Conclusion number 1: Taking things on big at the beginning, means that everything to follow will be way easier.
Talia and I, in our infinite wisdom, thought riding 117km on our first day was a good idea. While not exactly a bad idea, it meant that our 6 tired legs could’ve been happier with less distance. But all ended well (dont worry mom). Thanks to the beauty of warmshowers.org, we come home to Bart and Judith, brimming with excitement, and to a beautiful old home, tucked just off the Waterfront Trail, and only minutes from Lake Ontario. Their first question to us,
“Swim or dinner?”
We had been jonesing for a good swim all day! So we decided to go with the former and have a dip in them fine Ontario waters. As we waded in, we saw a large lit facility to our right. Bart informed us that it was a uranium processing plant. Hmmmm, we thought… as each additional step become slightly more hesitant.
Port Hope is an interesting place. It is one of the first cities to have uranium processing. Processing began in the 1930s, although at that time, it wasn’t uranium they were looking for, but radium. In the process, uranium was disposed of “willy nilly” (as I like to say..) meaning that citizens were living among or using uranium lined resources. This has left the entire town split on nuclear energy and unsure of what to do with all the uranium – some want to pull up all the uranium contaminated areas, while others want to avoid the challenges of demolition.
Never did I really recognize the energy production taking place in Ontario and that so much of this was happening along the waterfront. There are clearly attempts to meld the two worlds. Pickering’s waterfront is in the land surrounding (and even owned?) by the nuclear power plant. You can even see the plant as you picnic. Makes for a lovely view. They even hold a weekly Farmer’s Market at the plant. Delicious. “Just your neighbourhood nuclear plant” seems to be the vibe.
Energy is a controversial and challenging issue. Something that we as moving, productive, thinking people use (and exert) each and every day. It’s important and it’s a long term challenge. Nothing that can possibly be solved in the blink of an eye, because we will always need and want it. This means that there probably isn’t one solution and that the process in which we make each decision is as important as the decision itself, because it includes all of us.
In other news….we had two awesome visitors on our first day. The dashing Daniel Kent escorted us out of the city and Mr. Pete Trainor, also known as Captain Safety, came with us all the way to Port Hope. It was great riding 4-strong, especially as we traversed that not-so-flat Toronto sprawl on our way out of town.