Sunday, 24 November 2013

Hike #42, November 24, 2013 Primrose and Black Bank

Hike # 42
Date – November 24, 2013
Location – Map 20 Primrose and Map 21 Black Bank
Distance – 16 km  
Total Trail Distance – 524.8 (369.2 to go)
Hikers – Steve, Simon, Dean, Marlene, Benjamin, Harold, Janette, Madeleine, Kent, Julian, Sue, Benjamin, Therese and Kai
Start – 36.9 Prince of Wales Road, Dufferin Hi-Land Section
End – 52.9 1st Line EHS
Direction – North
Weather – Big snow storm, but just north of Brampton. 

It's a cool, bright day in late fall — perfect hiking weather. But as we head north we are surprised to see snow drifts already (we could have figured it out but didn't think to check). Then, as we near our destination it starts to snow, and what started as a fall hike ends up being a winter hike — a dreadfully difficult winter hike. Memo to self: check the weather conditions at destination BEFORE leaving for a hike!
We have a nice big group, joined for the first time by Julian and Sue and their three children: Benjamin, Therese and Kai.
It's cold and difficult slogging. We eat our lunches standing up, and the water lines in our packs freeze.
In open places, especially along farmers' fields, the wind-blown snow is deep. In some cases it's knee-deep, which makes being the lead hiker a gruelling slog. It's also getting darker and colder. Some of us wonder if this was a good idea.
But the scenery is spectacular and it's a good day — until the hike is over and most of us have to wait a VERY VERY VERY long time for the reconnaissance vehicles to get back to us. Night is falling and we are cold, so very cold. Ben and Simon fail in their efforts to make a fire and we resort to huddling in a circle and stomping our feet, penguin style.


Harold was tired and wanted to rest.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Hike #41, October 27, 2013 Standing Rock and Caves, Nottawasaga

Hike # 41
Date – October 27, 2013
Location – Map 22 Devil’s Glen and Map 23 Pretty River
Distance – 16.9 km  
Total Trail Distance – 508.8 (385.2 to go)
Hikers – Steve, Simon, Dean, Marlene, Benjamin, Harold, Janette, Madeleine and Kent
Start – 47.2 Pretty River Access Trail, Blue Mountains Section
End – 30.3 Hwy 124
Direction – South
Weather – Cool and overcast, but bright

This is Day Two of our fall weekend. Elza and Robyn decide it's a good day for reading and drinking coffee, and Floyd's knees have betrayed him, so the group is smaller today. We are also going a shorter distance because we have three or more hours to drive after we're done.

In an unusual move we've switched directions, choosing to hike south. Harold and Janette have parked their car partway through today's distance: they need to get back to Toronto to visit Jenny and in order for Harold to catch a plane to Montreal.

The highlight of today's hike are the crevices and rock walls we encounter along the Standing Rock and Caves Side Trail in the Nottawasaga Lookout Provincial Nature Reserve. Spectacular!

We come to the newly approved Walker Industries Duntroon Quarry expansion site, marked No Trespassing! It was hotly contested, but one day, in the far distant future, this land will be restored as a natural area.