August 24, 2014: The Limestone Ladies have their Ups and Downs

It was a dark and brooding day as we drove through pea-soup fog to get to our starting point on Hockley Road.

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The Limestone Ladies begin their assault on the ridges and gullies of the Hockley Valley

Immediately we started with hills and valleys.  I was reminded of that song about the people on the bus going up and down, up and down, up and down.  That’s exactly what we did, all day long!    Perhaps they will write a kiddies’ song about us!

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Up the rugged stairway on a dark and gloomy morn.

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Interesting construction methods!

The valley floors  were enlivened by babbling brooks.  We all remarked on the crystal clarity of the water.

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Babbling brook and non-babbling hiker

We arrived at the Hockley Valley Ski Resort.  Unfortunately, they had misplaced our memo ordering snow for today.  Sadly, we had to pass on the skiing, although a few racers in the crowd tried out the starting gates.

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Dryland training!

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On your mark, get set, go!

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A skier from the ladies’ national ski team of Beligistan shows off her racing form.

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The view from the ski hill was spectacular.

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The weather was clearing and we had hopes of sun.

One lovely feature of this hike was the variety of landscapes.  We hiked through a huge field of alfalfa, which was pretty to behold and also scented the air with sweetness.

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A lush field of blooming alfalfa

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The trail follows 2nd Line, a lovely scenic gravel road.

The trail enters the Hockley Valley Provincial Nature Reserve where it meanders for the next 6 km.

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I love the way the trail splits to go around this rock. Perfect place for a Mom and daughter pose.

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The Bruce Trail truly does make all your wishes come true! Joanne had been looking for a new car for some time.

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Lunch!

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A happy spot in the forest with a happy hiker

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A well-constructed bridge over the Nottawasaga River.

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What are the ladies looking at? Why, they can see Tobermory, of course! Only 468 more km to go!  Or so the sign says.

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Just when you are getting tired of beautiful emerald hardwood forests, a spooky cedar swamp appears.

One of the great delights of this hike was the size and variety of old growth trees.  Each tree has a unique personality and fascinating gnarled, twisted growth.

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A gentle giant maple tree

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Here we are on the other side of the valley, looking back at the Hockley ski hills. We’ve come a long way, baby!

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These two are just too cute! Had to include the photo!

Words of wisdom appear in unlikely places, but it doesn’t make them any less wise.  This was a plaque on a trailside bench:

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We thought we had arrived on Easy Street when the trail returned to 3rd Line.  Wrong!  It soon dipped back into the woods and became a rocky, slippery, crazy obstacle course.

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How’s that for a trail?  Where do you put your foot?

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The best tree ever!

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Here we have a poor terrified hiker, almost swallowed up by Touch-me-nots. Please donate generously so that others will not have to suffer like this.

We were not done with the ups and downs, not til the bitter end…

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Down is not easier than up!

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Ain’t no escalators on this trail!

We arrived at Mono Centre Road, tired but happy.  What a fantastic hike!  AND we finished the Caledon Hills section.  That means another badge!

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Happy ladies after 18 km of…. ups and downs.

About idreamoftobermory

Hiker, kayaker, canoeist, cross-country skier, cyclist, wanderer, adventurer.
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4 Responses to August 24, 2014: The Limestone Ladies have their Ups and Downs

  1. scouterdeb says:

    It looks like you had another great hike. Sorry I missed it.

    I see you found some gnarly gnarled trees for me to look forward to seeing on our make-up hike. FYI there is a sugar maple on the Glacier Valley side trail near the beginning of this hike that is more than 200 years old. It’s only 130 m off the main trail so I think I’ll check it out.

  2. pjoutdoors says:

    Thank you for the plug for our ski team, currently numbering only one but hoping to grow

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