Darling Line, August 25, 2019

Despite it’s classification as an Easy trail, the Darling Line has earned a reputation for wreaking havoc on trucks passing through. With a nice-sized group of about 15 vehicles, we wondered who the trail’s victim would be this time.

With the trail leaders coming from Almonte and Arnprior, we deviated from our regular meeting spot in Bells Corners in favor of meeting in Almonte. While this was a departure from tradition, it allowed us to forego a second meeting place and probably got us to the trail 30-45 minutes sooner.

We chose to attack the trail from the northeast, starting at Darling Road. As we made our way down the trail, we started following beaten paths, not all of which were familiar and we eventually came to realize were the result of Hydro replacing the insulators on some of the towers.

The new paths exposed some previously unexplored routes and obstacles that allowed us to steer clear of the access road for longer stretches of the trail than usual. We played new rock ledges, steep descents, such that it felt like a completely new trail for much of the day. That didn’t stop us from doing some of our favorite obstacles including the climb to the lunch spot and the previously unnamed WALL.

The WALL has historically been daunting obstacle that only a select few would attempt. On this day, however the conditions were good. The rock was dry, but relatively free of dust and nearly all who attended attempted and successfully climbed the WALL. Most notably was Sheila, who not only climbed successfully, but showed tremendous throttle control in the process.

(Editor’s note: Isaac, who suggested the name, insisted that it should always be presented in capitals and in bold)

It turned out to be an excellent day on the trail. The sun shone the whole day, but it never got too hot. We added some routes and obstacles to the trail and everyone had a blast. We did not, however, escape unscathed. While reversing to change his alignment for while climbing for lunch, Isaac’s muffler and his tail pipe was severely bent, wedging itself into the ground. It was eventually necessary to cut it free with a reciprocating saw, giving the TJ more of a growl. The muffer was eventually re-attached, but a new tail pipe will be in Isaac’s future.

In all, a fabulous day on the trail. Thank you to all that participated and helped along the way.