Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
Toronto, Ontario

Following the Salmon

Karuna, one of our resident monks, and I had planned this half-crazed but necessary warm-up trek for the upcoming marathon from Boston this Sunday. Beginning from the mouth of the Don River, Karuna and I embarked on a river adventure in the city.

We began as the sun moved up from hiding at 6:45am and followed the Don River which at first runs like a straight canal. Before long, somewhere close to the Danforth Bridge, the river becomes its own swervy self and eventually an official trail turns off the river. We took to a meandering cement path, where foot trails disappear and at places you walk on the GO train railroad track. Yes, it's slightly dangerous.

The adventure took us through poison ivy patches, thorny brush (indeed one branch tore into my sleeve), and ducked under a fallen old tree which scraped skin off the tip of my bald head. More pleasantly, we napped at a sandy beach along the river. Apple trees were in abundance - wild, organic, and a wide gamut of tastes. That became our only meal over the 7 1/2 hour trek but for a few intensely powerful wild grapes.

I was quite amazed by the awesome number of bicycle commuters on the southern end of the Don. Of course, you would not be surprised to find some element of the homeless. One fellow had his set-up under a solid bridge, at the end of one of those disappearing trails where it turns into mean forest. Yes, we had to surrender to walking some residential areas. The most intriguing aspect of our foot travel along the Don was seeing the salmon splash their way over rocks for their spawning. They go upstream, splatter, make their leap, and then squiggle their way through more water until they reach their next hurdle. It was totally fascinating.

One more item of the day that sticks out as endearing was the Portuguese road construction fellow who, upon seeing two salmon-coloured monks come along, allowed us preferential entrance onto a barricaded bridge when all other pedestrians were detoured. "Thanks fella! Hare Krishna!"

May the Source be with you!

30 km

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