July 30, 2011. Mount Nemo to Waterdown.
It was our hottest day so far, and also the day we hiked the furthest, plus we had a significant unplanned detour (see below). Temperatures were up in the low 30’s, with bright sun all day. Luckily most of the route was shaded but even so it was definitely a tiring day.
The day had only minor misadventures. Finding the main trail from Mount Nemo Conservation parking lot was challenging – poorly marked, even the blue Bruce Trail side trail markers were not consistent. We did visit the abandoned quarry as a result – a small bonus. And later as we hiked the escarpment edge we completely missed the turning point where the trail made a sharp descent down the cliff.
The trail that continued along the edge was so well-worn and seemed so logical neither of us observed the fact that we hadn’t seen any blazes for well over 15 minutes. We lost at least half an hour with this detour, between discovering we were on the wrong trail and then wandering about to find the right one. Good thing the view was amazing, and thus the experience earned its place as an auspicious moment.
As it happened, the trail down the cliff that we initially missed turned out to be one of the magnificent experiences of the expedition to date. The cliffs seemed sheer and impassable – it was an unexpected surprise to find a route forged down the crevice and among the boulders.
The rest of the day’s hike was mostly uneventful. Lots of climbing up and down the escarpment, stretches along roads, through farmers’ fields, traffic noises from Hwy 5 contrasting with the peace of the forest. The heat definitely sapped our strength, and a lunch break offered a needed opportunity for a bit of shuteye.
I’m proud to say we made it to Waterdown. Another good day of hiking. I’m feeling a growing sense of accomplishment.