Thursday, July 05, 2012

True Patriot Love

Date of hike:  Sun.  July 1, 2012

Weather: 24C at start, sunny; 28C at completion (humidex of 32C)

Duration of hike:  4 hours 32 minutes

Section:  2 and 3 (from 0 km to 4.3 km point)

Distance: 16.6 km             Cumulative distance:  196.9 km

Canada Day dawned bright and sunny and hot; just like a summer day should.  What better way to celebrate the old girl’s 145th birthday than with a hike through trails that feature some of the best of what she has to offer? 


This section of the TV Trail had some of the most challenging terrain that we’ve had to navigate so far.  The meanderings along Sharon Creek and back to the Thames had numerous climbs up and down the steep valleys formed by the waters of the creek long ago. 

Make sure you have sturdy shoes on, that are up to the task.  This is not as family friendly as Komoka Provincial Park, but if you take your time, smaller children would enjoy some of these winding paths that can be easily accessed from the Sharon CreekConservation Area.
West side of the Sharon Creek Dam.
East side of the Sharon Creek Dam, forming Springer Lake.
Kayakers enjoying Springer Lake.
One of the things that has always been an attraction for me, with regards to walking the trails through the woods, has been imagining these paths to be the roadways of days gone by.  Whether it was the native people moving from one encampment to another, or pioneer settlers travelling between homesteads, trails such as these have always stirred my imagination.  A thought made even more significant, considering it was our nation’s birthday today and how this great country came to be.  From her beautiful natural areas to her cities and urban centres, it’s plain to see that Canadians should be proud!
Today’s hike was a full-time investment, with the distance we wanted to cover.  It was a hot one out there and we appreciated the cool shade along the creek as well as the breeze that blew when we were on the roads or going along some farm fields.

We took a much needed lunch break at our turn around point; the same turn around point as our last hike.  The logistics of parking have sometimes made it necessary to tackle a length of the trail from the opposite direction, this time being one of them. 
While perched high on a bluff, enjoying our lunch, we saw a deer scamper along the riverside on the opposite shore.  Minutes later, three men in a flat bottom motor boat cruised by.  Another few minutes later we heard several gun shots.  We wondered, was this an example of some of the illegal hunting that the trail had been re-routed for in this particular area?  Whatever the truth of the matter was, we cautiously began our return trip, wary of where the shooters were.  We never did see anyone, nor did we come close to where the gun shots seemed to be coming from, making our way safely onward.

The Thames River--some final views.
In completing this section of the trail, this will be the last time we see the Thames River.  The final section of the trail that we will complete will head south so as to connect to the Elgin Trail.  We are so close to the end of our destination; it won’t be long now!

Four-footed and winged friends we encountered.
Blue heron...coming in for a landing on Springer Lake
Hawk tail feather

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