Monday, August 22, 2011

A BIT OF A HIKE TO GET A FEW GODERICH TORNADO DAMAGE PHOTOS OF THE SIFTO SALT MINE COMPLEX

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THE SIFTO SALT COMPLEX AT THE MOUTH OF THE MAITLAND RIVER EMPTYING INTO LAKE HURON
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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.
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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.
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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. 
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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.
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IT WAS THE LADY OFFICER IN THE GREEN VEST WHO JOKINGLY SUGGESTED SHE ‘SMASH’ MY CAMERA
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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.
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LUCKILY THE TORNADO DIDN’T TAKE DOWN THESE TWO CHURCH SPIRES ON THE GODERICH SKYLINE
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MY DESTINATION……THE MENESETUNG BRIDGE…TOWN OF GODERICH IS TO THE LEFT
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MAITLAND TRAIL LEADING TO THE MENESETUNG BRIDGE…AN OLD RAIL BED
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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.
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THOSE WHITE MOUNDS ARE SALT FROM THE UNDERGROUND MINE BELOW
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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
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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.
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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:))

IMG_0725We 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.
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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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11 comments:

Jim and Sandie said...

You definitely got your workout this morning. It's good that there weren't more fatalities from the tornado and the damage could have been a lot worse. Sure be glad when Ms. Conehead is gone and the black whirlwind can run free.

Happytrails said...

Glad that Police lady didn't smash your camera. Your efforts of getting to some remote sites to get some pics paid off well. Tornadoes are so devastating...it's so sad.

Sue and Doug said...

your neighbouring town of Goderich was on the weather channel this afternoon..talking with some of the residents..one lady said ' we know it is just buildings but it's our town!'..how true that is....mother nature's fury can be daunting at times!
and so can a woman who doesn't want her picture taken!!

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

Glad to hear the damage wasn't much worse ,having lived through a couple of tornadoes here in MO. I can tell you they are scary experiences, No where to run and hide from them they go straight through anything in their way.Looks like Pheebe is doing well.Another week as as a conehead. Rigg's absolutely hated his cone. Be safe out there my friend. Sam & Donna..

Dennis and Donna said...

Oh Al..I cannot tell you how much I MISS my morning walks..A brisk walk is the ONLY way to start a morning..It puts one's mind and heart in a good place to face whatever the rest of the day might bring..Keep on doing that AM walk, and you will become addicted to it..Trust me..I know..and think of me every so often when listening to the "sounds of nature". I hope to get back at it..but not anytime soon. BUT I REFUSE TO LOOSE FAITH!

Malone said...

I was working yesterday and didn't have time to read blogs, so it was a bit of a shock to see "tornado" on your blog this morning. So glad you were missed, sorry for the lost life and the damage, but glad it wasn't any worse. Thanks for the photos, Al, I'm so glad you are safe. Working part time keeps me from getting too much into that rut, no matter how much I might like to do it. I'm sure your solution will be more fun than working!

Wayne and Roberta said...

So glad to hear the damage wasn't as bad as it could have been. Tornadoes scare me to death, I'll take our earthquakes any day over the many tornadoes.

Glad you enjoyed your hike to get the great pictures for your post. Sure glad the police lady didn't take your camera away.

Have a nice day!

squawmama said...

Tornados are not a good thing that's for sure!!! Great post!
Donna

Ed said...

Your picture captioned "BOTTOM RIGHT PHOTO SHOWS WHERE THE TORNADO SNAPPED OFF TREES BACK ALONG THE BUSH LINE" is a perfect example of tornado behavior.

It had to power to snap off a row of trees at the end of the field but did not disturb the hay windrows at all.

Mike McFall said...

I had a little pup one time that had to wear a collar like that.. I felt I felt so sorry for her...Man that has to be uncomfortable!! I hove She gets that off soon!!!!

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

Al, key this post to the Goderich tornado, so it is searchable because I would bet there are thousands of folks looking for photos just like you have here...

Your knowledge of how to get in without the gendarmes busting you is better than all the news organizations combined. They especially would like the shots of the salt mine.

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