Friday, May 13, 2016
A good night's sleep does wonders
I was still sleeping soundly this morning when Kent returned from the local grocery store with a turnover he heated in the oven. A good cup of coffee, a little map study, and off we went. Yesterday's balmy sunshine had turned to chill and gloom, but I enjoyed the green hills dotted with new lambs, yellow broom, and occasional bluebells when I wasn't "helping" Kent drive and figuring out how to use the GPS.
Had we remembered this morning that the date was Friday the thirteenth, we might have been even more jittery when we set off in our fancy rental car, up our narrow twisting street, past parked cars jutting out at odd angles, easing onto the motorway through confusing roundabouts, remembering always to keep to the left and searching for the right slot in the six-speed shift. Kent did a good job, with a little help from the driver seated to his left, and we managed to get to Perth and back again with only a few wrong turns and scary moments.
We spent 3 hours in the genealogy and historical Iibrary in Perth, but even with the help of a very kind librarian, found no new information about Kent's ancestors, and only a little about the area from which they came. About 4:30 we headed out, punching "Fossoway," the birthplace of Kent's 3rd great-grandmother, Lilias Taylor, into the GPS. "You have arrived" the voice announced on a country road without a house in sight. So, we continued on. We never did find Fossoway, although I'm sure it is there somewhere, but we did arrive at Rumbling Bridge, where we went for a walk. Lilias's brother David Taylor had traveled from Andes, New York to visit his birthplace in the 1830s, and in a poem about his journey mentioned Rumbling Bridge -- a scenic spot the librarian had told us -- where the River Devon rushing through the rocks below makes the bridge rumble.
We also stopped in the town of Dollar, a pretty place with a castle on a hill behind the town. While trying to get a better view of the castle, we encountered the Dollar Academy, founded in 1818, a time when Kent's Burns and Taylor ancestors would have been living in the area. When we got home we discovered that Craiglaw Farm, where Lilias was born in 1797 is still in existence and very near the end of our walk along the Devon.
A Marks & Spencer Food Hall near the entrance to Dunblane provided easy makings for dinner, and we enjoyed a peaceful evening in our little cottage after the challenges of the day.