This space has been quiet the past 3 weeks as we contemplated our disappointment from the Leamington trip in May.
We needed some time to consider how – and even if – we were going to continue this journey across the Trans-Canada Trail.
My thoughts kept taking me back to one of our key objectives. It’s what Helen called exploring the *underbelly* of our country.
Whether we were on the Bruce Trail, the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail, or now on the Trans-Canada, one of our greatest pleasures has been in the simple discoveries we’ve made along the way … the tiny communities and the small country roads where we wouldn’t otherwise have a reason to be.
When I looked back on our Leamington trip and the photos I had taken, there were just so many interesting and unexpected things we saw.
Like the US flag flying proudly along the Tecumseh Parkway. I came to a screeching halt thinking ‘what the hell?’
If I had known my history better, I wouldn’t have been surprised.
It marks a historic battlefield during our only armed conflict with the US during the War of 1812.
This marker was at Drake’s Farm where the British army – with a First Nations army under the leadership of famous Native Chief, Tecumseh – was under retreat from the American army.
An astute American observer may note that the flag has only 15 stars – representing the US flag from 1812. We had to read the historic plaque to learn that interesting detail.
Or discovering the small French communities of Grande Pointe and Pain Court. I had no idea there was such a significant French population in this part of the province.
Both communities can trace their origins to the late 1700s when the first French settlers arrived from the Detroit area – and since then these communities have incredibly retained their French language and heritage.
Eventually I came to ask myself the question, does it really matter if we’re travelling by bicycle, on foot, or in a car? We would still feel the same spirit of discovery while experiencing this vast country of our’s.
When I shared my thoughts with Helen, I wasn’t surprised to hear that she felt the same way.
Last week I was telling a new acquaintance about our goal to journey across the Trans-Canada Trail. She literally scoffed.
“You’ll never finish”, she declared.
To be so abruptly dismissed by someone who barely knew me rocked me back quite a bit. Upon reflection however, I’ve come to realize that this was a true cliché moment.
It’s not about the ultimate destination. This really is about the journey.
… and we are now ready to continue on it.