Saturday, April 26 – 2008
06:00 – 22:00
Roads: Dry / Clear
Area: Elora, Ontario
Vehicle: GMC Suburban
Weather: Light Rain
Trail Conditions: Slightly Damp
Hikers: Tori, Wolf, Lupis, Merlin, Morgana
Plan: Get away for the weekend
GPS: 43 40.65N 80 26.77W
We woke up early after packing up the truck for the weekend and decided to head out really early after a quick circle-check of the truck for our week-end getaway to a place called Elora Gorge.
Arriving in Elora around 08:30 to find the place was almost empty. Apparently this was the first weekend they were open in the summer. The girl behind the counter was very pleasant and advised us there were very few people in the park camping, take the truck and drive around for a while until we found a spot.
We drove around for about 1/2hr and Tori found a great little campsite, and a couple of other “backup” sites incase that one was taken. Sure enough, out of the 500 empty campsites, Tori chose one that had been taken.
After renting our campsite (490) we slipped into the little town of Elora to buy some bug spray and visit a couple of the little shops there, including a medieval shop which had a lot of armor, swords, whips, floggers, and such in it.
Returning from our short visit in the town, we parked the truck at the campsite, and as it looked like it was going to rain, set up a suspended tarp over the rear of the truck so we would have a great shelter for the night or two we were going to spend here.
With the “campsite” set-up, we decided to go for a nice barefoot hike around the edge of the gorge. From the campsite we could see the gorge below and hear the water flowing. It wasn’t the best campsite we had seen, but would certainly be our home for the next couple of days. We followed along the edge of the gorge which had a great little pathway which went through the woods behind all the vacant campsites. This place is very beautiful here when it’s empty like this.
The rain started around noon, and although we were protected by the canopy of the forest, decided to go back to the truck and suit up in our raingear and explore some other paths.
The little pamphlet said that there were some hiking trails which went around the gorge. We suited up and headed out in the rain and crossed a small bridge over the gorge, then to the paths. Sadly the hiking paths were very juvenile and all packed stone with an ugly black fence off to the side of the gorge so you couldn’t accidentally fall in.
Eventually we came to a big overpass that looked like it had recently been completed. We were about to see if we could cross over it when an elderly gentlemen went to pass by and said the best is yet to come, ahead there was the ruins of the old Elora Mill to explore. Assuming he was right, we kept along the trail.
Around 13:30 the large ruins of the Elora Mill came into view. Resembling an ancient European castle with just four walls with no roof, and trees growing inside. We took quite a few photographs of the old structure then decided to head back to camp as Lupis’s right hand was troubling him. It was red and swollen but we checked and there was no slivers.
We hiked back to the bridge and crossed over it to loop around to another trail heading back towards the campsite. We headed back to the campsite to find some amazing views and areas to photograph. Even a very small little stream which cut through giant rocks over thousands of years – unfortunately the photos did not to it justice.
15:00hrs we arrived back at camp, drenched not from rain, but our own body heat generated by wearing rain gear when it was not raining – and changed into dry clothes.
Tori cooked up some of our freeze-dried food of Chicken Terryaki and a great blueberry cobbler desert.
21:00 After spending the afternoon relaxing, we put the dogs to bed after bandaging Lupis’s hand and stuffing between his fingers with Bactigras material to keep it disinfected for the night.
We headed to bed around 22:00hrs as it was a long, long day.