Another glacial walk

Our second last day today! We are quite amazed! Tomorrow we’ll be finished!

Starting on stile …

We started just north of Mono Mills this morning, and walked southbound through Glen Haffy and The Dingle and then along what we feared would be the interminable miles of roadwork of Finnerty Sideroad, Airport Road, and the Escarpment Sideroad. Airport Road was most definitely not pleasant as cars and trucks roared non-stop past us. But the rest of the roadwork wasn’t as awful as expected.  

Fellow hikers!

It certainly helped that from The Dingle over to well along the Escarpment Sideroad we were joined by hiking friends of my wife. A fine group indeed — women who were far faster than we were, but who graciously slowed down to our pace. We wandered along the roads, chatting, sharing hiking stories, and passing the kilometres in a fine social style. Thanks so much! (… pics to come …)

Farther along the Escarpment Sideroad, the stunning views over the moraines and down across Toronto were remarkable. It reminded me that Caledon Section is more about glacial geomorphology than about the dolostone geology of the Escarpment. Through this middle section of the Bruce Trail, the rocks of the escarpment are largely covered by glacial overburden, the debris dropped, spread, and shaped by the various lobes of the glaciers as they advanced and retreated and re-advanced and finally melted back over the last millennia of the Ice Age some 13,500 to 11,500 years ago. It would have several dramatic thousands of years!

The presence of what has since become soil results in the thicker forests, the softer less rocky trails, and the gentler hills of the last several days since Mono Centre. Tomorrow will be different as we climb back up onto the rocks of the Escarpment at Cataract and The Forks of The Credit. Then we descend onto more glacial terrain as we finish at my favourite Spirit Tree Cidery on Boston Mills Road. 

From glacial to geological

The glacial topography also serves as a reminder of how relatively little I understood of the Bruce Trail before I set foot on the limestone of the Niagara area 45 days ago tomorrow. I did my hiking training solely on glacial topography. Though I had seen videos, read half a dozen books about the Bruce Trail, read the Bruce Trail Guide, and talked to people, I didn’t fully appreciate the dramatic difference between the rocky sections and my local glacial sections. 

I’m not sure whether a better knowledge would have made much difference, actually. But it does really make me appreciate having had Kookork as my guide and mentor. Another one of the many debts I owe him!

Oh the view from our afternoon resting spot (and the drawback of not having a telephoto option …)

(On a somewhat sour note, I do feel obligated to comment that there seems to be a direct and very unfortunate and inappropriate correlation between the amount of roadwork and the affluence of the landowners. Why is it that wealthy estate owners so often seem not to permit, let alone encourage, the Bruce Trail Conservancy to use their properties? Why is it that along the Escarpment Sideroad there is estate after estate that could surely grant even roadside/fenceside access to the BTC to get hikers onto more hospitable terrain? How is it that just west of Highway 10 sits the essentially unused estate of the king of sunglasses and pianos — who earned his wealth from you and from me — who could easily grant access to the lower 50 metres of his property to the BTC? What’s so tight-assed about their lawyers and insurance agents that they can’t share their properties? It all makes me appreciate so much more deeply those many donors and supporters who do support the Bruce Trail Conservancy — than you!)

Highlights and lowlights:

  • Orchard Grass, Dactylis glomerata — the source of so much misery for so many of you …

  • This pollen from Orchard Grass reportedly causes much of the pollen allergies ’Hay Fever‘ blamed on other grasses

  • I began slashing this plant whenever I found it along the Trail — until I found the motherlode of a hillside of the stuff: the highly invasive Dog-Strangling Vine, Cynanchum sp

  • Light at the end of the tunnel — tomorrow we finish!

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