Its been warming up alot over the past few days, and much of the snowpack is quickly melting off with spring-like weather. Last night we had a cold snap, so the snow, ice and mud should be crunchy and firm. There are still some good sections with packed snow/ice from winter, so some wooded sections will be slick, so micro-spikes will be ideal for that. Off we go with a point-to-point drop off with Judy at Fallowfield United Church.
First stop for me was to head down to Richmond Road, and leave the vehicle on the small dirt parking area right beside the trail, and the old rail bridge – which is also part of the Trans Canada Trail. The morning was chilly and not much activity on the trail: saw a solitary woman with a large chariot stroller and two small kids. Was expecting to stay on the great stonedust trail, but immediatly got diverted into the Sentier Rideau Trail woods – and off I went into. Trail quickly became snow and ice and tossed on the Micro-spikes to crunch through the quiet woods in peace. Saw a solitary trail runner the whole morning!
Moving into the woods, we avoided all the major trails, and this was mostly single track all the way. It was great to connect to some other trails, and the system remained well marked everywhere. Birds were plentiful, and woodpeckers were active. Started getting into more familiar territory, and shortly came onto wide open expanse that had sprouted a few inuksuks over the weekend! Definatly getting some melting underway. Started back onto the trail that quickly turned into a boardwalk, and was wondering when I would meet up with Judy – and sure enough she called just then. She had just crossed Moodie, and was wondering where I was – we met in 2-3 minutes for the midway selfie… and off we went on the beautiful morning. For me it was starting to get more urban, crossing Moodie with the traffic lights, and back onto trail. Strolled though the increasingly familiar woods as I headed to the town of Richmond. Here there would be a short segment along the roadway.
Moodie Drive took me into Richmond: and a few folks along the way were tapping their sugar maple trees: looking for some home grown maple syrup. Fair bit of work, but nice extra hobby during C19. This part of the walk is also starting to get into farmland, and there is a herd of cows here since I can remember; dairy products I would assume. Was watching for the turnoff, and it was well marked up Khymer Lane, and back into the woods I went. Though Rooneys park, and past some trails with a memorial bench “Sit with Dylan”: nice view of the fields and large St Patricks Roman Catholic Church completed in 1866. Walking a bit further, got another call from Judy who had brought the car around and was back at Fallowfield United Church. It was only a few minutes later and greeting a few dog-walkers we connected once again. Great outing on a beautiful day.
Interesting side-note: The cornerstone for Fallowfield United Church was put into place by Sir John A. Macdonald in 1886, who was a stone mason by trade and he made a 1 day journey from Ottawa to participate in this event. There is a Silver Trowel in the national archives that he used to lay the stone. Always interesting to know “John was here”, though no sign of any graffiti to that effect!