Saturday, 30 January 2016

Impromptu Days are the Best!!!

Impromptu Days are the Best!!!

Don't you find that sometimes, the unplanned days turn out for the best? We certainly do - especially when we spend it with some dear and treasured friends!

One thing leads to another

Last week, we were in Iron Bridge looking for deer. We saw some at one of the houses where they have feeders for these beautiful creatures. However, when we wound down the car windows to take a better picture, the ice on the window cracked as it opened and the noise startled the deer causing them to bounce off over the hill towards the river, and out of sight. We thought we'd cross over the bridge and see if we could catch sight of them from the other side of the Mississagi River. 

Curiosity trumps common sense!

We didn't get to see them again; but we did stumble across a really nice trail that we hadn't known about beforehand! Curious to see where the trail led, we started to follow the rut in the snow which allowed us to negotiate the trail without our snowshoes. Foolishly, I had left my winter coat in the car as I thought we were just going to look across the river for a few minutes before returning to the warmth of the car - and it didn't seem to be that cold. (Curiosity trumped common sense on this occasion!!!). After wandering along for about ten minutes, the cold began to creep in, so I strongly suggested to Mark that we should return to the car and venture back on another day. He kindly agreed, and we waited for a sunnier day. 

Impromptu Decisions

Yesterday, the clouds cleared away and we thought. 'Today's the day!' Wanting to share the adventure with our friends, Carolyn (CJ) and Art, I sent a private Facebook message and it didn't take long for the reply to arrive! One of the things we love about this couple is their readiness to drop everything at a moment's notice and go! 

On the trail

It's about an hour to drive from Elliot Lake to Iron Bridge and, as usual, the conversation flowed easily and abundantly!! Arriving at the trail, we checked to see that the rut was still visible and negotiable as there had been quite a dump of snow over the previous two days. Sure enough, the conditions allowed us to leave the snowshoes in the car, so we set off, crocodile style, along the furrow, admiring the view of the river along which the trail ran. Of course, along the way we had to stop for the inevitable group pics and selfies!

The trail followed the Mississagi River
An unexpected delight!

After 30 minutes or so, we came across a couple of buildings that looked as though they may have been a summer camp. 

The snow was quite deep around them and some of it had begun slipping off the roof with the result that there were several 'snow-icicles' hanging down. There were a couple of holes in them and we managed to take some pics through them, which created some nice effects. 

Enlarge the picture to see the holes
Alan could see through the hole - which gave him an idea!

Just before the buildings, we noticed that the trail had veered off to the left, so we recovered our steps and ventured off in that direction in the belief that maybe - just maybe - this trail was a loop and would take us back to where we had parked the car. 

Winter Wonderland

We all agreed that this part of the trail was the best. Although it took us away from the river, the trail was not so wide and was made up of twists and turns as well as fallen trees which had to be circumnavigated. We made several stops to take in the sheer beauty of the Winter Wonderland that surrounded us. 

Are we there yet?

The direction of the trail changed frequently and, after a while, we started thinking that the path may be taking us all the way west to Bruce Mines (which would have been a helluva trek) - and that we'd never find the car!!  It also became a distinct possibility that we would have to retrace our steps, which would have taken another hour! Luckily, there were a couple of out-houses along the trail - though privacy could have been an issue!

Finally, CJ heard signs of civilization - and Art spied the car. 

We'd made it - and had completed a couple of hours of good, refreshing exercise. Upon arrival at the car, we took a little trip back on the other side of the river and espied several deer at the various spots we had come to know. 


Trekking through the snow also has the effect of building a healthy appetite, so we stopped off at the 17 Restaurant in Blind River for a bite to eat. Not to be confused with the Pier 17 restaurant (which is close by), this establishment does not look like much from the outside, but it is really cosy and clean on the inside - and the food is excellent at amazingly low prices. (Thanks to our good friends, John & Dianne, for referring us to this small gem. Check out their excellent blog - 20 Years from Now). 

To finish off the day...

There are some people who are just so much fun to be with that you don't want the day to end! CJ and Art are two of those people - and so, in order to prolong our time with them, we asked them back to our home to watch a movie that we had mentioned to them on their last visit. Without hesitation, they agreed and we settled down to watch, 'We Bought a Zoo' - a heart-warming, inspiring, 2-tissue movie, which is one of our favourites. Based upon a true story, it contains one of the best motivational quotes ever... 

“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.”

A great movie if you want to be inspired

It was the perfect end to a perfect, impromptu day - the best!!

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