Acts of Kindness in the City of Sudbury

The walk towards Coniston, and the City of Sudbury started off with finding a nice little public rest area; complete with running water and picnic tables!  This called for celebration, so I had another breakfast to toast the occasion.

My focus since arriving in the area, and while eating at the picnic table, was of the old Coniston smelter stack that rises above the forests and neighbouring houses (below).  I performed some interesting research work on the impact of smelting operations in the Greater Sudbury region to soil health when I was attending Trent University, he journal article published by Meadows (me) and Watnough (supervisor) can be found online somewhere (sorry for the self-promotion!).  Even better, I happened to meet someone at the reststop while I was leaving, and had a great chat about legacy smelting operations in the area, and the impacts it had to the people and Greater Sudbury environment — he suffered was diagnosed with bladder cancer.  I have actually never seen the Coniston and the Copper Cliff Super stacks, so it was a visit of some nostalgia.  

While in Sudbury, I had some items to pick up before heading to Espanola.  The first item was rope, since I forgot where I hung my rope in a tree after my tea the day before, so somewhere along the Trans Canada is a nice length of cordellete and a cheap-o beaner hanging off a tree branch!  Since I always want to keep my scented items and food away from my camp and animal paws, I hang it.  It is hard to hang a bag when you have no rope, but there was a billboard off the highway near my campsite (>100 m), so I climbed up the back of a Subway sign and hung it off a nail — the bag was well hidden from passerby eyes.    

Picking up the replacement rope is where the Acts of Kindness title comes into play.  As I was walking into the City of Sudbury, I saw a Royal Distributors store (below), which didn’t have any cordellete or rope that would be suitable for lugging around; however, the person I asked (owner or manager) found some rope that they used in the store for tying signs together, and he let me have whatever length I needed for free!  I didn’t get his name, but he saved me a long trip, stress, since it was already getting late.  When you get stuck in a city, you can’t just setup your tent anywhere you like.  Personal safety is hard when you are essentially homeless in a city! 

While in Sudbury, my number one task was to get new bolts for my cart, since it was was now a twisted wreck on wheels, due the shearing of the bolts on each side of the upper and lower support bars.  Going over every bump caused the cart to crumple sideways!  I needed replacement bolts, but the thread size and type are not easily obtained at the local hardware store.  The guy that helped me at the Royal Distributing told me of a place nearby (1 hr walk), where I would be able to get my cart fixed.  

I  hobbled my busted cart down a very long highway to Maslack’s on Falconbridge Rd., where an employee (below) found the correct bolt, fitted them correctly with washers on my cart, and helped me take apart the cart to install the new bolts. since I didn’t have the correct wrench with me.  When I asked how much I owe him for the brand new bolts and washers, plus the two spare bolts and washers, I think he said $100, but then said I owe him nothing!  Another act of kindness.  As I was walking away from the store, another employee ran up to me on the sidewalk and handed me money!  Two acts of kindness in an hour or less!  At this rate, I was expecting someone to run up to me and say that they will be able to carry my cart for me while I walk!

After all that kindness, my step had this little more bounce to it, and I began to think that maybe I can do this walk!  I was now ready to hook back into the trail, and say farewell to Sudbury.  After an 1hr or so of walking around the city, with the obligatory fussing about, I found another guy with a walking cart (Brian)(title image).  After talking with Brian, he gave me directions to get back on the Trans Canada Trail.  Thankfully I found him, since I would of never guessed that you have to go into a tunnel and up a street to re-connect to the trail.  I could of seen myself taking the long way around, with lots of backtracking.  He also told me about potential water quality concerns of the city’s waterways, and told me to go to a nearby cafe to fill up my water reserves before heading out.  Thankfully I went,  because I found one of the best homeade butter tarts of my life!  I also sat down for 1/2 hr recharged my phone and all electronics!

I imagine the list of people showing such kindness will grow in the months to come, and I thank you all!

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