Our second hiking day starts off at 9:24am at kilometre 21.7 where we ended yesterday. Soon we are in the enchanting Kolapore Uplands walking through groves of cedars. The path is soft and spongy underfoot, the smells are intoxicating, the sounds subdued and the overall feeling is one of incredible peacefulness.
If you are not already a nature lover when you start out hiking, I believe the Bruce trail will convert you before very long. It seems impossible to me to hike even a short distance and without gaining an immense appreciation for the stunning flora. We are constantly being struck by the awesome beauty of another forest floor covered in trilliums, a thick patch of ferns, a mossy outcrop of rocks, a small grouping of lady slippers, a lonely jack in the pulpit peeking out at us; a strange configuration of mushroom on a tree; a pathway lined with forget-me-nots and even the splendor of a pasture covered in dandelions. And then there are the trees; you can’t walk in the forest without noticing the trees; sometimes entering the stillness of a densely populated cedar forest; sometimes the magnitude of one tree towering above its peers; sometimes it is the unusual growth of a tree, all gnarled and twisted or bent completely down and yet still standing proud. Often we are amazed at trees that have grown through rocks at a 90 degree angle on the side of the escarpment. We have learned that some of these cedars in particular are more than 1000 years old!!! What tenacity and resilience they present to us. We can learn so much from nature. Magdalena picked up on my enthusiastic appreciation for each new sighting as “my favorite …” and it became one of our catch phrases.
Another one of my favorite things to do on our walks is to take very deep breaths, filling my lungs and breathing in the aromas of the forests, especially the cedars, “my favorite smell”. I commented more than once about health benefits of breathing deeply and visualizing the oxygen pouring over us from the trees, hence Magdalena coined the phrase “oxygen bath” which became our mantra each time we entered a new forest.
It was another hot day but we were more prepared and took along 5 bottles of water each – well worth the extra weight. We covered 20.2 kilometres according to the Bruce trail maps but 27.65 kilometres (38,900 steps) according to Magdalena’s watch, which I like to believe is more accurate. Tom our B&B host who picked us up and brought us back to our car at our starting point suggested that we had walked at least 25 kilometres. And so we continue to question the accuracy of the distances on the Bruce trail maps.