The Great Canadian Yard Sale


Gilmour Street in Peterborough, Ontario is a beautiful seven-block-long, tree-lined street of original early 20th century homes that have been well maintained, with groomed yards. On one Saturday in May for the past twenty years, it’s been the host of a bargain seeker’s delight – the Great Canadian Yard Sale.

Gilmour Street

Some of the immaculate homes on Gilmour Street

This year was no exception. The weather was perfect and the adjacent streets were jammed with parked vehicles that brought the throngs to wander the length of Gilmour Street. We spent an hour or more wading through the crowds and taking in the atmosphere, which is that of a relaxed, friendly community where people share a coffee, catch up, support the charities that have tables set up, and enjoy bargains. Amateur musicians and young break dancers entertain; entrepreneurial children sell homemade lemonade and cupcakes.

The traffic

The traffic

The Bargain Hunters

The Bargain Hunters

It’s amazing what you can find there!

Golf Balls

Golf Balls

Appliances

Appliances

Antiques

Antiques

Coat of Armour

Even a Coat of Armour!

Motorcycle

A Motorcycle

Kitchen Sink

And yes, even the kitchen sink

Day-tripping on the Boulevard


The pool is ready for summer, but the water wasn’t quite warm enough for us to stick our toes in, so what better way to spend the first Canadian long-weekend of summer (Victoria Day weekend) than doing some day-tripping on the motorcycle?

The weather was perfect for riding when we started out on Saturday morning to attend a local Pow Wow; but a misunderstanding between Jim and me took us to the Curve Lake First Nations instead of Hiawatha! Nothing special was happening there, but we weren’t far from our other planned destination – the annual Buckhorn Spring Craft Show. We shared a hoagie, fries and Greek salad at the Olde Ice House in “downtown” Buckhorn before heading out to the Community Centre to admire the colourful creations and sample the jams, jellies and fudge on display, in the Community Centre and in and around the several wooden out-buildings.

Buckhorn is a small community along the Trent Severn Waterway at Lock 31, and a bustling tourist destination during the summer months.

We left Buckhorn with no other destination in mind, but while we sat enjoying a Dairy Queen treat back in Peterborough we decided it was too nice a day to go home, so off we went again, this time to Fenelon Falls, another summer attraction along the Trent Severn (Lock 34) and a great place for snapping pictures.

Fenlon Falls

Fenelon Falls

Fenelon Falls

Fenelon Falls

We enjoyed dinner on the balcony over the falls, in …The Fallsview Restaurant, of course!

Fallsview Restaurant balcony

Fallsview Restaurant balcony

Before falling onto our couch at home, full, sleepy and content, we drove down to the Peterborough waterfront at Del Crary Park for the Victoria Day celebrations there. The place was packed with parents and kids, lined up to enjoy the dozen or so Bouncy Castles that had been set up for their free entertainment. Some of them were pretty darned elaborate! We watched the sun begin to set, but were just too tired to wait around for the fireworks.

One Huge Bouncy Castle

One Huge Bouncy Castle

The line up for this one ran half way across the park!

The line up for this one ran half way across the park!

Peterborough Tour Boat

Peterborough Tour Boat

Sunset Over PeterboroughSunset Over Peterborough

Sunday morning we were out the door before noon once more, this time to catch the Pow Wow at the Hiawatha First Nations Reserve, just a twenty-minute drive east of Peterborough. The breeze from the bike was refreshing, but the sun was hot as we sat on the bleachers watching the ceremonial parade of people dressed in colourful traditional costumes and performing native dance steps. It was beautiful. We ate buffalo burgers for lunch and checked out the many vendor booths around the perimeter of the ceremonial area. We also had a good chat with a fellow biker who we always see at the Bikers Reunion in New Liskeard. That day he was celebrating his native heritage along with the others.

Dancers

Dancers

Hiawatha

Hiawatha

Our friend "Bear" on the right,with Standing Buffalo Warrior (a.k.a.Cliff Standingready)

Our friend “Bear” on the right,with Standing Buffalo Warrior (a.k.a.Cliff Standingready)

What a glorious two days to kick off summer and the biking season!

Plan Changes


It looks like our RV adventure has to be postponed because of a family responsibility, so my travel writing for a while will be about the interesting things to see and do in our local area, and shorter excursions on the motorcycle.

Last week we went on our first official “Tour Riders” ride, but it was a short ride because storm clouds were threatening. “The Tour Riders” is a group of bikers that originated thirty years ago. It used to be a more formal club with monthly meetings and membership dues and many organized rides, including an annual “Toy Ride” to collect toys for the local Children’s Aid Society. Most of the original members have moved on, and the ones remaining are retired seniors whose only agenda is to get together on the first and third Tuesday evenings of the month throughout the riding season and go for a ride that ends either at an ice cream parlour or a coffee shop. Someone takes the lead and the others willingly follow on a mystery ride. Younger members who like this casualness have joined the ranks. New members are always welcome to join. Just show up at 7:00 pm and introduce yourself!

Last night was a beautiful night for a ride. Nine bikes with eleven riders met at our usual spot, The Peterborough Zoo parking lot, and headed off towards Stoney Lake. Jim and I, on a Suzuki Boulevard, led this time (as we often do as Jim has been riding in this area since he was sixteen and knows the back roads very well).

On the move photography is often blurred.

On the move

The sky was blue, the air was sweet with the fragrance of budding trees and freshly mowed lawns, as we wound our way past soccer and soft-ball players on the Trent University campus; past horses in the fields, log houses and modern estates. Following us were Yamahas, Harleys , Suzukis, and Hondas, as well as one Victory and a Moto Gucci. The sun flickered through the trees as it made its slow descent over Stoney Lake.

The road ahead

Lots of turns

Lots of turns

IMG_1489

Water is high and fast on Stoney Lake this year

Water is high and fast on Stoney Lake this year

We almost made it around the lake when the joy was interrupted by an unwelcome event. When making a left turn, the Victory slid on the sand that had accumulated at the corner and went down, sliding unceremoniously into the ditch and taking the rider with it. Sand on the road is a dangerous thing for bikers! Fortunately, with the efforts of four men, the bike was retrieved and the rider, although shaken and dirty insisted he was unhurt. In any event, he refused offers to call for paramedics or tow truck, and climbed back onto his bike and headed for home, which wasn’t too far from where we were. The obvious damage to the bike was a broken gear shifter, which meant he rode the remainder of the way in third gear. BIKERS! We followed him to his turn and the couple who knew him best followed him home to make sure he made it. They met up with us at the coffee shop in Lakefield. We were all left a little shaken and lingered perhaps a little longer than usual before climbing back onto our own bikes and heading home.

We’ll meet for another ride in two weeks. We hope Bob will be able to join us.