I woke up to a beautiful red sky this morning:
(I know, sailor’s warning and all that). Another shot out one of Ed and Wilma’s windows a little later:
Ed drove me back to the Confederation Park where we had left off yesterday. He brought along his bike and walked it part of the way with me, with the intention of riding back to his car later. It was great to have him along and his knowledge of the area enhanced the enjoyment.
Remember the series of electric towers yesterday leading up to the skyway? We reached them here:
Aesthetically they ugly, but Ed said that a study had revealed that it would be too expensive to put the lines underground. All along this path were cottages looking out to the lake:
This is an active rescue boat station; we weren’t sure where the boat was today:
and a view looking backward:
Soon the Burlington Skyway and the lift bridge loomed:
The lift bridge was fascinating; here are some details:
These two bridges, the skyway and the lift bridge, allow ships to pass from the eastern end of Lake Ontario into Hamilton Harbor (or Burlington Bay, depending on your point of view). This is the narrow channel that separates them, first looking out to the lake:
and then looking into the harbor, under the lift bridge:
We used these “bike-friendly” stairs to ascend to the road level of the bridge:
Here are a couple of shots as we crossed the bridge:
The path continued on the other side of the bridge, now in Burlington:
There were continual views of the lake on our right:
The single row of cottages on our left between the path and the road are the subject of a current political battle. There is an attempt to remove them to claim the land for the park. This happened quite disastrously in the 70s in Hamilton (where we had just been on the other side of the bridge) and the fight is only now coming to Burlington. One cottage owner was particularly vociferous:
We had now traversed the entire west end of the lake and were just about lined up for the long due-east path to Toronto:
The first little section of that path:
A naval war memorial:
and in case you don’t recognize the two center flags:
Canada geese heading back to the Burlington Skyway:
About this time, Ed said his good-byes and got on his bike for the trip back to our starting point. Sometime soon I hope to visit him again with my wife and walk some of the trails around his house.
For a little while the path continued through the town:
The couple you see walking toward me in that last picture are Brian and Chris:
Brian caught my eye as we passed so I stopped and explained what I was doing. I never get tired of explaining my trip to people. Brian and Chris have a number of good options for walking around this area.
Google maps put me on a long, straight stretch at this point, about a quarter mile north of Lakeshore Drive. I should just have walked back to Lakeshore because it was pretty boring, punctuated by occasional glances down pretty side streets:
Near the end of this stretch I crossed the Bronte River and there was this nice opportunity in the middle of the bridge to rest and contemplate:
Here’s the view from the bench:
One block later a car pulled into the driveway in front of me and when I saw “Van Harten” on the side of it, I thought — what a coincidence, since my brother works for Van Harten. Of course, it WAS my brother, Jonathan, who, just like his son and daughter-in-law, Jordan and Stacey, had tracked me down using the SIGHTINGS tab on this blog. He is a surveyor and works all over the region. Today he happened to be in Oakville and so decided to look me up! (I was in Oakville by this time.)
Needless to say I was absolutely delighted. I was within two miles of my final destination for the day, Coronation Park, so he offered to buy me a tea and meet me there. I hoofed it there as quickly as I could, but while still trying to enjoy the scenery.
Walking back toward the lake:
Is this a warning about the geese themselves or the mess they leave on the sidewalks?
Vista opening out to the lake again:
Now walking parallel to the lake:
Some fine painted wrought-iron railings on these houses:
I now reached a section of the path along the lake that was exquisite:
There is still lots of color around here; “lake effect” weather affects the south side of the lake, but on the north side the temperature is moderated by the lake so that it is warmer in the fall:
When I turned into the park Jonathan was waiting for me with hot tea from Tim Horton’s (of course) and we made our way to a gazebo in the park just in time to avoid the rain that was just starting up. We met this man, John, who was a serious collector of debris discoverable by metal detector:
He was a pretty interesting fellow, having served for a time in the Canadian Merchant Marines, for example.
At one point I took this picture of the Toronto skyline, looming ever larger on the horizon:
John took a picture of me with Jonathan:
and then shortly after that Phil arrived to pick me up for my night’s lodging. What a great treat to have been able to meet up with Jonathan!
Phil is connected to me in several ways (at least three) and he and his wife Marilyn are very good friends with Dean and Barb, who I stayed with two nights ago. Here is a picture of Phil and his wife Marilyn:
It would be impossible in this small space to list all the ways that Phil and Marilyn have significantly touched the lives of others over the years, both in Canada and around the world. I just wouldn’t be able to do justice to their wonderful lives of service. It was great to spend time with them and they were very gracious to me, in spite of being exhausted because of recent activities. We stayed up later than we should have, talking.
I was also in Oakville today, but not until late afternoon. What time do you stop walking most days?
Mid to late afternoon, Phil.
Wow Allan, this is now the home stretch, I’ve been enjoy the trip with you since Camp. Congrats on your official walking home. God bless as He already has!
Yes, very close now, Jay. I’m very conscious of the possibility of twisting an ankle, or something like that, so I’m being extra careful.
What a great day of walking and thanks for the plentiful photos and commentary!
There were too many highlights to mention, but…. The long inlet under the Burlington Skyway reminded me of one of my summer jobs with Dr. McKay of Chem. Eng. at the University. He had developed a boom for removing oil spills in rivers and we used the inlet as a testing ground. It’s fabulous that the colours are still screaming out vibrantly on the north side of Lake Ontario. See you soon raccoon!
I guess it was clear that the bridge was a particular highlight for me yesterday. I remember Dr. McKay, of course, but I never knew you did that experiment — cool!
Thanks again for the wonderful photos and interesting commentary of your exploits while walking SP to TO. The Burlington Bridge was a prominent structure in my early childhood – when crossing the bridge, it signaled that our trip to Toronto (visiting great grandparents and other relatives) was nearly over! I remember that it was a toll bridge but only until it was fully funded and then the toll booths were removed! Something we’ll not likely see on the GSP!!
Well…you are very close to achieving your goal – well done!
Interesting historical tid-bit about the tolls. It’s very hard for governments to give up cash cows, eh?
I too have good memories of the skyway and lift bridge. We lived in Dunnville and drove to Toronto over the lift bridge many times. When I worked for MOE we picked up an 18 wheeler mobile lab at the EPS station at the skyway. I ran it in Thunder Bay that summer.
We were in Oakville last night too: Hopedale Bible Chapel. We hoped you were somewhere warm and dry!
We were close! Too bad we couldn’t meet up.
Truly the home stretch though I suspect this might be a shutdown day as rain is passing through. Take care of yourself. Praying for you… And THANK YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL PHOTOS!!!
JIM And BEV
I’m finished for the day and it’s just starting to spit a bit. Pretty close call yesterday and today, but I didn’t have to walk in the rain either day.
Allan, Like many others I have been watching with great interest your interesting journey. Thanks for allowing us to share it with you. Many years ago as I child I waited for the ships to pass so the lift bridge would lower and we could continue our journey to or from our grandparents who lived in Hamilton. Nice to see pictures from a different perspective.
Congratulations on your accomplishment.
Thanks, Doug. I had hoped a ship would be going through when I passed that way. It would have slowed me down but it would have been so interesting.
The closer you get the more emotional I get while reading your blog. I am especially touched at how you have been welcomed into so many homes along the way. It reminds me that God’s people are everywhere way beyond the little world I exist in. Have a wonderful last couple of days “on the road”. Looking forward to seeing you again and hearing more stories.
True that, Laura. And I’m getting emotional thinking about the end too. But I keep my steely mind focused on the task!
Good morning Allan! Once again it has been an absolute amazing adventure for you and everyone that you have shared your beautiful pictures and commentary with! The end is near and what a delightful celebration that will be. Continuing to pray for you as you travel the next couple of days! Well done and God bless!
As always, thank you, Nancy. I need to stay focused.
Interesting bridge! Very clever how that works. But oh, those overhead wires… a bane of our existence. I do love my modern amenities, but if they would only BURY THE WIRES what an improvement it would be. I look out my window toward a nearby lake and what I see is WIRES.
You’re getting so close! How old are your grandkids? Do they understand what you’re doing? I hope they give you a very enthusiastic welcome 😀
I know — I’ve been frustrated the entire time with the wires in my pictures. Ed said that burying the cables on those towers would cost millions and the city just couldn’t afford it.
My Toronto grandchildren are 5, 3 and 1. The older two are excited that I’m coming and have been drawing pictures and sending me videos. Can’t wait!!!
LOVED the little lighthouse nearly hidden in the massiveness of the bridge! Amazing to see your brother Jonathon – obviously we havent’ seen him in a very long time! Keep walking my Friend – almost there…
I know — I really liked that lighthouse too.
Hi Allan. It was a pleasure meeting you on the bike bath in Burlington. I have a couple of pictures that I would like to send you so perhaps you could send me an email address. Your journey is almost over. It was really nice meeting you and the best of wishes. Chris and Brian
Great to meet the two of you too. I enjoyed your enthusiasm for my little project. I will send you a private email now.
How very interesting to watch your progress. I don’t know what I am going to do each night when your journey has ended. Perhaps I will start back at day 1 as I didn’t start following your site until a couple weeks in. You really need to write a book. You could call it “I stopped to Smell the Roses” or something a bit more clever than that I would suspect. I published a book on Lulu.com and gave it to my kids. I included journal thoughts and poems with photos to give them some insight into my brain (oh dear! haha) I hope that some generation down the road will be interested in the compilation. It was very meaningful to me to do it as I had just been laid off from my job of 25 years….gave me a chance to sort out all my thoughts and emotions.
I wanted to let you know that you are now famous in Livingston County! Your picture and a very nice article was in the paper. We will send you a copy.
So as your journey draws to an end, savor each step. Take time to use every opportunity a bench calling out for contemplation offers. Soon you will be back to life “as usual” ….until the next adventure. Safe travels and may God guide your path.
I shall think about self-publishing a little book, but I suspect that the interest in my little adventure stems from the real-time aspect of it. Once it is all done, the outcome will be known and it will be less interesting.
I look forward to seeing the article. I couldn’t find it on thelcn.com.
I am doing what you suggest — savoring the last days. The temptation is to think about the end and ignore what’s going by. It’s a good life lesson.