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Hiking the Beaver Valley

June 21, 2016

Over the past 2 days we have hiked the first 28 kilometres of the Beaver Valley section of the Bruce Trail.  Monday was hot and humid, but the wind kept it bearable.  Today was almost the perfect weather for hiking.  A highlight on both days was the lack of mosquitoes, which was a very pleasant surprise.

On both days we encountered people who are also working on a end-to-end goal.  The first was a couple who said they had done a significant portion of the trail over a 3 year period, then got side tracked for 7 years and were now back at it to finish the final 150-180 they had never hiked.  This couple seemed to go a similar daily distance to Linda and I; however, they used bikes to get back to their car.   After we chatted with them, Linda said “aren’t you glad I can’t ride a bike”.  I kind of am.  The sections we drive as we do a car pick up and drop off logistics ALWAYS has lots of hills.  Biking those hills either at the beginning of the day or at the end of day of hiking seems like fun.

Today we met a man who started his end to end hike in April of this year.  He is retired and says he does about a 25 km section 2-3 days a week.  He mentioned he was doing it in support of his church, but we didn’t get all the details.  We did spend a longer than usual amount of time chatting with him.  He has used a variety of methods of transportation, including cabs, friends, and his wife.  The best part of about meeting this man was that he altered us to a construction project near the end of our daily hike.  We know that a road was closed, as we had to detour around it to get to one of our parking spots on both days.  However, we didn’t really know what the actual construction was or where it was in relation to where the trail went along the road.  Apparently, the construction workers had tried to tell this man he could not walk through the construction site.  He managed to get the foreman to turn a blind eye (the foreman had officially said he could not cross), and carefully made his way along a narrow path beside a large sink hole (or something similar).   Given his challenges with getting through, we decided to not even try.  We weren’t sure we would be able to summon tears when we had been warned to expect the situation.  Had we not been aware and come across this situation less than 2 km from the end and when it would be about 8 km to go back around, we are pretty sure we would have cried very easily. We are so thankful for our encounter with this man, and hope God blesses him on the rest of his end-to-end hike.

Overall, it was a good couple of days of hiking.  Aside from the near miss mentioned above relatively uneventful. Although time will tell if Linda has poison ivy.

Here are some photos:

View of a ski hill and Georgian bay (we seem to see a lot of ski hills).

hikingjune20 viewfromBBQ

The BBQ deck on the top of the hill. According to Jean-Claude a popular winter wedding location.  He did say that it’s sometime a challenge to get grandma to the top when she needs to get on the ski lift.

hikingjune10 bbq

Dinner in Thornbury, with Thornbury cider.  “It was a nice size” (a direct quote from the waitress).

hikingjune20thornbury

The Rock Cliff we didn’t climb.  Had we lingered longer, the group of people who knew a short cut from the parking lot to here, would have been climbing up in the photo.

hikingjune21rocksnotclimbed

Wendy’s bench.  “Wendy loved the Bruce Trail. And I loved her”.  Thank you to the man who loved Wendy for hiking the bench into this spot.  We enjoyed a morning snack on it in the shade of 2 huge maple trees.

hikingzjune20wendybench

A Bruce Trail sign first… we don’t think we shared the field with any animals, but apparently it’s an option.  We were on the inside of the electric fence.  Interestingly, it was in this field that we met the man who foretold of the potential construction catastrophe.

hikingjune21animalsign

Valley View – from a raised bench.  Linda has the photo of the raised bench.  I have a photo of the view. Notice the grass field in the foreground.  We walked through lots of tall grass fields.  The wild flowers are pretty, the large amount of grass pollen was less enjoyable.

hikingjune21 barnview

I just realized I don’t have a picture of the caterpillars that were absolutely everywhere over the past 2 days.  Don’t think I brought one home, but won’t be surprised if I did, as they stuck to our clothes and packs.  I was a good helper and would clear them off the top of the stiles for Linda.

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