The Camino Frances

The Camino Frances

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cottage Camino - Pickering to Westney Road and Concession 9

May 26 - Fortified by a sleep in our own beds, Dave drove us to Bayley and Church street in Ajax, a few kms from where we finished yesterday. Our goal was to follow Duffin's Creek, through parks and Conservation Areas, north to Uxbridge. But the maps were inadequate, and when we used the  GPS, the Trans Canada trail  (TCT) kept appearing and disappearing  on the screen.

Here is the map we were trying to use.

We entered a park, called Major Spink Area, with the TCT designation, but soon had to backtrack. Next, through a hydro field path, then east to Westney Road. We walked some distance through the Greenwood Conservation area, ending at Pickering village museum

There we ate our lunch, at a picnic bench, and the helpful staff tried to find out the route of the TCT, as we were to follow Paddock road, and the paving of 407 cut it off just north of there.
With no clear path, we decided to walk over the 407 on Westney road, which had signs up saying it was closed to through traffic. Were we local traffic, or were we through traffic? We decided on local, and walked over the bridge.

We connected with the trail again as it goes through the Claremont Field Center, run by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
but we couldn't find the trail markings through the center, so we were back on the road again.

We ended for the day at Concession 9, and Dave picked us up and returned us once again to our own beds.
The highlights of the day for me were the many rabbits we saw on the trail, the beautiful wildflowers, and the camraderie of our fellow pilgrims. Frustrations: trying to find and follow the TCT!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cottage Camino- Scarborough to Pickering

I had mused about walking from Toronto to my cottage in Fenelon Falls many times with my grandson Cy, but when I mentioned it to my hiking friends Lise and Pat, they said " Let's do it!"
So, from May 25 to 29, we walked from Toronto to the cottage, except for one 20 km stretch which we walked on July 19.

It was a very hot week in May: around 30 at the hottest time, midday. The temperature prevented us from doing the whole distance, as we had to stop when the heat was too much for us. The section we postponed was along the Trans Canada Trail, which is flat, straight, and not shaded.

We began our hike from Pat's home at Kingston Road near Warden. The path along the
 Waterfront Trail 
was familiar to us, as we have hiked it many times before.

Pat B (her picture) Lise, Lynne, Darlene and Ada

 Ada and Lynne joined us for the day, so the 5 of us set out, along the trail and Kingston road, stopping for a short break at Peggy's, as we knew that the washrooms were few and far between once we went down to the beach via theDoris McCarthy Trail at Brimley

Once we arrived at Guildwood, we climbed up, walked through Guildwood Park
and back along roads to East Point Park with great (closed) facilities, where we ate lunch. Then down to the water again, through Stevenson Swamp and Lower Highland Creek Park

 We passed the Rouge Hill Go station, then the lovely waterfront at Rough Beach Park,
with wetlands, and a boardwalk,
Image result for rouge park beach images
 and picnic tables for another snack. We crossed the river via an interesting bridge, then we were in Pickering - finally out of Toronto!

We walked through Petticoat Creek Conservation Area,
 Petticoat Creek Conservation Area
 then up the west side of Frenchman's Bay. We had hoped to go down the other side to Duffin's Creek and eventually follow it all the way to Uxbridge, but by the time we hit the north side of the Bay, we were done. 30 kms, and there was the Pickering Go Station. We caught the next train back to Danforth, and from the train we were able to see quite a bit of the trail. We walked from 8 am to around 2 pm, to get to Pickering,  and it took us 20 minutes on the train to return.
Back home, rest up, and off again tomorrow.