Yesterday we took a drive to the Elora Gorge, as part of my desire to see more of the surrounding area and go hiking (or walking in some woods) more often.
The majority of the day was spent driving. We took the scenic route up, first winding our way out of Mississauga on Erin Mills Parkway, which joins Mississauga Road and becomes Highway 1, then to Highway 7. (In New York State and much of the rural US, these country roads are called "routes". I'm trying to remember that they are called "highways" here, even though they don't look like highways.) I've been told that 7 is the scenic route from Toronto to Kitchener, so it seemed like a good idea.
Long ago, Lone Primate and some other readers mentioned The Copper Kettle in Georgetown for its great pub food. (It's great knowing this is all recorded somewhere on your own blog.) I got the address online, and Main Street, Georgetown seemed like an easy enough place to find. It was, but there was no Copper Kettle on it. We drove a lot, and looked a lot, and spent a fair amount of time searching, but no such pub materialized. Anyone know if this place is still in business?
We had lunch at another pub on Georgetown's Main Street, then back to 7 west to Guelph, then north on 6.
On Highway 6, we got lost. Who expects a road to take a 90-degree turn without changing numbers? And without good signage, either. So we drove a fair distance out of our way, and back, and by the time we got directions and headed back towards Elora, it was getting late in the day.
Back on 6, the area is all farmland, which is always nice to drive through. Although the getting lost part detracts from that a bit. But not in a huge way.
The Conservation Area itself was very nice. We had a nice walk, saw a bit of the gorge, and there's not much more to say about that. We were already warned that it wasn't a huge hiking area, but we walked on whatever trails are there, plus around the park itself.
We took the 401 home, which gave us a better idea of the distance. Minus searching for a phantom pub, having lunch, and getting lost, Elora Gorge seems to be slightly more than an hour from our place, maybe 1:15.
If you're wondering, Tala barked and spun in circles the entire way up. The. Entire. Way. And since we were on slow roads and got lost, that's a lot of barking. The best part of walking around Elora Gorge was the quiet.
Then, much to our amazement, she actually tired herself out. On the way home, we had several highly surprising stretches of quiet. She actually lay down! We were like parents tiptoeing around after they finally get a colicky baby to sleep, whispering for fear of starting her up again. (She seems to be conditioned to pop up and bark at the sound of the directional being used! Click - Tala!)
This was the first time we've ever seen Tala tire herself out from barking. So it turns out there is a limit! Perhaps lying quietly in the back while traffic zooms along on both sides provided an unintentional lesson for her. See? You can lie here quietly, and nothing bad happens.
But we've discontinued her car training. It was so much work, and progress was excruciatingly slow. It's one thing to drive around our little neighbourhood with me in the hatchback with Tala (not exactly comfortable), giving her treats for quiet behaviour. She's made big progress on that little front.
But we can't imagine how long it would take to get from there to actual highway driving with Tala alone in the back, well-behaved. Especially since every time we go anywhere without training, it reinforces the barking behaviour. I do think she'll eventually grow out of this.
She's a great dog, and she's learned so much since we adopted her, and we love her to pieces. So if this is her worst flaw, well, everyone has one.
I think our next outing will be the Devil's Punchbowl Falls, some time in May.