by Karen Hirst
The Mighty Mississippi pulsated for weeks on end this Spring in a frenzy of foaming suds and splashing currents as it cascaded down, down, down over tiers of hidden rock ledges until finding rest in the bay below or flooding its shores into unwanted low lying areas causing havoc for those in its path.
In recent days, seated along the river’s edge, a surging power of energy built as the crowds watched, waited and willed the Raptors Basketball Team on to win their first NBA championship and the cheers of a long-sought victory echoed across the country.
Almontonians have been splurging on the successes of its many varied events designed to pleasure all the senses and keep its citizens bursting at the seams with pride and in eager anticipation for “what’s next?”
Lots of adrenaline rushes with little down time to regroup … but every so often someone captures the calm that accompanies this blitz of activity and shows us where to seek our rest and peace amidst the maddening crowd.
Some find theirs along the paths of the OVRT but for many the call of the river is heard and we are fortunate to have some lovely ways of getting up close and personal alongside or out on the river … and we catch our breath in doing so.
On this lovely June afternoon, Ken and I sought the calm and peace found along the River Walkway … what a treasure we have in our midst. To be able to slip away, off the beaten path of Mill Street, into this quiet place of retreat, is nothing short of delightful. You can even buy a good read and an ice cream cone close by if the urge overtakes you!
We meandered along the walkway, others passing us by, quietly talking and exchanging friendly words of greeting, each seen to be in awe of the sights and sounds of the river, each seeking their own personal moment of reprieve from their daily demands.
Strategically placed trees and natural flowering shrub growth provides both the beauty of lush foliage and natural shade. To combine this with a gentle cooling breeze off the water and the walkway caters beautifully to those that worship cooler locales. In full view of the sun or tucked away, there are benches, large rocks, picnic tables or grass to sit and while away a few hours.
The Bridge Street entrance to the walkway which begins under the towering presence of the magnificent stone work of the Old Town Hall meanders past an array of brightly coloured spring perennials. Along the walkway itself, plaques tell of the significant history that borders our river.
The River Walkway is just another reason that makes Almonte a good place to visit and an even better place to call home.