One fine spring morning, a group of happy hikers tumbled out of their cars and onto the River Kwai side trail in beautiful Grey County. There were many reasons for these lovely ladies to be excited: back on the trail again, a beautiful sunny day, heading towards the fabled River Kwai, and, of course, an opportunity to be intimate with the “other man” in all of our lives: BRUCE!
Very soon, we came upon a modest bridge across a humble trickle of water. Was this the fabulous River Kwai of our dreams, or was it… a drainage ditch?
It’s funny how life can disappoint and excite you at the same time. The River Kwai was underwhelming. So, who would have imagined that one of the loveliest sights we would see today was…. the unpretentious wild leek?
Away we went into the woods. All around us were signs of new life: buds on trees and shrubs, nodding trout-lilies, tightly closed white trilliums. This is our fourth spring on the trail and we have enjoyed watching the seasons unfold as we pass through on foot. This is something that city-dwellers do not get to experience so intimately – the new growth of spring!
Now it is time to check in with some of our hikers to see how they are enjoying the hike so far:
We soon came upon some lookouts and were treated to expansive views looking east.
Lest you think that leeks were the only display of nature’s beauty on this hike, I will include a picture of Sharp-lobed Hepatica, which grew abundantly in snowy clusters over the forest floor.
Time flew and soon it was time for lunch. Due to the lovely warm weather, we were able to luxuriate in a leisurely meal. No shivering and piling on layers of clothing. No rubbing hands together to fend off frostbite. Yes, spring has arrived on the Bruce Trail!
Some people took luxuriating in the sunlight quite literally and could be found sprawled rather shamelessly.
After lunch, we started to see the No Trespassing signs. At first, they seemed harmless enough.
We soon started seeing more signs and more signs. Could they possibly be serious about not wanting us to trespass? It’s only a military training centre. And we could hear the menacing boom of some type of explosive coming from the other side of the fence.
In case you happened to be unilingual and had not understood the 1,000 English signs, we finally came to a sign which expressed the same sentiment, en francais.
However, I did find a potential loophole for those who are tempted to ignore the booming cannon fire and wander into the military range:
In every group, there is one who likes to thumb her nose at authority. We have our own member of that sect!
Until we met some masked bandits! They looked strangely familiar. And they didn’t want our money; they just wanted to keep their noses from getting sunburned!
All too soon, we were back at the cars. Another glorious hike! Another 17 km closer to Tobermory – not that it’s about the destination! Another happy group of tired hikers!