Tuesday 6 December 2011

Interviews for BBC Radio Scotland Out of Doors

In Okanagon country on the Pacific Northwest Trail

Today I was interviewed by Mark Stephen for the Out of Doors BBC Radio Scotland programme about my A Year In The Life Of The Cairngorms book and about my Pacific Northwest Trail walk. The first interview should be broadcast this weekend - the programme goes out at 6.30 am on Saturday, repeated at 11.05 am on Sunday - and the next a week later. The programe will also be available on iPlayer.

As Mark was coming from Aberdeen and I was coming from Grantown-on-Spey we met in Keith, where we had an excellent lunch (brocolli and stilton soup) in the wonderfully named Boogie Woogie Cafe before finding a quite spot for the interviews. Getting to Keith was quite interesting given the snow which, despite it being December when snow in Scotland is hardly unexpected, has caused some problems on the roads. I had five miles of minor roads before reaching the A95 main road. None of those minor roads had been cleared of snow and every bend (and there were plenty) was quite slippery even though I have snow tyres fitted. Not once did I go above 15mph or get out of second gear. The A95 had been ploughed and gritted but there were still slippery snow patches on some of the sheltered stretches deep in shady hollows. I was more concerned though by some of the other drivers, especially those who decided that because of snow on the edges of the road they should drive down the middle, expecting anything coming towards them to get out of the way. I crept along the verge a few times while the other vehicle sailed past taking up most of the road. But the journey there and back was completed safely, even if it did take much longer than expected. More snow is forecast, perhaps up to 10cms, so I'm glad I don't have to drive anywhere tomorrow. Maybe it'll be time for skis or snowshoes instead.


  1. Whenever we hear of the first road closures of the winter (the ones which make the national travel bulletins) there's a better than even chance that the A93 at Spittal of Glenshee will be among them.

  2. Or the A939 at Bridge of Brown or The Lecht. The snow gates on the A939 were closed today between the Lecht and Cock Bridge

  3. A Year In The Life Of The Cairngorms is coming to me as a Christmas present. yipee!

  4. More people should read that, if nothing more than for the driving lesson. It's other drivers that worry me, esp when its snowy.
    I seldom drive in snow, in fact, if I can avoid it, I do, but when I do, i am very slow and very careful and don't use the brake much, using gears / engine to slow me down. Excellent post.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. I'm getting 'A Year In The Life Of The Cairngorms' as well. It's in the house already; I'm under strict instructions not to go searching for it before the day.

  6. Boogie Woogie in Keith is ACE!
    And I do agree with your comment re other drivers expecting to be able to barrel down the middle of the snowy road and have oncoming traffic squrrel themselves into the often soft verge - most inconsiderate.