Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Bike Ride 12, 8.5 km Evening Ride Along Waterfront and into Memory

I had such a lovely bike ride this evening!
It was so hot today, with the humidity, so I waited until just before sunset and put my bike in my truck and drove to the waterfront trail.  It was still 90 F when I set out, but much cooler than it had been all day.

This is the route I took; I started at the green sign, and turned around and went back at the blue sign.

My bike and my truck
 I parked at the far end of the mall parking lot, near the waterfront portion of the hub trail (above).

Tall Ship
 I rode along the trail until I was across from the Bondar Marina. I was soooo happy that the Tall Ship I saw yesterday was still there!  Isn't it beautiful?
Sunset over International Bridge connecting twin Soo's
 The sun was just starting to set and the clouds were dancing across the sky.
 The patio was full of patrons, stopping to get a meal or refreshing drink.  Something, I don't know what, smelled amazing. One of these days I'll have to stop there. I used to stop there for drinks, years ago, with Annie (my miniature poodle).
My Townie and Tall Ships

 The Tall Ship was made from a dark  wood that absolutely glowed; I wonder if it was waxed? 
 Everyone was taking photos of the breathtaking ship, and the sunset.  Mother nature put on quite a show this evening.
 For ten dollars, I could have toured the ship, but I didn't want to leave my bike unattended.  I have a lock but it's still so new that I feel weird about leaving it; especially since it cost so much that I could never replace it if it is stolen.
Tall Ship
 The ship is called The El Galeon, and it's on facebook, lol. It is a replica of a 16th century merchant vessel. 
 The cannons were cool! I sat there for awhile, lost in a fantasy of traveling back in time to when these ships actually plied the oceans, and depended on cannons to defend them from pirates.
 There is no way that I'd EVER climb up that rigging.  I'm terrified of heights.  I can just imagine how terrifying it would be to have to take in or let out sails in rough seas. 

 I'm not sure, but I think that's a photo of the Virgin Mary, or some other saint on the back of the ship.
 As I pedaled away, I turned for another look and had to take one more photo of the striking ship, silhouetted by the sunset.
 All of the other boats seemed so tiny in comparison to the tall ship.

 The sun glinted off of the city hall, which was built specifically to reflect the sunlight in this manner.

 Further along the path, ducks were swimming into the spray from a fountain. Lucky ducks!  I was drinking copious amounts of water and gatorade but I was sweating faster than I could drink; it was so hot and humid.

 I had to get a shot of the moon rising over this billboard, which says, "There is a little wolf in all of us."  Too bad it wasn't a full moon, lol.
 I passed the Bushplane Museum.  My brother worked there, ages ago.  I've still never been inside. I'll have to play tourist one day soon and visit all of the local museums. I haven't been to the main museum or the Old Stone House in years, and I always loved visiting in the past.

 This rusted old ship, the Yankcanuck, is docked at Purvis Marine, next to the Bushplane Museum. She was built in 1963 and spent most of her life shuttling steel supplies between the Algoma Steel here in the Sault, and Detroit.  She also went to the arctic a few times, and supplied Northern communities, before going back to work for the steel plant. She was a working ship until 2008 but is currently laid up.  I feel sorry for her but I guess even ships deserve to rest and retire.

Seaplanes docked outside of Bushplane Museum.

 I have no idea why someone painted one eye, complete with eyebrow, here, lol.
 The seagulls in this area were going mad, swooping and diving and calling to one another.  They seemed to be getting ready to settle in for the night. Of course by the time I got my camera out again, they were all gone from view, lol.
 The sunset was glorious tonight. 

 The bike path was lighted nicely so I felt completely safe...until I decided to turn on my bike lights and reflectors.

They worked great, but they have a MAJOR downside.  They attract moths!  Many moths. HUGE moths.  I discovered the problem within seconds of turning my lights on.  Something with big wings flew into my neck, freaking me out, almost making me ride directly off the path and into the water...all by accident, of course. I automatically swatted the winged creature away, praying it wasn't a bird or bat (I didn't want to hurt a bird, or be hurt by a bat). I'm not great with balance and taking one hand off the handlebars in order to swat at myself like a mad woman caused my bike to veer off the path, toward the water.  Luckily, I had the presence of mind to step off the pedal and use my foot as an impromptu break. I'm assuming the first creature was a moth, although I can't really be sure, because as I sat there, stunned, I was BOMBARDED by moths.  Yes, I know they're attracted to light, and my bike with it's 3 front lights and two reflectors was lit up like a beacon...but still!  It is NOT nice to be attacked by moths. Especially big ones.  I don't generally mind moths; I think they're cool and some are very pretty...but it is awful to have them fly at my face like crazed kamikazes.

 I decided I'd better relax and collect myself, so I  went back to where the path juts out into the water the furthest, sat here, behind the old hospitals, feeling nostalgic for all for all of the times I sat here with my dog Mac in the past. 

We used to live nearby and this was part of our evening walk for years.  There were no park benches then, and no pretty lights, and the waterfront trail didn't come this far when i lived there. I used to walk along a dirt path, and then cut through a parkinglot to get here.  I'd sit on a big curb with Mac next to me and we'd watch the sun go down.  He used to sit leaning against me with his head on my shoulder, or right beside me, with his paw on my leg or arm, lol.  He was such an affectionate dog.  I miss him.

Behind the old Soo hospitals, now a part of the hub trail.

 When I put my glasses on to start riding again,  I noticed they were very foggy, so I took them off to clean them.  Put them back on, and my breath instantly fogged them up again.  So I took them off to clean them.  Put them back on; fog again!  I couldn't ride without glasses because my vision isn't good enough at night, but the foggy glasses weren't much an improvement so I just repeatedly cleaned the things, looking for all the world like I'd suddenly developed a weird and very specific obsession.  Or compulsion. I can never remember which is which.
I finally figured out that I'd have to hold my breath until my glasses were back on my face to avoid steaming them further.  Sheesh!

Once I'd solved the Mystery of the Winged Creatures and the Secret of the Foggy Glasses (yes, I liked Nancy Drew), I resumed riding and followed the waterfront trail to the end, where it merged onto Queen Street, E. (above).  I'm not thrilled about road riding, but it was OK because Queen E.  now has a bike path right on the street!  They had just started building the path the year I sold my house.
 Above, you can see where the hub trail leaves the waterfront and goes onto Queen Street.  I rode on it for a few blocks but the cars were awful and veered so close to me that I got scared and rode on the sidewalk instead.  I only saw 1 pedestrian, and I stopped to let him go by. 
My old house, second from the corner
I rode as far as the intersection of Queen St. E., and Pine St., kitty corner from my old house.  In the photo above, it's the second house from the corner, the little white one on the right side of the white car. 

The big green house was owned by my neighbor Norma, and her husband.  They were a lovely elderly couple.  Norma moved shortly after I did. 

There used to be rose hedges running all alongside my driveway. I started them when I first bought the house and it took 8 years for them to grow into actual big hedges, full of pink roses, riotous in their growth.  The guy who bought my house cut them all down.  I want to cry whenever I go past.  I hope he left my other roses in the back yard, and my lilacs, and cherry and apple tree.  Well, not mine anymore, but I hope they're still there; especially the fragrant climbing roses that covered my deck and perfumed the air in my...his...kitchen.  I hope the lilacs are still there too. I  still have one jar of lilac jelly left from when I made it about 4 years ago now. 

I thought about turning right and heading down to the Pine Street Marina, and then on to Belleview Park, but it was downhill to the Marina, which meant uphill to come back, and I was tired and hot and sweaty so I figured I should turn around. The hill is tiny but it's enough to trigger my asthma and I was already sounding like Darth Vader every time I took a breath so I didn't want to push my luck.
 As it turned out, I had been  pedaling up a slight incline since I left the waterfront, but hadn't realized (thus the Darth Vader breathing, lol).  I didn't have to pedal AT ALL on the way back to the water; woohoo!  It was so amazing to just glide and feel the wind (and moths) on my face.
 Lights were stretched all along the waterfront, sort of merging into the lights from the International bridge in the distance.

 The moonlight on the water was so pretty I stopped my pedal-free riding to snap a shot. It didn't come out clearly, but I like it anyway.  I'm not great at night photos; my flash makes everything look brighter than it really is, and more than half of the photos come out blurry or weird, lol.
 Lights reflecting on water.

 In the above photo, set between the two streetlights (in the distance) is the Old Stone House.  It was built between 1812-1814, and has been restored to show what life was like back then, for the Ermatinger family.  The Ermatingers were involved with fur trading, and the man who built the house married an Ojibway lady, the daughter of a chief.  I always thought it was awesome that the biggest, best house built by the very first settlers was owned by a Native Canadian Princess (or whatever daughters of chiefs were called).
 When I cycled past the building above, I suddenly and vividly remembered a dream I had where I lived there and had a German shepherd type dog (which I can never have as I'm highly allergic to anything non-poodle, lol).  I had a small apartment full of paintings (in the dream), which is weird because I haven't done watercolors in years, not since my 8 week watercolor class ended ages ago.
 The photo above is one of my favorites. I love how the people are all motion blurred, the way my bike looks light orange and sparkly, and the cool pattern on the pathway.
 Nighttime transformed the plain Jane fountain into shooting flames of fire; so pretty.

 I'd NEVER before noticed that the US side of the International  bridge is lit up in Red, White, and Blue, and our Canadian side is in Red and White, just like our flags.  It's amazing how much more I notice on my bike!

 The tall ship looks like a ghost ship at night; so very cool. 

 Tall ship at night.  The second photo (above) is clearer than the first, but I like the hazy, dreamy first one better.
 I thought this sign was hysterical. It says, "Drink lots of water in this heat!  Beer is 97% water!"  LOL.
 Check out that photo above, of the Bondar Pavillion in moonlight, with the ghostly tall ship at the edge of the picture.  I took a gazillion of this photo, trying to get the ship, moon, and tent in one frame,  but the one above is my favorite.

 Or  maybe this one is my favorite???

 Or this one?  Or one of the other gazillion?  I don't know; I love them all!  I  especially love the water in this one above; check out those ripples! 
 When I got back to my truck it was 10:08 (above), and it was 7:40 (below) when I first started, so I'd been gone for about 2 and a half hours. I stopped a lot to take photos, and twice to sit and rest for a few minutes, but still, it took me 2 and a half hours to bike 8.4 kilometers (5.22 miles).  That's slow. 

I'm reading a blog called "Going Slowly", about a lovely young couple who did a bike tour around the world, and they always commented about how they moved slowly, but they still did waaaay more miles than I ever could, and much faster. If they were going slowly, I must be practically going in reverse, lol.  Mind you, they were young and fit and thin and I am middle aged and over 100 Ibs overweight so for who I am and the shape I'm in, I'm doing great.  My fitness tracker said I burned over 1000 calories tonight.  I sure hope to lose weight while biking, but even if I don't, I love it anyway.

Bike and truck at end of ride
I came home, uploaded my photos, had a bath and something to eat, wrote this, and holy God in heaven...it's 4:45 AM.  I stayed up ALL night, without planning to.  How did this happen?

Biking must give me energy. I'm going to have to start biking in the mornings instead of the evenings. I'm so not a morning person though.  OK, enough babbling; time for bed.

Goodnight all...er...goodmorning.  :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment