Well, there are no Spanish ladies around, but I can hear the proverbial fat lady warming up. In case you haven’t guessed it, this is the final week of classes for the year and I’m just a wee bit excited. It’s not that I don’t like my job, but as I’ve mentioned in previous weeks, it is time for a break. I’m tired. I just need some time away from the building, without the stress and just relax. This is not to say that I’m going to do nothing for the next two months, far from it, but I just need to recharge the battery.
On that note, there are still a few days left and a bunch of stuff to do. There is still one exam left to go (for me anyway) and I have a bunch of projects to mark. By Thursday it will be all good and I can put things on cruise control. The end of the year is somewhat sad though, as I say goodbye to the students from this year. This is especially true for the graduates. I’ve known some of these young adults for four years (if they played football), and some have been in my classes three years in a row. It is amazing to watch them grow, mature and move on to the next phase in their life. Reminds me that I’m getting old though, as I graduated from the very same building exactly 20 years ago. Class of 1992; wow, where has the time gone? How quickly time flies by. I sometimes wonder where all my former classmates are? Some are still friends; some I work with; some I see glimpses of their lives on Facebook. There are the few that you just don’t know.
Anyway, enough with the memory lane crap. So what’s new on the railway? Well, not a whole lot. We unfortunately got another dump of rain last week, which is perfect since things were just starting to dry out from the last one. It ruined the last day of our annual spring football camp, which is the best one by the way. I always love playing a bit of ball with the kids, and I know they like to see what the old guys can do. I guess we should count ourselves lucky though, since we only got 50mm of rain, not like our sister city to the south, Duluth, Minnesota. They were walloped with 250mm, which is more than double what we received in our big storm. I really feel for people there, since there was a hell of a lot of damage that was done. I wonder when this crazy weather is going to settle down?
Last week I did receive some encouraging news however regarding Gunflint Lake. On Wednesday I received a long-awaited response from my local MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly of Ontario). Bill Mauro’s office told me that they are looking into the matter and will get back to me when more information is available. Then on Thursday I received another email, this time from the local Archeology Review Officer for the Ontario Government. He acknownledged that there are some valuable historic artifacts in the area and they do need to be protected. The information will be forwarded to the appropriate government agencies so if and when an application for development is made, it will trigger a proper review. We’ll see where things go from there.
All this talk of Gunflint Lake has made me excited to get back to hiking. Next week I’ll be able to get into the bush; I think I’ll finish the examination of the Wolfe Siding to Mackies section that I didn’t get to a few weeks back. However, what has really got me going is Gunflint. Since the road down to the lake on the Canadian side has been repaired, I am contemplating getting out there in a few weeks. I last did this route back in 2008, and it was one crazy drive; maybe with the road in better shape it won’t be so bad. I am going to be on Gunflint in August, but I figure if I can get out there before that trip, it will take some pressure off of me.
I’m really curious to see what shape the road is in too; the only unfortunate part is that it will take me more than 2.5 hours to get there, since it is almost 150km
away. The temptation is too much to resist though! I’ll save Leeblain for August, and concentrate on covering the stretch from there to Gunflint Narrows, which is an 8km round trip. I can properly document the rock cuts on my GPS (which I didn’t really do in 2008) and take video to post on YouTube (didn’t start the railway videos until mid-2010). Let’s hope the weather holds!
Speaking of video, and I’ll wrap up with this, I decided to add a little spice to my hiking videos. Just happened to catch a video from BWCACAST, which had a neat little intro to it, so figured that I could do that too! I contacted a former student who is in the multimedia program at Confederation College. He agreed to help out and I’m eagerly anticipating the completion of this cool intro clip. I’ll be sure to post the link when I get the first new video up!
Anyway, time to shut it down for this week. I might be late on next week’s post, just so no one thinks I’m dead or anything. Until then…