Although Carol and I continue to enjoy one another’s company (after almost 400km on the trail), we are always pleased when friends offer to join us. On Saturday June 27th Sid & Doug Gordon and Chris hiked just over 6km of Map 36 with us:
Sid is waiting for a hip replacement; Carol is waiting for a cortisone shot; Doug had recent eye surgery; Chris suffered a heart attack a year ago and I’m doing physiotherapy for a torn achilles tendon, so an easy 6km was just what a myriad of doctor’s would have ordered. It was also what Carol and I needed after a grueling 11km the previous day. Sid & Doug suggested 23.5 to 29.8 on Map 36. At point 29.8 the main trail intersects with the John Bluff side trail and Doug offered to double back and pick up the car if Carol and I wanted to hike a little farther. We had a plan.
This portion of the trail is on Cape Croker which forms part of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territories. Cape Croker is a 6,000 hectare parcel of land that juts out into the blue waters of Georgian Bay. The Nawash band arrived on the Cape in 1858 and farmed and fished the area. Signs here appear in both English and Ojibway:
The trail is well maintained, fairly flat and part of the Peninsula Club. Although the width of the trail means single file hiking we had interesting discussions about the volunteers who maintain the trail, including Doug and Sid and our shared appreciation of the work of the Bruce Trail Conservancy. We were happy with the absence of bugs and rain and simply enjoyed each others company:
There are many varieties of orchids and more than 20 different fern types along this the Northern portion of the trail and we stopped occasionally to try to identify and to photograph some of the plants. Doug thought this might be an orchid or a coralroot but as yet is unidentified:
The dolomite is fascinating and some large stones contain indentations and markings that we thought might inspire a children’s novel. This particular specimen could well contain the footprint of a dinosaur or creature that lived millions of years ago:
A snack of cookies, gluten free muffins and chocolate eclairs were enjoyed while taking in the magnificent view. No wonder we haven’t noticed any sizable weight loss:
At point 29.8 Doug and Chris circled back on the side trail to pick up our vehicles while Carol, Sid and I hiked another 2km to point 32 where trail parking is available at Cape Croker campground. At a later date this summer this will be the starting point for another hike without us having to traverse the .7km side trail. Every saved step is much appreciated.
It was only 2 o’clock when we got back into our vehicles and we decided to visit Kepplecroft, a beautiful garden located just East of Wiarton on Highway 1. The couple that owns and operates the garden have done a magnificent job of combining flowers and art and the space includes a rock henge, picnic spots and a variety of nature trails:
Dinner at Cobble Beach ended a perfect day. It was just starting to rain as we headed home.