Spring!, Caves, Wright’s B&B, Wiarton, Re-packing

Repacking now for the final 8 days to Tobermory. Being ruthless on what’s not coming. I’ve cut perhaps 3 kg from the very heavy pack I was going to have to carry out of Wiarton tomorrow. Grams make kilograms! I’m taking ⅔ of the food I pre-planned and pre-packed. I will partly switch in Lion’s Head (½ way) to Kookork’s no-cook for remaining 4 days. Standard food for first four days. Standard brekkies & gorp & jerky for remainder, rounded out by bought stuff (flatbreads, mayo, salami, pb) for suppers & snacks for the last four days. 

Together with leaving out things never yet used or not needed for the remaining warmer weather, my pack tomorrow will be 3 kg lighter than expected. Some of those kilograms would have had to be carried the remaining 165 km. Some, i.e., the Cliff bars for breakfast, the Indian snacks for the afternoon (which I turn out to not be able to make myself like enough to eat) and the suppers we turn into soups — about 1.75 kg I’m guessing — would only begin decreasing past Lion’s Head and would be dead weight until then. Yet the driest sections where we need to carry 4–6 litres (kilograms) of water per day for several days are in the first four days. Going no-cook for four suppers also means I can trim 400gm of methanol fuel. 

 A Spring!

Following on yesterday afternoon’s mud puddle water near-disaster, we finally found a spring this morning after some 3 hours of walking. We only had to actually consume about ¾ litre of the brown water last night, saving about a litre of good water each overnight for this morning. (That brown water we did consume was treated with a double dose of chlorine dioxide and then boiled for several minutes before using it for soup which was again brought to a boil before eating.) 

We camped last night atop Skinner’s Bluff, on which we found no water until after three hours of hiking, when we descended from the dry top to visit the remarkable Bruce’s Caves. Imagine the whoops and hollers when we spotted a stream burbling out of the near-bottom of the escarpment! 

I think we had half a litre of water left between us … (and houses within a kilometre if we hadn’t found water).  This is why we’re going to be very careful leaving Wiarton tomorrow morning and maximizing how much of our packweight and volume is water …

The Spring below Bruce’s Caves — such a welcome sight!

Bruce’s Caves were impressive! It is  an old lakeshore cliff cave and crevices from the high water level of 5000 years ago. (See yesterday’s comments about the limestone cobble layers which I misinterpreted as flood-related but are actually beach remnants from the high water stage.) Here at The Caves is where we saw far more recent rockfall than anywhere else along the whole escarpment. 

Bruce’s Caves with its remarkable nstural gothic arch!

Inside Bruce’s Caves looking out. The lighest gray rocks ate recent falls perhaps from this past winter.


At my wife’s insistence, I had booked a room in a B&B in Wiarton. Wright’s House B&B turns out to be an inspired choice! Jeff has been totally accommodating of two stinky and dirty hikers plus their sweet dog. And breakfast tomorrow! Oh my!

Wright’s House

Kookork needed new shoes, so we browsed around Wiarton with limited success. He did get a pair of sturdy surf shoes. And some duct tape to help hold the old ones together. Perhaps the best solution will be that he took my old pair of Superfeet insoles (size 13 compared to his size 9s …) and carefully trimmed them down to fit his old shoes and to bend at the appropriate spot for his feet instead of for my clodhoppers. 

Lunch was delightful! I choose a small Irish pub hoping for decent beer. We got very tasty Baysville ales from Muskoka! And Cynthia cooked us delicious local lamb burgers! Both pints quite went to my head and I had to hold down a chair on the pub for a little while during which Kookork went of to resupply his food. 

So here I am, long after hiker midnight, lying on my back on a comfy sofa instead of in my comfy hammock, and blogging. And falling asleep as usual …

Pollen bursting from a Red Pine


#blazeoftheday #2

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