Joyful June

It turns out that the frenetic pace of May was just a warm-up for June!  What a month it’s been!

I posted a couple of weeks ago that Son #1 got married at the beginning of the month (and I still don’t have any photos), but all the other action this month has been on the trail.  In spite of having decided in May to give up the TransCanada trail, that’s exactly where I’ve spent most of the month.

I got to spend some rare time with my younger sister as we walked along the trail which rims the lake in downtown Barrie.

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The Spirit Catcher – a statue 21 metres high (65 feet) on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay on a very chilly and blustery day in June.

I managed to get in a single hike with Helen at a small but picturesque conservation area  in Rockwood, northwest of Toronto.  It is a stunning place with its massive stone cliffs, but it was another chilly day and we eventually cut our visit short when it started to rain.

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Not on the TransCanada Trail – or the Bruce Trail – but worth the visit on its short hiking trail.

I had a couple of opportunities to be downtown in Toronto and I’m always able to find something new or interesting to photograph.

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This interesting garden along the Waterfront deserves its own post one day.  I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea of using landscaping as a device to interpret a piece of music.
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This one is for Jude at Under A Cornish Sky who asked me to visit the Dog Fountain in Berczy Park.  This was my first chance to see it actually operating.  The dogs which ring the 3 levels are all eyeing the golden bone on top.
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In Berczy Park, downtown Toronto

In a bold move – even by my standards – I set off alone for a 4-day cycling trip along a section of the TransCanada Trail north of Montreal, called the Petit Train du Nord.

The journey both started and ended in the town of St-Jerome at km 0.  This is where I picked up a shuttle that took me to my starting point 130 km away and I gradually cycled my way back.

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For more photos and stories about this trip, you can visit my other blog at Following A Bold Plan.

It was a trip of magnificent scenery – if you love old, rounded mountains and rushing rivers.

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I don’t know what was originally here, but these large stone pillars, flanking a fast moving river, reminded me of silent sentinels – long forgotten but still on duty.

Based on all the photos I took, it seems I never got tired of all the water, water, water.

The highlight of the trip though was spending a day with the Thursday Doors creator Norm Frampton from Norm 2.0 who journeyed north from his Montreal home to cycle the last day with me.

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But my month still wasn’t over.

From St-Jerome, I then headed back north to Mont Tremblant to meet up with my husband, son, new son-in-law, and 2 friends for the Ironman 70.3* race in Tremblant.

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The newlyweds, Jordan and Dempsey in Mont Tremblant with the Canadian and Quebec flags in the background.

Jordan, Gilles, and ‘adopted son’ Trevor, will all be racing in the full Ironman in August – Jordan and Trevor’s first – and this was a ‘tune-up’ race to assess the training plan to date.

Tremblant is an outstanding venue for a race.  It’s a beautiful location nestled in the Laurentian mountains and worthy of a visit at any time of year – especially in winter if you’re a skier.

 

 

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Still quiet in the village before the chaotic energy of race day

Jordan, Gilles, and Trevor all had great races which is encouraging as they enter the final big training weeks leading up to the full Ironman.  For me however, the highlight of the weekend was the view from our 2nd floor balcony of the rented condo where we were staying.

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A visit by a doe and her baby had us quietly enthralled as they meandered through the small green space.

June has been a glorious month and summer has just started!!  There is still so much more ahead.

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Changing Seasons is a monthly photo feature hosted this year by Su Leslie at Zimmerbitch.  It’s never too late to join in!

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* If you aren’t familiar with the Ironman, it is a triathlon comprised of a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike, and 42.2 km run (2.4 miles, 112 miles, and 26.2 miles respectively).  A 70.3 race is a Half Ironman.

 

 

128 comments

  1. I am impressed with your four day solo cycling trip. What a great idea! I have been on some multi-day cycling trips, but they were in my much younger years, and I cycled with a companion.

    You lead an interesting life!

    Jude

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    • Thanks Jude 🙂
      Since my husband still works full-time and most of my friends aren’t interested in being part of my adventures, I’ve had to get used to the idea of doing things alone. This was clearly outside of my comfort zone but it was so perfect. The weather, the scenery, and of course having Norm Frampton from Thursday Doors join me was the icing on the cake 🙂

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  2. How wonderful post. Your post included so much to see that I am speechless when reading the post and seeing Your gorgeous photos. I love especially art and landscape photos. We have been to Toronto twice, but about 30 years ago – once on the New Year’s Eve and once in the spring making all day visit to Niagara Falls by bus.

    Thank You for this interesting post. Have a nice day!

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  3. Oh my, such glorious sights and sounds and events, and I don’t mean only that time with Norm. 😉 I love every photo and statue and deer! Just marvellous! I wish your summer continues exactly in this way.

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  4. Congratulations to Jordan and Dempsey on their recent marriage. Have been going through your back posts to check out the festivities. Gorgeous wedding. Beautiful Venue. Adorable family. I want a slice of that cake!

    And now for June! It cracks me up that the TransCanada Trail just won’t let you go (in that you’ve spent most of your time there this month)

    Rockwood looks gorgeous. Am sorry that you had to cut it short due to rain. Adore the dog fountain so am glad that Jude sent you there. And how lovely to see you with Norm! What a treat that must have been. Always a delight to meet up with fellow bloggers. Have never been to Tremblant but it looks absolutely charming. I would love to visit, preferably not in the winter as I hear the temps can get brutal there.

    Off to ‘Following A Bold Plan’ now.

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    • Thanks for dropping in, Lisa!! That must mean you are in port somewhere with access to internet. I’m so flattered that you would spend any of that precious time in my corner of the world 💕

      You’re right that the TransCanada doesn’t seem to want to let me go. It’s now unfinished business and I continue to feel its pull!

      Liked by 1 person

        • Whenever I hear ‘Madagascar’ I can’t help think about the animated movie and little thug penguins 😉

          My adventures seem tame compared to yours!! May we both have an adventure filled month 🙂

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  5. I love that spirit catcher statue. Those hand statues are awesome too. I never tire of water either! I can stare at it in all its forms and admire it for hours. I can’t imagine a solo bike trip. You are quite brave. How fun that Norm joined you on your last day. Those views are awesome from the condo. Best of luck to them as they get ready for the full Ironman.

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    • You and I have both spend our lives near water. It’s simply unimaginable not to have water pull at our hearts!!

      Since I retired, I’ve been slowly re-defining what I’m capable of doing. We are all so much stronger than we think!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. June was a glorious month of journeys, and experiences for you! I’ve loved seeing your images and reading about your adventurers. I hope July is as wonderful!

    Loved reading about your favorite lipsticks too! I’m going to check out the colors to see if any will work for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m looking forward to so much more activity in July. We spend the long winters waiting for summer and now that it’s here, it’s time to cram as much as possible into the limited number of days available.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow. You’ve been super busy, Joanne. Oh my gosh. I don’t do that much activity in a year let alone a month! Beautiful pictures. I love that cliff along the river and the dog fountain is amazing! How creative and fun. Canada is looking better and better as the US falls into the pit of doom. You guys should build a wall. Lol (seriously). Have a great weekend of more fun. ❤

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  8. Good gravy! You did all of this in one month! I’m exhausted reading about it, but love that you’ve shared it here. Your photos are, as always, gorgeous. You really have an eye for the interesting. And live a fascinating life as well.

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  9. Wow! You’ve really had a remarkable month, Joanne! Also, stamina much?
    I just realized Norm is wearing Grover, or Gro-Gro, as he is affectionately called here in our house 😀 Fun!
    I cannot get over how beautiful Tremblant is, just in that one shot. Shall I aspire to ski there? Is it a suitable ski venue for those who are not talented skiers? Beautiful.
    I do not think I’m fit to design a garden to match a piece of music, but you know what? I do believe I know enough of both to criticize them. You know, like “Pshaw! Wagner would never use sunflowers, Vivaldi would want more tulips!” Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I could play that game all day.
    I would go crazy for the doe and her fawn ❤

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  10. What a busy month! So much exercise and great photos! I was walking in the music garden just last Thursday and it was wonderful and they always seem to have something new – either a new installation or new plants in bloom – so lovely. And isn’t the dog fountain fun! It really does make everyone smile the first time they see it. Have a wonderful Canada Day.

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    • Thanks, Margie. You too! Keeping cool is going to be the challenge this weekend!

      This was the first time I’ve seen the Music Garden in bloom. It will be interesting to see it evolve over the summer and fall.

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  11. What a fun (and really busy) month! I admire you for going on that bike ride by yourself and having a day to ride with Norm. Perhaps some time in the future (when I’m retired), we can get together for a bike trip and lots of laughs.

    Love the dog fountain, which makes me think that they need to build a cat fountain nearby. Yeah, I know most cats hate water, but that would add some irony, don’t you think?

    Congratulations again to the oldest son on his marriage and I am planning on congratulating both he and Gilles when they do spectacularly well in the iron man competition.

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  12. What a wonderful busy, adventure filled month Joanne! I loved so many of your captures, the dog fountain, the hands reaching for the sky and of course the deer and doe. Thank you for sharing

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    • The Ironman is a brutal undertaking. Just surviving the training is an accomplishment!!

      I too love those hands. There is a life-like quality to them that really intrigues me.

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  13. I love reading all you have done, Joanne. As I sit here like a slug at my computer! 😀 The music garden is beautiful, the hands coming up out of the ground is borderline creepy, and the dog fountain is so darn cute!

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    • I’m looking forward to a couple of days at my computer to try and catch up!! The downside of being busy is that blogging takes a hit.

      Those hands really intrigue me. As much as I LOVE water, I found I was drawn more to the hands than the fountain.

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  14. What a great month you’ve had. So nice that you got to meet up with Norm. I’m trying to keep active by walking every day and twice a week I go lawn bowling. I’m really enjoying it. Also one day a week I drive to Hamilton to spend time with my granddaughter. I still haven’t got up to the cottage and that really bugs me. I hope I can get there this weekend to open up.

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  15. You live your blog name better than anyone I know, Joanne. Whew! You’re so inspiring – not that I’m in a position to do any of the things you’ve done this month, but you nevertheless inspire me to make the most of what I am doing.

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    • Thanks Karen 🙂 Your comments always make me feel like I’m doing something right.

      Everyone has a different threshold for ‘living on the edge’. There are those who live a very high-octane lifestyle and think mine is boring.
      As you said, as long as you are making the most out of what drives you, that’s the best that anyone should strive for in life 💕

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  16. What a cool post, Joanne! Loved the photos as they provided a great image of what you saw and experienced and the narrative was like reading a feel good novel! Bonus points for getting Norm to join you part of the way; it’s nice to be able to see a TD blogger in person; since Deborah got me into TD I see her when we do photography shoots and we had the opportunity to meet Jesh Stg on a planned trip. The world got smaller 😉 Funny, I just noticed your caption bout living on the edge, that is really cool (wish I had thought of that first)!

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    • Meeting other bloggers is the best! You’re so right about the world starting to feel smaller. It’s hard to explain to a non-blogger the connectivity we feel with those we ‘talk’ to through our blogs.

      My tag line about living on the edge was a bumper sticker I saw over 30 years ago. It stuck with me and became a kind of touchstone over the years … a variation of ‘feel the fear, do it anyway’ 🙂

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  17. That shot of the doe with her fawn is just wonderful; and how much nicer to have seen it in person. I’m glad your weather has allowed you (and family) to get out adventuring. You have certainly made the most of it. 🙂

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    • This was a first for me to see a mom and her baby. So exciting!! … and the little one was SO CUTE! I can’t believe she let me get right to the edge of the balcony to take some shots. This one was my favourite.

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  18. You have been busy in some very major ways! What a full and satisfying month you’ve had. How did I miss that marvelous fountain when I was in Toronto? I know I said it before, but I just love that you and Norm hooked up for the last leg of the bike ride. That, in a nutshell, is what is so great about the blogging world.

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    • Don’t feel bad about missing the fountain, Janis. I didn’t know it existed either until several months ago when an Australian blogger included photos of it after a visit to Toronto. Jude (who is in the UK) pointed it out to me.
      This blogging life provides some interesting moments!!

      … and yes, meeting up with fellow bloggers is the best!! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

    • Today I’m actually dragging my behind. I think I need a few days of much needed rest!!

      I’m starting to understand why many bloggers take a summer hiatus. Our summers are so short and we try to squeeze in so much activity into a few months. It seems like there is little time for blog reading or writing. I guess that’s why we have rainy days like today … to try and play some catch up 🙂

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    • Moving water is so mesmerizing. I can say without exaggeration that I stopped for every bridge and river. After a while I’m willing to admit it becomes a little excessive 😉 – but being alone, I could do whatever I wanted!!

      I had such a wonderful time on this bike trip. Having such a great experience is good motivation to want to do more of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow. June was jumpin’! Great photos. Especially love Norm’s muppet jersey…hehehe! I did not know there was such a thing as a half-Ironman. It’s still way more than I will ever attempt, so much respect and kudos to your men for their successful races!!!!

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    • I was definitely jumpin’ this month and there is so much more summer to look forward to!!
      (Actually when I first wrote this it came out humpin’ … although that would be a fictitious version of the month 😆)

      Ironman rebranded the Half a few years ago as a 70.3 because it was felt that a “Half” sounded ‘lesser’ – which is ironic because it IS lesser.
      There is also a 5150 which is approximately a half of a half – or what used to be an Olympic distance.
      The numbers refer to the distance of the race by adding up the swim, bike, and run – which is also kind of confusing because the 70.3 is in miles, but the 5150 is in kilometres and is really 51.5 kms.

      I know – stupid. Sorry you brought it up yet? 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a tiny little parkette near the Gooderham building and the St Lawrence Market. Quite frankly, I didn’t even know it existed until earlier this year when a blogger from Australia included it in his photos from a visit to Toronto.
      Jude (who lives in the UK) asked me why I had never posted a photo of it! This blogging world is certainly an interesting one when we learn things about our own city from people thousands and thousands of miles away!!

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  20. What a fabulous month you have had Jo. Your photos reflect how gorgeous it has been, sunny skies and lots of smiles too. Thank you for the Dog Fountain photo, the park looks very quirky and I am intrigued to know more about the Music Garden.

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  21. Your post shows what you mean by your short description of yourself: retired but not idle. Wow! What you experienced in a month I struggle to do in an entire year. I like the mix of photos that reflect nature and culture. Greetings from BC! Peter

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  22. Holy Hannah! You really have been busy, Joanne. I’m exhausted. Seriously, this is a delightful post. Beautiful scenery. The dog fountain is a hoot! Your remark about the silent sentinels is marvelous. Sets my imagination flowing. Hugs!

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    • I’m exhausted too, Teagan. The pace has caught up with me and I’ve been dragging my butt all day … but it’s nothing that a little rest can fix 🙂

      … and when your imagination starts flowing, I know I can expect some great writing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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