The adventure had been impromptu, irrelevant of the annual celebration of our planet but full embodying its spirit nonetheless.
Google Maps led me to a homey neighbourhood with narrow roads - two lanes, one in each direction. I then diverted north, arriving at the rather desolate-looking site. But the address was correct, for one of the City's new, plasticky signs had been installed.
Davidson Trail led upwards along the Credit River, under the Derry Road overpass, and out towards a clearing for a closer view of the water. Following the path, I would traverse along the man-made lake known as Meadowvale Ponds.
Gazing towards the fields, a few, branch-less trees were observed. They served as resting spots for birds in the vicinity, who had taken to their own activities without much regard for passerbys.
I continued to roam aimlessly, eventually finding myself face to face with a set of tracks. There were not other connecting paths. A woman and her dog had just passed me minutes earlier - "Where had they come from???" had been my initial response. As it dawned upon me that there was no looping back, I grudgingly retraced my steps to the transmission towers.
By the time I had found my way back to the trail head, I was tired and a tad antsy to find a bathroom. The sighting of portable washrooms was portentous, alluding to an absence of indoor plumbing facilities.
I continued anyways, hopping onto Culham Trail behind a couple seemingly familiar with the area.
At this moment, my eyes began to itch. My nose began to twitch. My body experienced an overall sense of discomfort. I slipped on my mask to combat the invisible enemies, but ultimately could not escape the befall of dust and pollen.
Culham Trail provided a good connection to parks and residential areas in the neighbourhood, but also a direct path to the Credit Valley Conservation Authority. The building was impressive, modern and grand, while the lot neatly filled with brick pavers and outfitted with heavy camera surveillance from all directions. Parking fees would be enforced without an employee pass.
Washrooms, as well as a labelled "comfort station" area, were closed, leaving portables as the only option
For hikers though, the unbearable dust and pollen levels, along with the unclear pathways, made for a somewhat frustrating experience. I will not be casting Meadowvale Conservation Area a second visit, though wouldn't hesitate to recommend the spot as a destination for brief exploration (given no spring allergies).