On a hot, sultry July 23rd morning 6 boats were launched at the Hastings Marina by 10:15 ready to proceed to Lock 18 on our Trent River Run.
On the east side of the Lock, we were joined by the Parnells in their Shepherd Junior ready to travel down river. Halfway to our first stop, we were met by Ronny Haylock who led us to his home, a beautiful white frame lodge, situated on the north shore of the Trent River, its construction dating back to 1857.
It was truly amazing as we approached ample docking space to see this oasis in an area parched by the Southern Ontario drought! The lush green grass felt so good that most of us slipped out of our shoes to feel its coolness between our toes. The abundance of flower gardens bordering his property, the oversized hanging baskets and pots burgeoning with colour were something to behold.
After leaving our food and chairs here we got back in our boats and continued eastward to Healy Falls. On the way back, John Gullick led us through a channel giving us another view of Trent River cottages.
By the time we returned, our hosts, Ronnie and Sue and Murray and Vicki had everything set up and ready. The barbecues were fired up with hamburgs, hot dogs, shishkabobs, and a special goulash dish. The salads and sweets were set out in dining style for all to help themselves and enjoy. And enjoy we did! What a great way to relax on a hot day by taking in all the colour in the shade of the beautiful big trees. A mother osprey and her baby, nesting on top of a hydro pole across the river entertained us as did the frogs in Ronnie’s newly constructed garden pond and the many birds attracted to this paradise
By late afternoon we packed up our cooler bags, said our thank yous and proceeded back up river through the Lock for haul out.
In spite of our mid-day feast, some of us couldn’t resist a stop at the Kawartha Ice Cream Shop, Hastings, before heading home, tired and hot but so happy to have had this time together.
We are very grateful to Ronny Haylock and Sue for opening their home and gardens so graciously and to Murray and Vicki Parnell who were instrumental in organizing the day. We’re told that the secret to beautiful flowers is plenty of watering and fertilizing 2 to 3 times weekly so I went out early the next morning to water & fertilize my little gardens. (I’m still waiting for amazing results!!)
Rich Hughes also provided us with a series of photos of the event as can be seen below.
Thank you to Ronny Haylock for providing three videos of this excellent event!