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Posts Tagged ‘walking’

It’s been a long time since we had an April snow but we got one today – and in an El Nino year no less! It started at dinner time and we had gone out to eat and watched the fat snowflakes falling all through our meal, covering everything in a heavy wet blanket of white. On the drive home, we were mesmerized by the snow-covered trees with each little branch clearly defined like little veins. As soon as we got home, we picked up the camera and headed out to the trail near the house to snap some photos. After all, this might be the last snowfall of the season. 🙂 What we found was a magical wintry wonderland.

Welcome to Narnia:

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We went out on our first walk “in nature” today. This time we headed over to Lowville Park which is on Guelph Line in Burlington, just north of Britannia Road. Bronte Creek meanders through the park which has lots of picnic areas, trails, a playground for the kids and lots of grass and trees. Today many families were out and the smell of barbecue was everywhere. No complaints! 🙂 The best part – free parking!

There are a few woodchip trails throughout the park and several bridges that cross over the creek.

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We saw a few people fishing in the creek. And we came across these pretties out of nowhere:

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Woodchip trail:

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The weather was nice enough to go out in capris, a tank top and no jacket. Finally!!

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Our goal when we set out this morning was to explore the East Bank trail of the section of Sixteen Mile Creek between Dundas and Upper Middle Road, estimated to be about 2.5 km one way. We headed out on the East Bank trail, enjoying the views and catching a glimpse o a family of ducks bathing in the creek; they were gurgling and splashing and having a lively old time. I couldn’t get a good pic as we spied them through tree foliage and I still haven’t figured out how to change focus on my camera (so it was only focusing on the leaves…).

The path was packed gravel and dirt, some parts were paved, and there are some bridges along the way. It’s a relatively easy hike; there are some stairs and steeper hills as you get deeper into the trail. As other posters have mentioned, the signage is somewhat limited which is how we ended up doing the full loop as opposed to doubling back the way we came. No harm done as we can now say we walked the full loop (including East Bank, Inner and West Bank trails) and we got to see some nice scenery along the way.

The ducks were just behind this area:

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A lot of the trail paths were like this:

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Isn’t this a great tree? Check out those roots. To me, it looks like a woman in a gown with a long train (roots) with her arms outstretched, reaching for something/someone across the creek. To my husband, it looks lik a tree. 🙂 To each his own right?

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The water was pretty clear:

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We stopped at a small lookout area and I noticed some red leaves on the ground – first day of September and fall is slowly approaching. I looked up to see where the red leaves came from and saw this. Nice surprise. Note to hikers: Look Don’t forget to look up or you might miss something special!

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This morning we headed out to the Spencer Gorge conservation area in Hamilton on a recommendation from a friend. We still can’t believe how lucky we are to live so close to so many amazing scenic places – this was just a 25 drive away!

Our plan was to hike from Webster’s Falls, to Tews Falls, to Dundas Peak and back. It’s about 5.2km total and we did it under 2 hours. Most of the trail is hard-packed dirt and there are some stairs, some bridges, some areas with a pretty steep drop with no railings but it was totally doable. It was a beautiful sunny morning and we figured by heading out in the morning, we’d beat most of the afternoon heat. I brought this map with us but we didn’t really need it as everything was clearly marked.

We parked at the parking lot near Webster’s Falls on Fallsview Road ($10 parking fee) and at 10am it was mostly empty. We explored the area surrounding the falls; the story says that the area was developed to resemble the English countryside and we were completely enchanted.

View from the lookout closest to the parking lot. We could hear the roar of the falls as we approached.

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We walked down to the cobblestone bridge you see in the distance. You can see people on the bridge as well as at another lookout point just to the left of where the waterfall goes over the edge:

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Coming up to the cobblestone bridge:

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Taken from the cobblestone bridge facing away from the falls:

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Taken from the lookout point right where the falls go over:

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So charming 🙂

 

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Coming up to the other bridge – beautiful 🙂

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View from that bridge up the creek:

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From here we followed the trail up towards Tews Falls (about 20 minutes) – the trail is clearly marked.

These are Tews Falls – it’s 9m wide so much narrower than Webster’s but a lot taller – just a few metres shorter than Niagara Falls.

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We continued on to Dundas Peak and got to enjoy some great views from up there:

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A train!

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Raspberries 🙂

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There were various bridges…

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Some steep drops…

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which provided some cool tree root photos opportunities…

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Some stairways…

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Some scenic paths…

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Maps along the way to tell you where you were…

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On that last map, we noticed that there was a dam (Christie Dam) west of Webster’s Falls (about 2.8km from Webster’s Falls to the dam) so that will likely be our next hike.

It was a great morning!

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Good news: I crossed off a couple of items this week!

The first was to participate in the walk to end to breast cancer which my husband and I did last Sunday. We walked 5k in the CIBC Run for the Cure – it was a gorgeous day and we really enjoyed it. To make sure we would be able to actually walk 5k, we did some test runs and I’m happy to report, all went well. 🙂

The second was to participate in a flash mob. We have an annual firm-wide webcast which is followed by a local office event of some form. I was on the committee to help plan the local event and we all decided to do a flash mob which would occur during the cocktail hour after the webcast. We were lucky enough to be able to hire a choreographer to train us (head cheerleading coach for the Toronto Argos) – and after 3-4 rehearsals, we were ready to dance! We performed to Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, had our sparkly gloves ready, our moves down pat and had a blast. 🙂

It was a good week!

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So I have a theory.

I park at the train station (on days when my husband doesn’t need the car) then take the train to and from work. I’ve noticed a pattern…let me know if you’ve run into this as well. At least then I’ll know I’m not crazy (at least not today).

I think pedestrians who don’t drive regularly are worse pedestrians than drivers.

There should be “slow lanes” in walking.

Who I call non-driving pedestrians often cut off other people while they’re walking in crowded areas.

They cut across and stand in front of escalators where people are coming down, effectively blocking the flow of traffic.

They don’t follow the speed of other pedestrians and end up slowing down all other pedestrian traffic because they’re 1) chatting with another non-driving pedestrian friend, 2) talking on the phone or texting while walking slowly and erratically, 3) carry a handbag on each shoulder and take up twice the amount of space they normally would, forcing others to walk around them and all their gear.

They don’t realize that crossing the street at a snail’s pace when the drivers on the street have the sun’s glare in their eyes and can’t see them puts their lives at risk. Same for wearing all black at night and jaywalking – are you guys crazy?? We can’t see you. Hope you’re fast runners.

It’s annoying.

I just feel that drivers just naturally exhibit certain behaviours. They’re more aware of their surroundings, they understand traffic flow and following the speed of the masses, they check their blind spot (even when walking), they’re courteous and don’t cut off other walkers. Non-drivers just wouldn’t think about these things because they never developed those instincts.

The rules of the road apply to all forms of traffic, including pedestrian traffic.

If you won’t yield, get out of the way…

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I just ordered these.

Since there will be plenty of walking during our vacation, and my old ones are getting pretty worn, I decided to get new ones.

Skechers “Bikers Proposal” Mary Jane style shoes:

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