Monday, December 29, 2008

elder trails

A friend sends these meditations to our e-mail, this one seemed good to share here:

Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 25.'08

"When you see a new trail, or a footprint that you do not know, follow it to the point of knowing."
--Grandmother of Charles Eastman, SANTEE SIOUX

We never gain new knowledge or new experience unless we are willing to take risks. It's good to be curious. Also, it pays to be cautious. Walk in balance. The path of the Warrior is filled with opportunities to seek new knowledge. As we travel down the Red Road, we will run into trails of opportunity. Down each of these trails are experiences from which we will learn. Experience plus action is the beginning of knowledge."

Great Spirit, help me to make good choices in choosing only the trails You would have me take.

Friday, December 12, 2008

walking ways to Dundas

A Bus and Hike
by Randy Kay

A recent issue of the local Bruce Trail Association newsletter featured an article about local activist Richard Reble's plea for Bruce Trail hikers to consider the impact of their driving on the environment:

“Richard has concluded that the consumption of a precious fuel supply and the emission of greenhouse gases arising from our hike-related activity is not balanced by other measures we might employ in our daily lives”

As a result Richard is altering his hikes (he's an exuberant hike leader for the club) in order to stay local as much as possible, do “loop hikes,” and provide opportunities for car pooling.

OPIRG's Transportation for Liveable Communities (TLC) has been promoting local Bus and Hikes for a few years now, providing a volunteer guide to take people on a bus to hike to local waterfalls like Websters Falls in Dundas, and Sherman Falls in Ancaster.

It's one of the cool things about Hamilton, the proximity to nature, and much of it within easy striking distance by bicycle or a short bus ride. In fact, a car becomes a liability in some respects (parking fees, thefts) making transit a viable alternative.

View Larger Map

So in the interests of expanding car-free options for hikers, click on the interactive map of a four-hour hike (pictured above) from Dundurn Street South (on the #6 Aberdeen bus route) to Dundas Valley, ending at the Pirie/Governor's bus stop (route #52).

I did this hike solo, on a weekday afternoon; this hike is a good workout, lots of hills and some tricky footing in places, but the payoffs are many. You will encounter several waterfalls including the magnificent Sherman Falls, take in grand views of Hamilton from the mountain crest, and you are likely to see wildlife, and not a lot of humans.

As Colin Fletcher, author of “The Compete Walker IV,” has noted " an altogether positive and delectable addiction." To feed the need, take a tour of the route on google earth, if you dare, or better yet, take a hike the next nice day (at your own risk, of course).

There are plenty more bus and hike adventures, so watch for more suggestions (and send your own) in the future!

Check out tlc on the web at, or Randy's site.

OPIRG McMaster's volunteer coordinator Randy Kay has a bad knee, but a good sense of direction, with memberships at the Bruce Trail Association, and the Hamilton Conservation Authority, which pretty much covers the area's best footpaths. He is a volunteer with OPIRG's TLC working group.

[this article reprinted from the OPIRG McMaster newsletter and the web site, with permission]