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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Trails, Paths and Roads

Trail view
Trail sign in Elmira, Ontario

 Trails, paths and roads are common metaphors for life.  I reflected on this and more after a family bike ride along the "Kissing Bridge Trail" in Waterloo Region, Ontario.
   Where did this trail come from that I was riding on?  It used to be part of a railroad system that was vital to transporting people and cargo around the province.  How much work would it require in the days when the rail lines were developed to carve out each metre from the wilderness.  It would have been back breaking labour without chainsaws and backhoes and the ubiquitous biting insects.  Surely the trail-making in Ontario does not compare to the dangers of blasting the CPR lines through the Rocky Mountains or building the Canol Trail in the Northwest Territories. Nevertheless it is work done by people I am likely never to meet.  Trails are easy to take for granted.
      Trails are so different from our manicured highways and roads.  Because vegetation is not mowed, other wild things are welcome and safe.  A Baltimore oriole, chickadees, chipmunks and a plethora of butterflies and moths were observed during our two-hour journey.  The trefoil, red clover, annual grasses and daisies brought me back to my childhood walks to visit my grandmother, who lived 1/2 mile away along a dirt road.

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