Go Where Only Locals Know

Sue and I went for a walk the other day, and instead of turning right on to Lake, heading towards Forty Mile creek, she insisted we turn left and walk somewhere new. There are people who have lived all their lives in Grimsby and have never discovered the pump house, or the trail along Forty Mile Creek. We walked passed each of the dead-end streets leading to the Lake, until we came to Fourth Street which brought us into Grimsby Beach area. We have driven through the gingerbread style homes often, showing family and friends the quaintness of the community. But that evening Sue and I walked through Grimsby Beach and found the gravel pathway underneath the mature trees in the back of all the cottages that overlook Lake Ontario and realized, “this is why locals get excited about Grimsby Beach”. The same can be said about Beamers Falls. The trail on top of the Escarpment provides stunning views across the Lake and East to the plumes of mist from Niagara Falls. But how many people stop before Beamers and look at the waters of Forty Mile creek cascading down the washboard stone, and hike underneath the beauty and splendor of the broadleaf umbrella with the creek as your guide. Often these are places that only locals know. Sue and I love going on hikes exploring different provinces and states.  We love walking into a gas station or restaurant and asking the waitress or attendant, “where do locals go” for hikes, escapes, enjoyments and get-a-ways? We were camping at Acadia National Park in Maine, visiting a “bird-carving” shop in Bar Harbor, where the artist told us about a garden above the North-Eastern Harbor where the wealthy moor their boats. Two hundred and fifty stone steps lifted us up above the traffic, overlooking the harbor in tranquility and calm. A large wooden gate filled with dozens of inner carvings opened us up into a garden that carried every flower imaginable. When we got there, we were the only ones there, and it was beautiful. Jesus had a place like that where he took his disciples on occasion for teaching, refreshment and prayer. It was called “The Mount of Olives,” or Gethsemane. Most everyone needs a place like that, and they are all around. Just ask the locals. They’ll be able to tell you where their favorite place is to find rest and restoration. 

Peter Van Geest