Road trips are a necessary part of life.
Open windows. Fresh air. Loud music (preferably Frank Turner). A jar of orange mango juice in the console. Work, stress and ordinary routines are far in the rear view mirror.
Traveling takes me out of my normal circles, allowing me to disengage the auto-pilot. Fresh data fills my senses, jump starting the brain and metabolism. I sing to the song on the radio. I listen to the notes and appreciate them as if hearing them for the first time. Freedom!
A road trip clears my mind and sets me straight. A road trip in Scotland blows my mind out of my head completely, washes it in the river and redefines my life.
The Scottish Highlands has a spiritual beauty that cannot be conveyed from one person to another. Words and photographs can tell a great story about rugged mountain chains or delicate wildflowers, but they cannot emulate the connection that is made with the heart. Like reading about love or watching the weather, it’s informative but lacks the full weight of first hand experience.
I enter Glencoe on a summer morning. My mind is full of fresh memories from Skye, gathered the previous days prior. Fairy Pools, The Old Man of Storr, nightly rainbows over the Portree Harbor, amazing seafood, and the thrill of crossing off a bucket list item. I am so happy I am questioning the reality of the situation.
The morning drive has given me ample time to cultivate these memories, driving along the shores of several peaceful (and long) lochs: Garry, Oich, Lochy, Eil, Linnhe. Small hamlets offer rest and fuel along the way. I look to my wife and wonder how this much awesome is possible.
Road A-82 turns East at Glencoe and the awesome gets steroids. The mountains of Skye have their big brothers in Glencoe. My sense of scale and proportion is completely overwhelmed. The road threads through narrow passages with waterfalls everywhere. Clouds roll through the glen cloaking and revealing views that would make Bob Ross salivate. It is a spectacle that deserves its own place on the bucket list.
The River Coupall has the luxury of calling this place home. I leave the road and walk along its shore. Tumbling over boulders and braiding around river stones, the water is cool and crystal clear. Stepping carefully I make my way to a small series of waterfalls.
I’m enjoying the life, freshness and serene music of the rushing waters when the clouds part overhead. The majestic Buchaille Etive Mor ambushes me, appearing out of thin air! Using the short time between clouds, I compose this image mirroring the mountain and waterfalls. A perfect punctuation for an amazing day!
Thank you for sharing this experience with me. Please share this with your friends and return next week for another photographic journey! In the meantime, please visit my website to see “Waterfalls on the River Coupall” and many other mountain photographs!