Dornoch, Scotland-- Scotland may be cold in January, but at least it's a wet cold. You can't do proper off-roading without that extra bit of pouring rain turning the rivers to raging beasts and the forest ruts to bottomless hobbit holes. Scotland must be seven-tenths water. It fills the firths to overflowing, comes cascading out of craggy outcroppings in torrents, runs straight down every road surface on this northernmost tip of the United Kingdom, and has you whipping your windshield wipers into a frenzy.
Just bloody beautiful. Pass the Glenmorangie--eighteen-year, preferably. It goes well with the haggis from Dingwall.
The national coat of Scotland is the waxed Barbour. The vehicle of choice is the 2003 Range Rover. At least, that's what it is today, because Scotland is where we are, and we are guests of Land Rover. In these gruesome conditions, we'd have it no other way. Gruesome is really the wrong word, based on our fierce love of gritty, off-road adventure. We like to plunge into raging rivers, pushing a bow wave as high as the car's hood onto the far shore. We live for the terror of sliding straight down muddy embankments and into pools of water of unknown depth in the dark. We thrill to the challenge of climbing--wheel by articulated wheel--through ditches and fissures and crevasses and ravines.... Read full article