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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm excited about the unusual weather and plan on obtaining a full serving this Saturday. We are still meeting at Hunting Hollow at 9am. If you are coming to help, please be prepared to get dirty and dress appropriately to stay warm and dry, yet cool enough for strenuous activity.

Be ready to hike up to the snowline. This will not be something to bring a bike for. The trail (JDT) is not in a condition for riding a mountain bike.

-Paul

 

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middle ring single track
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"Where did the name Jim Donnelly come from?"...

...has been a question often asked by the hardy souls who have been working on this trail. No one has come up with a good answer so, from the Internet, here's my contribution to the myth :

Amidst the potato famine of the 1840's, Jim and Johannah Donnelly, with at least one son, emigrated from Tipperary, Ireland to what they hoped would be a New World, free from Religious strife and foreign landlords. They passed through the infamous quarantine camps of Grosse Isle off the coast of what would one day become known as the Province of Quebec. They made the inland trek and settled outside the Village of Lucan, Biddulph Township, northwest of London, Ontario. Like many penniless Irish peasants, they squatted on land owned by the Canada Land Company but, unfortunately in the Donnellys case, leased to one John Grace.

By 1857, Jim and Johannah were blessed with seven sons and a daughter, but trouble found them when John Grace re-appeared. Grace would sell part of the land to Donnelly but the remaining southern portion was sold to a third party. These southern parcels of lands ended up in the hands of Patrick Farrell, who tried to eject the Donnelly family. After a bitter court battle, Jim Donnelly killed Farrell at a logging bee. Tried and convicted for murder Jim Donnelly was sentenced to hang, but the sentence was later commuted to seven years in prison. It was to be the catalyst that would eventually embroil the non-conformist Roman Catholic Donnellys in a transplanted "Auld Country" feud with their Roman Catholic brethren.

During the seven years that Jim spent in prison, Biddulph Township, and Lucan Village in particular, became known as being far wilder than any American Western cow town. Its murder and violent crime rate far exceeded any of its southern cousins. While in prison, and after his return home his seven sons gained a checkered reputation as fighters and petty criminals. Though not entirely free from blame, the Donnelly sons were not the only perpetrators of crime in Biddulph Township. History will record that though killings occurred, none were perpetrated by the Donnelly men, save that of Patrick Farrell. They were often made the scapegoat for many crimes that occurred, and they too fell victim to many crimes at the hands of their neighbors.

The Donnelly family was guilty of three cardinal sins: they were good looking; they were hard working; and they were successful. No greater faults could serve to incite more completely the jealousy and hatred of denizens of a small town. Those sins coupled with a willingness to fight and stand their ground did little to endear the Donnellys to the law.

With the arrival of the landless itinerant farm laborer, James Carroll, in mid 1878 and a new Parish Priest, Father John Connolly, in January 1879, the final ingredients for massacre were assembled. A Vigilance Committee had already been in existence, in an attempt to deal with the general lawlessness. The Priest formed a Peace Society comprised of the same Vigilantes. Who indeed was an easier target than the admittedly wild, non-conformist and Protestant-friendly Donnelly clan?

The fifth eldest son, Michael, was stabbed to death by a Vigilante on December 9th, 1879. Five of the remaining Donnellys were ultimately massacred by a band of Vigilantes during the night of February 4, 1880. One of the surviving sons, "the unspoken leader of the family", William, vowed that justice would one day be done.


Sort of the "wild west" of Eastern Canada!

Anybody who comes up with a better story gets a Pliny!
 

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Whether? Weather??

FWIW; there's hardly a cloud in the sky in the vicinity of Coe this morning---I'll be surprised if the "snow flurries possible" forecast comes true. The dirt will be plenty wet but I don't think we'll need full rain gear like we did last weekend...

"COME ON DOWN!!!"
 

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"snow flurries possible"

pliebenberg said:
FWIW; there's hardly a cloud in the sky in the vicinity of Coe this morning---I'll be surprised if the "snow flurries possible" forecast comes true. The dirt will be plenty wet but I don't think we'll need full rain gear like we did last weekend...
Having to quote one's own post must be sign of something!

Great day a H W Coe!:

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Glorious weather as the volunteers head up the Jim Donnelly Trail---a good turnout in spite of the possible bad weather!

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JDT is a fantastic route

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Here we stop for the first order of business; Hunting Hollow is in the background.

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There had been too many complaints about the on-going work on the new JDT route so per DPR order the old route was marked open...

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...and the new route marked closed until the work bringing it to DPR "multi-use" standards is complete. Rob and Mike helped haul the signs up the hill.

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More Hunting Hollow...

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Jim Donnelly Pond---Notice the muddy water. Notice the naturally occurring landslide on the hillside---one source of the muddy water. (don't blame bikers for this one!)

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Valerie, Chris and Tom head up the original JDT above the pond

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Just a gorgeous morning!

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Here's a view to the north from where JDT meets Steer Ridge---Spike Jones Trail is on the next ridge, Wasno Ridge is next (Jackson Field Trail) and Mount Sizer is visible to the left in the distance.

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The 6 of us that had hiked to the top were tasked with renewing the flagging of the JDT re-route from its beginning. The row of pin flags is visible as are the first snowflakes beginning to fall.

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Valerie and Chris set out some flags

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Random photo to the south...

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Sorcerer is the lime-green dot in the distance as he makes his way to catch-up with the lead group.

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Snow is starting to build on Wilson Peak in the distance as Chris smiles in the foreground.

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Rob gestures to where he thinks the trail should go, by Sorcerer's posture it can be inferred that he's not impressed.

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More flags...

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A tick decided to join me for lunch...

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Mike sets a flag on the new route as the rest of us enjoy a snow shower from the old trail.

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The elevation was too low for much snow to accumulate.

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A few snowflakes fell at the HH parking lot as we loaded up to head home.

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A fine sunset awaited me at home.
 

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pliebenberg said:
"COME ON DOWN!!!"
I seem to recall that phrase from somewhere, and you are getting bold.

After crossing paths with you guys, I continued to Wilson Peak and beyond, where I witnessed a long snow shower. A few notable things of the day:

- The snow, of course.
- I found a deer antler, wired it to the fence where it crosses the trail just below 2000 ft elevation.
- I listened to turkeys cluck at each other in the closing darkness of the day. They were hanging out in the trees over JD trail.
- JD is exceptionally dark after sunset, it gets darker as you drop and the trees get denser.
- A camera viewfinder makes a serviceable flashlight.
- Finished hiking at 7:15. My car was iced over, car thermometer read 32 degrees. I've felt colder on 50 degree days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
JDT 2/26/2011 Dates

Yes it snowed!


A rough approximation of where the alignment goes in certain location:


My first Johnny Jump Up of 2011:
 

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Here is a video of the snow on Saturday:
(XPosted from the Snow photo assignment thread, so if you saw it there, this is the same video.)
 
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