Bear Essentials

My apologies in advance . . . this post has very little to do with the hobby of urban exploration. I promise to have something promising next week when I go exploring with one of my fav explorer-chicks 'Simmorill'. This explorer / blogger has been rather busy again this past week indulging in the dreaded activity called 'summer family vacation'. This particular vacation involved camping in the wilds of northern Ontario where only the bold or insane venture.

Let us just say that upon my return home from said vacation, I spent a rather long time in my bathroom admiring the modern convenience of a flush toilet and hot / cold running water. After this, I meandered over to the bed to take in the glorious feel of clean linen.

I would have spent some of my time exploring but the flying / biting / fire-breathing insects of northern Ontario decided that I would make a very lovely buffet. All that I can provide to you at this time is a short video taken at the nearby garbage dump of Dunchurch. In all, there were four bears, two raccoons, and a flock of dump-ducks . . . Enjoy !

First things first . . .

The reason we had found ourselves at the dump - - - apparently there was no place to plug in the curiously-absent television set in our tent. My three kids require only one of two things . . . television or Novacaine®. The next best thing a good father could provide in this situation is taking the monsters, I mean children, on this time-honoured traditional activity of those poor souls who have no cabel . . . a trip to the dump to take in the sights and smells.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the most horrible of stenches . . . it was sour, sickly-sweet, putrid, and acrid all at once. It was then I realised two things . . . that the van windows were shut tightly and that we were all in very dire need of a bath. We wandered over to the tipping face - a ledge with a eight-foot drop and immediately spotted black bears, specifically 'Ursus Americanus'. Even more specifically, Ursus Dumpus.

As we watched these graceful creatures claw through garabe bags and eat diaper burritos, I saw a curious creature unkown to me. It was completely round, fur-covered, had a waddling gait, and moved about on unseen appendages. Only when the critter lifted its head to clear its gullet of rancid fat did I realise what this animal was . . . the world's largest raccoon.

It's proper name, Procyon lotor, roughly translates from the latin as 'one who washes'. This is due to the raccoon's habit of 'washing' their food in water. As I watched in morbid curiosity this raccoon eat a variety of unsanitary sanitary products and anything else that may have been in those garbage bags, I did not note any washing of food whatsovever. Anywho . . . this beast, the size of small dalmation, most likely weighed in just over 45 kilos (100 pounds) and the dump bears steered a wide berth of this municipal monster.

The point I try to make here is that some parts of northern Ontario is no fit place for an "Urban" explorer to wander around . . .


Doors Open Barrie

Through Doors Open Ontario 2008, Ontario Heritage Trust and the City of Barrie, some of Barrie's most intriguing and charming heritage sites will be open to the public for tour. The very first Doors Open Barrie 2008 event is to take place Sunday, September 28, 2008. Tourists in this province have been enjoying Doors Open events since 2000. In France, the curious have had La Journée Portes Ouvertes since 1984.

For more information, Contact Tourism Barrie.
Telephone: 1-800-668-9100 or 705-739-9444
E-mail: info@doorsopenbarrie.ca
Website: www.doorsopenbarrie.ca

Some of the event sites this year . . .

Southshore Centre
205 Lakeshore Drive - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Barrie Arboretum
Sunnidale Park, corner of Sunnidale and Cundles Roads - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Foresters Museum
36 Mulcaster Street - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Harbour View Inn (Forsythe House)
1 Berczy Street - 10:00am to 4:00pm

MacLaren Art Centre (formerly the Library)
37 Mulcaster Street - 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Meridian Planning Consultants Inc. (Peplar House)
113 Collier Street - 10:00am to 4:00pm

The Robert Simpson Brewing Company
( B E E R ! ! )
107 Dunlop Street East - 10:00am to 4:00pm

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
47 Owen Street - 12:00pm to 4:00pm

Simcoe County Museum
1151 Highway 26 West - 1:00pm to 4:30pm

Trinity Anglican Church
24 Collier Street - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

I would also recommend taking part in one of three walking tours being arranged. One may register for a tour HERE .

Downtown Barrie Historic Walking Tour
Sunday, September 28 - 4:00 pm
Departing from Memorial Square (65 Dunlop Street East)

Barrie Union Cemetery Historic Walking Tour
Sunday, September 28 - 11:00 am & 2:00 pm
Meet at the Barrie Union Cemetery - 338 Sunnidale Road (Cundles Road West & Anne Street).

Barrie Waterfront Historic Walking Tour
Sunday, September 28 - 11:00 am & 2:00 pm
Meet at the Southshore Centre - 205 Lakeshore Drive