April 8, 2017: Reflections on Water

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!

Here is what we discovered when approached Crane Lake Road

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.

You could have water-skied behind this car!

All  vehicles safely surfed Crane lake Road to the trailhead. The morning air was crisp and bright – a perfect day!

Almost immediately, we encountered water in another of its forms: snow.  Being hardy Canadians, this was hardly worth mentioning.

We laugh at snow!

The first part of the trail was flooded in many places.  Reflections in the water provided glimpses into deep, still, and unattainable worlds…….

The worlds contained within the water can be as beautiful as the worlds above.

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.

Here is the beaver dam. All that water was running directly onto the trail, which created a trail-maintenance nightmare! I suggest appointing a few beavers to the Bruce Trail Board of Directors to advise on civil engineering intricacies.

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.

The dead trees in the beaver swamp were beautiful in their starkness.

We continued along the trail, which in places resembled an obstacle course more than a walk in the woods:

To be a successful Bruce Trail hiker, one needs a good sense of balance, a love of adventure, and waterproof boots!

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.

Here we are, clambering down towards High Dump.  You can see the rope strung along the first descent.  The icy ground doesn’t show in the photo, but we were all very aware of it!

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.

The serenity of a spring morning at High Dump. We were well rewarded for our perseverance.

Georgian Bay is renowned for its crystalline transparency and the unique turquoise-blue colour of the water

There was time for some stone-skipping, although choosing the perfect stone can be quite time-consuming! The waters of Georgian Bay were crystal-clear, as usual.

After lunch, the group felt quite frisky!

We encountered more snow and ice, as the trail was not yet done with water hazards for the day.

Happy to be tramping through snow on an April afternoon.

You can’t appreciate the trickiness of these icy patches from a photograph. The potential for slipping or twisting an ankle was always there and all hikers needed to be attentive!

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!

Beauty x4: Beautiful lake, beautiful sky, beautiful trail, beautiful hiker!

There is always something to climb down, or over, or up!

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.

Thank you, Madame Baker!

But of course, there was the car shuttle still to be completed, which meant one more trip down the Crane Lake Road!

Bye-bye, Crane Lake!

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!

A fine end to a successful day!

About idreamoftobermory

Hiker, kayaker, canoeist, cross-country skier, cyclist, wanderer, adventurer.
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1 Response to April 8, 2017: Reflections on Water

  1. Deborah Soanes says:

    It was a wet hike as my toes can attest, but we didn’t get any precipitation. What a glorious sunny day and what another glorious blog!

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