Bruce Trail End2End – Hike #2

Bruce Trail End2End – Hike #2

Hike #2 Bruce Trail

Marty's Road Trip

Yvonne and I did our second hike of the Bruce Trail Friday the 11th of January 2019. Was a bit shorter than the first - was approximately 6 km. I say this in inexact figures as although I had two electronic ways to track our hike I kinda messed up both.

First my iPhone. I like the phone but it doesn’t like the cold. It died about 2/3s of the way through the hike. It was a pretty chilly day and I kept in an outside jacket pocket. I was using the Bruce Trail App on it so it caught the first part of the hike and because I thought I was tracking it also on my Garmin watch (hiking app), I wasn’t too worried. But then after a few hundred meters I checked the watch and realized, new app, and I forgot to hit ‘start’. So, the hike is mapped in parts as you will see below.

A point here on the iPhone. From my research, they generally don’t like the cold. If you are hiking with it, keep it close to your body and as a back up keep an external charger, if you don’t want to lose part of the data from your hike.

This hike, as I mentioned was about 6 km or so. It was cold, about minus 5 C so the trail wasn’t muddy. We have very good winter boots, coming from Calgary where hiking in -15C to -20C wasn’t that uncommon for us. It’s the wind that kills us. When it comes off Lake Ontario and hits you on that exposed part of the escarpment, it is harsh. It was a very nice sunny day and fortunately it wasn’t windy at all. Which made the hike quite pleasant.

We started on the east side of Fireman’s Park at the bottom of Dorchester Rd. There is parking at the very end and a secondary trail that starts there. The main trail starts up near the rail tracks. There are two concrete barriers there. We parked there but likely shouldn’t have although there aren’t any ‘No Parking’ signs.

Most of the first part of the trail is low and in the woods so is protected from the wind, if you are there in winter. The trail is always quite well marked. We did go on a secondary loop along the QEW for a couple of hundred metres coming up to the walking bridge by the railway. Didn’t matter that much. The bridge is where my phone died. I was taking a few pictures and kaput! A couple of hundred meters beyond that is the Howling Bridge. You have to walk under that. It was mostly filled with water/ice. There was an edge of gravel on one sight. Not much choice but to go through there, so make sure that you have waterproof footwear.

Once you are out of the tunnel you have a bit of a walk along the road. Don’t worry, there is a sign telling you where to turn right. You are going through someone’s property - be respectful. And it is quite a pretty property. Then back in the woods of Woodend Conversation Area.

If you are parking your other car at this end, you have a choice. You can park at the entrance to the park, near Taylor Road or go all the way into the park and park near the education centre/outdoor school. There is a parking lot there. It is a little bit of a walk from where you come out of the woods but not that far.

You can also cross the road when the sign is there and follow the trail through the woods. We had done that part of the trail 2-3 times so didn’t bother this time. That section is a nice hike as it looks over Lake Ontario. Can be windy but great views, particularly in the winter when fewer leaves on the trees.


Posted by faffyrd007 in Bruce Trail, Bruce Trail End2End, 0 comments
Bruce Trail End2end – Part #1

Bruce Trail End2end – Part #1

Bruce Trail End2End Hike #1


(Part of) Marty's Road Trip

Two days ago, at the pool, Anita, a good friend, told me that she and her husband are working on hiking The Bruce Trail end to end a little bit at a time.  This inspired me.  Yvonne and I have been here for almost a year and a half and have done some hiking but it has been different than hiking Alberta.  

So, yesterday, inspired with a goal, we started! We began at Queenston Park.  That is at the conjunction of Portage Rd and Niagara Parkway.  There is a little monument (cairn) that you will see in the first photo.  That is the southern end of the 890 km hike.  It is a decent sized park so to save you some wandering around looking, go to the eastern most reach of the parking lot. Right near the traffic circle you should see it.  If you then face away from the river, you should see the white trail markings on the larger trees.  Just follow those. At the other end of the park, you will see the actual trail head into the woods. 

We parked the ‘end’ car at a small parking lot at the very north end of Dorchester road.  It is at the end of the road leading north from Mountain Rd. running along Fireman’s Park.  Yesterday's hike was about 8.3 kilometers.  

It is January and the temperature yesterday was about plus 9 Celcius.  So it was pretty muddy.  Wear boots.  The majority of the trail is fairly easy going but there are a couple middle parts where there are some somewhat steep climbs down.  With the covering of leaves there were some pretty slippery spots.  

We were late afternoon, so the areas with leaves coating the forest floor and the sun coming through the trees made for some quite pretty hiking.  Those spots were generally out of the wind which made it quite peaceful.  

Speaking of wind, depending on the direction you can be protected or not. If you are hiking along the ridge and the wind is coming off Lake Ontario when it is a chilly day, you are going to feel it.  If it is cold, wear something that will cut the wind.

Below, you will see some photos from our first day.  I’m not sure how often we will get to hike this but as much as we can. Maybe we’ll get some sections done with our snowshoes.  Who knows?  There are some sections of the trail that we’ve done already, so we may or may not repeat them.

Also, we are using two cars, as advised by my friend but when we get a little further afield, we will likely make use of Uber for the short runs back to the car.

I downloaded the Bruce Trail app as well, to my iPhone to keep track of distances, and hike we do, etc. I may also track the hikes on my Garmin watch.  The hiking app on my phone will keep exact distances of the hikes.  And will keep track of steps.  

I went online and purchased the whole map thing.  I figured that we are going to hike the whole damn trail over the next couple (or more) of years, so the maps they supply should earn their keep.

Here is a link to purchase if want: Bruce Trail Map Guide

And thanks again Anita for the inspiration!

Posted by faffyrd007 in Bruce Trail End2End, 0 comments
Zombie Mud Run – Campark Resort – Niagara Falls 2018

Zombie Mud Run – Campark Resort – Niagara Falls 2018

Campark Resorts - Zombie Mud Run - 2018

Try and outrun the zombies but ‘alive’ or ‘dead’ you finish.  

Mud, water and zombies and lots of obstacles.  My first time photographing and enjoying this event.  Watching, it looked like all were having a really great time.  The whole even is wonderfully entertaining.  

Zombies are spread about the run periodically to try and take your lives - each ribbon is a ‘life’.  And there were a few spots where you could bargain for some extra lives.  Also, I there was some anti zombie dust(pixie dust?) available to some that could be used to ward off the zombies at just the right moment.  

This is now a once a year event.  Pretty obvious to the passing locals with a hundred cars parked along Lundy’s Lane outside the park.  With almost 400 participants and numerous staff and volunteers it looks like fun was had by all.

Here are a few photos of some participants, some zombies and a few of the obstacles.  Wonderful expressions on the faces!

Click the first photo to get to the slide show:

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Niagara-On-The-Lake in the Spring

Niagara-On-The-Lake in the Spring

Niagara On The Lake Walkabout

Niagara-On-The-Lake is one of our favourite walkabouts.  It is so pretty.  Buildings, flowers and people.  I like watching people and the downtown of Niagara on the Lake area particularly, is picturesque.  After loading our bikes up and driving to the bottom of the escarpment, we drove along the Niagara Parkway to the first parking lot accessing the bike path and parked.  We took off and after a few adjustments to Yvonne's brakes it was smooth sailing to this quaint little village. An easy ride of just a few miles.  The summer heat had not hit yet and it was quite pleasant.  You can see one of the photos below showing the blossoms on the Cherry Trees which bode well for a future of cherries and cherry pie. We do love pie.  After wandering around for a bit taking photos we stopped in and had some breakfast at the Sunset Grill.  Always a wonderful breakfast there. I’m of two minds on eating breakfast out.  I do love it but I could have it at home for pennies on the dollar and with my home made mango chutney and my favourite hot sauce.  Well, I guess eating out is not always about that; more the ambience and just the fact that you don’t have to cook.  

There is a little place in Niagara-On-The-Lake that I love. It is called Custom House Cigars.  That was our next stop.  One of many weaknesses.  He had a couple of Rocky Patels that I wanted to try.  His prices are pretty reasonable.  I get to shop at the cigar store at Rama: Cada del Humidor.  They don’t have a website but if you get up that way and you like cigars, it is worth the detour.  Yvonne and I took some more photos then went to the park and grabbed a bench and I got to smoke.  I chose a smaller cigar to smoke as we did have to bike back to the car and I couldn’t be forever.   I saved the Rocky Patels for later.  

Next stop with the Irish Design store.  About 9 years ago I purchased by far my favourite sweater, a Donegal Roll Neck.  I got it at the Irish Design Store in Niagara On the Lake.  

When we were in Niagara about 9 years ago, I saw the sweater in the store and fell in love with it but failed to purchase.  My thoughts were along the line of, “I’ll easily get it online.  Not so much.  I checked online, trade shows and could not find it in any stores in Canada.  

We lived in Calgary for years and I honestly could wear this sweater with a windbreaker at minus 20C.  BUT, as I wore it pretty much ALL the time, Calgary does get kinda chilly, I was due for another.  Yvonne had patched the elbows on my original one and repaired a few loose threads over time.  I was excited moving here because I knew I could some cool colours in this particular line.  

Alas, they were sold out and awaiting a shipment.  Being a few weeks before the main tourist season, this was not unexpected.  Staff are great there though and I left my email.  (Addendum: some weeks later - late June, I receive an email but again alas, I’m working in Calgary at the Stampede.  So, when I get home(after sleeping for three days), Yvonne and take a drive(her bike is in the shop getting the brakes fixed) down to have a look see. I have a couple of colours in mind and after digging through a couple of piles of Donegal Rollnecks and asking the clerks to check the basement for my size, I walked out of the store with exactly what I wanted.  So happy.  I like quality and I do like what I like.  This is one absolutely wonderful sweater.  It is pure wool and apparently will keep you warm even when wet.  No, it is not itchy at all.

If you come for the tulips, come early.  The season is short and it is early.  There are lots of them and they are out of this world wonderful.  And bring a proper camera.  Smart phones are OK but really won't do the flowers here justice. I don't know who takes care of the gardens here but they really do a fantastic job!

All roads lead to Niagara Falls. Everyone comes here eventually.  If you come to see the Falls, make sure that you take the time to see Niagara-On-The-Lake.  

If you check here periodically, we will have more photos and stories of our adventures in the area.


Posted by faffyrd007 in #martysroadtrip, flowers, niagara on the lake, 0 comments
Nickel Beach, Port Colborne in Winter

Nickel Beach, Port Colborne in Winter

That's Not Sand!

Went to Port Colborne for lunch and then a walk along the beach.  Yes, we know, it is winter!  The ice just out on the lake had built up about 10 feet in places from the waves smashing, then freezing higher and higher.  I managed to find a spot to walk out onto the ice hills and Yvonne took a few pics of me out there.  Always an adventure..

Posted by faffyrd007, 1 comment


I love paintings but don't have the patience or the time to properly learn how to apply paints to my photos.  I may someday.  I've been playing around with some software to get some cool watercolour effects.  (One oil in there as well.)  They are not paintings but it is fun nonetheless.  And with some software I found to add mattes and frames, I can get an idea what these would look like up on a wall.

Below I've listed a couple of apps and the software I've been using.


The two apps for ‘painterly’ effects are ‘Brushstroke’ and ‘Waterlogged’ – get those at the App Store.  The framing software is ImageFramer

Posted by faffyrd007 in #holland #martysroadtrip #woodedshoe #canal #boats, 0 comments
Niagara Falls in Winter

Niagara Falls in Winter

When it gets cold enough in Niagara Falls, the Falls freeze.  Well, they don’t freeze entirely, it has to be pretty damn cold for that to happen. And it has.  But recently it was cold enough for lots of ice to happen.  It was over the Christmas break 2017.  It was very cold and I was amazed/shocked at how many people were out braving the cold.  Likely because the Christmas break is the only time when some can get away with the children.  School and all.  Anyway, it was really cold; so taking photos wasn’t easy on the hands but the resulting photos made it so worth while.

This was all hand held.  Next time I’ll get some kind of gloves that allow me to handle my camera and bring a tripod.  That way I can catch some evening pics with the coloured lights on the ice.

No-one is doing the ‘under the falls’ walk!:

martin glyn jones
Above the Falls: 
marty's road trip

Long exposure without a tripod:

yvonne matheson

These really show the ice and snow:

gwen van kleef

Gwen Van Kleef

Martin Glyn Jones
Evening Lights at Niagara Falls: 
martin glyn jones photos
Cars lined up at the Falls: 

martin glyn jones

Posted by faffyrd007 in niagara falls; #niagarafalls; ice falls; #icefalls; #frozenfalls; water falls; #waterfalls;, 0 comments


More catch up. This one from Niagara-On-The-Lake.  We arrived in Ontario it was still Summer.  And it stayed that way well into October.  The colours came but the warm weather stayed.  We played tourist to a large extent when we first arrived.  One of the more picturesque places in the area is Niagara-on-the-lake.  
Instead of the classic pics of the horse drawn carriages and the architecture of the old buildings, we did some close ups of the flowers.  Niagara is nothing if not known for its flowers.  Oh yeah, and the wine…:) 
Later I’ll post some from the Botanical Gardens.  They are quite amazing.  It was very late in the year when we went there but still managed to see some roses.  Here are some close ups of the plants around some of the buildings …
niagara on the lakeclose up plantsred leavescolourful leaves and flowerscolourful leavescolourful leaves
Posted by faffyrd007 in #martysroadtrip; #niagaraonthelake; #ontario; #niagarafalls; #flowers;, 0 comments
Snowshoeing Niagara Botanical Gardens

Snowshoeing Niagara Botanical Gardens

Great bunch of snow from early this morning…wanted to get in a good hike/snowshoe while it was snowing and before the masses descended.  I figured most would wait until the snow at least stopped.  We went to Botanical Gardens because didn’t have to traverse any nasty roads – they are kinda scary today.  And we have an annual parking membership there.  Mostly overcast but the sun did try and sneak through early in the hike.  
Temperature was about perfect at about -3-4˚C.  This is great for winter hiking.  We have boots that are good for -20˚ to -40˚C and we wear a couple of layers on our legs. I wear long johns and Yvonne wears some snow pants.  As long as our feet aren’t cold we are good to go.

We were at the north end of the park and I saw movement but couldn’t nail it then a couple minutes later we saw a herd of about 30 white tail deer cross a small clearing in front of us.  They went in to the woods at the right and stood real still – I’m sure they thought that we couldn’t see them.  

Our obligatory hiking selfie:

martin glyn jones yvonne matheson
Some cones on the snow trees:
marty's road trip
martys road trip
Winter at the Botanical Gardens:
marty's road trip
martin glyn jones
Posted by faffyrd007 in #yvonneandmartin; #martysroadtrip; #snowshoeing; #snowshoe; #botanicalgardens;, 0 comments