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Travel Blog 6

It was time to walk again. I came to that place near one end of the RBG and began to follow along with the Great Trail. It was a beautiful day an I was determined to enjoy myself. This trip continues straight from travel blog 5 and I planned on another 1-hour hike.

I started out in good spirits, ready for adventure, but wondering why the path included so many streets. Surely, it should have more hiking trails?

Don’t get me wrong – the path was pretty enough. Just not a trail. I did see all sorts of cool things, though, like this lovely hidden house.

My daughter commented that my travel blogs are a bit on the funny side, being close to home, involving 2-3 km at a time an having very local objects. Well, this is one of the reasons I’m on this journey. That’s how I want to see Canada. (Also, yay! My daughter reads my travel blogs!)

The flowers on the fence let me know that once again, I was passing a cemetery – this time on the outside.

Luckily, I do enjoy a good walk through the streets. I like weird urban things too sometimes, like walking tunnels, graffiti and all.

After this I came to a gorgeous little spot by the water. Yay, swans! It was like a mini-park.

So, I was having fun with the pretty trail, and did not want to go back to the big road at the end of this path here. It seemed that I could follow the railroad for a while an then connect to where I was going quickly enough. I was so wrong, though! After a half-hour or so of wandering the railroad an not having a way off, I clambered back on to the street and went home. I am not counting that part – we’re just going to pretend it never happened.

Another piece accomplished! Yay! This marks 22 km of the journey.

Click here to see the actual blog with pictures and maps. (Really, do click. What’s an extra click going to hurt?)

Trip 6 Blog


Travel Blog 5

One day, when it was still sunny and there was no rain and snow, I took the bus to Aldershot go station. That’s where I had walked to last time I wanted to fill in the Burlington/Hamilton piece. This time, I decided to hike for exactly 1 hour and then get back on a bus. This proved very effective. Here is my starting point, right where I left off before catching the bus to Burlington.

This worked like a charm and I saw some really pretty things.

Here is my starting point. It’s the same point I ended off travel blog 2 at.

Although I was walking along a road I thought it was quite pretty. I noticed lovely signs here and there showing me I was going the right way. Given how easily I get lost, they are always reassuring.

The road wound along until it turned, and the turn wasn’t bad either – but I was getting bored and there was a lot of near the road walking.

So when the biking trail I was matching turned into the nearby cemetery, so did I. I’m glad I did. Cemeteries can be really interesting, and this one was different than those I’d seen which had been mostly Jewish. I had never seen one with all these very bright little bouquets in rows.

I really enjoyed this part and enjoyed the company of other walkers and bikers and, oddly, ducks. It seems that this particular graveyard is a very comfortable place for ducks. I saw many of them, and with the other hikers, stopped often to let them cross the path.

When I had passed the ducks and cemetery, I found myself back on the road again, which was mildly disappointing except for these neat art shops. I didn’t go in, but I did window-shop, and one day, I’m coming back!

Finally, my trip was done. I was near the RBG, and excited to see where my next walk would take. 20 km, and counting!

Link with pictures:

Trip 5 Blog

Travel Blog 4

Back in August, I did a few smaller hikes. Little did I realize that the problem would be, not the walking but the recording. I refuse to give up though. Somehow, I will find the time for both despite a busy schedule. I have a country to cross! In this particular hike, I left work and hiked for half my lunch hour in one direction. Then I walked back. Small – but I did it.

You might notice this from the time I walked to Hamilton. This is where I started. This time, I went the other way, choosing the quiet Burlington streets towards Toronto. I had hoped to walk along the water, but that wasn’t a thing. So I turned to the streets.

I really appreciated the city-hike nature of this little adventure. While it wasn’t exactly woodsy, after the “ahem – route verte” of Montreal, pretty streets covered in greenery and nice houses were a real joy to walk by.

It was obvious this was the abode of the wealthy. Some of those lawns… let’s just say I’m glad I never had to mow them. I loved the hanging baskets. How very thoughtful of you, Burlington. Although this wasn’t a long hike, it was part of my journey and so I noticed where I was when I ended. Some day, I’ll get back to that self-same spot.

Now at 17 km. Yay, me!

Click on link for real blog with pictures…

Trip 4 Blog




Walking Across Canada 2

I did a second walk – I realize I need to speed up, but it’s been busy. I was very sad when I didn’t go on a hike on July 8th. I’m like – OK, never going to make this goal. But then, on July 10th, I discovered an amazing thing. The Great Trail passes by my house and by my work. So, I figured I’d take a day and after work, I’d walk home. Google said it was 3 hours. I could do that! I packed with care. Water bottle. Sun hat. Baby powder for those places that (sadly) chafe if you’re a bit heavy set. A positive attitude. My cell phone.

I was ready! I think I did a good job. I didn’t go in quite the right direction (I ended up following the Burlington beach instead of turning) and I’m slow and made it to Aldershot only, but I did the walk. And Josh was pretty much with me again, because we had this huge talk about motivation, so yay! I walked 5 more km. That’s a total of 8 km across Canada. This will *totally* happen (some time over the next 600 years.)

I hope to walk through Montreal with Josh again tomorrow, August 6th, by the way. Meet us at 12 or so at Berri-Uqam if you would like to join.

What was the trip through Burlington and beyond like? Good question! None of this is wilderness hiking, but the paths are pretty and even the bits along roads are nice.

Once again, here is a lovely link for all the pictures and maps of where I am.

Travel Blog – Trip 2

Walking Across Canada

This is it. My second of 6 life goals. (I’ve decided my life will include 6 additional major projects, now that my big ones – to raise a family and become a full time teacher – are getting into place.) So, here it goes. I’m going to walk across Canada. Yes, I know it’s a bit big. It may take me a while. (at my current pace, it will take me 200 years, so I might need to speed up, but hey…) Still, I intend to do it. One step at a time, one bit at a time. At the beginning of June, I took my first steps. This blog is about that.

Does this still fit with Anna’s Jewish thoughts? I think it does. I’m Anna, I’m Jewish, and these are my thoughts about Canada – a truly gorgeous country that I happen to live in. I’m sure Jewish values include taking care of body and soul, and should I encounter anything quintessentially Jewish, I’ll mention that. Besides, I’m too lazy to do a second blog. I will aim for one of these posts a month at least, describing my journey so far.

I intend to bus to places, walk and bus home for as long as that gets parts of the trail walked. I then intend to visit people for weekends and walk the trail near them for as long as that keeps being useful. Then, I’ll start planning summer and winter vacations accordingly, assuming it fits into our family structure (but the kids are getting bigger and spending time at sleepaway camps, so I totally think it will be possible). I know it is a massive, near impossible undertaking, but hey – you should see my other life projects. This one will be fun.

About a month ago, I took my first steps on The Great Trail, which spans Canada. The Great Trail maps are from the Great Trail site, an amazing site if you ask me. If you ever don’t know what to get me for a gift, it’s one of the places you could donate to (that and Autism Dog Services for our Archer) that would make me smile. I only walked 3 km on the trail (we walked more that day, but only 3 on the trail) and it was lovely to do so. Next weekend, on July 6th, at about 8:00 am (it has to be early because of the heat), I’m doing my next piece, from behind my house to the Dundas valley conservation area. Want to walk with me? You’re invited.

See the link below for day 1 and pictures – the full blog is there, but it’s easier for me to format elsewhere.

Travel Blog – Trip 1

Av 4

This is the time of consolation, Tisha B’Av being over and the hefty work of Elul teshuva not yet in full swing (although, of course, you do teshuva all the time, right? I’ll try to be more like that in the future.) It’s also the time when we’re coming home from vacations. It’s been an amazing time of relaxation, of change, of opening up, of expansiveness. That is how I need to find consolation this year. For our vacation, we went camping in the Maritimes. We jumped through ocean waves and walked the ocean floor, hiked through trees, picked wild berries, ate meals overlooking gorgeous vistas of rock and water, saw bears and blue jays, hermit crabs and seals. It was a fantastic, incredible experience, and I loved every minute.

The people were incredible. We made random friends playing in the park and washing dishes. We saw bits of history that made Canada more real and more homey and more funny and more cute. I was connected to my last year of work – and to my childhood memories through forts and historic homes, The interpreters (facilitators? animators? Gosh, I like language in Canada) were interesting and funny and informative.

And God, God was just there. In the waves and vistas, in the berries and fresh local PEI fries (incredible,) in the trees and rocks and water (yay, Canada,) in the bears and hermit crabs, the interpreters and the memories. Each touch, each taste and smell and sight and sound was a little bit of ‘it’s OK.’ There may be things I don’t like in my life and things I feel I can’t handle, there may be challenges and crazy questions, decisions and changes, too much work and too much alone time, too many people and too many responsibilities – but there are also wild blueberries.

A world that has the sun rising over the trees in the morning, that has waves coming up on shore and tiny salamanders – that world is enough. There is enough beauty there to counteract the ugliness of paperwork and broken furniture at work. There is enough stability and continuity to counteract the change that sweeps through my life. There are enough gifts of pure joy to counteract the sneaking suspicion that God gets a kick out of laughing at my trials and tribulations. There is enough in the ocean and the history and the forest and the rocks to say, ‘wow, my problems are tiny.’ This world is fantastic, and I am so, so, so very lucky to have a few short moments now and then in which to enjoy it.

This Av, the world is my consolation, and I will hold the trees and the jays, the bears and the snails, the history and the salamanders in my heart to see me through the challenges of the coming year.