After 2 successful days of hiking, we start out on our third day at 9:47am with high hopes and some trepidation. Tom insists on taking our car to a designated end point and driving us to our start despite our protestations that we do not want to commit to an end point, especially today when we have to decide between 14.5 km or 21.2 km as there is no road access in between. Reluctantly we agree to aim for 21 km rationalizing that we have done this in the past 2 days so it should be attainable.
Our starting point is on top of Old Baldy. It is cooler than the previous 2 days, the fog is thick and the trees dripping wet. It feels like it might rain but we are prepared with our new matching orange ponchos tucked in our knapsacks. Because of the fog we do not have a clear view across the valley but we take advantage of the fog to take some interesting close up shots.
We make good time on the road for a while, but then miss a blaze and have to back track. Luckily it is not too far back but it is frustrating. Back in the woods the trail becomes gruelling with lots of steep inclines and declines. The fog clears up but it is quite muggy. By the time we arrived at Eugenia Falls after 5 and a half hours (27,371 steps/19.43 Km according to Magdalena’s watch), we are exhausted and our knees are screaming at us. We take advantage of the local general store here in downtown Eugenia to grab a fresh coffee and rest while we debate whether to quit or forge onward. It is a difficult decision to quit – according to the Bruce trail map we have only travelled 14 kilometres, but we remind ourselves that this isn’t a race or contest; we are hiking for many reasons but #1 is personal enjoyment and pushing ourselves past this point is counterproductive. Also we had been forewarned that the stretch to Hogg’s Falls would be very challenging and likely take more than 2 hours. So we succumb to the wisdom of our aging bodies and call Tom to pick us up.
Once made we agree that it’s a sensible choice; it gives us the opportunity to relax, play scrabble and enjoy the cabin and wood burning stove as well as the company of our gracious hosts Tom and Darlene over a relaxing bottle of wine. Again we are in bed early and sleep soundly from all the fresh air and exercise….marian