Glen Doll, towards Jock’s Road – Ink and Watercolour in a Watercolour Moleskine

A couple of weeks ago we visited this area. I had not been back here since 1963. My dad and I used to camp in the adjacent Glen Clova where the river South Esk runs. I remember leaving the camp site in 1958 and dad singing a song about “Farewell to the mountains” – rather badly. I’ve just looked this up:

This is from the film, Davy Crockett – King of the wild frontier. Farewell was on the flip side of the record although I’m not sure if it was this version:

You’all remember the Davy Crockett craze of 1957? Yes you do. Don’t deny it! Kids used to run about with toy guns wearing granny’s fox fur on their heads

One of dad’s ambitions was to walk to Braemar, via Jock’s Road which can be seen – its the cleft between the two hills in the centre horizon. He tried a few time but something always spoiled things. Bad weather was the usual cause – five men lost their lives on this mountain pass almost 50 years ago. His last attempt ground to a halt, in brilliant weather, when one of his companions suffered a severe asthma attack. I should have picked up the baton but, somehow, never did. This walk is relatively easy – in good conditions. It is the first half of one of the great Scottish walks, the second half is from Braemar to Aviemore via the great Cairngorm mountain pass – Lairig Ghru. Both parts of the “walk” are to be undertaken seriously. I was with a party of newly graduated teachers in 1969, walking through this pass in the height of summer. Of of the lads collapsed under the stain and despite all our efforts, died. Turned out he had an unknown heart condition. I often think of him.