What a day! We had people from as far as Kincardine, Pickering, London, Park Hill and of course Hamilton, Niagara and Chippewa braving the early morning torrential downpours and the 401 to join us. The weather was awful when we met but somehow we got away it and enjoyed a day of warm sun and clear skies. Count was 24 Jeeps and 44 people – with a token Ford. (Mike’s CJ leaky soft top wouldnt have coped with that morning downpour!)

The very loose theme was Laura Secord and following her walk of 1812. The rain stopped during the quick drive from Chippewa, where she’s buried, with a quick sideways glance at Niagara Falls and on Queenston. Her Homestead is tucked away on a back street, and this was the start of her walk to warn the British Army of the impending US invasion. Load up on the Laura Secord chocolate in the gift shop, because nothing says saving yourself from invading Americans more than slabs of chocolate, and we were on our way again.

Next stop was Chocolate FX, the local chocolate factory, for a tour. Here they boast they can cover anything in chocolate. Every one definitely took advantage of the free samples and chocolate store. More brown bags full of goodies and we hit the road.

Lunch at a sunny Queenston Heights Park, close to General Brock’s monument and overlooking the Niagara River, was next after half the group took an extended unplanned loop.

We were soon on our way again to cross the Welland shipping canal and some great timing meant we were able to watch a ship go through one of the locks from the viewing platform.

Kate soon had us on our way to keep to the schedule. Next stop Decew House where Laura Secord finished her walk to warn the British Army generals. Photo stop and another card for the Poker Hand and the convoy continued through the vineyards of Niagara.

Next stop? Cheese. The Upper Canada Cheese Company in Vineland. 44 Jeepers looking for cheese samples took them a little by surprise but the line up at the cash register made it all worth it.

Up through Balls Falls Conservation Area and over to Vineland Estate Wineries for a private tour and tasting. They squeezed us all in, more pictures, more brown bags full of goodies and a draw for the Poker Run prizes surrounded by fields of grapes. Nice end to the day.


One last stop for the hungry LAJOCers was the local barbecue place, Smoke & Moonshine. We took over their party room without a seat to spare and enjoyed their meats and sides while recovering from a packed but enjoyable day.

A great chance to catch up with old friends, meet new faces, and enjoy a gorgeous drive through Niagara wine country and hopefully a kick start to the years events. Hope to see everyone again soon on the trails.

Who’s up for organising Mystery Run 2020?

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