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Sun 14th Mar 2004
organised by Central Scotland

Car Count : 11
[ show pre-run info ]

It rained.

Half heartedly at first, a few spots heralding what was to come throughout the morning. 11 cars left Tesco at Eskbank and headed south on the A7, passing a sign declaring that there had been 128 crashes on that road in the last three years followed by a sign noting that it was a Police Speed Check area. Perhaps it?s the nanny state, perhaps we?re not as good at driving as we like to think we are.

And it rained.

Turning off the A7 at Herriot, the slate coloured road and stream, one black and smooth, the other white plumed and angry, raced each other, dodging between the feet of bracken coloured giants to the relative sanctuary of Innerleithen. We stopped in a car park with a comically abandoned car sitting windowless but still with radio and a roll of toilet paper inside.

At the Gordon Inn, the rain hung ahead in great looping curtains like smoke drifting from a vast fire further up the valley.

And it rained.

We drove in a river whenever we left the flat: deep fast flowing water that threatened to swamp the whole road. Then we climbed higher and the road became a strip of mercury in a resolutely copper landscape. The sun tried to show us it was there but it was relentlessly jostled by ignorant black clouds. The white horses stampeded off the hillside forming white mohicans in the brown river.

And still it rained.

Great bow waves of water crashed over the bonnet of the car as it dipped and rose on the road like a trawler at sea. In places, the wind had dashed across the road, leaving it?s baggage behind in it?s hurry: branches, leaves grass and great clods of soil.

We stopped for lunch at the Newmill Country Inn.

And then it had stopped.

It had stopped during lunch but the wind was still as vicious as ever. The sun tried and tried to push it?s way through and it eventually succeeded and we travelled, now just jostled, like a pre Christmas shopping mob as we headed into Moffat.

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