Day 12, November 11, 2011. Short Hills to St Catharines.
After the challenging hikes we’ve had for the last while, today’s walk was an easy one. We took it as a sign that the Bruce Trail gods continue to shine upon us, because today I was walking with an injured ankle that I had twisted at home on Thursday. I did everything I could – I iced it, kept it raised, took Tylenol, I even had Dana do his expert magic with a tensor bandaid (thanks, Dana!), and I had my high-top hiking boots. But it felt tender, and I fully expected to have to cut our hike short, so our being able to walk 20 km. today was a lovely surprise!
We started in Short Hills Provincial Park, where the trail wound through the woods but stayed nice and level. It stayed on top of the ridge as we travelled through the beautiful Thorold area, with its calendar-perfect old mill at DeCew Falls. A full five kilometres of the day`s route led around Lake Moodie, on a gravel bike path built on top of a dike. I could have been in Holland, with the gray November sky and the water level so much higher than the surrounding fields. All of it easy hiking, and we covered our distance with ease despite my ankle. Our trek today passed through the campus of Brock University and ended in the streets of St. Catharines, on Glendale Avenue near the Pen Centre shopping mall.
As we always do, we talked as we walked (we’ve become great talkers!). Today was Remembrance Day, so at 11 am we talked about the story of my Uncle, oom Teun, who kept a diary during the last year of the war in Holland and recorded the experiences of his family of 9 children in The Hague and their struggle with hunger and cold and danger as they longed for the Allies to finally liberate them from German occupation.
Lunch was at DeCew House, now a stone foundation with a plaque that commemorates that this was where Laura Secord famously came to alert the British troops about the Americans` plans during the War of 1812. How about that, with the 200thanniversary of that war just around the corner.
It snowed in the afternoon, thus closing the seasonal circle around this year`s adventure which started with blossoms and trilliums in June in Lion`s Head, passed through the sweltering heat of summer, and basked in the fall colours and the ripe clusters of grapes on the vine.
And this post can’t end without a special shoutout to Gloria, who once again chauffered us from our end point to our car, who gave us 5 star B&B service at her gorgeous home in Vineland, and who set us on our way on Saturday. Thanks Gloria! magdalena