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Martin Goodman Waterfront Trail - End To End

Talk about a fun-filled February weekend, just like your cheap holidays to Spain a few years back. There was so much planned, but every activity was contingent to some degree on the weather. We were all at Mother Nature’s mercy, not knowing if the snow, the sleet, the rain or the sun would dominate. The Beechman had invited the Urban Sherpa Rolling Review up to his cottage for the weekend of frozen lake hiking and bush country snowshoeing, but when it came time to leave Toronto on Saturday morning, the winter winds were throwing the big snows across the 400 Hiway, so we opted for the Outdoor Adventure Show on Airport Road instead. Boston Mills Press, my publisher, had set up an Outdoor Library Booth at the show and tons of hikers dropped by, to say Hi. And by the time we wrapped up, we decided to wait out the bad driving weather until early Sunday morning, then drive to Dorset. But as we all came to realize, the weather was a total shambles Sunday morning. The snow had turned to falling ice and you know, if Yonge Street is slippery, north of 7 is out of the question.

So here’s what we did to make the silk purse. Dave Bradstreet has just bought a beautiful roomy forest green Range Rover All Terrain vehicle, originally made for some Saudi Arabian Sheik, who insisted on more leg room in the back, than his chauffeur in the front. We don’t use the Range Rover for our hiking expeditions very often, because my dog Rupert is too stinky to ride in it, but today we decided to do a 2-car hike of the Toronto Waterfront. We met at Ashbridges Bay on the eastern shore of the Beaches, left my car in the parking lot and then drove in Dave’s Range Rover west to the old Palais Royale Dance Hall and Sunnyside Beach in Etobicoke, and proceeded to walk the ten miles back to my car at Ashbridges Bay. What an adventure!

The Martin Goodman Trail started out as icy as a Rosedale matron’s glare, but by the time we had put the Argonaut Rowing Club and Marilyn Bell Park behind us, it started to melt. And once past the CNE and Ontario Place, the cold had softened considerably. We stopped at the Second Cup for lattes at Harborfront then, upon arrival at Cherry Beach, Spring in all her glory had dropped in to say hello. The sun was smiling down on us and the crocus flowers were seriously considering putting in an early spring appearance. From -5’C to +9’C in 3 short hours. We were stripped down to our t-shirts when we arrived back in Ashbridges, suitably exhausted from our 10-miler, jumped into my car and drove home, tired and happy after living through an excellent hike.

An hour or so later after lunch, back home in the shelter of my Summerhill Hideout, I got a phone call from Dave Bradstreet. His wonderful wife Brenda was wondering where their beautiful Range Rover had gone. It seems in all our spring weather hiking excitement, we had forgotten to go back to the Palais Royal parking lot to pick up the Sheik’s limo. It’s a time like this, that the immortal words of Rossie Gross’s mom Elsie, always come flooding back to me. Elsie would always say, “Mike if you can‘t remember... forget it!”

What a weekend, what an adventure, what a life!

For further information about some exotic locations such as the Florida Everglades, Algonquin Park, the Temagami Old Growth Forest, The Gatineau, Basecamp Everest in Nepal - to name a few, eMail HIKER MIKE and he will send you a custom hike for your destination. See his book from Boston Mills Press for more hikes.

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