Friday, August 31, 2012

Traeger had already made arrangements for a ferry across the a channel from Ireland; and once on Scottish soil they made their way to a bed and breakfast recommended by the ferry captain. It was a charming two story cottage run by a man and wife of middle age that were long time inhabitants of the area. Traeger and Erin sat down with them at breakfast the next morn and showed them their destination in the northern reaches; a place called Lairg. The couple told them it was a less inhabited area then along the coasts... but they could contact owners of small bed and breakfasts that could accomodate them, as most had several rooms to let. You could see the unasked questions in their eyes; as the pair rented two bedchambers for each stop along the route...

Castles abounded, as well as ruins from ancient times; so Traeger decided they would take time to see some of the sights along the way. Erin quickly thought about the children when they entered a gift shop at the foot of one majestic ruin of lichen covered rock. "Traeger, why don't we send the children gifts from different sites along our way; and they can travel with us." Traeger was thrilled with the idea and they bought a map of Scotland that favored the historic sites and castles that represented the best of the country.

For the older boys; Tomas and Ryan... they bought small replica swords with family crests; the motif incorporating gargoyles among initials and decorative work. The small boys would receive wooden dragon figures with carvings. The girls each would get a silver jewel box with engravings and a birthstone in the lid. Erin was thinking that small silver charms from their various stops would be something they could treasure and utilize when they were older on a bracelet or necklace. Traeger decided he would wait and see what caught his eye for the boys as they traveled... first purchases and the map sent; they took off for for the area of Tori and Ike's birth... Lairg; of emerald meadows and craggy outcrops of rock.

Traeger wondered what he would discover about the two sisters when they drew near; would they meet hostility? or be greeted as kin to the girls?...Gargoyles were not creatures he knew much of, and they did not seem the most social of creatures... keeping their sorrows and problems to themselves if the girls were any guide. Traeger already had talked with a local farmer recommended by the accomodations clerk regarding the packing of the native clay to be shipped to his shop for sculpting and other projects.All he needed to do was find the area Tori and Ike had described to him. He had his doubts they would even know if they encountered any other gargoyles.

It took them two days to reach their destination with all the stops along the way... but finally they reached Lairg. It was early morning, and they both fell into their beds and slept till the smell of fresh baked bread woke them both. Once they were dressed and had their belongings safely settled in their rooms; Erin wanted fresh air... traveling long periods in the car made her restless and in Erin's mind she pictured Wuthering Heights and the moors of Catherine and Heathcliff... Traeger agreed to meet her downstairs in the drawing room for tea; and then they were going to walk. When Erin arrived Traeger had tea poured and the waitress was bringing warm crumpets and a jar of fresh honey to them. "You are going to spoil me... and make me fat!"... she said jokingly as she dipped the honey dripper into the golden honey and drizzled it on her crumpet.

Feeling refreshed the couple rose to investigate the area around the small inn. It had gardens of roses,a patch with herbs and kitchen greens; and a lovely sweet cow nibbled grass in a pen that told them the cream for tea and breakfast was fresh. Traeger excused himself and went back to the kitchen to ask them to make a small lunch for them, and quickly returned. Traeger spoke as Erin swung her hair back from her face... "Pardon me if I get deeper in trouble, thought you might enjoy this"... and he held out a beautiful cape of cashmere wool woven in a Scottish plaid representative of the local clan. "Oh, its beautiful," she gushed ... as she stroked the finish of the cape as he draped it round her shoulders; and they set out toward a distant hillside.

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