Summer Plans

It’s summer! 9 weeks may seem like a long time, but between weddings, trips, and prepping for next year, I already know that these two months are going to fly by. In order to make the most of it, here’s what I’m putting into motion:

Setting a weekly focus

I have been following ANGELA WATSON‘s blog for a while and she wrote a post not too long ago called 6 SIMPLE STEPS TO THE BEST SUMMER EVER. I’ve followed her advice to create an end of summer vision and to assign a focus for each week. My three main goals are to (1) have my long range plans completed and an intro postcard/letter sent out to my students; (2) have a morning routine in place to maximize my day and ensure I have time for devos; and (3) have meal plans created for September. This week, my focus is on getting to know my curriculum expectations. I’ve taught all these subjects before, but I’m really hoping to do something a little different this year that allows for more authentic, integrated learning.

Explore something different every day

It’s easy for routine to become monotony when you have a toddler. So, we’ve committed to trying or visiting something different every day. Living in Kingston and in this part of Ontario, there is tons at our fingertips that we haven’t even scratched the surface of. We’re starting local, but we will definitely branch out as the summer goes on and as we venture to other parts of Ontario and North America. So far, we’ve visited a BERRY FARM, taken Andy to his first splash pad, and attended STORIES IN THE PARK. Tomorrow we are heading to the MUSEUM OF HEALTH CARE.

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30 day fitness challenge

This last endeavour is three-fold. One, I have not been going to the gym nearly enough, and my diet has been subpar. Plus, throwing out my shoulder when I wiped out while cycling has been a disincentive to any sort of physical activity. Two, we are heading to Bermuda at the end of August. Three, I am teaching 4 classes of phys. ed. next year. In summary, plenty of reasons to get into shape.

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The Joy of Partial Solutions

I’m someone who has a hard time getting to the gym. It’s a ridiculously short drive away (or a 2.5 km run), but the mental effort required to get me there is unreal. 

Enter: the partial solution. 

Last week when I was really not inclined to go to the gym, I decided to go for a run instead. It was just a short one, but I felt energized. I had done some exercise, and it had only taken up 20 minutes of my time. 

While on that run, I was listening to the Simple show, and it referenced the idea of partial solutions. Serendipitous much?

Anyways, all this to say that sometimes doing just a little bit of something is better than not doing it at all. 

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Biggest news of the week – Andy is scooting! It all started with him refusing to be on his back while on the change table (which was a pain). Then he started tucking his knees under his body and inching forward like a worm. Clearly he was more interested in the Penaten container on the table than he was in being changed. I think it helps that the end of the change pad acts as a little ridge for him to pull himself forward. As troublesome as this is when I’m trying to put a clean diaper on him, we’re really excited that he’s transitioning with this milestone.

With that came a realization that I am just over five months away from returning to work.
And with that came a panic that I’ve only put Andy on a waitlist at one daycare centre.
So to remedy that panic, I’ve put him on the wait list of quite a few more daycares, and I can only hope that he will get accepted to one in time for my return to work.

Until my return, though, I will stay home and enjoy time with Andy and his little quirks and precious moments. Quirks like how he holds onto the sides of his carseat when we are moving. And how he tends to sing to himself in the car. And times like Sunday night when our small group was over and he wouldn’t stop laughing.

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So this post is really late, but in all fairness, it was a really busy weekend. It was full of moving and entertaining and other little things in between. I’ve been reading Brit Morin’s Homemakers (really good for those of us who aspire to homemaking but have close to zero actual ability in the domestic arena), which contained a recipe for ombre cake.

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I thought to myself, “Oh, we are having people over on Friday for desserts. This recipe looks so easy. I should totally make this cake!” Terrible idea. A baker I am not.

The process began around 9:30 pm the night before. I was prepared with my 3 jars of frosting and 2 boxes of cake mix. The mix called for 3 egg whites, but I could use the whole egg if desired and just add a minute to the bake time. I decided to take the lazy way out. That was my first mistake. It not only gave the cake more of a greenish hue, but it made the cakes too moist. That moistness was my next problem. When I tried to take the cakes out of the pan, 2 of the 4 layers broke. I figured I could fix it with frosting…

At around 2 am, I figured the cakes had cooled enough. The tops were still sticky to the touch (yes, a cake CAN be too moist), but I needed to go to bed, so I decided it was time to frost the cakes. Now, there had already been moments in the past few hours that I thought “Hmm, maybe this was not such a good idea.” The frosting process confirmed this. I thought that maybe I could mask some of the problems of these cake layers with frosting. Surely I could make each layer look flat by building up the frosting on the sides? Nope. My attempts at forming the cake into a perfectly cylindrical shape with frosting were futile. Tired and defeated, I put the bottom two layers, which I had frosted, in the microwave.

The next day, I decided to give the next two layers a whirl. Maybe this cake was salvageable? I put what was left of the third layer onto the rest of the cake. It essentially split on contact. I didn’t even bother icing it. Instead, I sat at the kitchen table and took a fork to cake. I probably ate more of it than I should have. It was a sad, sad sight.

As my belly filled with sugar and flour, I decided that eating away my sorrows  would probably just make me feel even worse. So I put what was left of my would-have-been ombre cake in the green bin. And there it sits, with 3 jars worth of coloured frosting.

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I may try this cake again in the future, but I think I will try it with the assistance of someone who actually knows what they’re doing. I have some people in mind…

But thankfully, there is a (somewhat-related) happy ending to this story! Now that Andy sleeps through the night, I’m able to head to the gym after he goes to bed. Crucial, seeing as how daytime workouts have fallen to the wayside with a change in our babysitting arrangements. Today when I went, I found out that the long-awaited Fitness on Demand system was set up! I have all these fitness videos literally at my fingertips! I am hoping that the hour of power step that I got in made up for at least a portion of the amount of cake that I ate.

Onwards and upwards!

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Our once lazy little munchkin is starting to take initiative! He is actively grabbing for things now, and he has been going to town on some of his cloth books. I am starting to think that it’s time to move him up to more interesting toys – things that will encourage his exploration more. Maybe things that move? Or things that make noise? Perhaps he will like my recorder.

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He’s also turning into quite the chatty kiddo, especially in the mornings. I have absolutely no idea what he’s saying, but I do try to affirm his vocalizations with the odd “Oh yeah?” and “Mm hmm”. Should I be doing more to encourage this behaviour?

He falls asleep quite easily now at night, often in really strange positions. Earlier this week, he slowly made his way out of view of the monitor. We found him at the foot of the crib, perpendicular to where he was, with his little feet barely inside the crib. Last night, he managed to rotate 45 degrees and fell asleep clinging on to one of the crib slats with his right hand and with one little foot sticking out. Part of me really wants to take pictures of this, but his room is pretty dark, and I have zero desire to wake our munchkin up with a flash.

Today, for the second time since Andy was born, we left him with grandma and grandpa so that Kelvin and I could go out on our own. We headed to nearby Gananoque for the matinee performance of Pirates of Penzance at the Thousand Islands Playhouse. We absolutely love this little playhouse (I mean, you can dock your boat there and watch the show…how sweet is that? Now if only we had a boat…and a license…) and always enjoy the time that we spend there. This show (which closed today) was particularly special, because the Artistic Director adapted it to take place in the Thousand Islands!

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We are heading off on Monday for 10 days in the US so packing really needs to begin. Alas, Andy has outgrown almost all of his shorts, and we need to buy new ones and do laundry before I can really think about packing. This will be our longest stretch away with the little guy. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will all be okay, and that we will last without doing laundry!

And an update from my end – success was had with both the library board and the Awesome Kingston grant! I anticipate my first board meeting in September, and our edcamp team now has money to work with through the July micro-grant from the Awesome Kingston trustees. Yippee!

On the flip side, I also had a mini meltdown this week due to a deep dissatisfaction with my current fitness level. I had been deluded to think that I was doing okay, when truth be told, I was eating like crap and not working out remotely enough. Motherhood is not all rainbows and lollipops, I’ll have you know. Part of this meltdown involved a run at 12:30 am, after which I did not stretch, and for which I am now paying the price. Hotheadedness never pays. Anyways, my in-laws are thankfully coming with us on this trip, so grandpa is available for short babysitting sessions when gym visits need to happen. I am infinitely grateful for them.

And now, to clean my main floor…

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We are closing in on two months!

It seems we have completely skipped spring, and have moved straight from winter to summer. No matter! It means Andy gets to rock some pretty cute shorts (or no bottoms at all) :) Daily temperatures in the 20s are preparing us for Houston, but we are lucky to have some semblance of a breeze here. Thinking that will not be the case in Houston.

...or no bottoms at all

Lots of fun for us this week. We went to mom and baby yoga this morning, which was a new experience. Not so much actual yoga haha (I mean, I did do a few folds…) but it was definitely nice to meet some new moms (and to see some other mom friends again!). Thinking I will be back! I also returned to the regular gym this week. Felt like I was going to pass out during power step and discovered that I have almost zero core right now -__- Hoping this postnatal workout will also assist in some way to get me back in shape.

So, we have moved up again in diaper size. Hoping that will reduce the blowouts. According to our scale at home he is closing in on 14 lbs. What a kid. Glad that we have other friends who are expecting so we can pass along the diapers that he has already outgrown!

Last but not least, my sister loves making videos. They are awesome. Here’s one of Andy and his antics.

A day for being outdoors

It was beautiful today. And by beautiful, I mean the temperature was moderate, the sun was shining, and all you needed to be outdoors was a thin sweater, light pants, and sunglasses. It was a day where you want to open all the windows and just let the breeze blow through your house.

To celebrate this beauty, Andy and I headed to our favorite place to experience the outdoors. If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you probably know how much I love Lemoine Point (I’ve been calling it Lemoine’s Point all this time, but today I actually took a look at the sign, and there actually is no apostrophe s…)

I opted to keep Andy in the carrier today, instead of taking him in the stroller like I usually do. That allowed me to venture down some trails that I would normally bypass. I had completely forgotten how beautiful some of these paths are. I’m definitely looking forward to spending more time here.


At various points along the perimeter of the conservation area, there are access points to the lake. I often take it for granted that we live so close to this body of water.

If you park your car at the south parking lot, there’s a large open field with paths cutting across it, just in case wooded areas are not your thing.


We’ve been coming here at least once a week. I can only imagine that number will increase as the weather gets nicer.


On a related note, when I was perusing Twitter yesterday, I came across the 30 x 30 challenge issued by the David Suzuki foundation. 30 minutes outside for 30 days. Places like this make it easy for me to want to spend time outdoors. Plus it makes reaching my daily step goal seem so much more attainable.

Cycling on the K&P Trail

I’ve written about my adventures on the K&P Trail before, seeing as how it’s one of my favourite places to cycle. But yesterday, I managed to venture further than I’ve ever been! I travelled to the very end of the K&P trail, to where it meets the Cataraqui trail. That’s roughly 20 km from the trailhead in Kingston. From there, a short jaunt west would get me to Harrowsmith. Or, if I preferred, a slightly longer jaunt east would get me to Sydenham. I’ve outlined my ride from Kingston to Orser Road in a previous post, but I thought I’d add a few notes on the stretch north of Orser to where it intersects with the Cataraqui Trail. The KFL&A Trail Map shows me that the trail actually winds north past Harrowsmith and ends at Hartington, but I have yet to travel there.

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So in the map you’ll see that long stretch between Unity and Orser, which is roughly 5 km. The maintained portion of the trail used to end here, at Orser Road. However, as of two summers ago (I think), the northern stretch of the trail has been upgraded for easy access to the Cataraqui trail. In general, they’ve been putting some money into the trail. Within the last two years, they’ve also put interpretive signs and large trail maps along the stretch of the trail. The picture below was taken from the Gorway group website – the people responsible for making the signs.

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The kilometre north of Orser Road to Murton Road was tough for me – not because it was steep, but because the gravel was really uneven and bumpy. You pass through a field of hydro towers, but there’s not much else to look at in this short section. From Murton Road, it’s about 2.5 km to Scanlan Road and another 2.5 km or so to get to the crossing. This stretch is windy and quite scenic, with rock cuts and lots of wildlife. I saw 4 turtles (or maybe three…that last one I saw on the way back, and it may have been the same turtle) as well as frogs, birds, and other small creatures.

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There is a bit of a grade heading up towards Scanlan Road, and though it is long, it isn’t too strenuous. Past Scanlan you cross a bridge that goes over Millhaven Creek. Next time, I’ll make sure to take more pictures. This time around, I just wanted to power through and make it. When you finally arrive at the intersection, you are met with some signposts, and another trail map.

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I was pretty tired by this time (it’s the furthest I’ve ever biked!), so instead of heading into Harrowsmith, I turned back and pedalled towards Kingston. It was a slower ride (heading there I averaged 20 km/hour, but on the way back I was 1 or 2 km/h slower. Instead of going around the vista at Bur Brook, I sped down the street, hitting my max speed at 60 km/h. Kelvin was playing a softball game at Cloverdale, so I cycled there to watch a bit of the game. The hill on McIvor almost did me in (my legs were very tired by then) and ironically enough, Kelvin drove past me just as I was struggling up it.

In summary, I was very happy about this ride, and am excited to see where else this trail can take me. I’m hoping to explore more of the Cataraqui trail one day, and I’ll make sure to record more of my thoughts here. Anyways, it’s Canada Day, and strawberries are waiting to be picked at Fruition :)

Goals for 2013

In my last post, I mentioned that I may or may not sit down to write some goals. Today, seeing as how I have not yet been called in to any schools to supply, I figured that would be a good thing to do. I have had goals float around in my head, but it’s nice also to have them on paper. Here they are!

Financial
– Pay off wedding entirely
– Replenish TFSA to $2000
– Open a joint account

Professional
– Organize an EdCamp in Kingston
– Begin an LTO
– Do professional reading at least every other day

Spiritual
– 
Become a member at Bay Park
– Serve in the worship ministry
– Pray powerfully
– Initiate a mentoring relationship (this is a continuation of my goal from last year)

Personal
– 
Write to my grandparents at least twice a month
– Be a good wife (vague, I know…)
– Swim at least twice a month
– Eat no chips or chocolate (exception made at weddings)

While we’re at it, let me update you on how I did with last year’s goals:

Financial (moderate)

  • Bring my TFSA to $5000 – COMPLETE! I literally just made it, with $1.26 over my goal as of December 31
  • Pay off all the financing I have – STANDSTILL… I did pay off all my outstanding financing from 2011, but we are now financing the roof
  • Take on the full mortgage by the end of the year – COMPLETE! And I am very happy with the low interest rate we have
  • Have $5000 in savings by year end – FAIL… I still have a little ways to go to reach this goal

Professional (good)

  • Keep an updated resume and portfolio – COMPLETE! This wasn’t too tricky. There wasn’t much to add to either
  • Attend 3 workshops or conferences – STANDSTILL… I maybe went to two?
  • Take an AQ course – COMPLETE! I now have Spec Ed Part 1 :)
  • Grow my Twitter PLN to 100 people – COMPLETE! And I hope to keep growing next year

Spiritual (poor)

  • Complete my bible reading plan every day – DISCONTINUED… I decided it was too intensive for me to do the plan again after completing it last year. Still, my devos were less than regular
  • Read at least 5 Christian books – FAIL… I probably read three, and started a fourth
  • Update my worship binder – STANDSTILL… I did update it some, but there are still many songs I am missing
  • Actively search for a mentor – STANDSTILL… This is a tricky one. I have hopes that this year I will be able to establish something more solid

Personal (good)

  • Buy a bike or a scooter – COMPLETE! And I cannot wait for spring when I can bring her out again
  • Bring my BMI down to 21.7 – COMPLETE! Thanks to my new bike, Joshi’s Holistic Diet, and my bout of tonsilitis -__-
  • Practice guitar regularly (at least 3x/week) – COMPLETE! I love playing guitar, though maybe I should try to play in keys other than E and G
  • Communicate with my family at least 2x/week – COMPLETE! For a while, I was calling my parents every day. I need to keep this communication up though

It is unfortunate that my spiritual goals did not fare well. Alas, I must remember the bigger picture, and keep pressing on. I have faith that this will be a better year.

Biking at Night

I love biking, but up until yesterday, I could only bike during the day. I didn’t have the right gear. That restriction is now a thing of the past, as I have fitted Pansy (and myself) with objects to keep us safe.

First things first, it is important to have a headlight and a rear light (like the one below). It is even better when that rear light has different settings so that it can be flashing or blinking when you are riding. I picked up a simple bike light combo at Canadian Tire for under $20, and proceeded to mount the hardware onto my bike that day. My only complain with my Supercycle headlight is that it is not bright enough for my liking. The rear light is fantastic.

I also outfitted myself with flashing lights to draw attention to my existence. That’s right – I bought a jacket that has flashing LED lights. It charges via USB which you can plug into your computer, and you can choose to turn on the strip on the front of your jacket, the back of your jacket, or both. My dad, who also loves biking, kept urging me to get a reflective construction vest, but this jacket (my pink Women’s Sonic HDX ViZipro by Saucony, to be exact)  is definitely cooler. It is meant to be a running jacket, but I am going to use it for biking. It cost me a pretty penny at Sportchek, but I think it is totally worth it.

Last but not least, I wanted to be extra safe by purchasing two reflective ankle bands to keep my pants out of the way as well as to catch the attention of anyone who missed all the flashing lights. My legs will not be pumping fast enough to give off any cool circular illusions, but the bands will do the trick nonetheless.

So with all of those things in place, I am now ready to extend my biking to darker times. If you see me, or any other lovely bikers on the road, I ask you please to give us a little extra room. Thank you kindly!

Getting away to Nature

I always say that Lemoine Point is my natural haven within suburbia. Recently, I discovered another haven, which I now frequent on a weekly basis (if not more). Introducing: The K&P Trail (named K&P for the once rail bed between Kingston and Pembroke that the trail follows).

This morning, with the sun out and a wonderful breeze blowing, I decided to head out for a mid-length spin on the trail. One thing I love about my home is the location – separated bike lanes right from my back gate. I ventured on up past Cat Woods Drive to the Centennial Drive extension that is slated to open sometime soon. If you head to the very end of the street and turn right (you will think that you are going to nowhere), you will see a small cut through in the woods on the left near the end of the sidewalk.

The cut-through, guarded by my bike

A quick ride along that path brings you right to the K&P Trail. Over a few occasions, I’ve travelled the length of the K&P trail from its trailhead off Dalton Avenue to the Kingston municipal boundary at Orser Road. I don’t venture the length between Centennial and Dalton very much, as I like to head up north, but here is an overview of the route.

The first few times I went on this trail, I was deeply enamored and wanted to capture everything on camera. However, I realize now that that really slows me down and it takes me a while to get my speed back up when I stop. Here are some pictures that I have taken over the last little while. I will try to take more once I head further up (I want to eventually connect with the Cataraqui Trail). To begin, we have the Dalton Avenue trailhead.


You ride along the backs of industrial factories and warehouses for a few short minutes, past a body of water that has clearly seen too many nitrates. And then you come upon the bridge. I bold “the bridge” because it played a pivotal role in my discovering the K&P trail. You can see this bridge from the 401 (actually, you have a great view of the 401 along this one stretch of the trail between Centennial and Gardiners), and it was seeing other cyclists cross that particular bridge that made me want to get there. When you go up to it, though, it really isn’t anything fancy. But how the allure of cycling alongside the 401 pulled me in!

Something I really appreciate about the trail is that it has these really funny signs, and very clearly marked trailheads. This is one you encounter when biking across Sydenham Street. Please note the peculiar laws about the killing of dogs.

Though this is the urban portion of the trail, it still gives you beautiful views. You cycle between backyards, but also behind old barns like this one.

Continue on and you will reach the stretch I talked about earlier, where you can see the 401. It’s really calming, actually, to be biking peacefully while hearing the roar of trucks going by. On either side of you, there is marshland that threatens to overflow onto the trail. And yet, in all my times on the trail, it still remains about an inch below the height of the trail. Many a time I have been tempted to test its depths, but common sense continues to intervene.

One of the unique things about this trail is that it actually goes under the 401. Yes, you heard me. Not only does it have an awesome bridge, it has an underpass. It may be a dark, scary underpass that turns the sounds emanating from your bike into ghoulish tinklings, but it is a structure nonetheless.

Once you cross over the 401, it suddenly seems as if you are in rural Kingston. You’ll come across McIvor Road not long after, with Jackson Mills Road following shortly behind that. This is an easy ride, abundant in flying animals, chipmunks, and the occasional bunny. In fact, I accidentally bumped into a butterfly today (or you could say the butterfly bumped into me). Don’t worry, the butterfly lived, as it continued to fly away once it hit me. When you reach Jackson Mills, you make a right onto the street, cross Bur Brook Road, and continue along what I like to call the Bur Brook Loop. This is a steady, but shallow incline that circles a nice vista, and ends off in a rather nice tree stand.

The end of the loop will bring you back to Bur Brook Road, to where it intersects with Cordukes Road. If I am tight on time, I will turn left on Bur Brook and head back towards Kingston, but if I am feeling a bit more leisurely, I will turn right on Bur Brook and continue up to Unity Road.

I’ve only been up to Orser Road once, and it was on a whim after talking to a nice couple at the Unity Road trail lot. It was a Sunday, and though it was 3:30, and I had date night with Kelvin at 5:00, they persuaded me to extend my trip the extra 10 km (5 km there, 5 km back). “The map says it’s really flat!”, they said. They were right, and the ride was enjoyable, but still, 10 km is 10 km. That was by far the longest stretch I rode without coming across any other major roads (though I did bump into many nice people walking their dogs, jogging, or bike riding..overtaking me…). I must say, I felt quite the sense of accomplishment when I got there.

I’m happy to report that the ride back was quicker than the ride there, and I made it back to my home in the nick of time. It is still my longest bike ride to date at slightly over 30 km, but I hope to ride it again soon (and hopefully go beyond). You can see it a little bit in the previous picture, but starting at Orser Road, the trail is not as nicely maintained, so I don’t know if my hybrid will be able to take it. However, I will give it a shot – probably after I get a tune up – and hopefully make it all the way up to Harrowsmith.

Here’s one last picture, of Centennial Drive, heavily filtered thanks to my snapseed app (love that app).

Pansy and I

For those of you who know me personally, you will know that I have a tendency to name inanimate objects…cars, computers, anything that I use on a frequent basis. Recently, I purchased my first adult bike – a purple-hued hybrid bike (the lovechild of a mountain bike and a road bike) – and because of her shade, I have named her Pansy. She is lovely (though I popped her tire tube the first time I took her out) and I look forward to many adventures with her.

A few weeks ago, I took her on two adventures – a more urban one on the Wednesday, and a more trail-oriented one on the Friday. Both were over 10 km roundtrip, and were fun rides (except for the slow and brutal climb back up Centennial). Work has made it so that I haven’t taken her for a longer ride again this week, but I am planning on making a trip down to Lemoine’s Point when the weather clears up.

This was my urban ride. It was shortly before lunch, and my intention was to go for a quick spin, heading down Centennial as per my usual route, then swinging back around at Queen Mary to go home. However, when I got to Queen Mary, the beckoning of separated bike lines was too strong, and I made a right and headed further on Queen Mary towards Johnson. After a slight uphill climb, I decided I would go to Portsmouth and Johnson and turn back. But as I rounded the corner towards the intersection, I could see Sir John A. in the distance, and figured that since I’ve already come this far, why not keep going? I pedalled through all the way to church, where I stopped in for a quick chat with P.Lo. It was a nice little break, and after about 15 minutes, my grumbling stomach told me it was time to head home. I headed back the same way I came (with a few small route changes) in time for some grub at around noon.

Friday’s adventure was quite a different story. Again I headed down my normal route, but after turning on Queen Mary, I ventured down a cul de sac to the access to the Rideau Trail.

About a week prior, I had ridden the Rideau Trail on the other side of Queen Mary, past the condos and up to Parkway Ave. It was pretty underwhelming, so I was hoping for a more riveting ride this time around. And let me tell you, the trail did not disappoint. Before I go any further, let me show you the sign that I came across at the bottom of the trail, after I had completed the ride…

In my “research” I had neglected to notice that this trail was meant for hiking only (That totally explained why there was a weird gate contraption present on the other leg of the trail). This accounted for why the conditions of the trail required me to dismount my bike approximately 17 times over the course of my ride (reminder: I have a hybrid bike, not a mountain bike). Large rocks, unforgiving tree roots, puddles and mud littered the trail, and I knew my wheels would not be able to handle it. On multiple occasions, I considered turning back, but every time I decided to press on, even when I encountered my first large obstacle…

The trail cuts across the railroad tracks not once, but twice. Each time, I had to lift my bike up the hill of gravel (with some degree of difficulty), cross the tracks and hope no trains came through while I was there, and walk my bike down the hill of gravel to the other side. I’ll be honest, part of me was hoping I would see a train go by, because that would have made for a really cool pictures, but alas that did not happen.

I continued on a little ways until I hit my second obstacle. This one really shocked me, partially for its beauty, and partially for the uncertainty of whether I would be able to traverse it…

That wooden bridge is less sturdy than it looks in the picture. I almost tripped over a loose board, and I kid you not when I tell you that if you fall off, you fall into marshland, the depth of which I do not know (and do not care to discover). It seems that this trail likes to do things in pairs, as there was another similar wooden bridge later on along the trail. Needless to say, I took my time here, stopping to take in the scenery and to take a few pictures, including one of Pansy waiting patiently to be walked across.

The rest of the ride was fun, some highlights of which included passing another pair of cyclists on the trail (they had real mountain bikes though, and one was carrying a guitar on his back), peering through the woods and onto the grounds of the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club, and being eaten alive by mosquitoes. While Pansy endured a bit of a beating, I endured an overwhelming amount of biting. I was originally going to post a picture of the 10+ bites that I had received on my arms and legs, but decided against it to save you all the aggravation. Something I discovered on this ride: it’s really hard to swat bugs on your legs when you are cycling…

Anyways, I made it down to the trailhead, and looped back around on Country Club Drive to get back home. It was an enjoyable ride, though I think I will opt for hiking the Rideau Trail next time instead of biking it. Another route on my to-do is the K&P from the 401 up to Elginburg (and maybe beyond). Excited!