Tag Archives: hiking

Rock Dunder

This weekend, we went on a drive along Hwy 15 to a little place just north of Seeley’s Bay called Rock Dunder. We’ve been going on short drives every weekend lately, and with the beautiful weather we had, it was necessary that we spend some time outside. Part of the Rideau Waterway Land Trust, Rock Dunder is a wonderful place for a hike.

90a857df-0471-49b3-a884-43f72c8d4a44

We’d already gotten a few pointers from those who had gone before us (i.e. the turn off is really easy to miss, so if you pass the Morton sign, you’ve gone too far), so we were pumped and ready to go. Upon first arriving at the site, it was pretty unassuming. We parked in the tiny lot (which was at full capacity with about 10 cars), made sure we had our sunscreen, and headed off.

We walked along the Cabin trail (green on the map) – a really easy stroll through some wood, towards the water. Arriving at Cabin 1, we encountered two nice ladies who doused themselves in Off! Unfortunately, we were not as prepared. More on that later.

This is where we begin the Summit Loop (orange on the map). Between Cabin 1 and Cabin 2, the terrain gets a little more hilly, but there are a number of lookouts where you can take a rest. This also comes with a number of beautiful views of the bay and the lucky individuals who happen to have cottages on the surrounding land.

The last leg up to the lookout was fairly strenuous, with lots of climbing and some pretty steep sections. We attempted to run up some of these parts, only to leave ourselves quite winded. As we got closer, the land levelled out, and when we happened upon the large sheets of rock, we knew we had made it.

The view was incredible, and we certainly didn’t mind sharing it with the dozen or so people that were also at the lookout.

IMG_5902

There were people having picnics, others doing wall climbs, and still others just taking pictures or resting. It felt like we were on top of the world.

IMG_5911

Though we had been instructed (prior to the day) to return the way we came, we decided to venture out and finish the rest of the loop. This is where things went south.

This stretch of the loop back to the parking lot was longer…and muddier…and full of mosquitoes. It alternated between wooded areas and open rock faces, and there were definitely many sections that we ran through to avoid the bites of some blood-sucking companions.

So, an hour and 5.2 km later, we were back where we started. Granted, we were definitely more tired, and our shoes looked much worse, but it was a good time. We even left them a donation.

rock dunder

So, that’s that for Rock Dunder. We rewarded ourselves with some ice cream, and resolved to come back again (with Off!).

 

(A)typical Saturday

Saturdays in Kingston are typically now our free days. I’ll spend a couple of hours at work in the morning and by lunchtime the day is ours again. Our favourite lunch place to hit is a little Japanese hole-in-the-wall in Portsmouth Village near the university. I don’t want to say the name here because this joint is so small and so good that people will no doubt flock to it in droves.

Lunch here is always so so so soooo good and typical to Kingston, the owners of this Japanese establishment are Korean but the food is delicious and the value is just right. During lunch today Cat and I tried to map and time out how to best use the rest of our day. We decided that we would first go for a hike at Marshlands Conservation area along Front Road. Catherine has been wanting to show me this place ever since she went on one of her biking excursions down there.

The trail itself, I’ll admit, was a bit boring. It’s certainly not the lengthiest or most varied trail in Kingston, but it definitely has it’s charm. We came across a couple of link ups to the train tracks, which brought out the inner vagabond in us. There was also these really neat crossing points that had the trail turn into a wooden plank bridge across the marshlands. Also unlike typical trails this one was a straight line, meaning that once we got to the end point (Queen Mary Road) we had to turn around on the same trail. I don’t know how often we’ll come back to this trail for our hikes since it’s quite far from where we live but it’s pretty awesome for people who live close by!

After the hike we decided that we should head to the Hudson Bay Company at the mall. Earlier an aunty from our former church dropped off a gift card on behalf of the moms and dads of the youth that we used to work with. It was such a sweet and generous thing of them to do. We’ve been in the market for a vacuum cleaner for the past 4-6 months and much to Cat’s resentment I’ve been holding us off on the purchase until I’ve “completed my research”, which basically means scouring the internet for vacuum reviews. Appliances are kind of my thing so Cat is more than happy to let me have at it, even if it means our carpets go unclean for longer periods of time. Just as an obligatory hygiene note: we have been borrowing my parents’ spare vacuum for the past little while, so our house IS clean!

When it comes to picking out appliances or other products I’ll turn to my friend Terry, who got engaged around the same time as Catherine and I, and we’ll get into lengthy email/text conversations about which brand is best and why. Terry, along with my parents, pointed us in the direction of Miele, a German company who has basically written the book on how to design the cutest looking vacuums while making them incredibly functional. These bad boys, depending on the model, can range from $400-1200.

So walking into the Bay I knew what brand/model-ish we wanted and had coerced Catherine into being okay with buying a $600 vacuum (hehe), reassuring her that I knew what I was doing. Man did we ever get lucky. As we walk up to the vacuum section there’s only two of the S2 canister models left, one of which was a fairly dinged up floor model and the other was a sealed box model with no price. The floor model had a sticker on it that said $359.99 (MSRP $599). I started freaking out to Catherine because I felt like we had totally lucked out on that price, even if it was for a floor model. A sales associate comes by and I ask about the floor model and he mentions that there’s a sealed box model on top (duh) and that it’s priced at $359.99 as well. I don’t even remember if he finished his sentence before I told him that we would take it. AND since we had giftcards, we ended up only paying about $100 for this vacuum.

Our new Miele vacuum on the right, aptly named Blueberry the Blue vacuum. My parents’ Miele S2 on the left, which Catherine dubbed PomPom (for pomegranate)

It’s hard to explain my emotions on getting this amazing Miele S2 Continuum canister vacuum with powerhead and HEPA certified filters for basically 1/6 of the price. We’re so domestic-ized.