It’s on Shinmount I’ll Stand

6.04 miles 3h 22m ascent 273m

Forrest Bridge-Shinmount Hill-Burnhead

As the day draws to close
It’s on Shinmount I’ll stand
The dugs by my side
And a stick in my hand

We returned to Forrest for a wee stroll about the estate, the plan being to visit Shinmount, the hill mention in the verse on Watson’s memorial.

It’s a straightforward route, but that didn’t stop me taking a wrong turn along Kristin Olsen Road. That took us past some shooting stalls. Not the typical butts I’ve seen on moors, and given the surrounding tree, not much of a place for shooting. The trees in front of me in the photograph below were just as tall as this behind me. But I’m no shooting expert, having only shot clay pigeons, and that only a couple of times.

Back on Thomas Olsen Road we walked on and then up the aptly named Fire Tower Road. This got us high enough to see over the forest showing us the hills to the east, all the from Cairnsmore of Carphairn down to Criffel.

Thomas Olsen Road, Fire Tower Road ahead

There looks to be an old fashioned wooden fire tower (just visible on the photo below) on the western slope of Shinmount.

Shinmount. A large hill on the farm Largmore its surface consists of rocky heathy pasture and on its summit is a trignl station Called by Trig party ‘Shinmount’ It lies in a direction nearly North and South and within its range which is upwards of a mile in length are other small hills known by separate names – and across the north end of it runs the Deil’s Dyke.

Thomas Smith C.A. [Civilian Assistant]
2nd March 1849

I was expecting a small wooden fire tower at the top, but it is a bit more technologically advanced with a huge metal aerial (mounted on a hinged base), a small windmill and a couple of large solar panels. These are on one of the two knolls that make up the summit, the other looking to be that actual summit.

I had hoped to have a photo taken stood on Shinmount with the dugs by my side and a stick in my hand but that proved too difficult. While I held the stick Christy would not look forward, only at the stick, so I had to throw it in from of him. This also meant holding him so he didn’t leap on to it and run off, which mean squatting down.

After an unnecessary diversion
On Shinmount I did squat
The dugs by my side
And a stick on the ground

Close enough I suppose.

We chose a slightly different route back, along Billy McClellan Road and Prof Hans Heiberg Road, mostly through recently felled forest. We had views of the Rinns and also a brief glance at what I took to be a yellow wagtail. I was worried that there might not be bridges but these roads are being used by logging trucks so there are good bridges over McAdam’s Burn and Mid Burn.

Lunch at the picnic tables.

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