Category Archives: Life in Ontario

Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club’s Historical Hiking Series: Hike 1

It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to join a hike with the “Take a HIKE” Caledon Ladies Hiking and Meet up Group.  But I have enjoyed the past times I’ve met up with the ladies to hike, and do yoga! So I was thrilled when a few weeks ago Mira, our group organizer extraordinaire, posted the Facebook Group about how the Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club  had created a Historical Hike Series to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday.   It is a series of 5 hikes you need to complete, either on your own…or in a group and taking photos at certain spots along the trail.  After completing all of the hikes you will receive a Canada 150 Historical Hikes Badge. Now the girl-guide in me was like…this will be fun, and I get a badge…even better! I quickly signed up along with 14 others our ‘Take a Hike’ group.  (I will have to do 2 of the hikes solo or with other friends since I will be on holidays and not available to hike with the rest of the group…but that’s not going to stop me!)

If you are looking for details of the hike…here is the instructions (more can be found on the Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club’s Website (link above).

McLaren Road Side Trail Loop Hike: Maps 14 &15 Distance: Approx. 11 km loop

Park: Roadside parking on Forks of the Credit Road near Dominion Street (km 8.8)

Hike:
• Along Dominion Street to km 10.0
• Take the Dorothy Medhurst Side Trail to km 15.7 of the main Trail
• Follow the main Trail to km 16.8 and then take the McLaren Road Side Trail to km 5.1 of the main Trail
• Follow the main Trail back to the roadside parking along Forks of the Credit Rd.

Optional: If you are interested, check out the Ring Kiln Side Trail before heading back to your car (km 8.2).

Photos Required: Photo from Dominion St. Bridge; selfie with the Lime Kiln (optional)

It honestly was so much fun to head out and go for a hike.  I’ve been on holidays since the beginning of the month and it was fun to go and explore a new part of Ontario that I haven’t spent much time in. I can’t wait to go back and explore some more of this area.

Our first group photo at the Dominion St. bridge!

Photo Credit: Mira Budd Photography

Off we went… I know with hiking there’s hills involved, but man oh man…this first hill nearly did me in.  I have been running fairly consistently this year…but haven’t started to do any running or training on hills…I hate them! (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…) 

Stops along the trail…are always welcome after a hill climb! 

It was so lovely to talk and get to know some of the other ladies in the group. I look forward to getting to know everyone a bit better on our next 4 hikes together for this challenge and beyond. 

It was really nice as soon as I got to the starting point and jumped out of my car…there was a “Hi Sarah, good to see you…been a long time!” I realized it really is nice to belong in a group and it had been too long of a time since I’ve hiked with the group. 

Near the end of the hike… the group was faced with more stairs!!! But to be honest…it was worth the effort to see the Hoffman Lime Kiln.

A break between the stair-master-climbing-session…was a photo op on the railroad tracks!

Then more climbing…but one awesome thing hiking on the Bruce Trails is how marked the paths are, and often had wooden stairs and sometimes rope hand rails to help make it so much easier to get up and down the hills!

Mira is awesome and stopped us a few times for group photo ops! (Which always makes me happy…because I love a good group photo!)

Photo Credit: Mira Budd Photography

“The Hoffman Lime Kiln was constructed in 1896 with 12 draw kilns and was approximately 30metres long and 15 metres wide.  The chimney base supported a chimney that reached over 30 metres into the sky, and the entire kiln complex was housed in a protective outer building.”

Below you can see the remnant of the chimney on the left and the ring kiln on the right.

” How did the Lime Kiln work? Blocks of dolostone (a type of limestone) were loaded into the kiln through the large openings, called wickets, around the outside of the kiln. The internal ring was divided into 12 burning chambers that operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and the temperature inside each chamber could be individually regulated.

Each chamber within the kiln was at a different stage in the processing of the limestone. One chamber could be loaded with fresh limestone while another chamber could be emptied of the lumps of lime ready for sale.

The lump lime extracted from the kiln was loaded onto trains at a siding beside the kiln and taken to local markets for use in construction industry and agriculture.”

“Sandstone quarried at the Forks of the Credit during the late 1880s and early 1890s was used to build the Legislative Assembly of Ontario Building of Queens Park in Toronto.”

Photo Credit: Mira Budd Photography

The look of pure happiness to have come down 1/2 the stairs…but so happy to have explored a cool site!

This was a really cool house, that was converted school house from 1884 into a home…and there had been an addition that happened in 2015 but they matched the brick perfectly.  Seeing bits of history like this restored and repurposed always makes my heart smile.

It was a fabulous evening hike that took about 2 1/2 hours.  Thanks so much Mira for organzing these hikes with the “Take a Hike” group…and to the Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club for making a fun hiking challenge for Canada’s 150 Birthday!

Mira also blogged some photos from the hike on her Lifeology 101 Blog check it out here! 

Goodbye 2016…Hello 2017!

 

It’s hard to believe that it’s December 31st… this year has flown by!  I must admit 2016 has been a year of ups and downs…so many great things happened.  So many great travels…Family weddings combined with a trip to Lake Louise, Banff and Canmore with my mum. Two weeks in Winnipeg visiting old friends.   2016 also had a lot of really great long weekend road trip visits: visiting cousins in Montreal for a weekend!  Going to Colorado and finally seeing first hand the beauty of that place. Visiting my friend in Trenton a few times!!!  Weekend trips to London to visit friends… so many memories and lots of fun and adventures.

Here are my top 9 liked posts from Instagram… made at https://2016bestnine.com/

I’m not going to lie and tell you the whole year was perfect…because it wasn’t. Part of me can’t wait to kick 2016 out the door and welcome 2017.  I think the thing I learned this year is that you sometimes can’t control circumstances or things that happen…but the one thing you can control is your reaction to them.  You can let that one ‘bad’ moment/circumstance/thing cloud the rest of that day…and then it might turn into a week and even a month…and before you know it you’ve had a bad year!

So as hard as it is sometimes the best thing is to let it go…and try to look for the positive… because every year has it’s ups and downs.  It’s the valley moments in life that make the mountain top view so much more memorable.

Counting my blessings and wishing you more. Hope you enjoy the New Year in store. Have a joyous New Year! 

Happy Halloween

This past weekend I had a blast in London, Ontario.  Every year my friend Jen throws a fantastic Halloween party the Saturday before Halloween.  This was the third year I was able to go…and was excited to visit Jen, her husband and girls! halloween-fun_0001

This year I decided to go as a Wind-Up Doll…I must admit I LOVE this costume.

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Jen wore these creepy contacts as part of her costume… halloween-fun_0010

Thanks for hosting a great party Jen…you are a fantastic friend!
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On the left there is: Barrel, Lock, Ghost vampire Elsa, Anna and on the right there is: a Wind-Up Doll…

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…just hanging out on the driveway! Such awesome weather for the party… halloween-fun_0013 halloween-fun_0015

…had to take some time to do some selfies with the costume!

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…had to sort out my camera’s flash and settings! (Apparently I had it all messed up—but eventually it was sorted so Jen took this photo of me…) halloween-fun_0014

And then Julie grabbed my camera to snap us taking a selfie… (iphone photo in top right corner)…thanks Julie! 🙂 halloween-fun_0009

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…there were so many cute kids at the party!
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There were kid games… like bobbing apples and eating donuts off a string…and there were some adult games too like shots of tequila! halloween-fun_0006

…first time putting on flash lashes, nailed it! Loved my take-a-way chip bag monster…
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Tonight I had to teach…because of the way the weeks worked it was a midterm…so I brought a wee bit of halloween magic… ie) candy for my students!

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Weekday Hike…

In May I was searching through Facebook one night and came across a group suggestion…it was a group of women that meet up and go for hikes. I thought to myself that sounded like a lot of fun, so I joined.  Then it didn’t work out with my work schedule to actually join a hike…and in the summer I was in Winnipeg and then in Lindsay.  Last week I saw that one of the hikes actually worked on a date and time I could attend….so I signed up. scotsdale-farm-_0002

The hike earlier this week was at Scotsdale Farm and had a 5:50 meet up–6pm start timing.  I got there right on time…paid my toonie and started to chat to some of the other women. Must admit felt a wee bit nervous…but trying new things is all about the butterflies and the unknowns.

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After all 19 of us were gathered…we started! It was a really cloudy night…and the air was crisp.  I was excited to get to wear one of my many winter hats…and felt ready to hit the trail. We did the 6km loop described here backwards…partly because we knew we would be ending the hike in the dark.  (oops! forgot my head lamp…good thing I have good night vision.)
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I started off the hike at the front of the pack…and had fun chatting with the women at the front…but then realized that I wouldn’t be able to stop and take photos as easy! scotsdale-farm-_0003

So I ended up at the back of the pack…bringing up the rear! Which was a-ok with me…

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Scotsdale Farm is such an awesome place…the property was bequeathed to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1982 by Stewart and Violet Bennett, owners of the farm for more than forty years. It’s left this awesome farm property and hiking trails that is open year round for people to hike, picnic and enjoy the outdoors. 

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Even though after the rain we had last week…the leaves were a wee bit past their peak but it was still gorgeous.  scotsdale-farm-_0008

The ground was littered with heaps of leaves…nothing like walking on a trail with the crunch of leaves under your feet. scotsdale-farm-_0009
“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow”.
~Henry David Thoreau

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Even at the back of the group…I still had some great conversations with some of the other women. scotsdale-farm-_0012

Winter is coming… scotsdale-farm-_0013

Half way through the hike it started to get darker an darker… scotsdale-farm-_0011

But the line of women had flashlights and some used their phones…. to help light up the trail! We also passed on messages…about ‘rocks’ under the leaves…in the rocky places so we wouldn’t trip. scotsdale-farm-_0014

The sky was so pretty…here the sun was just setting…but later the whole sky seemed to glow purple.
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Finally we ended back at the old farm…I need to go back in the daylight.  This was a really fun spot..and I can’t wait to go back and explore and take more photos. scotsdale-farm-_0016

One quick selfie with the help of my iPhone flashlight…all in all it was an awesome night! I had a lot of fun.  scotsdale-farm-_0017

Sometimes new things can be a good thing…and sometimes it only takes 6 months to join and move from a lurker online to a participant. Thanks for letting me join your hiking group.  I can’t wait to join for another hike in the future…and get to know more people as time goes on.

Clay Party

This time of year it’s always crazy busy time for me at work.  It’s about 1/2 way through the term…lots of marking!! What better way to de-stress and forget about work for a bit…than to go out with a group of co-workers.  We went to Snug Harbour Restaurant  for dinner…to start off our evening.  The food was amazing… East Coast Salmon + Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie = happy gal! Perfect start to the night… clay-mug-_0001

After dinner we headed just down the road to 4Cats Port Credit for a little bit of team building while we got our hands dirty and made a hand build clay mug! Such a fun bright amazing creative space…they offer all kinds of art & craft classes for kids, adults and families. clay-mug-_0002

It’s been a few years since I’ve had my hands in clay. The camp that I worked at when I was in my late teens and early 20s I spent a lot of time in the craft shop… where I made a few creations…mugs, candle lanterns, bowls, vases and a bunch of other gifts for family and friends! I was excited to get back at it and make another mug…and see if I still had it in me to make something.  clay-mug-_0003

Starting off…used a wire cutter to cut off a piece of clay off the slab…then had to drop it onto the canvas…from an over hand throw…to get any air bubbles out of it… clay-mug-_0004

Then it was time to roll out the clay…the trick is evenly spread out the clay evenly–if you don’t… you’ll have a thick edge of your mug…and a way too thin side! clay-mug-_0005

You need to ‘scratch’ and ‘slip’ your clay whenever you join up two pieces.  (If you don’t… when the clay dries…it shrinks and pulls apart.) Just make up a few scratches on each side that join… then add a bit of water…and press them together! clay-mug-_0006

The next step was to trace out a circle for the bottom of the mug…scratch and slip it, and press it into place! Then I pulled a handle for my mug…decided to go for a big one… clay-mug-_0007

…our teacher was great to explain all the steps and help out if we needed.  But mainly we did our own thing…and had a lot of fun! Isn’t that what team building nights are all about?

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The night was more than just making mugs…it was fun to share stories and laugh.  It was totally what I needed.  It also made me realize how happy I am when I’m making stuff… maybe I should look around for another class or something.

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…the last step was to paint our clay with glaze.  The colours are a wee bit muted, but once they are fired in the kiln they will get all shiny and a bit more bright.  All of our mugs & vases look so pretty and unique just like us!

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I work with a bunch of great people…this was not something new I learned last night.  I was glad to spend time with a few of these awesome people outside of the office..hanging out and playing with clay.

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I decided to leave the seam..but most others smoothed out the joint so they had a smooth mug. I free-handed a few stars to cut out and then add to my mug…. and then with the left over clay I had I made a small pinch pot, I figured I could use for a tea bag holder or hold some spare change!

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Can’t wait to see my mug in a few weeks once it’s all glazed…not sure that I’ll actually drink a tea out of it, but it will make a really fun pencil holder for my desk!

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