Monday, May 23, 2011

Impromptu Adventure

Yesterday, as mentioned, we woke up to rain. Saturday was suppose to be the only sunny day on this fine Canadian long weekend. The days before were all rainy too.

So, when the sun came out Sunday afternoon, Dave was just itching to get out of the house. I suggested a walk to Sobeys - we needed a few things - but Dave made that face. He hates grocery stores.

So I suggested we take Stella out for a spin. "Where to?" he asks. "Wherever," I reply.

My intention was actually to take Stella to Balls Falls Conservation area (very close by) and snap a few pictures of her. (I love my cars, but rarely seem to have any pictures of them. The only picture I have of my old convertible is the picture I took so Dad could put her in the Auto Trader.)

However, when we got to Balls Falls, I discovered they'd changed the set-up around. They had built a new parking lot and the old one wasn't accessible anymore. The new one wasn't nearly as pretty as the old one - not a good compliment for my pretty car.

Instead, we continued down the road to another little parking lot I knew about. It sits at the access to the Bruce Trail along Twenty Mile Creek.From the parking lot, we could hear the creek rushing in the ravine below, though we couldn't see it. Dave just had to go down to take a look and who am I to argue? This is my favourite time to of year to hike in this area - the rains make it lush a green, and the creek is always high and running fast. I hadn't actually hiked this particular part of the trail (We'd always stuck to the easier area between the upper and lower Falls - this was below the lower Falls)

So... we headed on down the trail and into the forest...Now, had I been thinking about the time of year and how much rain we've had, I would have said no. Or at least gone home for a better pair of shoes. The Bruce Trail isn't always the easiest trail, even when it's dry. And this part snakes back and forth along cliffs (Niagara Escarpment) with a raging river at the bottom.

Now the shoes I was wearing were made for walking...
but not hiking. Being flat wasn't quite good enough... smoothed soled is definitely not an ideal thing to combine with slick, sloppy, 45 degree trails. Compound that with the fact that I'm a little bit clumsy (okay... a lot clumsy... Dad so eloquently describes it as being "as graceful as a bear making love to a football" - only he doesn't says "making love" and the word he uses is a lot more alliterative.) and it made for an interesting hike.

It didn't take us long to come to a fork - one that led downstream or up - we chose down, figuring it would get us to the water's edge fastest.Dave got there faster than me (and apparently no one has told him about playing near fast-flowing rivers and streams) because at this particular spot, the trail was still about 30 or so feet above the shore. All the paths down were far too steep for me to even attempt.

At a couple of points, I had to hand the camera over to Dave so I could focus on staying on my feet. He of course took the opportunity to take some ever-so-flattering pictures of me
This is probably the only one that will ever see the light of day. (and it gives you a good idea of the terrain we were dealing with. I actually had to stay off the trail in a lot of spots and use the rougher ground just so I wouldn't slide on the mud and go ass over tea kettles.... and yes, I'm hiking in a dress.)

We continued along the trail taking in the sheer beauty at every step.
Various wildflowers including periwinkle, wild violet and wild strawberries (no trilliums, which really surprised me - these trails are usually rife with trilliums this time of year)
Moss covered tree roots. I love moss.

We also saw some wildlife, but I wasn't able to get any pictures. The pair of chipmunks were too speedy, and so was the garter snake (though I almost hooked him on my stick!) and I was just in awe of the heron that took flight a few feet in front of us, I totally forgot to grab the camera.

As we continued along the stream, we eventually got to a spot where I could get a little closer to the water.This particular spot actually comes out at one of the main roads. We discovered a little tunnel under the road:What Dave is so focused on is this:a little mossy birds nest.

At this particular road is also one of Dave's favourite flea markets. The look on his face was priceless. I knew where we were heading, but Dave, being directionally challenged, had no idea we were so close.
Of course we had to stop and take a look.
He thought he had found some old tubes for guitar amps, but they were all for radios.

After that - we headed back. We could have continued in the same direction. The creek eventually becomes Jordan Harbour, and then Lake Ontario, but I'm not sure how far the actual trail goes.

All in all, we only hiked for about an hour but it was a lot of fun. (And, by the time we'd gotten back to the car, I'd forgotten all about taking pictures of poor Stella!)

I'm hoping next weekend is nice, then we are going to tackle the upstream fork - I'm hoping it will take us all the way to the base of the lower Falls.

It's days like this that remind me why I'm so glad I live where I do.


pendie said...

it must have been nice and warm, judging by your sleeveless dress. Even living in the Northwest, I haven't seen moss on tree roots quite like that. Gorgeous!

Monika said...

I love those unplanned hikes. They are the best!

lexa said...

Today we had sun most of the day for a change, but it was chilly! I got the lawn mowed and weed whacking done for the most part (til I ran out of line). Now it's cold, cloudy, and rain is forecast for the next two days. I don't remember ever having such cold, wet spring! It's crazy. Good knitting weather, though, lol.

Delusional Knitter said...

Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. What a lovely hike ... dress and all. I hope next time you are more prepared, LOL!

Denise said...

I used to love to go hiking in Western NY. I love where you live. The damp, however, would kill me.

Minding My Own Stitches said...

Sounds like a great adventure. But why do all men hate grocery stores?