2003 letter about drive from Dunecht to Oban: We left Dunecht and the Donalds on Monday morning. It was a beautiful, sunny day and
our original intention was to drive only about fifty miles to a town in the Scottish Highlands called Braemar, close to Balmoral Castle
where the Royal Family spends their time when in Scotland. It’s a beautiful little town, and we spent a couple of hours wandering
around, going shopping and seeing a film that told of the history of this town and region. We learned that much is owed by the residents
of this area to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert who decided it was a great place to visit and came to live here on occasion to hunt,
fish and enjoy other leisure pursuits. But then we decided to continue on, rather than going into the local campground. We could still
drive to the western shore town of Oban if we started right away. So we bought food for lunch from the Braemar butcher shop and left
Good thing we did. Our trip through the Highlands was perfect – the sun was shining, the high hills looked crisp and beautiful.
We had asked Mike Donald what was the difference between the moors near where he lives and these Highlands. He answered that the moors
were "softer". Now we saw what he meant. The moors had slopes of perhaps 35 or 40 degrees up, all covered in green or lavender. These
highland hills had slopes much steeper—perhaps 65, even 70 degrees and had a great deal more rocky crags showing. These certainly
were "harder". (Pictures of moors and Highland hills) Even though we slowed down traffic as we climbed through the valleys between
those hills, it was a great trip until we got to Loch Earn on the western edge of the hills. It suddenly got misty and then it started
to rain. And it continued to rain the rest of the day and for the two days we were in Oban! If we’d waited to begin our journey the
next morning, our trip through the desolate Highlands would have been in heavy rain. As it was, we never took off our raincoats from
the time we got to Oban until we left.