Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Around the Neighbourhood

Although going downtown provides the most variety, most of my rides are right around the neighbourhood here, on one of two streets that are safe to drive down.  Neither of them have much if any in the way of sidewalks.  I feel I've photographed everything that's worthwhile, but I keep trying to find interesting things to share.

One of my favourite plants at this time of year is Bird's-foot Trefoil.  It's bright yellow colour is everywhere, in lawns, in ditches and even along cracks in the pavement.

As long as it can get some roots in it will reach out to the sides, spreading over a foot.  You often see it hanging over the edge of the curb on Nelson Street, the only street around here that has a curb.  This plant is used as high quality forage on cattle farms.

One of my constant challenges is trying to avoid pressure sores, as well as avoid the pain while I'm riding around.  The sidewalks are the worst, but this crackled old pavement is almost as bad.  So I have been trying to find a route down Nelson West that minimizes driving over this.  There's a 200 yard stretch that's really bad where I have to ride on the narrow shoulder.

On a brighter note, the Milkweeds are in bloom now.  This patch is just around the corner along the side of a driveway.  It was cut down last year, so I'm hoping they leave it long enough for the Monarchs this year.

At the farthest end of Nelson our friendly lawn mower guy is building a garage/workshop behind his house.  Having built two big additions, a cabin and a shed I'm always interested in diy construction.  This looks like it will be pretty nice.

Nearby someone has this large rusted steel flower in their garden.  We used to have one at our last house.  Sorry about the photo-bombing blue roof of the playhouse behind, but it was the only angle.

And someone else has removed some old decor and replaced it with this interesting collection.  And I think I've successfully found a route through that bad part of the street.  I'm just going to avoid the painful parts and drive in the middle of the road if I have to!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Sidewalk Goes Nowhere!!

You may remember I posted the picture at the end of this post, of the new wheelchair accessible sidewalk that was added to the new bridge downtown.  I commented at the time that it would open up the entire far side of the harbour for me to explore.  But I'm sad and disappointed to say that this is not actually the case.

Blogger and Microsoft have messed things up again, changing both some of Blogger's format and Microsoft's photo uploading process.  Blogger again loaded up all my photos in reverse order, so what was a ride up from the harbour has become a ride down to the harbour.  And you'll have to wait for the end to learn about the sidewalk to nowhere.


Heading down the hill I saw that three loads of big blue pipes had been dropped off on the south side of Nelson Street in preparation for construction to come.

At the bottom of the hill it explained what was coming, replacement of a water line for those of us who live on top of the hill.

It's my notorious hill I ride up on the worst sidewalk in town.

As I neared downtown (I'm just falsifying all this so it makes sense even though I did it the other way around) I spied a healthy stand of Garlic Mustard, one of our most invasive plants.  With its millions of seeds I'm wondering how far it will spread next year.

Across the street they were tearing down an old garage to create a new town parking lot, just half a block from downtown.  I expect this is in response to the loss of a dozen parking spaces along the main street where they have again blocked off space for five patios this summer.

On the main street I again noted the fascinating brick work of some of the old storefronts.  Just think of the extra work it took a bricklayer to do that patterning work at the top of each window.

This is the other building with rich brickwork, quite amazing when I think of it.

Heading down to the harbour I had to wait for this big sailboat to pass, being brought from its winter storage position to the crane that can lift it back in the water.

I headed over the new sidewalk, and got a great view of the harbour.  I was getting excited about the prospect of exploring the far side.

But as I said it's a highway to nowhere.  I turned down the short bit of red brick walkway that leads from the far side of the bridge down to the waterside.  I'd been along the concrete sidewalk further out that leads to the pier, but not here.  Sadly it was a very rough track of coarse gravel, almost impassible for me and certainly quite painful to ride over.  

There were remnants of an asphalt path in places, badly eroded on one side and too narrow for a wheelchair, making it quite unsafe in places.  I finally gave up, rode back on the grass and across the bridge to get home  My dreams of exploring the far side of the harbour are dashed!

Monday, June 28, 2021

Thornbury Harbour Part III

Well here we are again, continuing my exploration in Thornbury, the next little town, with a reputation for being rather posh, to the east of us.  Up on the old railway bridge I got nice views upstream and down, watching for any more fishermen.

The view upstream is surprisingly forested, with the mill dam just out of sight.  There's a fish ladder there which is popular in the early fall, both with the fish and the spectators.

Looking downstream you can see the apartment building as well as the footbridge.  And you can see that I just missed the perfect picture with the sailboat in the middle of the view!

Where I entered the bridge there was a helpful sign showing the Georgian Trail from Craigleith on the right to Meaford in the upper left.  We are right in the middle where the big 'You are here' arrow points.  It would be a long ride in my chair, but not too bad on a bike (with a stop for coffee here).

There's another big sign which left me wondering.  The Great Lakes Waterfront Trail seems to me like a government PR exercise.  It's not a trail in its own right at all, it's just a designation of selected existing roads and trails like this one to create a route along the Canadian side of the St. Lawrence and the four lakes that border Ontario.  My cynical mind says it's easier to do this and say we've 'created' this wonderful trail than to seriously tackle the water quality issues of the lakes - like a big PR exercise.

At any rate I road west for a block to see what it was like.

On this side of the road there's an old freight shed still standing.

After that you're riding between backyards on either side, where this pretty but unknown to me flower was blooming.

I did recognize the forest of Buttercups blooming in the ditch.

After that it was back down into the harbour past a forest of sailboat masts to a spot near the footbridge where I could wait in the shade for Mrs. F.G.  She was actually there before me, so I hopped right in.  However she declined my offer to stop at Tim's on the way out of town.

After that rather hot day we've had rain, heavy at times, and a tornado just 20 miles away over the past three days.  but we totally missed the emergency alert for the tornado because of the piercing noise that announces it.  I just immediately turned it off to get rid of the noise and never did read the message!  We only learned about it from our caregiver three hours later.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Thornbury Harbour Part II

After riding out to the end of the road by the small Harbour Master's office, I turned around and headed back, planning to go right up out of the harbour to ride across the old railway bridge, now part of the Georgian Trail.

I turned around to see the Blue Mountain across the bay.  If you look closely you can see the open runs of Georgian Peaks Ski Club.  the Bruce Trail skirts the top of these ski runs where you get a great view.

I saw this fancy sign for the Beaver River Trail again, but this time I looked it up to see where it went.  
It's in the towns of Thornbury and Clarksburg, from the harbour down to Clendenan Dam.

I said good-bye to the grey waters of Georgian Bay and headed upstream.

There's a nice pedestrian footbridge across the river, with stairs down onto some rocks that form a narrow island, used as the middle support for the bridge.  Unfortunately it's totally inaccessible, up several steps.

But there were a couple of young fishermen down on the rocks trying their luck.

Moving on I came to the big old railway trestle, now a key link in the Georgian Trail.  It has an iron span over the river, supported by heavy duty posts on each side.

I had to ride up out of the harbour and over 100 yards to get to the bridge and I took a few moments to ride across and enjoy the view.  The Georgian Trail is the rail bed of the old Northern Railway, opened in 1872 and closed in 1984.  So up until 1984 trains would still have rumbled over this bridge, serving Thornbury and Meaford.


Saturday, June 26, 2021

Thornbury Harbour

 I enjoyed a different adventure the other day, visiting Thornbury harbour.  Mrs. F.G. had an appointment in Thornbury and she suggested she could take me along but drop me off down at the harbour.  I enjoyed an hour's look around and I did behave myself!

I always enjoy the view out into the bay when we arrive down in the harbour.  It was a dull grey day so there wasn't much colour, but that's what you get.

There's a good line of boulders separating the path from the road, but I stayed on the road, with my flag and my fluorescent orange hat I'm not much worried about not being seen and traffic's very light down here anyway.

By the time I'd got down to the corner a sailboat had appeared racing across the bay.  It was a brisk offshore wind so it was really racing!

Some of the big boulders were quite fascinating, at least to me.

At the end of the path they had quite a few spaces for small private sailboats and for kayaks, something new this year.

By the time I had turned around to head back the sailboat had turned too, racing back toward me.

I could only see one other boat out on the bay, with a long horizon of land across Nottawasaga 'bay in the distance.  Nottawasaga Bay is the large wide bay at the bottom of Georgian Bay.