Hiking in Scotland

Scotland is a gorgeous country full of mountains and hills that I wanted to climb. That goal was a little rough considering: a) I live in Texas and b) I had several calf and ankle injuries in the past. But like everything else in my life, when I get an itch to do a thing I find a way to scratch it.

My legitimate excuse reason to go to Scotland was to research my historical fiction series set in the Scottish Highlands. And I ask you – how can you write about living in the mountains if you’ve never climbed one? So we booked a trip this summer. (Note: My husband, Henri said, “Can’t you write a book set in Texas?” But where’s the fun in that?).

Overcoming injuries was quite a different pickle. Some people injure themselves, Ducktape their leg and keep on running. Not me. Honestly, after wearing a boot twice for a strained calf and having to go through physical therapy for a twisted ankle that swole to the size of my calf a few years ago, I was scared. I pretty much stopped running entirely and avoided cardio machines for months at a time. As you can imagine, my endurance level dropped considerably from the days when I ran marathons and Spartan races. But I really, really, really wanted to hike in Scotland.

Exercising on my Max Total

Fortunately, I write blog posts for Bowflex and I convinced my boss I would be a better fitness writer if he gave me a Max Trainer elliptical with JRNY app to review. (Thanks, Joe!) I started by doing just 14 minutes a day in February three times per week and eventually built up to doing thee 30-minute coached session per week with a long hike (65 minutes) on Saturdays. By the time I went to Scotland in June I felt strong, prepared and confident in my balance.

We started in Edinburgh, which is the capital city. If you saw newsclips from Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, you might recognize the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Holyrood Park beyond it. The park’s highest point (823 feet) is on a volcanic cliff known as Arthur’s Seat. It took us about an hour to hike to the top. We probably could have gone up faster but we stopped for the views and way too many selfies, lol. When you reach the top you get an unparalleled view of the entire city from the churches to the North Sea. Here’s a picture of my daughter, Rylee, on top of the world.

Rylee on Arthur’s Seat

Next we drove into the Scottish Highlands and took a ferry to the Isle of Skye, where we hiked the Old Man of Storr.

Old Man of Storr

The elevation is 2,359 feet and Rylee ended up feeling a little dizzy, which is pretty common. It also didn’t help that Scotland was having a heat wave, but in all fairness, their heat wave was 75 degrees and we’re from Texas… Anyway, this picture gives you an idea of how steep and windy the stone path was. Quite a few people used walking sticks.

Hiking the trail

We ended the day at the Fairy Pools. The waterfalls were a little low, apparently, since it hadn’t rained much the past month, but it still looked beautiful to me! Plus, one of the lead characters in my upcoming novel, “To Rescue A Witch” has second sight (she sees the future) and had a vision at the Fairy Pools, so I had a solid reason to check it out.

Henri, Rylee and Henri at the Fairy Pools on Skye
Me at the Fairy Pools

The trip inspired me to want to hike more often. It’s a bit flatter here in Texas, but I’m going to seek out some nature trail adventures. How about you? Do you like to hike?

Be healthy.

Lisa 😉

Here’s my story (available on Amazon):

Copyright (c) Lisa Traugott 2023. All rights reserved.

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