomfortable at first, especially needing to rely on Josh. But as I continued walking, I knew that I had to let my fears and insecurities go, and let Josh lead the way.
And you know what happened?
We made it up that entire mountain without stopping. What felt like a huge setback, finally became something in the past, something we could look down at and simply embrace the challenge.
It’s so difficult to put into words what making it up and over that mountain allowed me to do inside. And the more mountains we climbed, the more I could feel a mental shift happening. Instead of looking at every obstacle and saying I can’t do that. I started embracing the challenge and putting one foot in front of the other, encouraging myself and Josh to make it through the next challenge.
And in trying to embrace every part of Scotland’s culture, we were able to sit on a rock, not far from the top of the peak and enjoy a wee dram of whisky together.
From there, we encountered the really fun portion of the day – wet, muddy patches, bogs, and creek walking. I think at this point, it was so much more mentally challenging, trying not to lose a shoe, or fall over than it was physically challenging.
I’d like to report that this portion was fast, but maneuvering through bogs and streams is no joke!
Eventually, I gave in and just started walking through the bogs and the streams. Early on in the day my feet got soaked, so at this point, it was taking way more energy to keep dodging the mud and streams than to walk right through them like a boss.
We coined this as, “The Weaver Method.”
Right before we started our decent into Glenfinnan, we were able to find a gorgeous spot to enjoy the vista below and surrounding us.
I continually kept thinking to myself how amazing it was to be in the middle of nowhere, enjoying the environment, with nothing in our way.
No buildings. No people. No roads. Nothing.
It felt so surreal. The small details we would come across would make me have to stop and just simply enjoy.
Who knew that the purple heather, mixed with moss and rocks would be so enjoyable to look at?
That purple heather is something that Josh and I loved from the second we spotted it in Glencoe on our first day in Scotland. It’s abundant everywhere, and made the landscaping that much more beautiful.
The Prince’s House Hotel and Restaurant in Glenfinnan is where we retired for the evening.
That face though, right?
Again, in true Josh fashion, he booked the hotel that was about a mile outside of town AND up a huge hill.
There is my sass shining through. I really hope it’s appreciated.
And even though the rain met us when we arrived into the hotel that evening, I felt so proud of us and our efforts today.
Magic is made when we can truly let our fears go and just enjoy the ride. That is exactly what I was able to do today and that I am so thankful for.