According to the song, “Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond”, with the chorus
“O ye'll tak' the high road and I'll tak’ the low road,
An' I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond”
which, according to legend, was written by one of a pair of young Jacobite soldiers of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army after their capture by the English. The lyrics were given to the the other soldier to take back to Scotland to give to the first’s sweetheart. The “low road” refers to the underground spiritual route used by dead Highlanders’ souls to return to Scotland to their, according to another song, “wee bit hill and glen”.
The rest of us, mere mortals and living Highlanders alike, are stuck with using the high road which, on the west coast, is often the A82 over Rannoch Moor and through Glen Coe. South of Glen Coe there are plenty of big hills but, in many respects, Glen Coe is the entrance to the big rugged rocky mountain ranges of the west coast of Scotland. Leaving Glen Coe as the road plunges over Rannoch Moor; a wild moorland far removed from the ‘tartan shortbread tin’ images of the Highlands. On Sunday morning a turbulent, threatening sky was building over Rannoch Moor almost as a reminder that in bad conditions this is as dangerous a place to be as any of the big hills further north.