National Geographic : 1956 Jul
N an April morning of bright sun, cold wind, and billowing cloud, I left Edin burgh on the first lap of a stroll to John o' Groat's on Scotland's far northeastern tip, distant by the route I planned about 410 miles. Along my way would lie some of the most colorful and historic spots in all the British Isles. Here stand storied castles and play grounds of Britain's kings and queens; here Mary Queen of Scots once hunted with bow and arrow and here, too, she signed away her kingdom. On the route I could climb a moun tain scaled by Queen Victoria, and walk through the countryside Shakespeare used as background for the tragedy of Macbeth. On the far northern coast I would see ruined castles with histories reaching into the 13th century. I might even catch a glimpse of Peter Pan or Long John Silver, both born in these quiet Scottish hills and both, as every child knows, still alive and vigorous. I planned to ride as many ferries as pos sible, partly because John o' Groat himself was a ferryman who in the 15th century plied The Author Isobel Wylie Hutchison has won fame as a bota nist, novelist, and poet, but few people know that this much-traveled Scotswoman also holds the honorary rank of Admiral in the United States Coast Guard. The title "Admiral of the Bering Sea," complete with a flag bearing crossed hairpins, was conferred by the crew of the cutter Chelan, on which she traveled during a botanical expedition in the Aleutians. Miss Hutchison's more formal honors include the Mungo Park Medal, presented by the Royal Scottish Geo graphical Society in recognition of her researches in Alaska, and an honorary LL.D . from St. Andrews University. This is her eleventh article in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE.