Our second day of hiking proved to be just as stunning as the first. The Limeys headed off from Dyer’s Bay to our destination of Crane Lake 12 kilometers to the north.
With the official start of autumn only 5 days away, amazingly, Tee Shirts and sun screen were the preferred attire. We were missing only one hiker from the previous day – apparently she slipped away in the middle of the night and drove off to her waiting lover. The rest of us hiked into the waiting bosom of a hot, breezy day.
Could there possibly have been a more perfect day for the third last hike of our years long trek to Tobermory?
As the day went on and the temperature rose, a daring hiker chose to shed some habiliments, not in the shadows of the forest but in the middle of the road!! Our hiker was going to make sure that as many people as possible saw her getting comfortable.
Perhaps she is getting “downsized” and is practicing for a new career. If this blog could speak you would hear in the background a rousing chorus of “Patricia The Stripper” accompanying our shedding hiker.
Those readers with sharp eyes will have noticed the sign in the background of the last picture indicating that travelers in need of showers, groceries and camping should head off to the right.
This led to some confusion among the ladies, while some hikers headed off in one direction, others were convinced that the exact opposite direction was where our destination lay.
We were surprised to come across an anatomically correct replica of the middle-aged hikers knee kindly supplied by a sympathetic tree.
This hike was no different from the other hikes of 2017 with poison ivy being in abundant supply ready to caress the unsuspecting hiker with its itchy fingers.
This time it was a stunning red hue perhaps sun burnt by the long summer of rays. Hopefully no souvenirs from this overly friendly plant were taken home after the hike.
As it was late summer there were signs all around that autumn was fast approaching.
Tough yet delicate flowers like this fall aster dotted the sides of the road.
The ubiquitous red maple leaf, a proud Canadian icon.
Note the creative use of wild roadside flowers to create a tiara for our own “Queen Anne”. The milliner is on the right.
We saw some sandhill cranes noshing in a farmer’s field fattening up for the long migration to the southern U.S. Sandhill cranes have been our frequent hiking companions on the northern sections of the Bruce and we have come to marvel at their striking size and distinctive call.
Sandhill cranes mate for life which can mean more than 2 decades in the daily presence of their partner. Anyone who has been partnered for even a short period of time can attest to the amount of patience and devotion this amount of togetherness requires.
The apples along the side of the road were abundant and some hikers were quick to avail themselves of the fruit.
There were many options for apple tasting and the fruit from numerous different trees was sampled. We did however come across a sobering reminder not to eat too many apples in the middle of the road.
This poor apple eating creature was caught short of the loo by the powerful peristaltic effect of the forbidden fruit.
No Limey’s hiking blog would be complete without the obligatory “view” picture.
No one ever seems to tire of the spectacular views from the escarpment to the Great Lake below. Those who have escarpment view fatigue probably also dislike kitten videos and breakfast in bed.
Our photogs were able to nab a rare picture of the normally talkative Homo Bloomingdalicus hiker (we are using formal anthropological terminology here for clarity) in a pensive moment.
The road to the Crane Lake parking spot was more lake-like than road-like on our first hike of the year and was serving as a thoroughfare for muskrat and beaver in the spring.
But, by the end of the summer, the water had ebbed chased away by the heat and lack of recent rain.
No lake here, just enough brown water to seep into the boot of a careless hiker.
So the ladies lament the passing of the summer and will soon be facing a parting of our own. To paraphrase Leonard Cohen:
Everybody knows that the summer’s over
Everybody knows that its winding down
Everybody knows that the light is fading
Everybody knows that the leaves are spent
Everybody knows that the weather’s changing
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows that it has to happen
Everybody knows that all good things end
Everybody’s got this broken feeling
That their losing a good friend.
But remember – “There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.” Cecilia Thackster
Acknowledgements – Thanks to MJ, JR and DE for the photographs. Without them this blog would not be possible