Early every morning, around seven, I put my sweet Doberman, Shadow into the hatchback and head out of the village to give her some liberty. I’ve been taking her out to Moore Road. South out of town on concession road ten and turn left onto Moore. It’s paved only about a quarter of a kilometer, up to the crossing of the bike trail that used to be a railway spur. After that, it’s a wide gravel road lined with thousands of hectares of corn getting started. On stalks barely half a meter tall, shining, green leaves reflect the morning sunlight.
This morning was different. Shadow jumped into my little Sonic’s hatchback, I got behind the wheel and fired it up. Immediately the air conditioning started making the morning feel fresher. NPR on the radio, a backup picture on the dashboard screen, and I backed out of the garage. So far, everything was as usual.
Down CR ten to Moore, swing left onto the short strip of pavement and I see about fifty people in yellow hard hats, and about a dozen huge machines. Graders, rollers, asphalt extruder, trucks and associated equipment. They are line exactly where I usually make my U-turn to park and run the dog along the bike trail. She heads off into the tall grass on either side, to poop demurely.
This morning, I pick my way through the meandering construction people out onto the gravel part of Moore Road. But – it’s not gravel now. It’s crushed flat and smooth like wet sand or something. I drive up between the green fields about a kilometer, stop and let Shadow out. She frolics in the grass at the edge of the corn fields, down into the roadside ditch, back up into the grass where she relieves herself.
Rather than turn around and go back through the construction circus, I carry on. Before too long I emerge onto two-lane highway fourteen back into town. I turn left at the little poutine stand and home. It surprises me that yesterday morning at seven I was there in the serenity of country. Today, the gravel road is instead a bed suitable for asphalt, and much activity replaces the serenity.
It’s not a big deal, but it is a surprise. There is nothing but vast cornfields the whole length of Moore Road. Why does this road get this luxurious treatment? I must admit that all the remote farm roads in this part of Ontario are beautifully paved and striped. As a result, it’s a haven for bicyclists and motorcyclists that proliferate through the summer.