Water covers 71% of the earth’s surface. This fact was certainly true on today’s hike! As you will see, we encountered water in its many unpredictable forms throughout the day.
The first indication of our watery fate was on the drive to the start of the hike. Crane Lake Road was, to put it mildly, under water! You know you are in trouble when a muskrat is swimming across the road you are about to drive down!
I would like to point out that the Limestone Ladies are not easily deterred and we bravely decided to see if our vehicles were amphibious.
Almost immediately, we encountered water in another of its forms: snow. Being hardy Canadians, this was hardly worth mentioning.
The first part of the trail was flooded in many places. Reflections in the water provided glimpses into deep, still, and unattainable worlds…….
We came upon a beaver dam which was overflowing and flooding the trail below. The dam itself was a marvel. How these industrious rodents build a dam out of sticks, that is capable of creating a lake and holding back tonnes of water, is quite remarkable.
The swampy lake created by the beaver industry was really quite beautiful, although perhaps not by standard interpretations of what is beautiful. “Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it,” said Confucius, no doubt in reference to the beaver ponds of the Bruce Trail.
We continued along the trail, which in places resembled an obstacle course more than a walk in the woods:
We finally reached High Dump, where a side trail drops over the edge of the escarpment to the water’s edge. This side trail was extremely challenging, not just for the first steep drop, which required ropes to help one rappel down, but because of the ice which filled every nook and cranny of the path. There was no sure footing! I don’t have any good photos of this, as I needed both hands to hold onto the rope.
High Dump is an unfortunate name which refers to the logging of the Bruce Peninsula in the 19th century. Logs were “dumped” over the cliff edge and stored on the shore until ice break-up in the spring, then rafted up and floated down Georgian Bay to sawmills further south. It was a treacherous climb down, but the beach at High Dump is jaw-droppingly beautiful and well worth the arduous trek.
Georgian Bay is renowned for its crystalline transparency and the unique turquoise-blue colour of the water
We encountered more snow and ice, as the trail was not yet done with water hazards for the day.
But the rewards were great. We would emerge from the woods and be treated to a vista over the icy blue expanse of Georgian Bay. In a moment like this, one’s spirit soars!
We finally reached the cars at Halfway Log Dump and were surprised with some home-baked goodies! Everything tastes so much more delicious when the appetite has been sharpened by a day spent out-of-doors.
But of course, there was the car shuttle still to be completed, which meant one more trip down the Crane Lake Road!
We then moved on to the next phase of the hiking weekend, which also involved water, this time in the less hazardous form of broccoli-cheddar soup and fermented grape juice!