Friday May 3 to Monday May 6, 2013. Blantyre to Owen Sound.
Blink and you’ll miss it – that’s the kind of spring it’s been. It’s classic for Ontario – one minute it’s April and it’s still snowing and you think the winter will never go away, and the next minute it’s hot and the flowers are out and the trees are all covered in new green leaves.
I am happy to report that Marian and I were definitely not blinking this year. Our latest hike, the first real progress toward Tobermory in 2013, auspiciously straddled 4 days that practically begged for time lapse photography.
On day 1 the trees were still virtually bare, the leaves for the most part still small enclosed buds:
As a Bruce Trail experience it was perfect. The weather provided steady sunshine and blue skies with temperatures in the low 20’s, and fanned us with light breezes. The trails took us through forests carpeted with trilliums and violets and periwinkle, across crevices plunging deep into the earth, vestiges of snow still remaining far below, beside rivers that burbled along merrily, and through grassy meadows inhabited by Scottish Highland cattle. Several times the trail passed directly through crevices, one time narrow enough to warrant an alternate route for those who suffered from claustrophobia. A blue side trail took us into the Lloyd Laycock caves where we clambered in awe through the cavernous spaces carved out of the limestone.
To top off a perfect weekend, our accommodations at the Holly Cottage B&B in Woodford were amazing. Holly Cottage is definitely one of the all-time best B&B’s we have ever stayed at. Hosts Dave and Norma made it their business to take care of our every need, from the thirty or more types of tea to soothe us at day’s end, to the Band-Aids and Epsom salts that were standard supplies in the bathrooms. There were robes in the closets and shelves of magazines and books in each room. Norma brought up a pre-breakfast tray with coffee every morning at a time of our choosing. The actual breakfasts were delicious with different main courses served every morning, and packed lunches – optional – included healthy sandwiches, fruits and vegetables, packages of almonds, and freshly baked granola bars and date squares. And in addition to all that it was totally convenient. The trail passes right by the B&B, so with Dave’s shuttle service it meant we could actually leave our car at their place on two of the days.
All in all, for our first real foray this year into our continuing journey to Tobermory, it was a great success. We are left with 235k, a number that is looking very reasonable indeed. magdalena