Saturday, November 14, 2020

A week of Hiking, biking and migratory birds

Fall is starting to wind down at the Bayfield Mews. A couple of weeks ago there was still some nice colour here:


Just over a week ago we rode another section of the G2G trail (G2G link) and the colours were mostly gone. Except for the winds it was still a pleasant ride though.

We wanted to complete the section between Milverton and Millbank, and decided to start in Millbank this time, heading west to the Milverton detour where we left off last time:

The parking area in Millbank, just behind Anna Maes's

Alas, Anna Mae's restaurtant was too busy for us today

This will likely be our last G2G trail ride this year. The bikes are cleaned and hung up in the garage for the winter (sigh!).

This past Monday, thanks to Al's Bayfield Bunch post, we had a pleasant 3km walk on a trail right in Goderich that we didn't know about.

It was quite windy one day when we walked to the Lake Huron shore from home:

A few days ago we were on our way somewhere, and noticed large groups of white birds gathered in some fields. We assumed they were seagulls, but the last group were migrating swans, visible with binoculars but too far away for our cell phone cameras.

So yesterday we got up and about a bit earlier than usual and headed south of Grand Bend to where we had seen large groups of migrating swans in the spring. We didn't expect to find swans exactly where they are in the spring, since that's just a large area of field that floods in the spring, but thought maybe we'd see some along the way.

Not far from the spring viewing  area (which is on Greenway Road, right behind the Lambton Museum off Hwy 21) we did find quite a few migrating swans feeding and resting in harvested fields.

Cathie recently finished a large rug hooking piece she was inspired to do. It's 58x29 inches, the largest she has done:

It will be hung on the wall once the binding is completed.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Stops Along the Way tour

Today was another lovely fall day, better than the forecast (until the rains came about suppertime anyway). Instead of a bike ride though, we went for a loop drive in the surrounding countryside.

A neighbour had  given us a copy of one of those free tourist info handouts, this one with a Fall Colour Tour outlined. We've been on many if not most of the roads, but found an area we hadn't been so headed out that way, a bit northeast from Bayfield. If you'd like to see the drive and info, click on This Link to the StopsAlongTheWay web site. 

We hit highlights like Maitland Block, Little Lakes Road, River Line, Sharpes Creek Line. Quite a bit of gravel road but well graded. The scenery mostly speaks for itself:

Lots of corn harvesting today


One of the stops along the way is at Ball's Bridge on Little Lakes Road. Built in 1885 this bridge was a major crossing point of the Maitland River until 1989. It was rescued from demolition and reopened for light traffic in 2007.

A nice little picnic and selfie spot with a view of the bridge

Just northeast of Auburn we stumbled across a herd of longhorn cattle. Not Texas longhorns, but unusual these days around here:


I'd bet the local coyotes give this herd a wide berth.

Despite their fierce appearance they were quite wary of us, and soon moseyed over a nearby hill once I got out of the car. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

G2G Trail ride - Monkton to Milverton

Our starting point today

Today we headed to Monkton (Ontario) to ride our next section of the Goderich-To-Guelph multiuse trail (G2G link) to Milverton. This section is about 12 km one way, so about 25 return for us (a bit over 30 with the detour). It was a pretty fall day, kinda cool but we needed to take advantage of the day. The bike ride is also a good excuse for a drive in the country from Bayfield to Monkton. Lots of good colour today in places. 


Monkton has a grain-handling depot right in town, common for towns in this rural area. 

Grain gets pumped into the hoppers, and later transferred to large trucks

Today some corn was being deposited for later transfer

The Trail showed some fall colours, as well as views of surrounding countryside:

Little House on the Prairie

A Turkey Vulture checked us for signs of life. We're not ready yet guy!



Several fields had good-looking hay crops, much more luxuriant than we've been used to seeing when we lived in Grey County, especially for this time of year:

The last G2G sign before getting into Milverton, only 58 km to Guelph now. We'll not likely make it all the way this year:


Coming into Milverton we encountered a detour sign. We knew there was a detour here, but didn't realize it was 4 km to get around a bridge outage. That's the red V on the trail map shown earlier in this post:

After a bite of lunch and riding partway around the detour, we decided to turn back for the day. Because of the detour tour we had covered about 15 km so far today, and were ready to head back.

On the way back we met Doris, a solo rider also on her way to Monkton with her bike, loaded with camping gear:

Doris had left from Monkton yesterday and ridden the Trail easterly to West Montrose, home of a famed covered bridge, where she tent-camped for the night in some rain. That was about a 60 km day for her yesterday, and the same back from West Montrose today. Likely a bit further, since she says she kept getting lost on the detours.

Doris is an experienced cyclist, having often ridden 80-100 km in a day in bygone years, without camping gear. She said she doesn't do that now, as she's not 80 any more - Doris is 81 years young!

She did admit that she found the last mile back to Monkton pretty tough today, as a partial headwind had picked up.


Farmers were hard at work on the fields today:

Sprayer at work

Combining corn

End of the row

Heading back to dump the full hopper