Date – May 19, 2012
Location – Map 34, Lindenwood, to Map 35, Wiarton
Distance – 21.6 km
Total Trail Distance – 255.3 km (638.7 to go)
Hikers – Steve, Simon, Dean, Marlene, Madeleine, Benjamin, Harold and Janette
Start – 145.7 Dodds Hill, Sydenham Section
End – 167.3 Wiarton Airport, Sydenham Section
Direction – North
Weather – Hot and sunny.
Details – It’s a long weekend and we decide to take advantage of the time available to us to knock off a big section of trail. Bill and Laura, Dean’s co-workers, graciously allow us to camp in the yard of their cottage on Georgian Bay, so we drive up on Friday night and set up our camp in the dark. (We picked up Madeleine at the GO Station in Aberfoyle, and are delighted that she can join us. Elza is in Holland with her mom.)
We have our tent trailer, Harold and Janette are in a tent, and Steve and Simon are in the Trillium cabin trailer they “found” parked in their driveway.
Saturday morning we have a somewhat leisurely breakfast and then drive in two vehicles to our start point. The road is washed out so we park near the barricades and climb the rest of the way up Dodds Hill to meet the trail. In anticipation of challenging terrain, Harold and Janette have their hiking poles.
It is remarkably hot but the hiking is spectacular. The views over Georgian Bay are gorgeous. There is a lot of poison ivy so we are spooked about coming into contact with it. Suddenly, Steve is glad he forgot to bring shorts, and has the added protection of long pants.
Ben and Simon see two porcupines, and we are able to get a few photos of the second one, although it definitely does not want to be seen.
We are delighted by the trilliums of many colours, the views from the top of the escarpment, and the clouds of blue “forget-me-nots” that fill some of the meadows.
The final two kilometres are along Regional Road 1, and although there is a marked hiking lane, the pavement is hot and hard and the hike is suddenly less fun. Then, near the end, we realize that in order to optimize tomorrow’s start and stop locations, we have to walk a bit further than we had planned. The last 1.4 kilometres of the hike takes us past Wiarton airport, and my feet are aching beyond belief. We briefly try to scramble down a steep embankment to cut through private property, but abandon that plan and push on to the airport.
Back at our camp, some of us enjoy a dip in the freezing cold waters of Colpoy’s Bay, and all of us enjoy dinner and refreshing beverages. The sunset from the dock is beautiful.
We have a lovely campfire, but no one stays up very late. We sleep well!