June 11, 2016: Cracks, Crevices and Cubism

After the wonky weather we’ve been having, the ladies were delighted to set out on a warm morning.  Overcast and a bit drizzly, yes, but warm!

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Here we are, embarking on the day’s odyssey.

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Who wouldn’t be happy to be immersed in the woods on a warm day? It’s called “Forest Bathing!”

I am going to ignore the first few km of our hike because it involved walking along the shoulders of Highway 26 and 10th Concession.  Zoom!  Zoom!  The cars whizzed by us at breakneck speed and dusty gravel crunched under our feet.  Not a joyful nor relaxing experience.   However, it’s still part of the trail and thus part of the total zeitgeist.

Soon enough, we entered a world much more enchanting than the highway.  Those drivers whizzing past have no concept that a world like this even exists.  If you exist in a reality of flat, straight, black-topped routes that don’t deviate as they hurry from A to B, then you cannot imagine a hushed, shadow-strewn world of jumbled passages and beckoning darkness.   It is the labyrinthine world of magical crevices.  And it is only minutes away from that soul-less highway.

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Meandering through the world of crevices

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Early morning mist added mystery to an already shadowy world

We were dwarfed by these giant blocks of dolostone.  It’s easy to feel humble and awed when surrounded by rocks that were laid down 400 million years ago!

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The rocks formed many unique shapes, including pinnacles and towers, ocean liners and fortresses. Here is the Bruce Trail version of the CN Tower.

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The walls are permanently damp and support the growth of moisture-loving mass and ferns.

This environment is damp and the air is heavy with the aroma of wet and decaying vegetation.  It is a characteristic rich, loamy scent which is deeply stimulating to the olfactory lobe of the brain.  If you ever smell that scent again, no matter where you are, you will immediately be transported back to the damp, mossy limestone crevices of the Bruce Trail, and the sense of adventure that dwells there.

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Looking up at a “living wall”

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This unique rock resembled the prow of a sinking ship.  Titanic, anyone?

When we finally emerged from the crevices, we found ourselves in a lush world of wildflowers.

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Angelica grew freely along the edge of the trail. So pretty!

In places, the Angelica threatened to engulf the hikers.

In places, the Angelica threatened to engulf the hikers.

This hiker believes that it is important for one's socks to match one's knife. always! But this is really about the beautiful wildflowers!

This hiker believes that it is important for a lady’s socks to match her knife.   But this photo is really about the beautiful wildflowers!

We came upon an observation tower built alongside the trail  When confronted with a tower, the appropriate response is to climb it!  From the top, were treated to a view of the leafy city of Owen Sound.

Looking down on Owen Sound

Looking down on Owen Sound

We thought we were done with rocks and such, but I guess with this trail, you never really are.  Back into the world of cliffs and caves and rocky overhangs:

We found this rock overhang that had a serious sag. Fearing that it would collapse onto some poor hiker, the ladies used brute force to lift it back up into proper position.

We found this rock overhang that had a serious sag. Fearing that it would collapse onto some poor hiker, the ladies used brute force to lift it back up into proper position.

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The scale of the rocks makes us humans feel very small indeed!

We now interrupt this blog for a quick trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York city, where we will enjoy viewing a painting by the famous cubist painter, Georges Braque:

Wait a minute, that's not Georges Braque, that's a rock formation on the Bruce Trail!

Wait a minute, that’s not Georges Braque, that’s a rock formation on the Bruce Trail!

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In case you’re interested, this is the real Georges Braque. “Still Life with Metronome.” I think he plagiarized the Bruce Trail!

I fear that the rocks have been getting all the attention in this blog, so I thought I would throw in a tree.  But not just any tree…. a very cool tree:

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A very cool tree!

Over the course of the day, the thermometer kept rising, and by mid-afternoon, it was an  oppressively hot, humid day.  The ladies were melting.  We had a brief respite when we climbed down a long steep hill and found ourselves in a pleasantly cool little gorge.  The source of the cool air was discovered when one astute hiker noticed holes in the valley floor.  Delicious chilly air wafted out of these holes.  Obviously they connected to underground caves where the air stays frigid.  It was an interesting micro-environment and we were happy to take a rest here and cool off.

Hikers enjoying the cooling station

Hikers enjoying the “cooling station”

There was one other opportunity to cool off before the end of our day.  We reached the Sydenham River and the softly babbling water beckoned to some hikers seeking to cool their feverish feet.

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Ahhh! Bliss!

The final moment of appreciation for the beauty of the escarpment came at Inglis Falls.  it is a natural stunner, cascading 18 meters over the lip of the escarpment.  We loved the thick green moss which coated the rocks and the deep rocky gorge at the bottom.  .  Obviously this is a popular spot and it was crowded with tourists.

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End of hike! Enjoying the beauty of Inglis Falls.

Great day, still loving the trail after all these years!  And, best of all…. we’ll be back at it tomorrow!

 

About idreamoftobermory

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