March 30/14: Raindrops on Roses and Chainsaws and Yaktrax

Before setting out on this hike, I did two things.

First, I looked back to our March 24, 2013 hike.  What a difference a Polar Vortex makes!  One year ago we were hiking on dry ground, admiring the early daffodils.  Today we crunched over a landscape still thickly blanketed in snow!

Secondly, I did a little reconnaissance trip to check out our planned route, which included an exciting feature called the “Hole in the Wall.”  Not surprisingly, the famed “Hole” was a treacherous bone-breaker featuring thick layers of glistening ice.  So, the Ladies quickly re-routed and jumped north one section.  The “Hole” will entice us later in the spring when it is more civilized.

Setting out from Scotsdale Farm, we donned the latest high-tech foot appliances to ensure safety.  Here is Julie modelling her Monster Bulldog Chain-Gang Cramponator:

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The Limestone Ladies Leg Irons!

Note everyone was quite so high-tech, however:

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This pathetic hiker applied to the Federal Yaktrax assistance program. As you can see, she was denied, forcing her to craft her own footwear from old tires and hockey laces.

The most striking feature of today’s hike was the devastation wrought upon the poor trees by December’s ice storm.  The melting snow reveals tortured, broken branches  littering the forest floor and the full extent of the damage strewn all around.

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Ladies peeking over a fallen giant.

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Sometimes we crawled under them and sometimes we climbed over them!

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And sometimes we could walk right through them!

It was our first full sunny day of hiking in months.  Everyone recharged their solar batteries, and spirits were running high.

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Happiness is being outside on a beautiful winter (well, really it’s spring) day!

We didn’t forget to look around and admire all the easily-overlooked beauty within the forest.

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These fungi were very beautiful, in their own way.

We encountered many bridges on this hike.  Every bridge was solid, sturdy and handsome.  Kudos to the bridge-builders of the Toronto Club.

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A sturdy bridge over Snow’s Creek.

One of the delights of spring is the sound of water rippling in a creek.  This hike was punctuated by many streams and creeks, all gurgling happily over rocks and stones  and under snow bridges.  A feast for the eyes and ears!

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Reflections of spring.

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Another fractured tree along the trail.

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These beautiful old cedars managed to escape the wrath of the ice.

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The day warmed up and the Ladies shed layers. (but not their smiles)

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Yet another marvelously constructed bridge that kept our feet out of the spring flood.

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Ah, to be young and carefree under the sun!

We were constantly impressed by all the tree-cutting that had taken place to keep the trail open.  Many dedicated folks with chainsaws had obviously spent hours cutting the downfall.  We are grateful for their hard work!

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Here we are walking through the middle of a clump of downed cedars. Thanks, unknown chain-sawers!

Lunch time!  What a treat to sit outside on a snowy day and be warm!  We enjoyed a leisurely lunch.  No shivering, no rushing to start hiking before toes go dead and fingers turn into claws.  In fact, there was general agreement that we could have stretched out for a post-meal nap. (N.B. napping not allowed under Limestone Ladies Act: Section 4b, Paragraph 3, line 27.)

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Snow bunnies nibbling their treats!

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Another satisfied customer at the Limestone Ladies Cafe!

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One advantage of so many downed trees was that we had lots of places to sit!

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An after-lunch trailside libation!

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Here is a hiker so dedicated that she came on the hike with a mortal flesh wound!

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Another handsome bridge. Another pretty babbling brook. We never get tired of them!

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It was not all happy frolicking. There were some steep and slippery downhills where we were glad to have those Yaktrax (or sorry not to have them!)

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The human beavers had been hard at work.

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Welcome to Land o’ Stumps!

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I want to meet the chainsaw artist who left this trail-side art installation! I believe it is intended to express man’s inhumanity to man. Or perhaps it’s a bunny.

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Lumberjack chicks!

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Members of the Canadian Women’s Alpine Team, Limestone Division, ply their trade.

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This was the most challenging spot on the trail.

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This Limey likes tall, strong, and “burly!”

Sometimes people ask me why we are doing this.  As the end of the hike drew near, I reflected on this question.   We were warm, happy, sun-saturated and mellow.  We had just spent a day taking deep breaths of fresh, crisp air and gazing at nature’s beauty in every direction.  We strengthened our bodies and nourished our souls.  All this in the company of the best group of women on the planet.  Need I say more?

Now as for that poor creature with her home made Yaktrax.  How did she fare, you might ask?

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End of the trail for the low-budget trax.

Double hike coming up in April, Ladies!  See you then!

About idreamoftobermory

Hiker, kayaker, canoeist, cross-country skier, cyclist, wanderer, adventurer.
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3 Responses to March 30/14: Raindrops on Roses and Chainsaws and Yaktrax

  1. You made a smart decision changing your route! We hiked the Limehouse section that weekend and even were so brave to try the Hole in the Wall. It was very dangerous, with lots of strained muscles but no major injuries. Happy hiking!

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