Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What is "Playing Trivia?"

Most of these trip logs mention "playing Trivia". Perhaps some explanation is in order. We have two books filled with questions and answers from a wide range of fields. We have torn these books into smaller sections. We take one section of each book on each trip. After dinner and before go to sleep we frequently attempt to answer some of these questions. We ration the questions so we have enough to last the whole trip. We mark the year we use each section so we don't use the same section two years in a row. Even though we have used some sections two or even three times, I don't believe we get better at the answers.

The original book required us to completely supply the answers from memory. It was published in 1991. We have to be careful now. There are cases in which the best answer today was not the best answer in 1991. Originally, we allowed ourselves to go to sleep only after we had gotten 6 out of 6 correct. We have compromised that rule over the years.


Answers on the back of each question page.

The second book we bought has multiple choice questions.


Answers on the right margin of a following page.

Gila Wilderness

Southwest New Mexico
May 15 – 20, 2005
Norm and Jerry

Visitors Travel Guide & Map – Gila Wilderness – Gila National Forest – Prepared by United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southwestern Region – Includes Average Temperatures and Precipitation but by far the most valuable aspect is the excellent map.
The Gila Wilderness a Hiking Guide by John A. Murray, University of New Mexico Press

The The Gila Wilderness a Hiking Guide describes several named trails well, but I found it impossible to put together a loop until I obtained the Visitors Travel Guide & Map. The map makes it easy to see all the potential loops, variations and options. The map includes trail numbers on all trails. The narrative below will note these trail numbers although the trail numbers are not noted on any signage along the trails. Rather the signage refers to land marks. The signage was helpful and very adequate. This trip is a loop that starts and ends near the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. It starts out south of the West Fork of the Gila, and runs west roughly parallel to the river. At about the midpoint, we crossed the West Fork and headed back East staying well north of the river, and finally again crossing the West Fork at the very end of the trip. There are endless options for loops in this region.

May 13, Friday Getting to New Mexico – We had a long delay in the plane. Other planes were taking off and then, when there was only one plane ahead of us in line, a violent storm with plenty of lightning blew in. We had to wait another 25 minutes. We arrived in Denver 5 minutes after our connector to Albuquerque left. All hope was lost. But wait! United had already booked us onto a Frontier flight! Wow. We arrived in Albuquerque at 10:30 (12:30 our time). The packs didn’t make the plane though. The Frontier luggage office was closed but wait, a perky Frontier girl helped us contact United and then she found the printout that indicated United would fly the packs down tomorrow on the first flight. Our reserved motel room was only 30 minutes down the freeway, so we just rented our car and went to the motel. The motel clerk was shaken up due to a fight that just happened in the motel lobby. She put us in a room with a single King bed, but wait, she moved us to a room with two doubles. We crashed.

Saturday Driving to Gila Wilderness – We had breakfast at about 8:00. Barb served us and everyone else and seemed to have a conversation going with each table. We got our LP gas and more trail snacks at Wal-Mart. The packs arrived on the carousel just as we arrived to pick them up. We notified Frontier and drove south. We stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. As soon as we left the freeway, the road began to wind. Jerry drove pretty slowly for Jerry so Norm didn’t get too car sick. We arrived at the visitor center at 4PM. They closed at 4:30. Ranger Dave helped us make our final route selection. He has a huge USGS map on the wall. Dave thought a 50 mile hike was pretty ambitious (for us). Norm called the details home to Bonnie so someone would know where we might be.

We found our trail head and then found a camping site with at table. The noodles turned out to be terrible but al least we didn’t have to carry them. We read and tried to solve 5-6 5 Minute Mysteries. We played a few pages of Trivia. We got all 6 correct once and we stopped. Went to bed about 9:30.

Sunday - Out Little Creek – It was about 40 degrees when we got up at 6:10 AM. We parked the car near the trail head (Trail 160) at Woody’s Corral. We took some trail head pictures and were walking by 7:45. Up. Up. Nice Vistas as we climbed. We took a break in the Ponderosas on top of the mesa. We saw a party of three and changed our route slightly to avoid hiking immediately behind them. This was probably not necessary. We seldom keep pace with another party. We saw another party of three breaking camp. We turned West on Trail 162 and took an unnumbered connector trail South to Trail 161 where we turned West again. When we reached this junction, at Little Creek, the trail forked and there was no sign. Both options seemed equally used. The map didn’t settle the decision either. We went left which was also lower, near the creek. The trail got quite sketchy because the creek had eroded some banks away taking the trail with it. We walked in the creek and bushwhacked through the woods. We found a nice sandy and shady spot for lunch. Norm took a nap and Jerry bushwhacked around until he found the trail again. We did not fill up with water because the map indicated we would soon reach a spring. We never found the spring. The trail got so sketchy, Norm was sure we were not on the trail. He got his Garmin Forerunner runner’s GPS out. The reading indicated we were about where we wanted to be and we soon reached a marked intersection which confirmed our location. Our only concern now was water. We were concerned that the next spring might be impossible to find like the last one, but wait, there is water in the creek again. Even though we expected the creek to keep running all the way to our camp site, we tanked up as soon as we saw water again. We were about where we thought we’d stop for the night at about 3PM, so we kept going, even with more frequent rests. We found an excellent camp site at 4:30. We shaved and had beef stew for dinner. Jerry built a fire. We hung the food. We set up the tent but slept outside under the stars.

Monday - Granite Peak Side Trip - We slept in and didn’t get started until 9:05, one of our latest starts in 14 years. We walked about a mile to the cutoff toward Granite Peak (Trail 155 Southeast & then Trail 150 up the peak) where we dropped our packs, taking only water, lunch and a few snacks. Ranger Dave said the peak is not actually granite but the view is worth the walk. The spur trail is 100% up. We made good time with 1.5 hours for 3 uphill miles. Some of the trail is sketchy due to erosion. Norm asked if this trip and the California trip were spoiling us with good trails. The worst parts of these trails became irritating but the bad sections are about equal to typical trails in the Grand Canyon. Granite Peak is over 8,700 feet above sea level and Little Creek is about 7,000 feet so the hike gains 1,700 feet. There are some trees at the top so the view is interrupted but nice. We had lunch on top. It seemed like there were billions of lady bugs on top but we didn’t see any others anywhere else on the trip. Interesting. We got back down to the packs in 1:15 hours. Napping was impossible due to the flies. We were walking (West on Trail 155) again by 3:45, intending to stop at about 5PM. At 4:45 the trail got very narrow and hugged the side of the mountain for about an hour and 45 minutes. No place to camp along there. A strap on Norm’s pack let loose but Jerry quickly found a way to just tie one end on so it did not really impact the hike very much. We got up onto a broad saddle which was sheltered by trees. According to the map we were at about 8,000 feet. We couldn’t get the rope over the limb to hang the food. It took about 15 tries. We slept in the tent. Norm wore just about everything he brought to start with. The tent was pretty warm so he stripped off some of the clothes as the night went on.

Tuesday - To White Creek Flat – Woke at 6:15 and were walking by 7:45 – Going downhill first is very nice. We got water from McKenna Spring which was running strong and clear. We followed the creek to where it comes out of the hillside. There is a large, deep hole with a nice gravel bottom. No bubbling though. We also followed it downstream until it disappeared again into a gravel stream bed. This is a beautiful spot. From the spring the trail goes up to McKenna Park then mostly flat for a few miles. It’s about 7,000 feet high with plenty of grass. This could have been a great “high summer pasture” in the old days. The trail got sketchy twice. We really lost it at a turn and once in a wash. We had lunch at another spring near Raw Meat Creek where we left Trail 155 and went West on Trail 153 and then North on Trail 302. On the map this leg looked pretty easy with gradual ups and downs and then camp in another park. It started out easy but then went down into a deep ravine. The trail on the other side seemed to just hang on the side of the mountain. Again the GPS confirmed we were where we intended to be, so we continued. When we reached the area we intended to camp, we found it had been burned by a forest fire, so we had to keep going. Norm fell down today. He just lost his balance and fell on a burned log and cut his knee. Neosporin can help anything heal. We camped just beyond the burn and just before the trail got narrow and headed down into another ravine. Not too cold. Norm slept in the tent. Jerry slept under the stars.

Wednesday - To Lilley Park Spring – Up at 6:30. Part of the stove got caught in the gas bottle when Jerry tried to take it apart and pack it. All the gas had to escape from the bottle before he could get the piece out. The gas bottle got very cold as the gas escaped so quickly. When the gas bottle was empty Jerry managed to wiggle the piece loose. Now we were potentially going to be short on LP Gas. We are pretty dependant on hot water for oat meal and freeze dried food.

We forked off onto Trail 152 and went down to White Creek. It was running quite strongly and there were no rocks on which to step across. We each found a stick to steady ourselves and then we changed from boots into rubber sandals. Being there at the water, we took the opportunity to shave and clean up. Meanwhile two deer came by for a drink of water. After the creek crossing we soon took Trail 151 going East down to the West Fork of the Gila. The trail is wide but hangs on the side of a wash. There is no signage indicating that the trail is crossing the Gila and we had to bushwhack around a little to find Trail 30 North to Lilley Park. We didn’t want to mistakenly end up on the West Fork Trail with all the required river crossings which are a bother or mean wet feet. Crossing the West Fork of the Gila was not much different from crossing White Creek as far as flow at this point. We had lunch at the crossing at about 11:15. We took on some water from the Gila.

Trail 30 gains noticeable altitude quickly as it leaves the West Fork. Norm claimed to be the Energizer Bunny. Jerry said he could do all things through Christ who strengthens him. He agreed he needed some strength on that climb. We stopped in a nice level shady spot near the top at about 7,800 feet where we enjoyed nice views. It was up only a little more and then level for a couple of miles. We found the sign for the trail we would take tomorrow (Trail 164) but we kept going on Trail 30 to Lilley Spring.

The spring is just two little trickles but they are steady. There are some pools near the actual spring. Norm did laundry and cleaned up again. Jerry filled water bottles. Norm tried to use the map to estimate the GPS locations for the water tanks (ponds) we would depend on for the final days. They are the only water available since the trail stays at this high elevation. Jerry successfully attached the flaky stove to the second (and final) LP gas bottle. He planned to just leave the stove attached to the gas bottle. Jerry made another fire.

Thursday - To Grave Canyon – Woke at 6AM. Stove worked very slowly. We were all packed before the water finally boiled. In about 15 minutes, going south on Trail 30, we reached Trail 164 where we headed East. There was an initial climb but the trail was basically level for several miles. There was intermittent shade in the Ponderosa pines. We saw 6 fellows who had 2 dogs. The dogs had packs too. The fellows all had new, modern space age equipment. We made excellent time through lunch. We thought there would be a great view of Hell’s Hole but it didn’t turn out that way. We saw two other fellows twice. They had a GPS but their map seemed to be lacking. We saw them twice because they had to backtrack.

Our midday water source was the big tank (pond) at Woodland Park. We left our packs and headed up Trail 12. The trail is sketchy but we found the tank. To be sure we would have enough water to get to the car on Friday; we filled every bottle we had which was more water than we had carried to that point on the trip. We backtracked to Trail 164. The sun was directly overhead and we walked into a patch of low scrubby Pinion Pines which gave no shade while we were walking. It was about 95 degrees. We met a man and woman riding horses and pulling a pack horse. We walked until we couldn’t walk, and then rested until we couldn’t rest (due to the flies). Repeat for 2-3 hours. Even though we had enough water, we were looking for the other tank on the map. It seemed to be about half way to the car from Lilley Spring so it was a good objective for the day. We found it approximately where Norm had calculated it would be in GPS terms. It’s off the trail and down a hill to the left. We didn’t bother to top off the bottles.

We walked another 30 minutes and back into the nice shady Ponderosa Pines at Grave Canyon. We couldn’t wait to stop. This day had been like the Tonto Trail in the Grand Canyon, flat, exposed to the sun and generally debilitating. Norm put the tent up without the fly. An hour with no flies (the 6 legged variety) was priceless. Played Mystery and Trivia after dinner. Never even got 5 out of 6 but went to bed anyway. It was a little warmer than the other nights so we didn’t need to wear gloves. Even Norm slept under the stars.

Friday – Cliff Dwellings and the Car – Awoke at 6AM. Stove was slow again. This is the last trip for this stove no doubt. We were walking by 7:30. We made good time on the level trail. We had moments of doubt at a trial junction. One option seemed to be blocked by a log but not definitely. There was no sign. We took the most traveled trail and it seemed to work out. At the intersection with Trail 28 we took it south towards the National Monument. We stopped to check out the views as the trail went near the edge of the canyon. There were great views of the West Fork of the Gila River. We took several pictures here. About 15 minutes down the trail Norm realized he had left his canteen hanging on a limb at the scenic spot. He dropped his pack and made the round trip in 15 minutes. We went down into the canyon of the West Fork. We met a group of three fellows who were the only people we saw until we got to the National Monument. The trail near the river is rocky and loose, more like a Grand Canyon trail. We finally got to the river, crossed and found a shady place to clean up. We had two crossings. We changed into sandals. The current is quite noticeable. Norm could use up the final battery on the GPS so he had it in the “find home” mode which kept giving distance to the starting point.

The trail ended right at the entrance to the Cliff Dwellings, so we dropped our packs and climbed up the path and stairs to the dwellings. It is very interesting. There are many, many rooms and much of it very well preserved. There was a knowledgeable guide to answer questions and take our picture.

Jerry walked down to Woody’s corral to get the car. We headed for cool refreshment at a colorful gift store just outside the park. They had a little of everything; books, gifts, food, gasoline, pop and ice cream. We drove on to Silver City and had our traditional Steak dinner with fresh salad at the Red Barn. We got a room at the Comfort Inn.

Saturday – Cat Walk and back to Albuquerque – A ranger at the National Monument had recommended that we visit the Cat Walk We enjoyed the side trip on the way back to Albuquerque. There is a stream rushing through a narrow canyon and you basically walk above it.

At http://www.southernnewmexico.com/Articles/Southwest/Catron/TheCatwalk.html you will see that “The Catwalk, a National Recreation trail along the canyon of Whitewater Creek, is a unique feature of southwestern New Mexico. Located five miles east of Glenwood (take Hwy. 180 to 174), it presents an always vibrant journey along a path reflecting the region's mining history. The canyon was used as a hideout by both Geronimo and Butch Cassidy.”.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bruce Trail

Ontario, Canada
September 3 – 6, 2007
Bonnie and Norm Kern

The Bruce Trail Reference Trail Guides and Maps – The Bruce Trail Association
The Bruce Trail by Rich & Sue Freeman – Footprint Press – Describes a hike of
the complete Bruce Trail.
Website for the Bruce Trail Conservancy - http://brucetrail.org/places
Shuttle - http://www.thorncrestoutfitters.com/

The Bruce Trail meanders for approximately 465 miles along the Niagara Escarpment from Niagara Falls to Tobermory, Ontario. Various parts of the trail are within a few hours of Toronto, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York, or a half day drive from Detroit, Michigan. For our four day hike we chose some of the northern most miles on the Bruce Peninsula which extends into Lake Huron. This hike is described on maps 39 and 40 from the above noted Reference Trail Guides and Maps. Our hike started at Kilometer 136.6 and ended at Kilometer 168.4. This stretch is reputed to be the most demanding of the whole Bruce Trail.

Camping is limited to established campgrounds. For Back Country and Group sites within the National Park call (519) 596-2263. For Cyprus Lake Campground booking information and fees call 1-877-737-3783 from 7 am to 7 pm or by internet at www.pccamping.ca (24 hour service).

Side trips before the hike
- We drove to Tobermory from Detroit on Friday, August 31. Tobermory is a very nice little town at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula which extends out into Lake Huron. It is a summer tourist town and since this was Labor Day weekend in the US, Tobermory was very busy. We stayed at the Blue Bay Motel which overlooks Little Tub Harbor, all the shops, pubs and restaurants. We enjoyed sitting on the balcony outside our room. Everything is within walking distance in Tobermory. We can recommend breakfast at the Princess Hotel, dinner at the Leeside and Mermaid, and deli sandwiches from the grocery store. On Saturday we walked to the National Park Headquarters. We watched the movie, and stopped to climb the observation tower which affords wonderful views of the nearby islands and the Niagara Escarpment to the east. The Burnt Point Trail gives a taste of what the Bruce Trail will be like and gives nice views of Lake Huron. On Sunday, we took a Zodiac boat out to Flower Pot Island. We were the only people on our boat and there was only one Zodiac ahead of us so we expected to have the Island pretty much to ourselves. As we landed we saw the camp sites of people who had kayaked out from Tobermory. That would be a nice adventure. Unfortunately, a large glass bottomed tour boat had stopped off shore and was transporting people to the island so we shared “our” island with several dozen other folks. We walked north towards the light house which is a very nice walk. The Flower Pots are quite amazing limestone formations from when the lake level was higher. The light house keeper’s house was interesting and included many historic pictures. We had a nice lunch and snooze at the water’s edge. The squirrels were very used to humans and were fearless in their quest for food from our backpack when we left it on the ground for a moment.

To High Dump – The Thorncrest shuttle met us at 9 AM above Little Cove, as arranged, and drove us to our starting point, at the end of Crane Lake Road. The trail seemed to be a logging road and now perhaps a snowmobile trail. The exposed rocks had many scratches or gouges that seemed to be caused by metal. This stretch of trail is a nice shaded walk in the woods. We met a party for each car that was parked at the end of the road. Once we accounted for all of the cars we expected to be alone. The first person we met was a fellow who was running with a pack on his pack and a smaller pack on his chest. He had run from High Dump, our destination. (Dump, in Canadian logging country, is a place where logs were slid down the cliff into Lake Huron, where they were gathered into rafts and transported. Dump does not mean a place for trash as it does in the US.) This stretch of trail is gently rolling but more down than up. The final pitch down to the camp site was quite steep. A rope had been installed to make the climbs down and up a bit easier. We started walking at 9:45 AM and were at camp by 2:30. 8 Kilometers.

At the bottom of the pitch there was a sign but no map of the campground. We just wandered around until we found site number 8 for which we had the reservation. All the sites have large wooden platforms. This is good, because there is little smooth, level ground. The limestone is exposed everywhere. We had the whole campground to ourselves. We enjoyed the “beach” which has NO sand. It is made up of limestone rocks from 3 inches to 30 feet in diameter. We waded and rinsed and then read our books in the sun, enjoying the sound of the waves in the background. Norm went back to the tent to get a snack and found squirrels attacking our packs. We kept the food with us down on the beach. We filtered water out of Lake Huron.

We enjoyed Backpacker’s Panty (blue pouch) Hawaiian Chicken, which has no freeze dried taste. After dinner we hung the food on a bear pole which was provided by the park. It has a nice pulley system. This avoids the hassle of finding that perfect tree with the limb that is low enough, yet high enough, and long enough to keep the food safe from the bears or other varmints. We fell asleep about 9PM but then woke up later and took a walk down to the beach to see the stars. It was very clear so the star viewing was excellent, with the Milky Way, a satellite but no falling stars. We then went to the outhouse by flashlight. We hadn’t memorized the route so finding it in the dark was a humorous challenge.

On to Storm Haven – We enjoyed a pretty sun rise but then nothing but cloudy skies. We were walking by 8:30. The Bruce Trail from High Dump all the way to Little Cove is very rugged. The lime stone is exposed everywhere and is rough. It demands a great deal of attention to choose your footing. There are endless short descents and ascents, many of which are steep. This trail is more rugged than any hikes Norm had done outside of the Grand Canyon, including trails in Georgia, Arkansas, New Mexico and along the Pacific in California. Bonnie first cracked her hiking stick and then broke it at the worst possible instant (of course). Fortunately, she didn’t injure herself when it broke, but it was supporting much of her weight at the time. We learned that once a stick is weakened it should be replaced immediately. We found another stick right away. We saw only 2 backpackers but we saw several day hikers from Cyprus Lake Campground. There are many overlooks where you can see the limestone cliffs both to the east and west. We always like the pictures which show “We came all this way.” We wondered at the trees which grow out of seemingly solid rock and at many strange angles with bends for seemingly no reasons. A sign at Halfway Dump indicated only 2 km to go. We thought it meant 2 km to Storm Haven, but now I believe it was 2 km to the trail head. It was actually over 4 km to Storm Haven. The misunderstanding that we were “almost there” made it seem even further. With about 2 real km left, it started to rain. We put on our slickers and put plastic bags on our packs and then, of course, it stopped. In total this day was 11.4 Km or about 7 miles.

The pitch down to Storm Haven is made easier by some nice wooden stairs. The bear lines and the out house are at the top of the stairs. All the rocks at Storm Haven are flat. Everything is horizontal. At High Dump everything was basically round. One wonders what forces cause these differences. We found our reserved platform and set the tent up immediately. It then started to rain again so we tossed the packs into the tent and climbed in behind them. It felt good to be done for the day and to be off our feet. It stopped raining long enough for us to have Stroganoff for dinner, hang the food on a bear line, and visit the outhouse. We saw a single fellow at another site and a couple frolicking in the lake with their air mattresses. We went back to the tent and read and fell asleep. During one of Norm’s nocturnal walks, he saw some familiar items from his “snacks for today” bag, which he had forgotten to put in the bag on the bear line. Some local varmint must have enjoyed his snacks including the last of the chocolate.

Short walk to Cyprus Lake – Camping on the Bruce Trail is only allowed in official camp grounds, and we were lead to believe that penalties were heavy for infractions. There are few camp sites in this stretch of trail so we had to make a compromise. From Storm Haven to Little Cove is 17 km (over 10 miles) and we didn’t want to have any day that was quite that long. A campground at about 162 km would have been nice. The compromise we selected was to have a very short third day. We hiked only about 4 km (2.5 Mi) into Cypress Lake campground.

We awoke to continued rain complete with thunder. We rolled over and went back to sleep. Norm eventually went up the stairs to retrieve the food from the bear lines. It had stopped raining and there was some blue sky. We had a leisurely breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. As we reached to the top of the stairs, it started to rain one last time. We ducked into the out house and waited it out. We put the plastic on the packs again, just in case, and started walking about 10 AM. The tree roots, which are exposed on the trail, were quite slippery and even the limestone was more slippery than when dry. We had to watch our steps even more carefully than on the previous days. The trail took us down to beaches twice. It is tough walking on all the loose limestone rocks, since they tend to act like big ball bearings when they move. On the beach there are no trees, so the trail blazes are painted onto boulders or are on short posts. All of the Bruce Trail that we walked is very well marked with 2 inch by 4 inch white blazes that are otherwise on trees. There is almost always at least one blaze in sight. Even where there is not a blaze, there is little doubt about where the trail goes. There are few side trails and the forest is so dense there is little temptation to leave the trail. Again the trail includes many ups and downs. We started to ask ourselves, “Is this descent really necessary?” The day brightened and eventually we could see our shadows.

On the third beach section we were pleasantly surprised to find a sign for the Horse Lake Trail which took us to the Cyprus Lake Campground. We were even more pleasantly surprised that this trail is smooth, level and soft. What luxury. Once in the campground we found no signs or maps directing us to our reserved camp site. We had to impose on another camper, who had a map, to find our way. We were close to our site and had not walked far out of our way. We hung out all of our wet stuff including clothes and the tent. As soon as Norm hung out an empty food bag to dry there was a squirrel sniffing around it. Again we took our food with us everywhere we went. We were visited by a beautiful butterfly that hung around for several minutes and a few pictures. We split a tuna salad for lunch, and found evidence that varmints had gotten into the food that was on the bear line back at Storm Haven. (Actually there were not actual poles at Storm Haven. There was a line stretched between two trees and separate pulleys down from this line. Perhaps the varmint crawled across the horizontal line to our food? Perhaps we should not have pulled the food all the way up to the horizontal line? Good thing we brought enough food to share.) We cleaned up in the nice bathrooms and then went for a dip in Cyprus Lake which has real sand. We enjoyed freeze dried chicken breasts for dinner. How amazing are those things? At first they feel like graham crackers, but after 10 minutes in a little boiling water they become real chicken again! We tied the food up in a tree over a neighboring campsite. We found some fire wood and enjoyed a little fire. We never saw a camp ranger.

Long Walk to Little Cove – No intruders in the food this time. Walking by 8:40. Marr Lake Trail is more rugged than Horse Lake Trail. We were plagued by flies. They definitely didn’t care that we had Skin So Soft on. We had to put our long pants on and keep long sleeves rolled down. There is some private land in this stretch and we crossed a road for the first time in the trip. There were some lakes on the map so we could better judge our location and progress today. We had lunch at the halfway point. The middle of the day included a stretch where the walking was much easier. There is an especially pleasant part that runs through a limestone gap. We saw a large hole that would allow someone to climb down into a limestone grotto overlooking the lake. The climb looked pretty tricky so we just looked. Next to the hole there was a post with a number 8 on it. Attached to it was a special punch. There was a card with several punches in it. Close examination indicated that you could possibly win various things if you could get various numbers of punches, from presumably multiple locations. We laughed when we saw that second prize was 4 tons of, guess what, limestone! Anyone who has walked the Bruce Trail has seen enough limestone for a life time.

We took the side trail to the sink hole. It is about 60 feet deep and over 100 feet across. We took a short nap on the ground cloth. We only saw day hikers today. We saw three loons pretty close up near Loon Lake. We were stopped when we saw a huge poodle come bounding out of the woods. It looked out of place with its traditional hair shaping. It was followed by a party of four. We met a mother and son who hike on the Bruce Trail every year. As the day wore on Bonnie started to suggest that they need to build bridges across more of the down and up places. She even threatened to wait until a bridge was built before she would cross one such place. The closer to Little Cove we got, the happier we got. There were a few people there on the beach when we arrived. One took the traditional “We did it” picture and we walked up to the waiting car. This day was 14 Km or almost 9 miles.

We arrived back at our hotel and found a very different Tobermory. The crowds were gone and already some businesses were closed for the winter. We celebrated our hike with a wonderful whitefish dinner at the Princess Hotel. We gave each other foot massages, watched Peyton Manning play football and fell asleep.