Expedition 12 - 14th November 1998
The Three Old Maids, Kinlochmoidart
This expedition took place in near perfect weather, Robbie and Ellen,
who had elected not to take their waterproof jackets, made the right
decision. The rest of us got hot.
The expeditions members were Allan, Claire, David, Ellen MacG, Karen,
Kathryn, Margaret, Mary, Robbie and Robert.
We started out from the entrance to the Kinlochmoidart Fish Hatchery,
next to a big Grand Fir. To get to the start of the hill path we
had to walk across the field to the ruins of Old Brunery Farm, where
Dee MacAulay, who was working with the cows, directed us around
the least muddy places.
The next hour was spent climbing the long zig-zag path towards the
top of the hill. At one point the few members at the top of the
path saw two deer hurrying away from the noise of the expedition.
Just above the top of the wood we left the path and crossed the
open hillside. We crossed a stream where many had a drink and then
scrambled through the heather and bracken to reach the three big
rock outcrops known as the Three Old Maids. The members then investigated
the rocks and discovered the cave and lookout under the centre rock.
When John had clipped the heather away they could see how it had
a good view across to the entrance of the Moidart North Channel.
The expedition members then used the map to get an idea of the locality
spread out far beneath them.
After lunch the expedition started descending the steep slope above
Kinlochmoidart House. It was all fairly easy apart from one difficult
rocky part and a few marshy bits. At the bottom of the cliff we
reached the main path which we followed back to rejoin the Brunery
path. On the way we stopped to look at the old, big estate wall.
When we reached the car there was still some time to spare and the
members were ready for another excursion so we went to Old Kinlochmoidart
Bridge and visited the Bull's Knoll.
The members walked right round the Knoll, looking at several strange
trees on the way, including an enormous oak, and having a lot of
fun with a deer skull picked up on the way. Claire found a lot of
spiders under an oak tree.
Finally, before getting back to the cars, the expedition visited
Old Kinlochmoidart Bridge and looked at the iron pins and rings
fixed to the downstream side. Some of the team saw a dipper by the
Returning to Acharacle, we all had soup at Tracy's before returning
to the Resource Centre to record the expedition.
Robbie's picture shows the stream surrounded by round stones
with the path crossing by a bridge and snaking off up the
hill. Claire's subdivided picture showed the deer above the
tree line, one of the big stones and John's car with its big
tyres (she deleted the final rectangle on the page). Karen
showed the deer and the Three Old Maids in a single view with
the sun smiling down, the presence of the cave is indicated.
A similar approach was adopted by Kathryn (K.M.N.) and Ellen,
who showed the whole walk with the car at the bottom, the
zig-zag path, the big rocks above the trees, the stream and
the deer. David John adopted his usual starkly simple approach
showing the zig-zag path going up the hill. Margaret showed
the stream running over the rocks and forming a waterfall.
Karen's second sketch showed the deer skull which was used
liberally in an attempt to scare the younger explorers. Allan
divided his picture into two, the bottom showed the tractor
and trailer on the left and the zig-zag path on the right
with the tiny tractor as seen from the top of the hill. Robert
adopted a highly imaginative approach, combining all the features
of the walk into a fanciful design; at the top of this picture
are two figures, one of which is holding the deer skull on
a stick.. The tractor features strongly, but it has sprouted
a front and rear bucket which, together with the cab, holds
the Three Old Maids, restored to human form, one of the spiders
is clinging to the cab. To the right of the tractor are two
cows and above them a strange form which incorporates the
skull; in the centre is the big oak tree, with an owl in a
hole in the trunk, and on the top right is the dark cave under
the rock with John's well-loaded car underneath.