Taking It Outdoors

With nothing but bad news circulating around the world on the COVID19 situation, what better place is there to be than alone on a trail with a good friend, away from all the worries and noise?

That’s exactly what Deb (Widow Badass) and I did this past week.

Deb and I have been hiking quite regularly since she retired at the end of last year. Before you think that we actually live close to one another, I should mention that given the ugly nature of Toronto area traffic, we’re usually at least 90 minutes to a 2-hour drive away from each other.

Whenever possible, we attempt to find hiking spots somewhere in the middle.

As you can see from all the green space on the map, we have a lot of hiking potential between us.

This week we were off to Alton, a small community northwest of Toronto. Neither of us were familiar with the trails in this area, but the Alton Mills Art Centre was a secondary draw.

The stillness of Shaw’s Creek, before it thunders over the dam.

It was a damp-cold day and the trail was icy as Cruella’s heart, but these weekly meetups are an excuse to get outdoors and share a few giggles.

The trail didn’t lend itself to taking many photos – it was simply too icy, and the bulk of my attention was spent trying to preserve dignity … and all limbs intact.

Going up was infinitely easier than coming down.

I did discover that the 280+km Grand Valley Trail terminates in Alton, on the Pinnacle, so I’ve made a mental note to explore some of this trail system in the future.

In the meantime, I was so preoccupied with the steep decline we would have to navigate, it never occurred to me to actually take a photo from the top of the Pinnacle. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you what the view looked like.

Once we reached the safety of our cars again, we agreed that we had invested a respectable amount of time on the trail and then turned our attention to exploring the art centre. It is the studio home for several local artists and we soaked up some creative inspiration while we were there.

One of several statues outside the art centre.

Final verdict?

The day was a success, of course.


  1. Hi Joanne, I wondered how close you and Deb lived from each other. And, yes, on the challenging Toronto traffic. Your hikes always sound great for physical and mental health. I think our mental health is very important to our spirit right now.

    Our weather has been VERY cold with winds about 90km the past few days. Very clear, blue skies. Also, good for the spirit. A good friend……excellent for the soul!


  2. Your choice of trail looks pretty in its own wintry way. I like how you decide where to hike, compromise is great. As are your photos. At least one can be socially distant while being together when traipsing around outside.


    • Thanks Ally. I needed that bit of affirmation today after getting pelted from a couple of friends today about being socially irresponsible since I continue to go outdoors to walk/hike.

      It’s only day 4 since Toronto ‘shutdown’ and I am already grouchy.


  3. What a great day. Thanks for sharing. It looks cold, for sure, but I’m glad you two have the spirit required to go on such an adventure. I always enjoy the stories.


  4. Ooh, but that looks cold! I’d be tempted to stay in the art centre, but I am glad you didn’t otherwise I would never have seen that beautiful image of the trees and their shadows: what a gorgeous shot!


    • Thanks Jude. I was really happy with that shot. Glad you liked it too ๐Ÿ™‚

      It doesn’t just look cold. I admit I found it quite chilly, but I don’t think I was dressed properly for the damp.


  5. Whoa! I did not know The Pinnacle was the terminus of the Grand Valley Trail System! It WAS another great little hike and exploration, full of giggles๐Ÿ˜œ. Arenโ€™t we lucky there are so many great places to explore midway between our respective homes?



Comments are welcome and always appreciated!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s