IMOG Harvester Run 2016 – Minis, mountains and Loch Ness!

Classic Minis - the same car, but all sorts of colours, fittings and character!

Classic Minis – the same car, but all sorts of colours, fittings and character!

Yesterday, ‘The Min’ and I joined in the Inverness Mini Owners Group (IMOG) Autumn run along Loch Ness to Fort Augustus via a circuitous route over the A887 and A87. The group calls the trip its ‘Harvester Run’ and the circuit around Loch Ness, the ‘Lochnessring’.

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The route was: Inverness – Drumnadrochit – Invermoriston on the A82, running west along the north side of Loch Ness.

Invermoriston – Beinneun Forest up Glen Moriston on the A887 Kyle of Lochalsh road.

A87 to Invergarry, A82 east to Fort Augustus.

Return was east along the south side of Loch Ness on the B862 for 10 miles; B852 to Foyers, finishing off at Dores Inn just west of the Inverness outskirts to complete the ring.

Right, on to the road! Plenty of thrash and a great deal of attention from tourists and other motorists as we powered along the A82 past Drumnadrochit and on to the junction with the A887 at Invermoriston. Minis can shift when they want to and the road is a great one to test their superb road holding capability. I really began to appreciate the road holding performance of the Yokahama A539 tyres I had fitted this spring, despite the relatively high cost of them. Turn right on to the A887 for more thrash – increasingly uphill at this point.

Turned left on to the A87 at Beinneun Forest after some pretty spirited running 15 miles along the A887 where the first stop was made in the lay-by just beyond the junction. A lay-by crammed with classic Minis by the time we had all arrived.

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Showing off and why not when your car looks a good as this!

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Ready to move off – the silver BMW was lead car.

From there, A87 to Invergarry, turning left back onto the A82 for the short run to Fort Augustus, the town at the head of Loch Ness where the Caledonian canal starts once again with a fine ladder of locks. The Minis headed to the point where the canal enters Loch Ness for a photo stop. The popularity of the classic Mini seems unabated judging by the reaction from tourists on our pretty chaotic and noisy arrival.

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After lunch, a trip on Loch Ness on one of the small cruise boats, ‘The Legend of Loch Ness’ (www.cruiselochness.com) was followed up by a run east along the south side of Loch Ness along the B862 for ten miles before turning on to the single-track and winding B852 to Foyers to see the Falls of Foyers.

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Legend of Loch Ness with Fort Augustus in the background.

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Departure, with swing bridge and lock gates.

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Heading east down Loch Ness. No sign of Nessie…

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Return run back to Fort Augustus with west coast mountains dominating the skyline.

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Entering the Caledonian Canal with a wee light house on the left bank.

From there, a run along the south side of Loch Ness to Dores and a final blether at the Dores Inn to finish the trip. Fortunately, the threatening rain held off until that point and did not last too long. A brilliantly arranged tour with the bonus of a trip on Loch Ness. Sixteen classic Minis, of various shapes, sizes, colours and character took part in the run and no one suffered any technical issues or break-downs either. A perfect day!

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‘The Min’ in the thick of the action at Fort Augustus.

 

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