Today I saw the salmon “run” and it was amazing! I had never witnessed this before and found it fascinating. There were thousands of them! The mass of salmon was so thick it did indeed look like they were running a marathon and they were jumping and crawling over each other to get ahead. Now, please don’t get the idea that I am taking an interest because I am any kind of angler. I have been fishing twice in my life and only once caught a fish. Ok, I didn’t really catch it. It was a catfish and when I reeled it in it turned out I had hit it over the head with my cast and the hook had stuck in the top of its head.
The thing is, I almost missed this miracle of nature because I live next door to William H. Macy. No, I am not talking about the William H. Macy in Fargo, Marmaduke, Wild Hogs or Pleasantville. No, no, no! I am talking about the William H. Macy of Shameless.
Yes, my neighbor bares a remarkable resemblance to Frank Gallagher in more ways than one.
In the just over a year I have lived here, He-Who and I have been regaled with tales of the neighborhood ― all the dangers and terrors and weirdness that is abundant where we live. Not knowing anything about the area, we took all these stories to heart and pretty much stayed indoors. Then, in June, I started walking. Always in the bright of day, I would do 5k, sticking to the main streets and crossing with the lights. And every day I walked by the entrance to a trail that was just steps from my front door. 138 steps to be precise. That’s right, I counted. Of course our “Frank” told us about all the horrible things that happen on that trail so I stayed off it. On the other hand, twice in one week I witnessed vehicles whose drivers had lost control and ended up on the sidewalk. One of those times I was very lucky that the light turned red, stopping me just as I was about to step into the street. Had I made it across the road I would have wound up under that car.
These things make He-Who nervous. He was getting antsy about my walks, especially because I was threatening to widen my horizons. Finally, He-Who decided that he would accompany me and we would brave the evil trail.
This was no ordinary path. It was beautiful. It was well kept, clean and paved. Surely this could not be the trail “Frank” had talked about. We walked for a ways in one direction and then turned around. We passed our starting point and went a wee bit in the opposite direction before He-Who left me to continue on my own and returned home. The next day he joined me again and went the entire 5k with me. I think I broke him as he pretty much slept the rest of the day, while I did some research on my computer. It turns out my trail is one of 22 paved pathways in Oshawa.
Oshawa’s Trail system totals almost 27 km of paved surface that provides citizens and visitors with opportunities for physical activity such as walking, running, cycling, rollerblading or bird watching. A safe and environmentally friendly way of getting to and from work, school, shopping, or a nearby park, the trails are a great place to gather and enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.
Now, that may sound like it is right out of a brochure … well, actually it is.
My trail is called the Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path and it is 7 km from start to finish. I love it!
Surrounded by lush vegetation this paved path meanders along the picturesque Oshawa Creek valley with connections to Downtown Oshawa. The creek is home to the spring and fall trout and salmon runs.
I can vouch for the lush vegetation as you can see from the pictures.
The path and bridges are very well-built and maintained.
Benches and garbage containers are placed generously along the sides of the path. Grass is trimmed and waste receptacles are emptied.
The paths are monitored by police officers on bicycles so safety is not an issue. Oh, have I mentioned that this trail ends at a lovely sandy beach?
Every day I see families walking and biking; exercisers running, walking and cycling; couples taking leisurely strolls; and anglers fishing. I have yet to see any of the horrors I had been told existed on the trail. There is even a Trail Users Code:
- Motorized vehicles are not permitted.
- Please stay on the paved trail.
- Hunting is not permitted.
- Abide by the signs regarding permitted trail use.
- Cyclists must keep right, use a bell or verbal indication when passing, travel at moderate speed, use caution around pedestrians and dismount when crossing streets.
- Keep right to allow others to pass.
- Keep the trails clean. Use the trash receptacles provided.
- Keep pets on a leash.
- Leave flowers, plants and trees for others to enjoy.
- Respect and protect our natural resources.
And now I can also attest to the abundance of salmon. It was something to see. Battling up stream, building up a head of steam as they launched their attack on the current, the rocks and the rapids, these Chinooks were amazing.
There are times when I just get sick of hearing people say “you can’t” or “don’t do that”. Sometimes you just have to find out for yourself and leave the urban legends to the William H. Macys next door. No matter how great a neighbour they are.