Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Tour of the Neighbourhood-Chippawa Trail

Burning off the Bird.

There comes a point on holidays when one has to finally get up and move about.  It's a huge temptation to stay wrapped up in pyjamas and blanket with a good book.

Despite the threat of rain, the sun emerged by late afternoon and it was time to shake off the cobwebs.  (Sticky things, they are.)

Tore myself away from CBC.  Zadie Smith on Wachtel talking about NW.  Something else for the reading list.  Wachtel does a good interview and her guests appreciate the Q & A.

Threw on some hiking togs and applied a coat of lipstick.  Lipstick is essential hiking gear; didn't you know that?

Up to the South Mountain.  Lots of people on the Red Hill trail.  I'm in the process of acquiring a soapbox.  When it arrives, I'll climb on it and deliver my speech on the travesty that is the Red Hill.  In the meantime over to the Chippawa Trail at Nebo and Rymal Roads.

The Chippawa is a disused rail track (Hamilton to Caledonia) turned into an easy to use, flat trail of about 15km.  Good for bikes, walking or running.  Good footing and well groomed so everyday shoes are fine.  People on horseback though, so this is probably not the time to break out the Manolo Blahnik's.  The Chippawa will become part of the Trans Canada Trail and is a link to the Caledonia-Dunnville Trail.  Try to think of it as more roads leading into Hamilton rather than out.
Gorgeous sunny day; slight breeze.  Rustle of trees not quite hiding the slithering of some animal in the undergrowth.
Many years ago, we picked reeds and threw them in the trunk.  By the time we got home, the heads had blown open from the heat and the trunk was full of seed heads.  Lesson learned.  Someone has been snipping at the lilac earlier this year.
The banks are high enough to hide the industry that has sprung up over the years.
Difficulty concentrating on the walk because the bread was just starting to rise over at Dempsters.  Fresh bread has to be one of the best aromas ever.  There's another Canada Bread further down the street.  Three times a day, the aroma fills the industrial complexes.
The Upper Saltfleet School # 6.  1875.  A little one room school house; unfortunately boarded up.  Crumbling on one side and a pile of railings leaning against the other.  Now think about that date.  Not much on the South Mountain in 1875.  Who went there?  How far did they have to walk to get there?  Under what conditions?
Got as far as Dickenson Road and double backed.  People are turning to Dickenson and other "farm" roads to get across the Mountain.  Rymal is now just a collection of traffic lights and no one in their right mind should use it if they want to get somewhere in a timely manner.
The bridge to the Red Hill.  I felt a distinct sway.  What's below?  Traffic.  Where is the traffic going?  But there I go, getting ahead of myself with no soapbox.
Must get bread.  Should have picked some up at Dempsters.
Turkey sandwich, anyone?