By Sue Tiffin
Published Jan. 18 2018
Lochlin’s community centre was filled with warmth live music homemade soup and chili storytelling a fascination with horseradish and a shared love of the Haliburton County Rail Trail (HCRT) when a gathering of 40 guests hurried out of the freezing rain on the night of Jan. 10 and into the laid back spirit of community.
Stone Soup the evening was hosted by Friends of the Rail Trail (FoRT) with more than a dozen volunteers from FoRT or Toronto to Algonquin Greenway (TAG) coming together to cut roast beef in the kitchen arrange a tempting dessert table for the three-course meal and set up a screen to share a short video about the beloved Otago Central Rail Trail in New Zealand which Pamela Marsales FoRT co-founder said “overcame early skepticism to revitalize abandoned railway towns which are similar to Lochlin and Gelert on the HCRT.”
The zealous telling of old folktale Stone Soup by Jim Blake and Fay Wilkinson in which a traveller brings a community together to each make small contributions to what becomes a hearty pot of soup was well-received by the audience and symbolized the collective outlook of the Friends of the Rail Trail.
“Great to see a strong collection of people who recognize the potential value of the trail as a cycling and hiking treasure” wrote attendee Russ Duhaime on the Minden Times Facebook page after the event.
Glasses of Haliburton Highlands Brewing beverages were raised amongst friends and neighbours to the music of Chadmire + Taylor – Chad Ingram Tim Tofflemire and Hugh Taylor – before the evening winded down and guests headed for home by following the roads parallel to their Rail Trail.