the last road

We all take it one day or the other: the last road.

Calum's Road

Some go fast, some slow: for some it winds and meanders through time, for others it ends in a short and straight line. Whatever the last road looks like, to each and one of us, we all take it in the end – the last thing we leave before we arrive at our final rest.

Clachan Cemetery But what, if the road itself is the last thing one leaves behind? Like a monument to be remembered by. What, if one becomes eternal because of that last road?

Rather cryptic thoughts on Clachan burial ground on the isle of Raasay, where the ruins of an old church survive. The neighbours in Rhona are said to have worshipped in a cave. Clachan boasts a beautiful little church building.

And a road.

One, that leads further North on this small island between Applecross and the Isle of Skye, a road, that winds through the wilderness and commemorates a man more than any headstone could: Calum’s Road.

Calum's Road 1

They call it Calum’s Road, for the man who built it: Calum MacLeod. The grey road is nearly two miles long and took Calum ten years and a road making and maintenance manual to build. Just him, a pick axe and a wheelbarrow.

A road built, because Arnish had died. In a way. Arnish being the small settlement, where Calum MacLeod lived. On the North end of Raasay.

Arnish had never had a road: the way to church, the shops or the ferry to Skye was long and difficult for the people who lived on that northern tip of the island. More and more families had left the settlement; because the council had refused to build a road to link their houses with the rest of the world.

Calum and his wife were the last to stay on. At a time when it was already too late, Calum MacLeod started his monumental project. Calum built one road to last…

Calum's Road 8

A monument to determination, stubbornness and a strong faith in right and wrong.

What a last road to be remembered by.


2 thoughts on “the last road

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  1. Such a lovely post, found while trying to date the new cemetery on Raasay for story research. Drove and walked Calum’s Road this February, incredibly special. Great to meet your blog 🙂

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