Friday, January 25, 2019

Bruce Trail Hike 1- Terra Cotta

Our first Bruce Trail weekend warrior adventure began on a cold (-7 degree) day in mid January.

Garbed in layers that included long johns, hiking socks, hiking boots, numerous tops and my son’s University Under Armour  winter jacket (emblazoned with the Mustangs crest), I was set for a long hike. I was further prepared with a light weight backpack containing a water bottle, extra gloves and liners, a necker and the maps from my trusty Bruce Trail guide.

One of the great things about the Bruce Trail guide is that it lists all the places to park and which kilometre of the trail they are at.

We met our friends, Carol and Allyson where we planned to end our hike and parked our car there. After moving numerous items (including, tires, bags and bongo drums) from Carol’s car to our car, we drove in Carol’s car to where we would begin our hike.

Keep in mind that since the Bruce Trail is 898km long, we were just doing a small section of it (from 38.9km-47.8km).

With great excitement we posed beside the Bruce Trail sign for a few pictures, entered the trail and began our journey.

Although there was no snow in the city, there was snow and ice on the pathway. There was also a lot of uphill climbing. Note to self: bring the metal ice grips which attach to my boots for the next hike). I was very happy to have my hiking poles with me.

Twenty five minutes into the hike, something didn’t seem right. John consulted the map and Allison and I checked our phones. Sure enough, we were hiking the Bruce Trail but going in the opposite direction.

We turned around and hiked back, passing our car as we walked in the direction we should have taken in the first place.

The trail lead us into the Terra Cotta Forest Conservation Area. It was lovely with its streams with intricate ice formations.

Unfortunately, despite our map and cell phones, we ended up going through the side trails which extended our planned hike. Note to self: get the Bruce Trail Map app for my cell phone.

We had to leave the trail to make our way to the Terra Cotta Inn (the half way point on our hike) where we had a delicious lunch in front of the fireplace in the pub. I had planned on a light lunch but lost all self restraint when I noticed fish and chips on their menu.

Refreshed, we began the final half of our hike. Although delicious, I regretted consuming the fried fish and chips because I felt sluggish. Note to self: when planning the lunch point of a hike, try to stop at the 70 percent point since it’s easier to hike before you eat, than after.

Convinced we knew how to stay on the main trail, we found ourselves back on the Rockside Side Trail (an extra 2.6km). It was worth it. I felt like I was in a enchanted forest of hobbit hills and picturesque streams.

Concern grew as the day grew old. Would we make it back to the car before dark? At 4:30 Allyson (who was way ahead) called out that she was at the car.

We drove Carol and Allyson back to Carol’s car and headed home.

This being our first time out, by the time we drove home, my muscles were complaining. After stretching, a candle lit soak in Epson salts with a glass of wine was just what I needed.

I look forward to our next adventure on the Bruce Trail.

14.63km walked.

8.9km done on the main Bruce Trail

Hiked January 12, 2019

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