Petestack Blog

12 March 2011

Again to Carthage

Filed under: Running — admin @ 12:35 pm

Just finished John L. Parker, Jr’s Again to Carthage (sequel to Once a Runner), which I’ve had begging for attention since receiving my pre-ordered paperback last July but only got around to reading this past week. And it’s another cracker… longer than its predecessor and perhaps yet slower to catch fire, but building a similar sense of unstoppable momentum (think he knows what he’s doing here!) as it proceeds. Have to say I was wondering how he could top (or even match) the perfectly-judged ending of Once a Runner, but (without even hinting at spoilers for those who’ve yet to read either book) can only observe that I found the conclusion of this one (informed by something I might have spotted but still took me by surprise) equally satisfying.

Now, on quite another note (if there was a prize for non sequitur of the day I’d win it?), I’ve been quite amused/intrigued by some ‘Piles of Stones’ shown (at OS 1:25,000 scale) on Meall a’ Bhainne, which I passed on Sunday’s run, find myself debating the difference between a cairn and a pile of stones (well, come on, a cairn and three piles of stones all marked in a line?) and know that I’ll have to check it out sometime. But it won’t be today, with wet, sleety conditions meaning that I’m keeping an eye out for a more pleasant running ‘window’ to head off somewhere not quite so far away! ;-)


  1. Those Piles of Stones are not shown on the 1:50,000 map. Does this mean that they are fairly small Piles of Stones, so do not feature on the smaller scale map? I think a full explanation is called for (not on Facebook, preferably ;-)) once you have checked them out, Pete.

    Interestingly, if you are up on the Creag Meagaidh plateau, around grid ref NN428874, you may come across several Piles of Stones. You may wonder what they are doing there……

    Explanation: I had come round from the Munro Stob Poite Coire Ardair, to the north, planning to visit the 2 Tops off to the east before re-tracing my steps to go up to summit Creag Meagaidh. It was a lovely sunny day in early October (1996). I left my pack, with almost everything in it, at around 428874 while I trotted off eastwards. As I was at about the furthest point east, and about to start the return to my pack, I could see very dark ominous clouds to the west heading in my direction very fast. By the time I got back to the area where my pack was, everything was covered in snow. I searched and searched and searched for the snow-covered pack, and as I did so the snow got deeper. It was very cold; and all my spare clothing was in the pack. Everything looked much the same, so I put up a series of Piles of Stones to mark which parts I had searched. I did, somewhat fortuitously, survive the experience; and eventually found the pack about 22 hours later after a rather adventurous and memorable night.

    Moral of the story: Do not leave your pack while you “just go up ‘n back again”.

    I wonder if there might ber a similar story regarding these Piles of Stones you have found?

    Murdo t M

    Comment by Murdo — 12 March 2011 @ 5:04 pm

  2. Interesting stuff, Murdo… and rest assured that, when I’ve checked them out (when, not if, although no idea when that’ll be), you’ll hear about it here (find myself keeping some stuff off Facebook because I don’t want all the good comments to get buried in Facebook when they could be here!).

    As for today’s run, took my chance on a ‘window’, felt the wind, quickly decided not to pit myself against anything stronger by heading up 1,000ft+ and off the radar, so just got pretty wet doing five big laps of the village for 14.5 miles low-level instead.

    Comment by admin — 12 March 2011 @ 5:34 pm

  3. PS I’ve never been much a ‘pack leaver’ when walking or running, normally preferring just to carry the thing!

    Comment by admin — 12 March 2011 @ 5:36 pm

  4. I got myself a copy of Once A Runner and only managed a few chapters before i got bored with it. I found it a bit too “American”… perhaps I’m not trying hard enough??!

    Comment by RichieC — 12 March 2011 @ 9:00 pm

  5. Can’t make you like it, Richie (and wouldn’t want to), but I’d say give it another go because I found it absolutely gripping after a relatively slow start!

    Comment by admin — 12 March 2011 @ 9:53 pm

  6. Ha! Maybe i just didn’t get past the slow start, i’ll give it another go after i’ve finished Duncan Bannatyne’s autobiography!

    Comment by RichieC — 13 March 2011 @ 11:01 am

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