Woke up to thunder, lightning, and rain this morning but it didn't stop Pheebs and I from getting out. Jeep was needing a good rainy wash anyway and I could see on our live radar feed rains would be ending soon. Textured gray overcast skies and how nice to feel cooler air.
NOT MUCH GOING ON DOWN AROUND GODERICH’S ROTARTY COVE BEACH AND BELOW PHEEBS CHECKS OUT A GODERICH FLOWER BED
Not much going on down around the Goderich beach and harbor area so we headed for the Maitland Cemetery making our way to the northern most end where we knew there to be a nice hiking area. Rains had stopped so we were good to go.
WE’RE ON THE TRAIL HEADING FOR THAT GROWTH OF TALL DARK CEDAR TREES
FOUND A NICE BENCH TO REST MY COFFEE FOR A MINUTE WHILE I ADJUSTED MY CAMERA STRAP
I HAVE ALWAYS LIKED SUMAC TREES AND SOON ALL THE LEAVES WILL BE A CRIMSON RED
My sometimes troublesome legs were desperately needing exercise and I knew this trail would be good for that but I had no idea we would go as far as we did. Back in November of 2002 Kelly and I with our dog Max hiked this trail all the way down to the Maitland River one time and I've always had it in the back of my mind to hike down there again. Hadn't realized this morning was going to be that time.
WE REACH THE TOP OF THE BLUFF OVERLOOKING THE MAITLAND RIVER FAR BELOW
I HAD NO IDEA WE’D BE DOWN BESIDE THE RIVER AT TOP RIGHT IN LESS THAN HALF AN HOUR
WE STRIKE OFF ALONG THIS BLUFF TOP TRAIL HEADING EAST FROM THE OVERLOOK POINT
THIS SECTION OF TRAIL IS FLAT AND EASY TO WALK
WASN’T LONG BEFORE WE CAME TO THIS NARROW DIRT ROAD AND TURNED LEFT DESCENDING DOWN THROUGH THE FOREST
WOODPECKERS ARE MAKING SHORT WORK OF THAT DEAD TREE
WE TOOK THE DETOUR TO THE LEFT AROUND THE MUD PUDDLE
OVERNIGHT RAINS HAD EVERYTHING LOOKING SO FRESH AND GREEN
LAST TIME WE CAME THIS WAY WE TOOK THE TRAIL TO THE RIGHT BUT TODAY WE WENT LEFT DESCENDING EVEN FURTHER IN THE DIRECTION OF THE RIVER
THIS HARDPACKED NARROW ROAD IS EASY TO WALK ON
Even with a suspect cloud cover overhead I never thought much about rain as we followed a trail through the forest to a narrow roadway heading down in the direction of the river far below. Thought we'd walk down that steep road for a bit but as it turned out that road kept leading us further into the forest on it's downward angle. I don't know just where it was I figured we were maybe halfway down the 200' bluff so might as well keep going and see if we could reach the river. I full well knew we were going to have to come all the back up again but we kept on going anyway despite the humidity building.
ANOTHER FORK IN THE ROAD AND PHEEBS LEADS US TO THE LEFT AGAIN
COMING DOWN A SLIPPERY MUD AND ROCK GRADE I SPOTTED A PATCH OF LIGHT AHEAD WHERE PHEEBS IS
I HAD A FEELING WE HAD REACHED THE BOTTOM OF THE BLUFF AND I WAS RIGHT
Wasn't until we emerged from the downhill forest into a meadow flat area that I figured we were down. Vegetation was high and I could hear the river off to our left so we plodded on. Seeing a tumble of rocks ahead spilling out of some trees onto the trail I knew we were very close because this had to be a Spring flood spill through. It was, and half a minute later I spotted the Maitland River through the trees.
WE WERE ON FLAT GROUND NOW, THE PATH NARROWED AND THE VEGETATION ALL AROUND US WAS LUSH AND THICK
I COULD HEAR THE RIVER CLOSE BY BUT COULDN’T SEE IT FOR ALL THE UNDERBRUSH
PEERING THROUGH THE HEAVY FOLIAGE I COULD SEE THE TOP OF THE BLUFF WHERE WE HAD COME FROM
SEEING THIS SPILLAGE OF SMALL ROCKS I KNEW THE RIVER HAD TO BE VERY CLOSE
THEN THERE IS WAS THROUGH THE TREES……THE MAITLAND RIVER
A ROUND PILE OF STONES MARKED A CAMPFIRE SPOT
THE RED BAG LEANING AGAINST THE TREE IS FULL OF BEER CANS AND BOTTLES SO AT LEAST THE KIDS PARTYING HERE ARE ATTEMPTING TO CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES
Reaching the river I looked downstream and immediately recognized this was the very spot Kelly, Max, and I had reached nearly 16 years ago. It was 10:30 when I took a few photos and 10:40 when I checked my watch to see how long it would take us to climb back up to the spot we had started from overlooking the river.
PHEEBS REACHED THE RIVER’S EDGE BEFORE I DID
RIVER IS ONLY ABOUT A FOOT DEEP AND ONE COULD EASILY WALK ACROSS IN A PAIR OF RUBBER BOOTS
THIS IS THE EXACT SPOT KELLY, MAX, AND I ONCE STOOD WAY BACK IN NOVEMBER OF 2002 AND IN THE BACKGROUND MIDDLE TOP IS WHERE WE STARTED OUT
PHEEBS GRABS A QUICK DRINK
PURPLE LOOSTRIFE ADORNS THE RIVER BANK
‘AWWW COME ON DAD YOU MEAN WE HAVE TO GO ALL THE WAY BACK THERE’…..IT’S AN 18mm WIDE ANGLE CAMERA SHOT PHEEBS SO IN REALITY IT’S NOT AS FAR AS IT LOOKS
HERE’S A TRUER PERSPECTIVE OF DISTANCE
WHAT IF WE TOOK A SHORT CUT ACROSS THE RIVER DAD??
‘OKAY SCRATCH THAT IDEA’
SAY ‘BYE-BYE’ TO THE RIVER PHEEBS IT’S TIME TO GO
‘BYE BYE RIVER’
With my torso weight leaned forward pulling and my legs digging in pushing we began our ascent. Two quick photos stops and no breaks got us back to the bluff top in fifteen minutes. Boy oh Boy did my legs ever feel good about that and even I was surprised we came up that forested road and trail so quickly. Humidity had come up and my shirt was totally pasted to me. Nearing the trailhead I heard two distant rolls of thunder and minutes later it began raining.
MAKING OUR WAY BACK THROUGH THE THICK RIVER FLATS FOLLIAGE WE ARE ABOUT TO ENTER THE FOREST AND BEGIN OUR CLIMB
STEEPEST AND SLIPPERYEST PART OF THE ASCENT WAS RIGHT HERE AT THE BEGINING
POWERING UP THE GRADE AND BY NOW THE HUMIDITY HAS MY SHIRT GLUED RIGHT TO ME
STOPPED FOR A COUPLE QUICK SNAIL PHOTOS AND THE ONE BELOW REMINDED ME OF A ‘STONED MARTY FELDMAN’:))
NO DETOURING AROUND THE PUDDLE FOR PHEEBS THIS TIME, SHE PLOWED RIGHT THROUGH IT
REACHING THE TOP OF THE BLUFF WE SWING TO THE RIGHT
MINUTES LATER WE ARE AT THE OVERLOOK PEERING DOWN TO THE SPOT ALONG THE MAITLAND RIVER WE HAD JUST COME FROM
THE DARK ROUND TREE UP A TAD FROM RIGHT OF CENTER IS WHERE WE WERE
A 300mm TELEPHOTO VIEW OF WHERE WE STOOD JUST RIGHT OF CENTER
We made it back to the Jeep just in the nick of time before the heavier rains came. We were so lucky to get back when we did. Not that the rain would have hurt us but I didn't have a plastic bag along to protect my camera and lens. Twenty minutes after reaching the Jeep we were back home. Rains continued and we even had a couple very short bursts of brilliant sunshine.
RAINING NOW AS WE HEAD BACK THROUGH THE CEMETERY IN THE DIRECTION OF HOME
THE CLOSER WE GOT TO BAYFIELD THE HEAVIER THE RAINS BECAME
NOW IF COULD ONLY REMEMBER HOW TO TURN THE WIPERS ON
By mid afternoon we were once again bathed in sunshine but I must have used up all my energy reserves with this mornings walk and tired too quickly when I tried to do a bit more yard work. Probably still a little too warm for me. Need to get the outside temps down to the comfortable lower 60's.
GROANER'S CORNER:(( Little Paul says to his father, "Daddy, Daddy, I want to get married."His father says, "For that son, you have to have a girlfriend."Paul says, "But I've found a girl.""Who?" said his father."My grandma.""Let me get this straight." the father says. "You want to marry my mother? You can't do that." "Well, why not?" says Paul. "You married mine."
“Due to the cabbage crop failure it was really hard to get ahead!”
Three vampires walk into a bar and sit down at a table. The waitress comes over and asks the first vampire what he would like. The first vampire responds, "I vould like some blood." The waitress turns to the second vampire and asks what he would like. The vampire responds, "I vould like some bloodtoo." The waitress turns to the third vampire and asks what he would like. The vampire responds, "I vould like some plasma." The waitress looks up and says, "Let me see if I have this order correct. You want two bloods and a blood light?"