April 30, 2016: No Trespassing!

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!


Excited Limestone Ladies, departing from the St Vincent – Sydenham Townline. As you can see, spring is just starting to show in these fields

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?


Yes! It’s the River Kwai! We had to battle hordes of tourists clamouring to take photographs of the stunning rocky gorge.

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?


The fresh green of these leeks glowing in the spring sunlight was a delight to behold. Ephemeral, like all beauty.

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!


Clambering over mossy rocks, the Ladies move deeper into the forest.

Now it is time to check in with some of our hikers to see how they are enjoying the hike so far:


They seem happy so far!


Yup, definitely happy!


Who wouldn’t be happy on a trail in the Bayview Escarpment Provincial Nature Reserve?

We soon came upon some lookouts and were treated to expansive views looking east.


It always feels good to be up high, looking down.


Life on the edge of the escarpment.


The view is the hiker’s reward for hard work and perseverance.

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.


Sharp-lobed Hepatica: look how sharp those lobes are!

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!


Satisfied customers at the lunch cafe.


Do they look cold? No!


Whatever they’re eating, it appears to be delicious.  I actually think it is asparagus.

Some people took luxuriating in the sunlight quite literally and could be found sprawled rather shamelessly.


The elusive Northern Hiker, in its blue spring plumage, likes to bask in the sun on a fallen log.

After lunch, we started to see the No Trespassing signs.  At first, they seemed harmless enough.


A No Trespassing sign in the wilderness, accompanied by a 4 km long fence. What could be intimidating about that?

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.


Although it was hard to take some of the signs seriously.

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.


For all you francophones , let there be no misunderstanding!

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 another year or two, this sign is going to read: “Trespassing” which would seem to indicate that Trespassing is recommended. You go, tree!

In every group, there is one who likes to thumb her nose at authority.  We have our own member of that sect!


Flagrant civil disobedience!  And loving it!


We enjoyed spectacular views right until the trail re-joined the St Vincent-Sydenham Townline.


We exited the Provincial Nature Reserve…


And enjoyed a stroll along a quiet, scenic gravel road.

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!


The terrifying masked bandidos of Grey County.

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!


Still smiling at the end of the day!

About idreamoftobermory

Hiker, kayaker, canoeist, cross-country skier, cyclist, wanderer, adventurer.
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