Peck's personal Web site
in 1985, 1988, and 1990
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
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.
we're back, in October 1985.
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.
presiding in the background, with Alison, Marlowe, Jane, and Jon.
Jane, Marlowe, and Alison, 1985, with Dunottar lurking, and waiting.
and Marlowe in Catterline, 1985.
Forward to 1988 . . .
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.
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.
castle along the way, but the name of it is lost. Locals will recognize it.
Castle in the background, Jane and Marlowe on the strand on the way to Skye.
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!
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.
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.
in the Outer Hebrides, May 1988
and Dad sharing something brown on the ferry back from the Outer Hebrides, with
the Harp lager and chips (or fries) within easy reach.
and her Mom making a picnic near Tomintoul, near the "devil's staircase"
on the eastern side of the Cairngorms.
near the Cairngorms, Mom making dinner with the International Herald Tribune,
Marlowe wearing a pot on her head.
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.
forward to 1990 . . .
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.
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
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
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.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative,
rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 10 August 2003, revised 30 April 2008, 10 October 2014.