Looks like we’ve been having way too much fun on our dogventures…because we are sooo behind on this blog! Well, Jo just informed me, “Not we…you.”
It’s true, I’ve been busy running these Scottish streets and perfecting my broguish bark. But now Jo’s gone all Flowers in the Attic on me, keeping me confined until I finish up the Highlands series. We’re nearly there, I promise you! To our whopping 8 subscribers, thank you kindly for following us and pretending to read our barrage of childish antics and potty humor.
July 1st – 28th, 2017
Whole Lotta Plodda Falls…and a Side of Loch Ness
While we had the rental car, we found we still had a nose for adventure, and it was my turn to pick where we went next! So Jo blindfolded me (not while driving, thankfully) and I pointed a paw at a random spot on the map. Next stop: Two hours in the complete opposite direction of our previous mountain/castle adventures, to a magical place near Inverness!
There, we found squirrels sneeze glitter, chainsaws juggle lumberjacks, and food trucks that serve unicorndogs. Okay, not that kind of magical, but magical nonetheless!
We were going to hike Plodda Falls (Eas Ploda in Gaelic). We read this was the most beautiful and the highest waterfall in the area, coming in at 151 feet (46 meters) high! And surrounded by Douglas firs that smelled of citrus and whispered secrets to each other when the wind blew.
Initially, the car’s GPS took us to a housing development more than an hour away from where Plodda Falls actually was. Jo yelled, “Take me to Plodda Falls, Hal!” And the GPS retorted, “I’m sorry, Jo. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Thanks loads, technology. So we tried Jo’s GPS on her phone, and thankfully that one knew where the hell to go.
It worked still even after passing through the tiny village of Tomich and even after the two-lane road shrank to a one lane, which ultimately turned into a dirt road riddled with potholes, climbing further and further into the mountains, with no cell service.
Which brings me to an embarrassing moment. Earlier, we were driving along and at one point saw this lovely body of water (pics above), and decided to stop and take a couple of photos. Hmmm, I wonder what this place is! Meanwhile, this really hip, laid-back aquatic dinosaur swam up, waved, and said,
“Hey, guys! It’s me…Nessie! Feel free to take a selfie with me and hashtag the shit out of it.” No time, Nessie. We got a waterfall to conquer! Jo and I literally had no idea we had been driving alongside Loch Ness for miles (apparently oblivious to any signs), but thanks to him, we were now in the know. We exchanged numbers and he told us, “Drive safe, dudes!” Great guy, that Nessie…
Further along the way, we saw a sign for a place called Sleepy Hollow and the Highland Bear Lodge, because, ya’ know, bears need a place to stay in the Highlands too.
* A passing place…similar to a laughing place, only if you don’t use this wee sliver of extra road to pull over and let another car pass, someone is surely going to plummet off the edge of a mountain. Jo seems to think it’s where you pull over to squeak out a fart. Silly human!
* Oh, we’re here?! Well, thanks for telling us noooow…
* Jo wondered what the trees were whispering to each other whenever the wind blew. I knew. They said to throw all the humans over the side of the waterfall. Don’t think I’ll tell Jo about that though.
* Top of the falls
* Looking over the falls from the viewing platform…excluding any humans the trees may have tossed over
* View after hiking to the bottom of the falls. You can see the viewing platform from here as well. Back in the day (1880, to be exact), a well-to-do fella by the name of Lord Tweedmouth (hell of a name!) had a footbridge built across the falls (eventually replaced by this viewing platform).
* Lord Tweedmouth is also the guy responsible for the birth of the Golden Retriever in 1868. The village of Tomich has a statue commemorating this. See pic above. And I’m doing my best to catch some flies in those pictures too.
* Lord and Lady Tweedmouth memorial fountain erected by their children, sculptures of their faces on each side, accompanied by a dog head beneath each face
* View from one of many bridges we crossed
* My very own waterfall! In your face, felines!
As usual, we went the wrong way to go back home and drove for an hour before realizing we didn’t recognize anything around us. But man, were the views something to behold! Finally, we came to a wooden bridge that barely fit the car, with nothing but dirt and rocks in the vague shape of a road thereafter. So we turned around and headed back.
* This guy took his sweet ass time crossing the road, then gave us the stink eye as we passed
On the way back, we stopped off at a beautiful cairn (mound of stones built as a memorial, landmark, etc.) In Highland folklore, it is said that clans would place stones in a pile before going off to war. Those who survived returned for their stones. The stones that remained were piled into a cairn to honor the dead.
* No Cairn Terriers here! Just a cairn that was built around 4,000 years ago and used as a collective burial chamber. It’s also surrounded by a stone circle believed to have been added later.
* It was so peaceful here! Just Jo and I…and the sound of the wind blowing through the grass, which I was busy sniffing and eating. The grass here is softer than any other grass I’ve rolled in!
* Just seeing where the road takes us…turns out it took us back to the rental car. Ho-hum.
The Day We Died…But Not Really
Between getting lost, stopping to explore, refueling with a cold pint of beer, and peeing in the woods, what should have taken us 5-6 hours max ended up taking us 9 hours.
By the time we got back to our top secret teepee headquarters, we had received a ton of frantic texts and calls from Gma. She was convinced we were dead. And not as a result of being mauled by a Scottish wildcat or our car pulling a Thelma and Louise and flying off a cliff.
No, no. She was 100% certain the German guy we were staying with (nicknamed Oates) had butchered us and turned us into lampshades. Granted, Jo’s hair would look amaaazing as fringe on a flesh lampshade, but I digress.
* And for anyone just starting to read my blog, check out the post I Think I’m In Love… to bring your ass up to speed on Oates
Jo’s parents even called Oates, who said, “Me? A killer? I can’t go for that. You guys are out of touch. She’s a rich girl, a maneater, and she can handle herself.”
Sorry, that was just a little Hall and Oates song title humor. I couldn’t resist! Bonus points if you got the reference right away. What the hell – let’s go crazy! Give yourself a pat on the back too. 😉
Oates actually said something like, “Guys, guys…she’s out living her life, having a great time!” Nope, Gma just knew Oates had killed us.
While Jo felt bad for Gma at the time, she later laughed about it with Oates and told him he should have said over the phone that he was wearing our teeth as a necklace, and we joked about how he had buried us in his field, along with other Airbnb’ers, and posted all these fake fabulous reviews online.
Yes, we all had a good laugh about it. Then Jo and I gave each other a wondering look. Could he have killed people and made up fake reviews?? We shook our heads. Nahhh!
We love Gma, but we can’t help but wonder if this was karma for all of the insane shit she has pulled on Jo over the years:
* Telling ghost stories about an asylum escapee who’s coming for her
* Scratching on the outside of her bedroom window like Freddy Krueger
* Pretending to suffocate herself with a plastic bag in the produce section of Wal-Mart if Jo didn’t tell her how many guys she had slept with
* Throwing a horse testicle on the roof of Jo’s house and burying one beneath the bedroom window to ensure Jo gets pregnant
* Helping Jo steal some oranges from a grove, then saying, “The cops are coming!” and taking off in the car while Jo is left standing there with her arms full
* Having the family dress up like scary clowns for Jo’s birthday
Soo…I’m pretty sure this was karma. But did she learn her lesson? Ha, never! 😀
Now she’s on a new kick, sending texts like:
Gma: I am checking into rehab…just kidding! Checking into chewy.com
to compare prices. Oh, and dad is paralyzed.
Jo: Wait, whaaat?! Oh, you’re kidding. Wait, dad’s paralyzed???
Mom: Kidding again. He is just dead. Sorry for your loss.
Jo: How’s my Daisy doing? Hope she’s feeling better!!
Mom: She’s dead. And so is dad.
Jo: You are a sick f**k.
I can see it now. When Gpa actually is dead (sorry, Gpa), Gma will still be at it with Jo, probably saying, “Your dad’s a zombie!” or “Your dad’s still really alive. He just ran away from us” or even “I got your dad stuffed. You can prop him up on your couch so you never have to stop watching movies with him.”
I’d be okay with that last one, so long as Gpa wasn’t sitting in my spot! 😀
*sigh* We love you, Gma and Gpa. Don’t ever change!
Up Next: The Highland Games!