Postcards from the Bruce Trail

A writer's journal and photography blog documenting 900km of hiking End-to-End on the Bruce Trail from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Tobermory, Canada

Fifty shades of green – Postcards from the Bruce Trail 11

Friday Aug 8, 2014, sunny 23°C, and Sunday August 10, 2014, sunny 25°C
Scenic Drive, Hamilton (km 40.6) – Governor’s Rd Dundas (km 51.9) 4h00m over two daytime hikes (Total to date 132.3km )
Tiffany Falls in the morning light

Tiffany Falls in the morning light

Although it was half way into our hike, and the morning of our second outing on this post, let me start with an apology to the lady at Tiffany Falls for flustering up her Sunday morning walk. I can’t say we heard what you shouted at our backs as we left the side trail behind to continue our hike along the main trail into Dundas; we were too busy snickering at that horrid excuse for a book that inspired my title for this post and your unfortunate appearance in the middle of that conversation. (here you’ll find one of my favourite online reviews from 2012, “Fifty Shades of Utter Rubbish” by Paula Constant, also a walker – but much more intrepid than us!). So it wasn’t what you thought, honest.  I know it sounded naughty when I told Ian that his photo assignment for the day was to “shoot all fifty shades, baby!” And later, when I lifted up the edge of my hiking skort (a skirt, with short underneath) just as you came into view? It was only to prove to him that the comment I made about going commando through the woods was ACTUALLY A JOKE. I do hope you managed to have a decent visit to the falls in spite of us. It was, after all, a lovely morning for a walk.  It was also a great time to make a photo gallery of the many (ok, not fifty, but at least 15!) shades of green in the forest that day, and so here they are all in one spot.

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This hike gave us the pleasure of not one, but two viewings of the some of the best of Hamilton’s waterfalls. This shot is of  Sherman Falls, at km44.5.

Sherman Falls

Sherman Falls

And speaking of titles with innuendo, if I had a dollar for every time in my life someone said “Oh, you’re from the Armpit of Lake Ontario!” when I told them I came from Hamilton, home to Stelco Steel, and Dofasco, I’d be able to buy and preserve all the land along the 850km of the Bruce Trail. It drove me crazy. I think of Dundas Valley and wonder “Have you ever BEEN there?” Take a look at km48 of the Iroquoia section of the Bruce Trail — the furthest point west on the trail in this section and about as deep into the armpit as you can get. Pretty nice, eh?

The Armpit

The Armpit

Eleanor Alma Dick-Lauder’s father, George Gordon Brown Leith, liked the area so much, he built the Leith family home there in 1855. When the locally quarried stone mansion caught fire in 1934, Eleanor couldn’t bear to leave, so she built a new house within the ruins of the old, and stayed on. This is what is left today at the Hermitage Ruins.

You could tell it’s late summer on the trail this past weekend. From Scenic Drive, all the way to Dundas, we saw very few wildflowers under the tree canopy beyond the intrepid Herb Robert and the odd Jewelweed. Most of the flowers were wildflowers and invasives on the forest edge or in the fields. Here’s a few, including a single, solitary white flower with twin beards of delicate violet that we found at the side of the trail  just beyond the Trail Centre in Dundas Valley. I can’t identify it —  can you?

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Bruce Trail August Hike-a-Thon

We completed another 12.3km towards our  Bruce Trail Hike-a-Thon fundraiser, for a total of today as 17.8km. Sponsoring us will help the BTC meet its 50th Anniversary goal to secure, steward and make available to the public 5,000 additional acres of Niagara Escarpment landscape containing the Bruce Trail by 2017. Click the white trail marker  to visit our donation page.

 

Ah, you’re back, I’ll finish off then, with the middle, since we started in the middle. It’s been a while since I mentioned wildlife on our walks. Friday night just before we finished our hike to Tiffany Falls, we came across a lovely little meadow in the forest in Ancaster. Right at the edge, watching us carefully but relatively unperturbed, a white-tailed deer.

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Until next time, Happy Trails!   Louise & Ian

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