Sunday, February 8, 2009

Climing Up the Mountain at Craigleith

I had a perfect weekend. I just don’t know why it had to go so quickly, but I guess that is to be expected. When you are having fun time flies.

Friday after work I headed up to spend the weekend with my dear friends Barb and John. Several weeks ago we had planned a weekend to snowshoe up the Blue Mountain with our friends Harry and Lillian. The weather couldn’t have been better and all our plans just fell in place for our day.

So the starting point for our wonderful adventure was a trout breakfast that John cooked for us all. Great way to start the day, watching someone cook a whole fish (he neatly trimmed the head and tail off before cooking.)Harry, Barb, Lillian and Leslie ready for the Climb

The main event of the day was snow shoeing up the Blue Mountain at Craigleith. Firstly, for those from BC who are reading this blog – it is part of the Niagara Escarpment and not a mountain, but is the closest that we have to a mountain in Ontario. People here ski down this hill but you would laugh at them if you are from BC. No matter.

It is a good climb up the hill with snowshoes on. We walked over to the southern most area of Craigleith Ski Club and found the pHarry and Barb at the Summitath up to the top of the mountain. Donning our shoe shoes we set off for the top peak with the utmost of confidence that it would be an easy climb.

I am not sure of the distance from the bottom to the top, but I would guess it took us at least 45 minutes if not an hour to get to the top. The incline varies from about 30 degrees to at the odd points more like 45 degrees straight up. Not being the fittest of climbers we had to stop to catch a breath at frequent intervals. We lost one of our party, who turned back after about 15 minutes for easier terrain. The second loss was for the opposite reason. Lillian scooted off ahead, on her own, as she was by far the fittest of the lot and we didn’t want to hold her up – she had a massage appointment in 2 hours anBarb and I with a great view in the backgroundd didn’t want to be late.

So the 3 of us who remained soldiered on at a steady pace. We three frequently had to step aside as fitter folk whizzed by us sort of running up the hill on their shoe shoes. I can only guess that those people did this climb frequently enough to be much fitter than we were.

As we got to the crest of the hill, huffing and puffing, with much difficulty, trying to catch our breath, the feeling of triumph prevailed as we each felt the pleasure of having completed the hardest part of a challenge.

The climb was worth it with the most incredible views of Georgian Bay from the top fGreat View down the Hillor our eyes to feast upon. It was very windy at the top and one could hardly hear our voices above the din at the summit of the climb.

We then walked across the top over to the switchback snowshoe trail for the descent down the hill. As we went across the top of the hill we passed several ski lifts dropping off their passengers all eager for their fast run down.

The views at these points were the best as the tree cover was minimal. My friends and I made plans to come back to the top oYes, it was as busy as a Saturday on Yonge St.f the crest for a picnic next summer. It would be wonderful to sit, eat and drink on a hot summer day and take in the wonderful view.

The descent was much easier and quicker. There were a great many people coming up the switchback trail and at one point Harry remarked that it reminded him of Yonge Street. We laughed because he was right. Everyone was out – it was such a wonderful day.

After we finished our climb we decided to go to the Mill at Thornbury for a bowl of soup while we killed some time waiting to go to the Oyster Shucking Party. Barb’s husband John plays in a hobby band – Frankie and the Favourites - and they had been hired to play at the party at the clubhouse that night. Harry and Lillian are members so they were able to get us all tickets.

We had the most wonderful Roasted Garlic soup at the Mill and after a drink and chat and a few more stops along the way we set out for the party at the Craigleith Ski Club. The night was great and we danced, ate and drank the night away. We had, as a bold faced act, brought in a few bottles of wine and after one of our party bought a bottle from the bar (and thus acquired 6 wine glasses) the bottles were placed on the table, one by one as if we had purchased them at the bar. We proceeded to drink freely from the bottles we had spirited into the clubhouse. Given it was a private club, we were sure that it would be just fine. And it was.

After the night was over, John, Barb and I headed back to “Gopher Broke Farm” and watched a movie I brought up – . It was an early night for everyone as our day outside was for sure the best sleeping pill we could have had. (The copious amounts of wine which we had drank also didn’t hurt) .., J

And this morning continued on a relaxing and easy going theme. Trout and hot pepper jack cheese omelet for breakfast and great coffee and conversation. Left Barb and John’s about noon and stopped on my way back to visit with my friend T. Home and some time for domestic chores – laundry, vacuuming and general cleaning.

This evening I went out for coffee and cake with new friend of mine. It is nice to make new friends. Going through the “get to know you” phase and so always interesting to hear new thoughts and ideas. We went to a pastry shop on the Danforth. The cake was quite tasty and we both agreed that the café au lait was better than we would have gotten at Starbucks.

Lots of great times this weekend. Hmmm, a bit less than happy about back to work tomorrow. Such is life. Another great weekend in just 5 more days.

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