“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”*

“It would be terrible if we just stepped from September to November wouldn’t it?” * Lucy Maude Montgomery

Not winter yet, but a nippy start to the day

Not winter yet, but a nippy start to the day

Sunday marked a major transition in stepping from September to November. An overnight windstorm had transformed the area, sweeping the leaves off the trees and creating a multi-coloured carpet for our hike. Undeterred by the drop in temperature, sixteen of us picked up the trail the next morning to start our third year of hiking the Bruce Trail.

Revelling in scuffing and shuffling through the shin-high leaves, we crunched and rustled our way through the newly naked trees.

Compare with Saturday's blog to see the difference

Compare with Saturday’s blog to see the difference

Which way to Tobermory?

Which way to Tobermory?

Who cares? Smiles to match the day!

Who cares? Smiles to match the day!

At 41.5 km. we passed the Tweedybrook Cottage. Mrs. Tweedy was the president of the Dufferin Hi-Land Club for years. In 1980, Mr. Tweedy put a notebook on a covered shelf alongside the trail. People from around the world have filled books with their signatures and comments. We were proud to sign on behalf of the Limestone Ladies.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Up the Hill We Go! Our mantra for the day

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Up the Hill We Go! Our mantra for the day

After traversing a mixed forest, we travelled for several kilometres along side roads. Being on the relatively smooth surface of a dirt road helped us conquer some steep, long climbs.

Three Amigas Framed by Fall

Three Amigas Framed by Fall

Peek-a-boo

Peek-a-boo

Throughout the day, the sun peeked in and out of the clouds. As we trekked up and down the escarpment, the temperature and weather conditions changed dramatically. We’d strip off our warm clothes only to pile them back on upon reaching the top.

Hanging in there with a splurge of colour!

Hanging in there with a splurge of colour!

Sheltered by the grand old trees

Sheltered by the grand old trees

Just a few more strides

Just a few more strides

Then we came to a spot where we could see and experience the Bruce Trail in startling contrasts. Four views from virtually the same spot on the Bruce Trail. To the left, a windswept ridge with bare sentinels heralding the coming of winter.

At the top of the escarpment

At the top of the escarpment

Windswept and bleak (except for the hikers of course!)

Windswept and bleak (except for the hikers of course!)

Immediately below the ridge, cattle sheltered in the autumn sun.

Bucolic countryside basking in the sunshine on the opposite side of the escarpment

Bucolic countryside basking in the sunshine on the opposite side of the escarpment

And looking out, a magnificent view of the Ontario landscape in all its autumn glory.

Breathtaking vista, overlooking the Pine River Valley

Breathtaking vista, overlooking the Pine River Valley

Some farmers are very generous in allowing the Bruce Trail to cross their land. Thank you to all of them!

Twin silos along soybean fields

Trivia factoid: soy was the biggest crop this year in Ontario with 3 million acres sowed in soybeans. The long winter played havoc with traditional planting patterns. We walked along this farmer’s fields – soy beans to the left, cattle below and to the right.

You meet the friendliest people on the Bruce Trail

You meet the friendliest people on the Bruce Trail

While the leaves looked wonderful, they did obscure the path beneath our feet. At times mossy rocks and root systems kept us on our toes.

Inching down the most treacherous section

Inching down the most treacherous section

There’s always at least one section where we have to inch our way down, mindful of the imagined or real potential of losing our footing. While certainly young in spirit, our collective experience and wisdom dictates that we be extra careful in these sections.

And inching our way back up

And inching our way back up

Two blue "jays" admiring Woody's work

Two blue “jays” admiring Woody’s work

Basking in the autumn sun and temporary warmth

Basking in the autumn sun and temporary warmth

Given our relatively long hike (18.6 km), we wanted to be at least over half way before stopping for lunch. As luck would have it, we chanced upon the most ideal spot of the day, with downed logs to sit on while being sheltered in a small dip.

The necessities of hiking

The necessities of hiking

Refueling for the afternoon

Refueling for the afternoon

They'll never find me

They’ll never find me

Soon after lunch we happened upon a large owl camouflaged in a tree. As each of us came up we were shhhussed to be quiet and were able to admire the owl in its habitat. Finally, after several minutes, it spread its wings and disappeared into the forest. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to snap a shot of this beauty.

Upward bound yet again

Upward bound yet again

After a never-ending landscape of fallen orange, crimson and russet leaves, we walked along a lovely little babbling brook. The sound of water rushing over the rocks was a stark contrast to the crackle and crunching of leaves that had dominated our day.

A change of scenery

A change of scenery

Hiding in the Supermarket of the Swamps

Hiding in the Supermarket of the Swamps

Trivia Factoid #2: Cattails can supply 8 different food products, 3 medicinals and have at least 12 other functional uses.http://cattails.wordpress.com/facts/

Showing how it's done

Showing how it’s done

Martha is our youngest hiker. Not quite sure we’ll all be able to take her class in trail stretches, but we sure admired her ability to do so.

Scrambling up to a small waterfall, we admired the view as well as the tenacity of the trees as their roots cascaded alongside the water

Not quite the Grand Canyon, but a sight to behold in its own right

Is Inga being saved or pushed?

Is Inga being saved or pushed?

A river runs through it

A river runs through it

Autumn glory once more.

Autumn it all its glory one last time for the day

Nearing the end of our happy trails, we finished hiking through the woods and followed a path to the main road. Hiking up the last hill of the day, we reached the Lavender Cemetery as well as the end of the Dufferin Hi-Land Club portion of the Bruce Trail. One more badge to add to our collection!

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One Response to “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”*

  1. Thanks for the great blog, Julie! One of the things I like best about hiking year ’round, is seeing the changes of the seasons reflected in the trail environment. I think you captured that beautifully in your post. I also love the four-way view from that hill-top.

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