A Bridge over Endrick Water

Poetry in motion as SNH’s Danielle Casey, joined by a band of merry friends and colleagues, cycles the John Muir Way

Beguiled by sakura. © Alan Crawford

Beguiled by sakura. © Helen Taylor

We embark on our journey
Beguiled by sakura
A motley of cyclists
Racer, mountain and tourer

Charging through the streets
With armour-like vigour
We begin our adventure
On to higher, richer and deeper
Experiences of our country
To share amongst men
Over the Blackhill and Look!
There’s the Ben

East of Loch Lomond
Mike’s aw tapsalteerie
Up through the park,
By the last home of Tom Weir, he
Was another who inspired us all
To get out and about
Winter, spring, summer and fall

Bridge over Endrick Water. © Alan Crawford

Bridge over Endrick Water. © Alan Crawford

We take some pictures
Lest we forget
What it’s like in nature’s temple
Each image beset
With intrinsic beauty
Each atom a link
On to Croftamie
Where some of us sink
A couple of beers, a juice or a coffee
“Shall we crack on?”
“Make haste!” We’re offski!

The West Highland Way
A plethora of gates
We develop a system
The first man opens and waits
’Til the whole gang has wiggled
And weaved its way through
The fields and the farms
And the scent of fresh poo

It was a bit of a challenge
Coming up that last hill
Before a bumpy descent
To Strathblane and time to chill

Day two we begin
With the mist hanging low
We glide along
How easily we flow
Dunglass Hill appears
Like a beluga from the sea
With a nod “Good morning!”
As if it too can see
Mergus merganser
Glides in solo flight
Ducking and diving
and then slips out of sight
Its path laid out
In wide open space
With this one fleeting glimpse
We’ll always remember this place

Arriving at the Falkirk Wheel. © Alan Crawford

Arriving at the Falkirk Wheel. © Alan Crawford

The Radical Pend
Where once was a battle
“Mind how you go”…
‘Bump!’, ‘Bang!’, ‘Rattle!’
The Falkirk Wheel
“Wow! That’s impressive!”
The ‘People’s Route’ through the Central Belt
Take pleasure; respect it!

Along the Union Canal
Into a rhythm we tucked
Elevated above land
The mighty Avon aqueduct
This awesome construction
Stands long and tall
High above the highest trees
My ‘self’ feels small

Surprise appearance of Thomas at Bo'ness. © Andrew Whewell

Surprise appearance of Thomas at Bo’ness. © Andrew Whewell

At Bo’ness and Kinneil
Steam engines delight
As wee rest by the Forth
With industrial sight
We whizz by the Seat
And out of the city
It’s been a long day
A kind lady takes pity
She guides us to our bed for the night
Just an afterthought
Maybe one of us should have brought a light!

We meet by the harbour
By Fisherrow Sands
For the last leg of our journey
Through Musselburgh and Prestonpans
Alan appears
To take a quick photo
Worth his weight in whisky that man
A saviour, our hero

Cockenzie for coffee
And the cake is delish
Some enjoy the artwork
Others take a…
…Walk in the garden

Becky’s strip – that was quite tough!
Will they smooth out the path
Or leave it quite rough?
The song of the lark
A chipper distraction
As we power on through
Fraction by traction

As one by one
We land in Dunbar
Alan hands out the bubbly
From the back of his car
We raise our glasses
“Let’s make a toast!”
“To him and her and us an them
Who made it Coast to Coast”

Plan your own coast to coast cycling trip along the John Muir Way with the help of the John Muir Way website.

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