Lambton Outdoor Club
February 2020 e-Newsletter
Member Profile: Wally Henne
As I eased into my rhythm in the Y pool, I could not help but notice the lithe figure in the next lane leaving me in his wake. We paused at the shallow end, and I realised that my neighbour was none other than Wally Henne, the extraordinarily competitive 85 year old swimmer, cyclist, skier and long time LOC enthusiast.
Chatting with Wally in the comfortable apartment over the eponymous Christina St jewellery store, I discovered much more about Wally and wife Elly. A watchmaker by trade, Wally emigrated from Germany in 1956, settling in Calgary. As a young boy he learned to ski the hard way, slogging up the hills of the Black Forest and then skiing down on wooden skis, which doubled for cross country. His first used, single gear bike was a gift as a teen, but that did not deter him from cycling 100km to visit relatives. Swimming was his true passion, and he competed all over Germany.
In Canada he continued his trade, met wife Elly and they had three sons, one of whom now runs the family jewellery and repair business. He continued skiing in the more challenging Rockies, and when business brought him to Sarnia, joined the Cross country ski club, which eventually became part of LOC. Wally mentions his achievements in the pool nonchalantly, but he is ranked in the Masters competition, a national champion and swam away with a bronze in the All American Masters 200m breaststroke in Brazil. He is proficient in all four strokes and has competed across Canada and around the world. He modestly poses by his wall festooned with medals and ribbons gained over sixty years. The Masters class competes in five years increments, so Wally looks forward to breaking more records as he rounds out the eighties.
His love of cycle touring blossomed in the flat lands of southern Ontario. From day rides locally he graduated to ride from Toronto to Montreal in 1998, and the following year was persuaded to ride across Canada, which he managed with his usual aplomb. Several years ago, many members will remember the presentation he gave on his two weeks cycle tour along the Rhine. He is no mean performer wearing hiking boots, twice hiking 290Km in the Black Forest, both solo and with his son. His exploits were recognized, and he was inducted into the Sarnia Sports Hall of Fame ten years ago. Wally is a modest man, and I had to pry these achievements from him, but in a club that values the outdoors, Wally is an embodiment of a lifelong love affair, and at 85 still a force to reckon with. When I am pedalling with the Hares, I will inevitably find Wally cycling with a quiet charm, and gentle encouragement. He is truly a man for all seasons.
Submitted by Mike Tanner, Editor
| Wally's medals from 59 years ago |
| The medal wall |
Housesitting - A Different Slant on Outdoor Adventures
A few years ago we happened upon the concept of housesitting and decided to investigate once we were both retired. Homeowners (with pets usually) post photos of their home and pets, along with dates when they need both looked after, and a description of duties that might be required as well. We have completed about a dozen house sits and it has turned out to be a very enjoyable and economical way to see the country and the world, meet some very nice people and enjoy a variety of pets that we don't necessarily want the long term responsibility for. Win-win-win.
The locales for house sitting can be rural, suburban or urban, in Canada, the US, and virtually anywhere in the world, and can run anywhere from a weekend to a year or more. We have tended to select areas which appeal to us for hiking, cycling, paddling and general exploring of new areas. We have looked after places near Collingwood with access to the Bruce Trail a minute away, in the Ottawa area with daily access to the cycling trails, and in Mont-Tremblant a few minutes away from the famous Petit Train du Nord cycling trail.
Last year we broadened our experience and horizons by taking on a sit on a hobby farm in Cape Breton with dogs, three pigs and four long-horn cows. Then this year we just completed another farm/house sit in France with: two cats, four chickens, one goat and two donkeys; some sits are relaxing, this one was physically demanding but we were also able to experience the culture and history of the country. Our resume and references have grown immensely in just a few years, we have met some wonderful owners and animals, and we've experienced "living like a local", a very satisfying way to see the world.
If you are retired or have some time on your hands we highly recommend this as a way to stretch your travel budget a little further. You simply get your way to the house sit location (drive, fly, etc.) and stay there at no charge; no money changes hands, and it's not a house exchange. Owners usually do not want to put their pets in kennels etc. and want their place occupied while they are away, and house sitters are looking for new adventures in new locations. It's a great fit.
Submitted by Chris and Rod Richmond
| Rod supervising the goats |
| Mother Hen |
Hallelujah! The weather was perfect.
Thirteen of us cross country skied and snow shoed at the Pinestone Resort and at a nearby YMCA Camp Wanakita which had so many trails that in the 2 ½ hours my sub-group was there we met just one other skier! We had fun trying to find the scenic waterfalls as we missed a sign and had to circle back over some challenging terrain (and met the same skier returning from said falls). The best laugh of the day was the actual ‘falls’: It was more like a swift with a rock in it. Naturally, because we were there for the joy of nature in whatever form it comes, the discovery enhanced rather than diminished our experience and we had a little break there for a snack and to be still in the snow powdered wonderland.
We had camaraderie (games, dance party, dining and good old fashioned chatting). We got to know one another a little better, and exercise as often as we wanted. We discovered local attractions including, Haliburton School of Art and Design right next door which had a ski trail through the woods scattered with metal sculptures, and an amazing wolf sanctuary just a 35-minute drive away. The village of Haliburton had quaint shops and nice walking trails.
The resort complex was large and lovely including a pool worth swimming in; bright, spacious villas/chalets with water jets in all the tubs; good restaurants (apparently - we were too busy sharing our wonderful home made offerings to try them); plenty of trails right outside our doors; and beautiful scenery. They also had things we didn’t use, at least a dozen pond hockey ponds and lots of conference centre space.
But best of all, there was snow! Hurray for snow and for friends willing to travel to it when needed. And thanks to Brian and Lori for coordinating this outing.
If you go: It’s a long drive but worth it for three days of play. If you are going with a group, let the resort people know you want accommodations in the same section of the resort.
Bring your own dishes; for some reason the kitchenettes (microwave and bar fridge) no longer provide plates, cutlery or serving supplies. Check on Wolf Sanctuary hours as they are limited.
Submitted by Sharon Crowe
| Graceful Skiers |
| A very good day on the trail |
|Things have been quiet at the Lambton Outdoor Club Paddling Branch, but they are beginning to move. |
We are having our Paddling Pub Night on March 26th at Stokes by the Bay at 7:30 to kick off the season. We will be talking about what we are doing this year. I hope that you will come out, have a beer, and socialize with your fellow paddlers.
There is also a Pool Session demonstrating kayaking on April 15th at the Sarnia YMCA. The price is $15pp. Come out and learn about kayaking and maybe find out what boat interests you.
We have a couple outings booked. The first is April 12th. We are heading back to the Ausable River at Hungry Hollow. We did this many years ago when the water was much lower, but this year it should be better. I hope you come and see the beautiful flora and fauna. We even saw five eagles last time.
On April 25th, we have an introduction to paddling at the Pinery Provincial Park. Anyone with questions about paddling or wants a quiet ride, come on this day. If you want to try a kayak or canoe, but don't have one, let the leader know and he will do what he can.
We are starting to plan our weekend trips. There is one on the Grand River on May 8-10. The Grand is a lovely paddle with some swifts, but it is tremendously beautiful.
Well, that is all we have as of yet. Look on the website calendar for more events.
Submitted by Judy Mahoney (Paddling chairperson)
We have one hike every week planned thru to 28th April so far.
The hikes are limited to a two hour maximum hike time and a maximum distance of 6 kilometers. As the title suggests these are EASY hikes, with time to stop and smell the roses. We also do not exceed a driving time of 15 minutes to any meeting point within Sarnia. Hikes end around 11:30, at the latest, so this allows time for lunch and a free afternoon. Some of the hikers go to Tims for lunch afterwards.
This last Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day), so after the hike around Canatara Park, ably led by Stan Piskorowski, some hikers accompanied Janet Chalmers to St Andrews church to sample their pancakes.
The hikes have been very well attended, with up to 24 participants at one hike, a Chili lunch was involved. Lately we have been seeing 14 - 18 people register and show up.
We have a list, and maps, of 17 different routes that we can choose from. People are amazed at how many lovely hiking routes we have within a 15 minute drive with in Sarnia.
I encourage people to come out and try one of these hikes. I know once you try one you will be back for more.
I also encourage people to lead one of these Easy hikes. It is a great way to get started as a leader and maybe help in leading a longer hike.
Maybe try a co-lead with one of our regular leaders to get your feet wet.( Not literally, we like dry feet) We will be there to help you. We do need more leaders so come on out and try it. If you would like to give it a try, just mention it to the leader on any of the walks.
Check on the website to see where we are going on our next adventure and to sign up.
If you have nothing to do on a Tuesday morning, come and join us (rain or shine) for an entertaining and social walk somewhere around Sarnia.
You will be amazed at the people you will meet; retired school teachers, engineers, world travelers, concert conductors, realtors to name but a few.
See you there!
Submitted by....Tony Arnold
| Tuesday Group at Suncor Nature Way |
| A chilly day at the beach |
Paddlers Pinery Winter Experience
|Well, I have to say that I don’t really know when this started. I know that we had a great camping experience at Long Point and we didn’t want to say good-bye, so we had a pub night at the Refined Fool and discussed camping at some Yurts. Well, the Yurts were all taken up except the Pinery and some park in northern Ontario, so we decided, “Why not do it at the Pinery?”. |
We didn’t want to interfere with the plans that Brian had made going on excursions this winter, so we decided to go the last week of January. There were five of us that came which was excellent – Cheryl Tompkins, Sandra Blondin, Yvon Maisonneuve, and Rory Sim. Now, I have to tell you that Rory just came at the last minute as I met him in Shoppers Drug Mart, told him about the trip, invited him to our planning meeting and he came!!
We planned the trip – the food, the transportation, the Yurts, and the activities. Yvon was going to camp, as he wanted to do some winter camping, but when he heard of the warm temperatures, he decided to use a Yurt too.
We left on Monday, January 27 at around noon. We were going to use the two trucks that the men had. Yvon and I left at about one because he had a lot of rushing around to do. Cheryl said that they were going to the Ausable Cut trail. We tried to find it, but didn’t, so she said that that was okay because they would meet us at the Port Franks Community Centre. We met them there and did the Lambton Heritage Forest Trails. It was lovely, up and down hiking. We thought that this was good, so we went to Grogs for a drink and some food.
We got to the Pinery at five, but no one was at the gate, so we went in and saw our lovely Yurts. We decided since our Yurt was bigger, that we would eat in it. After everyone brought out the food, I was thinking that we could have stayed there for at least a week instead of two days. We ate a wonderful meal (I cooked it) and Rory had some blueberry pie that was delicious. We spent the evening playing Ticket to Ride. Cheryl, Yvon and I had played it before, but it was new to Sandra and Rory. I don’t think that they knew what was going on, but everyone had fun.
We all met at our yurt the next morning for a leisurely breakfast of coffee, muffins and bagels. I brought the muffins (homemade), Sandra brought the bagels and some homemade jams and Yvon some homemade hummus. I prepared us a lunch of bagels, snacks and apples and then we headed out in the snow for another walkabout. We did the Ausable River Valley Trail. A challenging yet wonderful 12.5 kilometer trail full of ups and downs, creek crossings, rivers, rocks, snow, and with a liberal splashing of muck and mire. I had promised an easier hike than the previous day but in hindsight, I may have misled the group. Rory was expecting some R and R on the trail but it turned into quite a work out. I guess we should have known it wasn't an easy trail when a farmer we met at the trailhead laughed when we told him of our intention. Still, from the comments expressed after the hike, I believe everyone enjoyed it tremendously, especially when we got to the finish. It was really challenging but we were so proud of ourselves that we couldn’t stop talking about how awesome we all were.
Then it was back to the yurts for more games and a delicious dinner of beef stew prepared by Cheryl. This was followed by a dessert of lemon panna cotta with raspberry sauce prepared by Yvon. For the rest of the evening, we delighted in some drinks and fine conversation while we played cards until sleepy time.
Our last morning consisted of a light breakfast of coffee, muffins and some chips that Rory dug out from his vast stockpile of snacks. We packed up, did a quick clean up of our yurts and headed out the door. We stopped on our way back to town to do a short, pleasant hike, the L-Lake Management area. Hugs and handshakes were next before we all made our way back home.
So, any time you think that you have time to come out and try something, but you are unsure if you are up to it or know enough, I hope that you will come out. It was a great trip with great hikes, great memories, and great friends. All in all, it was a marvelous experience.
Submitted by Judy Mahoney
Paint a Paddle
Members Tony Arnold and Shelley Ambroise cooperated on this fundraiser for Sarnia-Lambton Rebound at the annual Hearts for Youth Gala. Tony donated and painted the paddle on the left, where the old and new LOC logos can be seen. Joann Thomas and Shelley Ambroise painted a supplied paddle using the theme and colour scheme of the new club logo.
Anita at Rebound, explained that each paddle was started with a minimum bid of $175.00, and an excess of $1320.00 was raised for Rebound.
Sunday May 3
Optimist Hall, 210 Monk St, Pt Edward
6.00pm Roast Beef Dinner
7.00pm The El Camino Trail, Phil Vallance
Cost $20, Must be registered online to attend
Paddling Pub Night
Stokes by the Bay
Thursday March 26, 7:30 PM
We will be meeting at Stokes by the Bay at 7:30PM for an informal gathering to discuss what routes we will be paddling this year. There will also be a guest speaker talking about paddling.
|Hike, Paddle, Ride... Smile!
Lambton Outdoor Club | P.O. Box 653 | Sarnia, Ontario, N7T 7J7