We’ve been getting some help from Trail Angels (and plant experts) Jeff and Wendy as we come through Owen Sound, and they came along for the first part of our hike today. We stashed their bikes about 9 km from the beginning of the trail so they could get back to the car, and we were off!
As usual, Jeff was deep in the woods for most of the walk looking for odd native species, and once again he came across a weird one! Wild Ginseng looks almost exactly like another, very common vine (Virginia Creeper) but has opposite leaves instead of alternating leaves - a tough distinction to make for us regular folk, but a very interesting find for Jeff. Wild Ginseng was almost wiped out in the 20th century by people who would harvest it for the roots, but can still be found around the northern side of Lake Erie.
After Jeff and Wendy departed on their bikes (they tried to tempt us many times to hop on, but we had to say no), we started getting into much rockier territory. The trail followed some deep crevasses that split off from the edge of the cliff, and eventually dropped right down into the deepest of these cracks. The walls here were perfectly straight, almost like the whole thing was handmade. We followed along these cliffs for the rest of the hike before our Trail Angels picked us up right inside Owen Sound.
Thursday Thoughts - Hiking Fast and Slow
This week’s Thursday thought comes from a news report we saw at lunch. We heard news about another hiker, Jamieson Hatt, who just completed the entire Bruce Trail in only 12 days 14 hours! That means he averaged 72 km per day, more than double our typical speed. Jamieson was helped along the way by his parents, who would pick him up at night and bring him back to the trail in the morning.
We didn’t know it at the time, but we saw Jamieson while we were setting up camp in Nottawasaga a few days ago. Just as the sun was setting and we were finishing up our delicious ramen noodles and chickpeas, someone came blasting down the trail armed with only a headlamp, some hiking poles and a pair of water bottles strapped to his chest. It was getting dark fast, and he must have been racing for a pick-up to finish off the day. We barely got a chance to say good luck before he flew past us on the trail.
Way to go Jamieson!