A Change In Plan

I knew it was going to happen eventually.  Hints of it had been swirling around almost since the beginning.

Helen suggested we abandon the TransCanada Trail.

We had reached that self-imposed limit of a 2-hour drive for a day trip.  It was time to start planning multi-day trips.

Add to the mix that the TransCanada follows an old rail bed which makes it largely flat and unchallenging.  Great if you’re cycling, but boring as death when walking.  I had been pushing for a few weeks that we switch back to bicycles, but cycling is not in Helen’s comfort zone.

While the original Bold Plan has been put on ice, my intention of continuing to explore my province and country hasn’t changed.  In fact I already have 2 cycling trips planned into Quebec this summer … but they will be solo trips, without Helen.

So, this week instead of heading on our continuing trek eastward towards Quebec on the TransCanada, we headed northwest to the Bruce Trail – our first and true love.

We went from endless kilometres this on the TransCanada ….

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To trails like this on the Bruce …

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A few weeks ago, a friend of my son’s sent me a link about an interesting section of the Bruce Trail located in the Mono Cliff Provincial Park.  She wondered if I had done it.  I had not.

In our 900 km end-to-end trek of the Bruce 5 years ago, Helen and I had only hiked the main trail.  I had gone back to my original blog posts about the Bruce, but there was no hints of anything noteworthy in this particular area.  In fact I had barely given the Mono Cliff Provincial Park a mention.

There are dozens and dozens of side trails left unexplored and it appeared that this might be one of them.

So yesterday, on a sunny and warm Monday morning, we made the 90 minute trek to Mono Cliff Provincial Park in Dufferin Highlands to find this interesting section of trail we missed the first time.

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We completed the entire 4 km loop recommended by the article and did not find the targeted section of trail we were promised.

While we were contemplating our various options, we encountered another hiker who was able to confirm what we suspected we had done wrong.  It meant going back around for a second tour – including that heart-thumping climb up the escarpment.

It was worth it.

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It turns out that we were looking for only a small section of about 100 metres off the main trail itself.  There are no signs to indicate what is only steps away.

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This is what we had been missing!!

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Were we happy with our change in plans?  You bet!

 

39 comments

    • There are just so many great trails to explore without feeling like we’re not getting something out of it.
      I think it’s great you and Cheryl are going back to explore side trails. There is still so much to see!

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  1. Initially, I thought ‘ oh no’ when I read that you had a change of plans, but as I read through the post my disappointment turned to excitement for all that awesome ahead for you and for Helen – both the known and the unknown. it sounds like this is a great decision and you are already having fun. The Bruce Trail looks GORGEOUS! Wish I was with you on the trail there. I adore hikes

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  2. Your photos bring back a lot of wonderful memories. For years I took my grade five classes to Mono Cliffs to the outdoor education centre where we would stay for three to four days. One of the things we always did was hike on the trails around the site and depending on the season we sometimes explored the caves. It’s a wonderful place for kids and adults alike.

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    • What a great thing to do with your classroom! I always thought kids would love history, geography, and science so much more if they actually got to experience it. I didn’t have that when I went to school.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We were very lucky to be able to go. First because the parents trusted us to take their children for an overnight excursion and secondly because it was a very popular program and usually open more for older students.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Getting out and about with a friend while acquiring some exercise is always a good thing regardless of which direction you are headed. 🙂 One question – do you have to deal with ticks? We have a terrible tick problem here in NH, and I usually try to stay out of the wooden areas that call to you.

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    • Ticks are a growing problem here in southern Ontario. Some areas are considerably worse than others.
      Helen and I are aware of the problem for some years now and don’t venture off pathways where I’m told the risk is much higher. That’s how dogs pick them up.

      We’re pretty careful about checking ourselves and each other after a hike, and so far we’ve been lucky. I hope that luck holds out.

      I’m also quite leery about mosquito-borne West Nile virus. I’m a mosquito magnet, and I wear a LOT of insect repellent. If the bugs are particularly bothersome, I wear a bug shirt. For some reason, the bugs don’t bother Helen.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Joanne, I can certainly understand why you & Helen made the decision to abandon your trek on the TransCanada Trail! We just returned from Vancouver Island last week where we spent some some up in Ucluelet & Tofino, hiking in the Pacific Rim National Park. If you have a chance, it is an absolutely gorgeous part of the country to explore!

    Where are you cycling in Quebec?

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    • I’ve been to Tofino and Ucluelet, but never to the National Park or the Pacific Rim trail. I’m told the end-to-end is one of the most gruelling hikes there is.
      I haven’t been to Vancouver Island in many, many years – and it’s certainly on that ever-growing list for a repeat visit.

      In June I’m cycling Le Petit Train du Nord which runs by Mont Tremblant, then I’ll be back in August to continue the journey into Montreal itself. The TransCanada runs through the city including the old port.

      Quebec has invested a considerable amount of money into its extensive trail system “La Route Verte”. I’ve heard so many positive things about cycling in Quebec. I’m quite excited – this will be a big adventure for me to undertake it on my own 🙂

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  5. Hi, Joanne and Helen – Although ‘breaking up is hard to do’ (insert Neil Sedaka singing here), I applaud your decision. I am so glad that you will explore other trails, and will continue to take us along on FABP. I greatly look forward to reading about your upcoming adventures.

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    • Thanks Donna. I knew you would appreciate how difficult it is to simply abandon a goal … but this is the right change for us. This week’s hike back on the Bruce proved it 🙂

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  6. Plans change, and I love that you are dedicated to exploring your own area. We, too often, decide the grass is greener elsewhere and don’t take the time to see what’s right in front of us. The difference in trails is so obvious, you will have a great time. Look forward to lots of pictures!

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    • For the past year we’ve been grunting along thinking we were just trail snobs and that eventually we would get over it.

      Yeah … no.

      I’ve decided there is nothing wrong with being a trail snob. We know what we like, we know what kind of experience we are looking for, so picking the right trail makes sense. This was not the right trail for us and it was time to let go.

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  7. So long as you are exploring and happy who cares which trail it is / or town / or island / or province. Perhaps if you want to do multi-day away trips you can head further afield?

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  8. Plans are meant to be changed as circumstances warrant. It’s smart to remain flexible and not be doggedly committed to something that is not serving you. Off you are on a new adventure and, as long as you take us along, we are cheering your decision.

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    • I’m so glad you’re going to stay along for the journey. I will be back on the TransCanada on my own periodically, but this change in plan allows Helen and I a chance to explore other parts that interest us more. There is plenty of beauty and wonder to discover! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. One door closes and window opens! This little side trail is lovely, so glad you happened upon another hiker who knew where it was, and you went back to look for it.

    I’m looking forward to the new adventure!

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      • When I knit I used to follow a blogger who called herself Yarn Harlot – because she couldn’t stick to just one knitting project at a time. Therefore, why can’t there be Trail Harlots? Seriously, we could start a club! 🙂

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        • I know of the Yarn Harlot!! … from the Friends for Life Bike Rally. She’s legend 🙂

          Damn! I wish I had thought of Trail Harlots! 😆 … somehow I don’t think Helen would approve!

          Liked by 1 person

  10. At first, I was a little sad that you were giving up that goal, but now that I see the difference in the pictures you will be sharing (you will be sharing, right?), I’m good with your decision – very good.

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