A great weekend followed by a great walk

I can’t believe it’s Thursday again already …this last week has just flown by ….but perhaps that’s because it has been a good one.

The lower slopes of Beinn Odhar from the West Highland Way

The lower slopes of Beinn Odhar from the West Highland Way

Our Open Weekend at the Courtyard Studios last Saturday and Sunday, proved a real success.  All the hard work that everyone had put into it, paid off and we had around 300 visitors over the course of the weekend.  We were, I have to admit, very lucky with the weather this year and instead of the rain and howling gales of last year we had two beautiful sunny days for the event.  The courtyard looked great with all the doors open this year and an added bonus was a newly repaired and painted table in the centre …..courtesy of ‘Jim the joiner’, a retired gentleman who makes stretcher frames for Margaret and who agreed to fix our courtyard table prior to the weekend……many thanks Jim.  I think everyone had a good time and there were certainly a few sales and a couple of commissions gained along with a lot of interest that will hopefully turn into sales over the next weeks, months or years.  There is already talk of perhaps doing another event during the lead up to Christmas ….we have a meeting next week so we’ll see what folk are thinking and take it from there.  Anyway, the biggest thanks for last weekend’s success must go to everyone who came down to the Harbour side and visited the studios ….I hope you all enjoyed yourselves.  Remember that visitors are always welcome at the Courtyard Studios, so do feel free to call in next time you’re passing.  You’ll have to take us as you find us ….these are working studios ….but that all adds to the interest.

The Crianlarich Hills from the slopes of Beinn Odhar

The Crianlarich Hills from the slopes of Beinn Odhar

I must admit that by Monday I was pretty tired.  I was in putting everything back in its place and even did some painting in the afternoon.  The weather though was still good and the mountain forecast suggested 80% chance of a cloud free Munro.  With Nita working on Wednesday and the weather going wet again on Thursday we just had to catch ourselves a walk while things were so good.  We haven’t been out though for around five weeks ….when we were up on the hills above Glen Shee and so we didn’t want too big a walk …just something short but steep enough to get the leg muscles complaining!  Last week for my ‘Artwork of the week’, I showed a small painting based on a day we’d had on Beinn Odhar near Tyndrum …and this seemed the perfect hill for occasion.  It has the added bonus that you can leave the car in Tyndrum and have breakfast at the Green Welly before starting out and a cup of tea on your return!  Perfect.

'A perfect spot for a snooze!'

‘A perfect spot for a snooze!’

There was a real feel of autumn in the air as we drove north with frost on the verges at the side of the road.  The colours on the hillside were particularly bright as the sun rose and caught the tops of the bigger hills.  The sky was completely clear and Loch Lomond looked stunning ….so good that we just had to stop at Inveruglas and take a few photos.  By the time we got to Tyndrum the sun was higher and the mountains looked very inviting …but not before a bacon roll and a cup of their excellent coffee at the Green Welly.

From near the summit of Beinn Odhar

From near the summit of Beinn Odhar

We started walking (heading north up the West Highland Way) around half past nine and after crossing the bridge over the railway line, we left the WHW and headed up the steep mainly grass slopes of Beinn Odhar.  It was hard work for my out of condition legs and I needed many regular stops (to admire the view of course) as we gradually gained height.  The views back to Ben Oss and Ben Lui were great and higher up you could see over the intervening ridge to Ben More and its neighbours.  It never ceases to amaze me when walking this hill that half way up you find the remains of an old mine …what a place to come and work.  There is still the start of an old shaft cut horizontally into the rock …but it must have proved fruitless because it only goes into the hillside a matter of a few feet.   Beyond this the ground eases and there is a tiny loch perched below the final steep and rock strewn summit.  It is remarkably beautiful here and so quiet.  In fact it was so peaceful that we decided to lie back and have a snooze for half an hour in the warm morning sunshine!  The final few hundred feet to the summit cairn is as I say, steep and strewn with stones, but it makes for a great final ascent and you arrive at the top with three hundred and sixty degree views.  On a day like Tuesday …this meant big views …he air was very clear and even I could see a fair way.  We spent more time sat at the top taking in the peace and quiet and listening to a couple of Ravens as they swooped overhead in the autumn sun.  This really was what was needed after a very busy month …back to the work now but we’re already planning the next outing.

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