Monday, August 22, 2011
A BIT OF A HIKE TO GET A FEW GODERICH TORNADO DAMAGE PHOTOS OF THE SIFTO SALT MINE COMPLEX
THE SIFTO SALT COMPLEX AT THE MOUTH OF THE MAITLAND RIVER EMPTYING INTO LAKE HURON
THAT LARGE LAKE FREIGHTER BESIDE THE SALT MINE COMPLEX APPEARS TO HAVE WEATHERED THE TORNADO OK….GRAIN ELEVATORS IN RIGHT PHOTO SUSTAINED SOME DAMAGE BUT LUCKILY THE RV/BOAT COMMUNITY ESCAPED UNSCATHED
Following Sunday's terrible weather in the area, Monday turned out to be perfectly gorgeous day with no humidity, big white puffy clouds, a cooling breeze and a warming sun. Motor and I stayed in the living room with the Pheebs for the night and all was quiet.
JUST ONE OF THOSE PICTURE PERFECT BEAUTIFUL EARLY AUTUMN FEELING MORNINGS
More reports coming in this morning about the Goderich Tornado suggested it had moved inland for maybe 10 miles before dissipating. One person has died and 30 some people have been injured. Goderich was sealed off but I knew if I criss crossed some country roads east of town I might come across some Tornado damage in the countryside. Threw the cameras in the Jeep and headed off in a north easterly direction. Kelly had the day off so was able to stay home with Motor and the Pheebs.
First signs of damage I saw were bits of insulation alongside the road and right after that I could see where the Tornado had traveled across the landscape. Broken trees beside the road and a large flattened area of cornfield. Looking across the fields in the direction of Goderich I could see where the Tornado had cut a path as it headed East and North. Broken trees were also visible along a bush line with bits of metal and wood debris scattered along a path across the fields.
BOTTOM RIGHT PHOTO SHOWS WHERE THE TORNADO SNAPPED OFF TREES BACK ALONG THE BUSH LINE
The small hamlet of Ben Miller was not accessible and the highways leading in were blocked with barricades and a solitary police car and officer directing people around the long Ben Miller and Goderich detours. I had an amusing and very brief encounter with a lady Police Officer at one of the checkpoints north of Goderich on highway 21. I cracked off a couple shots of her talking to the car ahead of me on the highway. As I took the second shot she was already walking towards me. I set the camera on the seat as she walked up to my window, put her hand on my shoulder and said these words, "can I smash that camera now that you have taken a picture of me!!" For a split second I thought trouble had just knocked on my door but she was laughing and quickly added, "just kidding, where are you headed?" I assured her I was not trying to get into Goderich and she said, "good thing" as she directed me to turn left through the little community of Saltford.
IT WAS THE LADY OFFICER IN THE GREEN VEST WHO JOKINGLY SUGGESTED SHE ‘SMASH’ MY CAMERA
BOTH OF THE ABOVE HIGHWAYS LEADING TO BEN MILLER WERE CLOSED
I knew there was a popular hiking trail near the Goderich Airport that led to the Goderich Harbour where I figured I might be able to get a few telephoto pics from the high level of a former railway bridge. THE MAITLAND TRAIL follows an old railroad line leading to the Goderich Harbour. What an absolutely beautiful morning this was for a scenic walk to the MENESETUNG BRIDGE and I couldn't help but think, this is something I should have been doing all summer. Instead of sitting in my recliner with a computer on my lap every morning it would be far healthier for me to be out and about on a hiking trail somewhere getting some much needed exercise. Took me about 20 minutes to reach the bridge.
LUCKILY THE TORNADO DIDN’T TAKE DOWN THESE TWO CHURCH SPIRES ON THE GODERICH SKYLINE
MY DESTINATION……THE MENESETUNG BRIDGE…TOWN OF GODERICH IS TO THE LEFT
MAITLAND TRAIL LEADING TO THE MENESETUNG BRIDGE…AN OLD RAIL BED
THIS BRIDGE WAS ONCE A RAILWAY TRESTLE…TOWN OF GODERICH STRAIGHT AHEAD IN THAT TREE LINE
From the Menesetung Bridge high over the Maitland River I was able to look west and see the large Sifto Salt complex at the mouth of the river on the shores of Lake Huron. This is where the one fatality occurred Sunday but from my vantage point nearly three quarters of a mile away the complex looked intact. Another fellow on the bridge said the damage was on the lake side of the plant and was visible from north of the complex along the lakeshore. So, off I headed on a secondary trail through a dense hardwood forest making my way to the lake about 20 minutes later. Skirted around a small inner harbour of small pleasure boats and made my way towards the Sifto Salt complex. The damage was evident as a I photographed parts of the buildings where the winds had ripped off roof and wall panels. I saw a tugboat and what appeared to be a barge. The barge was at an odd angle and I wondered if it had been driven ashore by the Tornado.
THOSE WHITE MOUNDS ARE SALT FROM THE UNDERGROUND MINE BELOW
THE BARGE APPEARS TO BE GROUNDED, THE TUG APPEARS TO BE WEDGED AND WHATEVER BUILDING WAS IN THE BACKGROUND APPEARS TO HAVE COLLAPSED…..IT WAS SOMEWHERE HERE WHERE THE LONE FATALITY OCCURRED
Hearing the waves crashing ashore to my right I was once again reminded of what an absolutely beautiful morning it was and less than 24 hours before this whole area was in the darkened throes of a devastating Tornado.
With a brisk walk I was back to the Jeep in about half an hour. I was just up the road from the historical Goderich Airport so swung around there taking some photos of airplanes. I have always had a fascination with aircraft. An hour later, after a long detour around the sealed off town of Goderich I was back home with 146 pictures in my cameras. Last week I had mentioned about it being about time to dust of my Nikons and this morning the dust came off them alright:))
We loaded up little Miss Cone Head and headed for the Vets around 3. They wanted to check out her incisions and stitches. All was well and the Vet removed her little pink bandage socks. She still has to wear the cone until the stitches come out on August 31rst but we have been taking the cone off and keeping a very close watch on her so she doesn't pull out her stitches. No easy feat keeping a close eye on a constantly energized furry little whirlwind.
THE LAST PARAGRAPH: It was just sooooooo nice to be out doing something different this morning. Briskly walking along in that early morning air on the Maitland trail north of Goderich just reminded me of the rut I have let myself slip into over the summer. My morning routine has been to sit in my comfy recliner for hours on end reading blogs. Some folks read morning newspapers and I read blogs or start writing my daily post. Whatever it is I do from about 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. seems to be computer related, and I definitely feel I am well overdo for some kind of change.
GROANER’S CORNER: It seems that Mary Poppins has moved to California. She has started a business telling people's fortunes. But, she doesn't read palms or tea leaves, she smells people's breath. That’s, right, the sign outside reads: Super California Mystic Expert Halitosis.
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