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Friday, June 29th 2007

18:57

The Places That You Can’t Get To

Today we decided to head out and get some exercise while exploring an interesting roadway.

On our Riverside South trip we had passed what our map showed as “High Road”, just south of Leitrim Road, on Bowesville Road. Our older map showed it as a regular road branching off the main road. A newer map showed it “gone". On the ground it looked quite different from either interpretation.

First off it was separated from the rest of the road network by a berm of earth and then, once past the berm, it was a narrow gravel roadway, about ten feet wide. We didn’t explore further on that trip, but promised to come back and have a better look some time. That was today.

So we pedalled down there and stopped to have a look at the entrance. There was a sign-post at the entrance, but no sign on it – it looked like someone had swiped it.

The Rhoades Car easily climbed the berm in one of the lower gears and we were away on what looked like a recreational trail. The scenery was very pleasant and the road wide enough for comfort. We stopped and took a few photos in a couple of places.

The map showed that the road joined onto Albion Road near the racetrack/casino a mile or so distant. In the meantime we enjoyed the warm summer air and the country scenes.

We passed a side track that seemed to branch out into a pit area where more trails went east. The entrance was guarded by two boulders that narrowed the entranceway, at what looked like it had been a farm entrance gate at some time.

The gravel roadway continued southeast. We wondered about its origins. Was it a road that had been abandoned and turned into a recreational trail or perhaps an old rail-bed? There weren’t many clues.

Finally we came to a high earth berm in the trail and went to recce it out on foot. The initial slope was reasonable and could be traversed by the quadracycle. Then it levelled out for a few yards and finally it plunged down a very steep slope to a perpendicular gravel track in the bottom of the ravine where one imagines a creek should be, but wasn’t. The trail then picked up on the other side climbing at an impossible angle up a hundred feet or so to continue on its way.

There was no sign that there had ever been a bridge there and surely it was no design for a road for cars. Even mountain bikes would have to be carried at least most of the way down and up again. Curious.

Clearly we were stymied and so we turned the quadracycle around by hand and, after snapping a few photos of the obstacle, proceeded back. Later I found it on Google satellite, but it doesn’t look as imposing an obstacle in 2D.

We stopped at the previously mentioned farm gate area to find that the boulders had been carefully placed to exclude four-wheeled vehicles, including us. That was two places that the quadracycle couldn’t go today. We were undaunted – after all we were there to explore, get some fresh air and exercise and we were doing all three.

We pedalled back to the start point and then proceeded back home via the blacktop roads.

All in all it was an interesting excursion. We need to do some digging around to find out what the story of “High Road” is. It looks like it has an interesting history.

In the meantime we are learning that the quadracycle can get to lots of places that you can’t take a car, but not quite as many as a mountain bike.

Have a look at the photos from this trip.

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