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Date: 6/17/2019
Subject: June 2019 e-Newsletter
From: Lambton Outdoor Club

June 2019 e-Newsletter

A Brand New Look for LOC

Much of the “look” of the club dates from the early 1990’s when a group of enthusiasts began to organize hikes and outings. Although members are still passionate about enjoying outdoor activities, the way we engage and communicate has been revolutionized since that time.  Most recently for LOC the interactive website has dramatically changed our public view. At our last meeting, council decided that our literature should be updated to reflect all the new information about the club,  its activities and how membership is best found and completed online.  It was also decided to commission the design of an updated logo, “rack card” and generic business card for members. Gayle Toyne, a graphic artist has designed a new look, which will be available to members at events and socials. Word of mouth is still the best way of informing others about LOC and its activities, and the business card is a convenient reminder to hand out to anyone with an interest. We are also promoting an “active lifestyle” ethos, and the rack card is a convenient way to increase visibility with businesses, local Government, tourism and community-minded organizations.

You, the members are our most important ambassadors, and whether it is on a hike, bike ride, on the water or in conversation, sharing your enthusiasm is contagious. The literature is a simple memory jogger for those who still have affection for paper.

Mike Tanner
The front of our new Business card.
The reverse has space for your name and contact info, convenient to pass to a friend on the trail.

May Mud

April showers bring May flowers mud, and surprisingly mud and smiles go together just as well as sunshine and blossoms. 

As for Tuesday morning hikes, well, they may be easy, they may be relaxed, they may be close to home, but the participants they attract are as fond of nature and as enthusiastic as any Himalayan hiker. And this week’s hike leader (me) can make such a statement with the authority granted by experience.

We knew what was coming - sort of. After all, we’d had rain off and on in showers both light and intense all week. And we’d heard that the road to Mystery Falls was impassible, so it was reasonable to expect that Wawanosh Wetlands would be sharing the effects of the season too. Accordingly we put on appropriate footwear - knee high rubbers for some and sturdy hikers for others - and began our walk.  

We set out along the paved path from the Suncor parking lot; it was fine. We followed the trail around the north pond and forest; it was wet, slippery and pleasant. We paused to enjoy a little visit with the goose families at the dock by the Wawanosh parking lot. Then, by consensus, we set out for the certain mud of the south side of the south pond rather than the more elevated path between the two water bodies. It was the best decision!  We even saw a toad laying eggs right in the ooze we walked through!  We were grateful for Nico’s new hiking poles as we balanced on slippery logs and squished through marshy muck, but it was like reliving those childhood moments when you play and get dirty and it’s all good. We also enjoyed the verdant green, bright blossoms and birdsong that are signature features of spring.  

Thanks to all who participated. Like most of the Lambton Outdoor Club members you are good sports sharing an adventure and developing hiking/biking/paddling/smiling friendships. It was a pleasure to be your nominal leader for one of my favourite hikes.

Sharon Crowe

More Fun In The Mud?

While many LOC cyclists like myself prefer to ride on smooth pavement on reasonably flat roads without significant wind or rain, there are some who are far less picky … in fact occasionally downright uncaring about all those niceties. I witnessed a good number of those unusual people when I accepted the challenge from my bike-crazy middle-age son to take part in the annual Creemore Springs Turas Mor Bike Ride on May 25th. Many beer drinkers will recognize the name Creemore from the popular craft brewery in Creemore, south of Collingwood.

Inspired by the vintage rides of Europe, Turas Moir - meaning ‘Great Journey’ in Gaelic, is a cycling journey on primarily gravel roads through the rolling hills of Creemore. There are normally many very tough steep climbs on gravel terrain with lots of good ruts and sand, but because of the incessant heavy rain during the previous night and morning, also unbelievable mud. 

Although I had foolishly got talked into challenging the 60 km (vs. the 40 km or 20 km alternatives) route, it soon occurred to both me and my tour bike (not to mention my heart and lungs) that the term “survival of the fittest” didn’t necessarily apply to me after the first 10 km of a seemingly never-ending hill. I bid adieu to my son and let gravity take me back through the mud, ravines and potholes back to the beer tent. With only a slight pang of regret, I then decided to fall in with the last group to depart on the 20 km more civil paved route.

In the end, I completed about 35 km for the day and while it was a great experience, it’s not likely one that I would likely repeat - even on a nice sunny day.

Les McDermott

Les and friends enjoying the day in Creemore

  Hiking in Tanzania

As a word of explanation, I journeyed to this East African country on Safari, which is a completely separate story, but took a side strip on a “cultural hike”. The village of Ngoro hugs the verdant slopes of Mount Meru at an altitude of about 5,000 ft. Justin, my young guide, led me on a hike through the village and farmland, to an overlook. On the way he gave  an explanation of the plants we passed and their medicinal, nutritional or curious attributes. This is the tail end of the wet season, and the treacherous, rutted trail passed through groves of banana, avocado and small plantings of corn, potatoes, peppers and eggplant.

Arusha is two degrees south of the equator, so crops grow quickly, as do the weeds. We passed many villagers, mostly women tending the small holdings. I recognized Lantana from my own garden, but much like our own indigenous natives, the Meru people have developed a   medicinal treasure chest in their back yard. If you want to stem a bleeding wound, the Broadleaf Croton is your friend. Stomachache, forget Tums, there are a variety of plant salves to aid digestion. We passed an older village woman who was walking 10Km to market, with a large bowl full of banana balanced on her head. What!! It was all fascinating, but after reaching the pleasant overlook, we backtracked for lunch of pumpkin soup with fried banana, beef pilaf and banana stew. Then the really fascinating story began. Coffee grows well at this cool altitude, and the beans are picked when rosy red, and stripped of their outer husk. Soaking removes the sugars, drying leaves a pea size bean with a hard shell. This is when the hands-on work began. We pounded (ok, the guide did most of the work) the beans with a wooden pestle and winnowed the husks. They were roasted in a pot over an open fire until the green beans blackened, taking care not to burn. Another pounding removed the last fine membrane, which is separated, and then more pestle work until the final grind is delivered and sieved. Brewed over an open fire the result was a delicious rich, complex cup with a trace of smoke. I drink a lot of coffee and this was the best. The hike may have been more educational than exercise, about 4Km, but I kept true to LOC lore and finished with coffee.

The bonus, I take home a pound of Mount Meru organic coffee for a lasting memory of a wonderful day in the mountains.

Mike Tanner

Pounding coffee beans the old fashioned way on the slopes of Mount Meru
Next time your backpack begins to weigh heavy, consider the alternatives

Rapids Parkway Extension

The Howard Watson Nature Trail has been a valued and well used corridor through the heart of Sarnia for the past 25 years, but its integrity has been compromised by decisions made long ago, when the plan of subdivision for the Rapids Subdivision was approved in the 1990’s. A third means of egress was included, in addition to the outlest to Michigan Ave and Modeland Road, a new corridor will be established using the Trail underpass for Hwy 402. Development charges have accrued, and the new road will include sewer and service lines, connecting to Exmouth St. The trail will be reduced to a wide sidewalk for approximately one Km. The city is hosting a public meeting at St Patrick’s High School, cafeteria, Tuesday June 18, 5-7pm  as part of the Environmental Assessment Process. Choose to attend to keep abreast of planned changes, it is unlikely that the outcome will be affected


Mike Tanner

Incorporating New Logo to Website

The LOC logo of the past has served us well for many years, but like so many things it was time for an upgrade. The graphic artist based the overall theme on the Yin and Yang symbol, and carried over the winding road concept from the previous logo. The colours used represent the road (yellow), the land (green), the sky (light blue) and the water (dark blue swirl).
Some say the yin and yang symbol represents opposing forces like male and female, young and old etc. I see that in what the club offers: a stroll along the waterfront or a challenging climb on the Bruce Trail, paddling thru a placid lake or challenging raging whitewater, a short, slow ride to appreciate the scenery or a long ride into a strong head wind, a peaceful walk in the snow or an uphill climb on cross country skis or snowshoes.

Yin and Yang can also be thought of as complementary forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts. Sure sounds like a club to me. The new logo has simple, clean lines and will mean different things to different people; it speaks to me every time I look at it. 
Now that the new look has been announced I will begin work to incorporate the new design on our website which will of course take some time. I hope you also enjoy the newly designed rack cards created for publicity and will get some business cards to hand out to your family, friends and new people who cross your path.
Chris Richmond (Webmaster)

Lester Earle completed the Bruce Trail June 2nd - quite an accomplishment.
Congrats Lester!!

Hike, Paddle, Ride... Smile!

Lambton Outdoor Club | P.O. Box 653 | Sarnia, Ontario, N7T 7J7