Labour Day on the Hart-Montague Trail


The Hart-Montague Trail is primarily a bike trail and it follows a disused railway track between Hart and Montague, two small towns in Oceana and Muskegon Counties in West Michigan just east of the Lake. The trail was the first designated Linear State Park in the US. It’s 24 miles in total and primarily used by cyclists but any non-motorised vehicles may use it and walkers too, of course. No horse riding is allowed, though.


On one of our first visits to Michigan with our sons who were about 10 and 14 I biked the trail with our elder son from Hart in the north to Montague in the south. Since then I’ve been tempted to walk at least some of it but it involves having a lift and being picked up again. Even worse this year, I’ve been without a mobile ‘phone for the trip. However, dear husband volunteered this morning to drop me off in the small town of Shelby (just after Milepost 7) and pick me up in the next small town (just after Milepost 12). This part of the route runs more or less parallel with the Oceana Drive highway but the road noise is mostly muffled by the vegetation.




Hikers, snow-mobilers, cyslists, skateboarders may all use the trail – mural along the route in Shelby


The Asphalt Trail is Ten Feet Wide


Handy rest spots, good signage and regular Mileposts along the route


Mostly the trail passes through countryside with the occasional town, village or, as here, refuelling stops


My destination in sight. On the left a co-operative grain store facility


New Era is eerily quiet on Labour Day Bank Holiday Monday


I hope I’ll get the chance to walk another section before we move on at the end of the week.

Surrey Arts and Crafts : Goddards

At the end of last year I found, tucked inside the winter issue of the Art Fund magazine, a flyer advertising a number of short breaks organised by the company Travel Editions with whom I’d previously spent a 3 night break in 2014 : Art Nouveau and Art Deco in Lille and Antwerp. The trip that particularly caught my eye was “Surrey Arts and Crafts”.

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The Capon Tree

Just south of Jedburgh, Scotland, beside the main A68 road is the ‘heritage’ Capon Tree. We walked along the road, pavement all the way luckily, to look at this famous tree. Several books feature Heritage Trees in this country and in Ireland including Thomas Pakenham’s Meetings with Remarkable Trees; The Heritage Trees of Britain and Northern Ireland; Heritage Trees of Ireland; Heritage Trees of Scotland and Heritage Trees Wales.

remarkable trees

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Lanercost Priory

On our way up to Scotland in June we travelled via The Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle and Lanercost Priory. At The Bowes we looked at the latest exhibition Shoes : Pleasure and Pain; saw the famous automaton Swan in limited action and enjoyed a lovely selection of portraits of English women: English Rose – Feminine Beauty from Van Dyck to Sargent. Our Art Fund cards gave us free admission to everything and the Museum – a French Chateau plonked down in the Yorkshire Dales – has a good cafe and well-stocked shop.

Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum

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Noble Prospects : Capability Brown and the Yorkshire Landscape

Can I really have been have jotting down notes about my travels and interspersing the notes with my photos for five years already? I’ve just been looking back at my post about Capability Brown at Harewood and am amazed to see that the date was October 2011. My first post was dated 20 August 2011. And I’m stunned to see that that was five years ago to the day! Well I never.


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