Today was a goosebump kind of day….as well as Steve’s birthday! We went to Eilean Donan Castle for a tour. As I rounded the corner inside the castle, there in front of me was a framed explanation of MacLennan’s. The Eilean Donan Castle is owned by Clan MacCrae, and has been for many years. The framed explanation told of the Clan MacLennan’s significance in being the standard bearers for the Clan MacKenzies back during the turbulent war times in the 16th century. Notices were posted throughout the castle as to “No Photography” allowed. So I went straight to one of the attendants to see if I could get permission to take a photo of the framed text. As I approached him I told him that I was a MacLennan. He broke into a smile and said, ” Well, welcome home! I am Richard MacLennan!” We enjoyed a nice chat followed by his encouraging me to take a photo of the framed text. We had our photo taken together, exchanged contact information, and said our goodbyes.
In our research of the area, we heard that Middlestrom, where my great-great grandfather John McLennan lived and where at least 4 of his and Catherine McKay McLennan’s children were born, is actually Stromemenach. This former crofting community has been reduced to ruins scattered across the hillside above the crofters (farmers) closer to the sea. So today Steve & I hiked up to the old area in the rain. It was there that I let free in the wind the oak leaf that I took from my great-grandfather Lachlan’s gravesite in Belle Plaine, Iowa. An emotional moment for me to say the least.
Then the sun broke out and the rain stopped. Aha….a chance to skip the stone!! Steve and I drove to the bay portion of Slumbay where we walked out to the water’s edge thanks to the low tide. I skipped the stone that I found on my parent’s gravesite. Three little skips and the concentric circles that great-grandfather Lachlan so enjoyed creating. Another emotional moment!
Tonight is our final night in Lochcarron. It has been a precious time. We leave in the morning for Durness to stay with a Martin MacKay at his B&B. We hope to take a ferry to Cape Wrath too. Internet access probably won’t happen for about a week or until we are home.
Love to you all! Scottish blessings too!