Written by William Butt, reproduced from the Fortune Teller
Fortune has a lot to offer the outdoor people and most of us miss it by saying there's nothing to do around here. Some of the better things for hikers ,bikers and snowmobile riders are just a little distance off the main roads that run through town.
The trail up over the farm leads to one of the best trails for the winter sport of snow shoeing, bike riding or skidooing. The trail is marked with red markers that can be seen night or day as many of the trail markers have fluorescent paint to show the way to those who may not travel the trail a lot in the night time.
For the experienced rider or hiker, you can get off the main trail, wander your way towards our neighboring towns, such as Lamaline, Lawn, or St.Lawrence, and on through the country to the Devil's kitchen in the Winterland-Garnish area. Favorite camp sites are all along the trail where outdoor people from those other towns meet for boil ups and an outdoor cooked dinner that always brings a crowd from around the Burin Pen.
The hiking trail at Horsebrook Park tends to offer the hikers some wild life at this time of year but very few are using the trail. Rabbits and birds, including the winter robins, can be seen throughout the park trail; a fox running the rabbits' trail looking for a fresh meal is also seen from time to time. This trail is a very quite spot for the relaxing hiker. A camera and field glasses are a plus - you never know what you might run across on your trip through the park. Once you come out on the Horn House Road its a nice walk up hill to the light house with a very nice view of the bay and the French islands of St.Pierre et Miquelon.
A walk along the banks of the shore line with a breathtaking view of waves lashing against the shoreline, and sea birds that are only seen at this time of the year, will make your hike worth while. For those who like a long hike you can take the ATV trail to Grassy Patch where the trail goes to the beach and passes the many cabins that are located along the way. Many of the cabin owners will invite you in for a warm up, most will invite you to have a cup of tea. We have scenery that's second to none but why we don't get out more to take advantage of it I will never understand. Get out to the great outdoors. It will do your heart good. The benefit of the walk will take your mind off the things that don't matter and fill your mind with things that do - YOUR HEALTH.
Now that spring is just around the corner, the sun has regained its power in many ways. On my morning walks around the outskirts of town, which takes only forty-five minutes, I have noticed that several houses are taking on the spring look already. The brin rappers have been removed from the shrubs and the rose trees that needed protection from the winter wind and snow. Many houses have started the spring clean up already - it looks good and it gets one outdoors in the nice spring air.
Many of us are into flowers and plants to brighten up our yards and give the property a pleasing appearance.
This gets the avid gardener outdoors and it does things to those of us who indulge in it. The fresh air is a must for the relaxing mind; the exercise is real good and the yard takes on a nice look with different kinds of plants and flowers. A large selection of colours makes the yard more attractive to birds and bees who also like flowers. Last year I had the pleasure to see, for the first time, a humming bird in my flowers. I watched as it made its rounds to the yards in our area, dipping into the flowers. It made a short visit, staying around for three days that I saw - but may have been longer.
Sharing cuts of plants and flowers gives one a chance to improve the look. I always keep my eye open for a new slip of flower.
The rock gardens take some time but the work put into this project has its rewards also. It keeps you outdoors while adding beauty to an old rock that you previously tried to hide. Try getting outdoors to walk for your health. Once you have been around the outskirts for a few times, you shorten the time and find that it's not a chore anymore. At this time of year we are cleaning our yards after the long winter days that kept most of us inside. A fresh coat of paint here and there makes it all worth while,
when the tourists come to our town to visit. They see our nice yards full of trees, plants and flowers and they will have to say: "These people must like the great outdoors." Have fun in the fresh air - it's good for you.
This is the time that our clocks go into a summer mode and we get that extra bit of longer daylight saving time. Barbecues are all warmed up and smelling of the favourite foods that are cooked to the outdoor chefs delight. Most of us at this time of spring can't wait for the sun to become so powerful that our skin takes on a nice tan. We should also be very concerned of over doing it for the health risk of skin cancer. Long walks are one of the things to do if you have the time but wear light clothing. It helps to reflect the heat and makes your walk more enjoyable.
On your walk through the Horsebrook Trail you will no doubt see campers taking advantage of our camp grounds. Please stop for a chat. Most campers are very friendly and would like to ask questions about things around town and what's happening. You could make a difference to their stay and also make a new friend. Tell them about the Nature Trail; point out anything that's of interest to you - it may also interest them but they could pass by it if not for your input.
Most people who visit the waterfront know about the Tea room, other things of interest could be pointed out. Let's advertise our Fortune treasures by chatting with the tourists. It won't ruin your day outdoors.
I might add here that some people are so concerned with the outdoors in this town that there is one gentleman who walks around town every day in the summer, carrying a small plastic bag. He picks up chip bags and other bits of debris that are thrown around by the night people who really don't seem to care. I tip my hat to him. He asks for nothing in return and remains a silent clean up man.
Let's take our children and grandchildren on our walks when the weather is suitable; spend some time on the nature trail; and don't be in a hurry. There's a lot to see and enjoy by the streams and wild flowers that are a plenty on the nature trail. Picnic tables are located along the trail. A quiet stop for just a little while brings birds and squirrels while the snowshoe rabbit will like little titbits of food that you, the hiker, can provide.
Enjoy the spring weather and look forward to the nice days of summer when we all can enjoy Fortune outdoors.