2022 July 3: Steveston to the Arthur Laing Bridge

Twenty-two of us met in the parking lot of the shopping mall outlet near the airport. It was a cool, damp day, as will be guessed from the sky, the general dress code, and umbrellas. Although there are always diehard wearers of shorts.

After some minor confusion, followed by only moderately advanced arithmetic, half of the cars departed, taking everyone to the start of the walk: Garry Point Park in Steveston.

We walked along the dyke to Terra Nova. This part of the walk has attractive houses and landscaping on one side and a wide sweep of grass and beach and sea and sky on the other.

We left the dyke for the Terra Nova trail and then stopped at the children’s playground for snacks. The big slide (terrifying to those with a well-developed sense of their mortality) proved irresistible to Jan and Fred. The still photos don’t show the speed with which they shot out of the end of it. But note that the photographer is giving Fred lots of room.

We then walked the south side of the river to the blue bridge (the No. 2 Road Bridge). We walked across the bridge and then headed to the north side, taking our lives in our hands as we crossed Gilbert Road. At this point, those who had congratulated themselves on their waterproof footwear noticed that the ground was soggy and the grass came up over the tops of our boots — but Loopers are not easily daunted and squelched resolutely onwards.

As we went single file through an overgrown trail, we noticed a lot of planes ascending overhead and happily concluded we were nearing the airport. We passed the Deckside Marina and soon saw the parking lot where we’d parked half the cars.

Another round of calculations, quickly sorting out the whereabouts of missing people, and soon we were on our way — either to home, directly to the Milltown Bar and Grill, or via the Garry Point parking lot to collect cars. Seventeen people showed up for afters.

Ralph had come to join us at Milltown. He was early, so sensibly installed himself at the bar with a bottle of wine. The rest of us trickled in and were eventually all watered and fed by the efficient staff.

• • •

Meanwhile, the Absent Duo experienced a different weather pattern in la belle province.

Michael and Jean, currently on leave in the GMT-4 time zone (aka Quebec), completed a multi-mode outing on the first Sunday in July. Accompanied by Occasional Looper Rose, they set out on bicycles from their B&B in Mont-Rolland, cycling south and east along the Petit Train du Nord bicycle path to Saint-Jerome, which marks the terminus of the 201 km bicycle trail from Mont-Laurier. A highlight of the expedition was the flea market in Prévost, which offered many temptations. In Saint-Jerome they caught the train, and then the metro, to downtown Montreal, walking to their Auberge for the night. Afters were consumed on the outdoor terrace at Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce, a burger emporium on Mont-Royal Avenue.

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