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!
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.
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!
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.
When we finally emerged from the crevices, we found ourselves in a lush world of 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.
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 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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Great day, still loving the trail after all these years! And, best of all…. we’ll be back at it tomorrow!