Dwight Peck's personal Web site

Scotland in 1985, 1988, and 1990


In summer 1983, Mr Peck and traveling companion Jane set off on the first of several trips to Scotland. Is Scotland a country? Or a province of England, or what? Never mind, it's always wonderful, even when the fog's in and the mist is rising to meet it.

You may not find this page tangibly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

Now we're back, in October 1985.

Traveling companion Jane, holding our new Marlowe in front of our favorite Dunottar Castle near Aberdeen -- we've come along to visit pre-astrophysicist Alison, then living in nearby Catterline.

Dunottar presiding in the background, with Alison, Marlowe, Jane, and Jon.

Jon, Jane, Marlowe, and Alison, 1985, with Dunottar lurking, and waiting.

Alison and Marlowe in Catterline, 1985.

Fast Forward to 1988 . . .

Marlowe aboard the "Mull & West Highland Narrow Gauge Railway" tourist site near Craignure on the Isle of Mull, May 1988. She and her Mom are having much more fun whilst waiting for the Dad to come down from a running route over the Mull mountains from Salen town, over Beinn Nan Lus, Beinn Mheadhon, and Dun Da Ghaoithe and landing kneedeep in a mucky swamp just near the railroad, a bit under 4 hours. Now we're headed north for additional fun.

Marlowe on the ferry from the Isle of Mull to the western mainland, bound for the Isle of Skye. Young Marlowe and the Old Dad were piggybacking on an expense-paid computer symposium Marlowe's Mom had been attending in Edinburgh -- we snuck into the classy hotel for the duration of the meetings and then hired an automobile and headed for the Isles.

A castle along the way, but the name of it is lost. Locals will recognize it.

Namelost Castle in the background, Jane and Marlowe on the strand on the way to Skye.

Crossing onto the Isle of Skye by ferry from Mallaig to Armadale, May 1988, the travelers proceed to the attractive commercial camping site at Sligachan, gazing off into the Cuillin Hills. Marlowe's dad got to spend a quick four hours running over the hills to Loch Coruisk and the sea in the south and back again, just in time for Happy Hour.

But Happy Hour was useless in Scotland in those days and probably still is. Pub Grub in Scotland is great, but Marlowe was NOT allowed in to get anywhere near it. We had to take turns dining in the pub and bringing leftovers out to Marlowe in the parking lot. The problem, it seems, was that she wasn't 18-years-old yet! She wasn't much more than 18 months yet, but she was hungry! And they didn't have McDonalds and BurgerKings on every streetcorner back in those days. How Third World!

Traveling companion Jane and young Marlowe in the tent at Sligachan, May 1988. In those days, and probably now, commercial camping grounds in Scotland were lovely and peaceful through May and June, but on 1 July of every year the English yobs arrived, filled them all up, and f**ked and g*ggl*d loudly all night, so then you had to take to the hills on your own or sleep in your car.

So we're out in the hills. Marlowe had had an extremely bad burn many months earlier and still needed her dressings changed regularly, by this time very much healed down to band-aid size.

Eilean Donan Castle

Marlowe in the Outer Hebrides, May 1988

Marlowe and Dad sharing something brown on the ferry back from the Outer Hebrides, with the Harp lager and chips (or fries) within easy reach.

Marlowe and her Mom making a picnic near Tomintoul, near the "devil's staircase" on the eastern side of the Cairngorms.

Camp near the Cairngorms, Mom making dinner with the International Herald Tribune, Marlowe wearing a pot on her head.

The Cairngorms in late afternoon sunlight. The Dad was here to do a run over the lot of them from Braemar to Loch Morlich, and has just succeeded in doing that, in 5:29, but there is a small price to pay . . .

. . . namely taking Marlowe out for some canoeing on Loch Morlich whilst her Mom gets some welcome free time to take windsurfing lessons on her own. Here Mom is viewed as, after our lunch, we paddled back to canoe alongside, shout encouragements, take pictures, and eat still more lunch in our canoe.

Fast forward to 1990 . . .

The Old Fellow's back to run over the Cairngorms again, Linn of Dee near Braemar to Loch Morlich past Derry Lodge, over Ben MacDui (the 2nd highest in the UK, after Ben Nevis), Cairn Lochan, and Cairn Gorm itself, in June 1990, in 4:21 this time. Snowstorm on top. Photo by C. Berman.

Prof. Berman, who was then studying Joseph Conrad at the University of Aberdeen, graciously hosted the narrator's visit there in June 1990, crashing in a college dorm room, darting out for a few days at a time for running and biking in the Highlands, dashing back in to Aberdeen to check his references and meet with his advisors.

Profs. Peck and Berman orienteering by mountain bike in the region of the Lairig Ghru, with some exceptional pub grub in Aviemore in the evening. A few days later, the large person on the left ran over the Lairig Ghru from Aviemore through the Cairngorms to the Linn of Dee, in about 4:50 hours, including some time spent helping some older folks lost on the heights find a bothy as the sleety rain came in. (Prof. Berman was reading Conrad criticism in the car at the Linn of Dee as we straggled in.)

The deal was a day of mountain biking with Mr Berman for every day on a solo run with a pick-up at the end of it. But most days were too rainy/snowy for mountain biking, though not for running.

The Lairig Ghru -- back tomorrow for a good jog for the length of it

On 29 June 1990, Prof Berman dropped the looming person off in the middle of Scotland (above) to embark on a 7-hour run over Beinn Dearg, Eididh nan Clach Geala, Carn Mor, and Meall Dubh to the coast at Ullapool, having encountered many stags with big antlers in the freezingish rain on the boggy heights, to meet Prof Berman poring over Conrad criticism in a coffee shop in Ullapool village. An exceptional holiday, all the way round.


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 10 August 2003, revised 30 April 2008, 10 October 2014.


Marlowe Tyson Peck