Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

Where ships climb the mountain

Apparently it's actually a figure 8 -- of almost 200km if you do the full thing!

So one of the selling features of the house was the trails nearby...  I've now had a few experiences with these ;)

The entrance to the trail system is about a km away.  Not bad, but not super ideal either.  And it appears to be a "there and back again" kind of trail, which is not usually my preference.   But still, better than nothing.

So my first day I headed out and randomly picked a direction.   I immediately noticed a loud noise -- less ideal but sobeit.  The trail itself was lovely - paved and wide.  Would be good for cycling.  Walk a very short distance and find the source of the noise, what appears to be a power plant.  Less appealing.  But, the moment I passed it, no more noise.   Why?   Well the whole trail appears to be a wind tunnel.  lol so awesome for controlling noise pollution, but made me think maybe a bike would be less ideal as peddling would be *very* hard.   

The trail is gorgeous

I wandered a km or so and then found a path off to the side -- looked to be a quad or maybe dirt bike trail? Idk, but it also looked like it looped around so of course I followed it.  Right.  😂   Well it *did* loop back around almost at the beginning of where I started so that was lovely.   However, it would be completely inappropriate for a bike (unmotorized) and was a challenge on foot.  Some very kind person had dropped a tree across the biggest mud / water challenge that I was able to traverse, but suffice to say there was lots of ducking, climbing, and traversing to get through it.   Honestly would've been entertaining if not for the attack-mosquitos!  I'll tell you - when I suddenly heard the power plant again, I was pretty pleased cause it meant I was just about out of my adventure trail!

2nd path was right on the water

Okay so the next time, also on foot, I turned the other direction.  This one also had a wind tunnel and no apparent side trails, but was also a prettier straight line (right on the canal).  It led to Lock 7 - which is apparently a *thing* in Thorold.  The trail continued well past there, but once I went there I saw signs for downtown, and decided since I knew how to get home from there, I'd go that way instead.  It spit me out the opposite end of town from where I was expecting, showing that I'm still very disoriented here!   But it did make for a lovely walk loop that did not involve "there and back again" so I was pleased about that.

Misc impressive graffiti 

THEN, on my last day of vacation, we got our bikes usable and went for a ride.  This was awesome.  We went the first direction again and after about 10k, the trail suddenly catches a ride on a ferry?!?!   

Seriously - you ring the triangle to summon the ferry...

... and the ferry arrives.
I couldn't make this up if I tried ;)

Yup, apparently in the 70s a ship hit the bridge and instead of rebuilding it, insurance paid for a ferry to run - for 40 years...   For those doing the math, yup - that contract is up.   So the city took it over instead.  There's a pub and an ice cream booth one the other side, aptly named Bridge 12.  😂   So yeah - really enjoyed that.

Look how many bikes are parked outside here!

But then the ride back...   You see, I didn't make that title up...  "Where the ships climb the mountain" is Thorold's thing.   Definitely catchy and moderately interesting.  But the piece that didn't register is that means Thorold is at the top of the mountain (with Lake Ontario at the bottom on one side and Lake Erie at the bottom on the other.   Water may not always be south anymore, but it's definitely still down!)    But what that means for cycling is that going away from home is fast, easy, and downhill.  Coming home once you're exhausted is ALWAYS going to be uphill.  No matter which way you chose to leave.  *sigh*   Ah well, at least I should get fit out of all this.

I have no idea why there's a polar bear here,
but figured he'd fit just as well in this blog :)


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