Scenes from a hike

by Sandy

Lion's Head Provincial Park, ON

Jul 13

If I were the kind of guy who used the word “epic,” today’s the kind of day that’d deserve it. After several days of gray and rain, today we woke up to sunny blue skies that didn’t abate until nightfall. Our plan the night before to find a bed just minutes from the trailhead paid dividends, as we were able to get from breakfast to hiking in less than 20 minutes.

We approached the hike in the same spirit as the rest of our trip — we had a vague idea of how it’d work and we’d figure the rest out when we got there. We knew two things: we wanted to hike the Lion’s Head part of the Bruce Trail, and we wanted to do it for about three hours. Marj, the B&B owner, pointed us to the trailhead. When we got there, we ran into a quartet of climbers about to set out in the same direction; they pointed us to the trail and explained which direction to go.

The hike was stunning. The trail weaves for a while through a forest of pine trees, then fades into birch and maple. Eventually, the color of the bay started to come through the trees to the north, and we could tell we were getting close to the edge. As soon as a offshoot path opened up to a view from the bluffs, I pushed through to take a look. (Every time I’d do this, Sarah would say, “I don’t think the path goes that way.”) The views were mind-blowing. We’d climb onto each one and just sit and stare.

At about the fourth outcropping, we ran into our first climbers. Or, not climbers so much as the evidence of climbers — a taut rope leading from a tree out over the edge of the cliff. It was only after accidentally kicking a rock over the edge that I saw the gear and realized I should chill out and stop moving so abruptly. We stuck around until the climbers came into view. Climbing faces like these soundly qualifies as beautiful insanity in my book. I’m guilty of engaging in plenty of insane things myself, but usually they involve acting in concert with the laws of gravity, not fighting against them. These folks have my serious respect.

The day was shocking in its contrast to yesterday — sun where there was rain, heat where there was cool, bug-less-ness where there used be swarms of insect terror. The only frustration was the incongruence of looking down on these stunning blue-green shallow waters and not having any way to swim in there. Then I remembered my time in the Grotto, and how frigid they’d be, and I was happy to be too high up to be stupid enough to jump.

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The Numbers

3260
miles driven
30
miles ridden by ferry
~ 105
gallons of petrol purchased
$3.92
cheapest price per gallon (Roseville, MN)
$5.40
priciest price per gallon (Rural Ontario)
3
nights spent at friends' homes
8
nights spent at hotels/motels
2
nights spent at B&Bs
5
nights spent camping
2625
photos taken
4
unsolicited questions about the Fit and its gas mileage
7
unsolicited admirations about our awesome Travel Scrabble kit
3
lottery tickets purchased
$0
money won
24
Sandy's license plate game score
24
Sarah's license plate game score
2-1
Head's up Trival Pursuit record, Sandy v. Sarah
1-1
Mini-golf record, Sandy v. Sarah
69-68
First game
51-58
Second game
1
speeding warnings received
1
speeding citations received
22
mph over limit we were driving
10
mph over limit nice Michigan state officer cited on ticket

The Plan

Sandy and Sarah spent 18 days road tripping around the Great Lakes. This site is an aggregation of their posts, twitter tweets, and flickr photos. Subscribe to our RSS feed to follow future adventures. You may email us at wandering@weisz.es. You may also be interested in...

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