Friday, March 23 – 2007
14:15 – 16:15
Roads: Wet from melted snow
Area: Short Hills Provincial Park
Vehicle: Suburban – REBMA
Weather: Clear and Sunny
Hikers: Chris, Tori, Wolf, 3 dogs
Plan: Hike the Scarlett Tanager trail too the Hemlock Valley Trail. If we feel up to it, complete the Hemlock Valley Trail.
Arrive on-site with no portable time piece. Chris says she wants to Decorate our Yule Tree with rustic things this year. The dogs are noisy and won’t stop whining – As usual. There are only a couple of other cars in the parking lot which will make for a more desolate hike. After a short jaunt down the big hill, and crossed two bridges we found out Merlin had been rolling in poop again. We threw him into the water to rinse him off and headed to the right and up hill. Chris had said she is already tired. It has been 6yrs since she has been hiking. After going through some deep mudded areas with some ice patches, we arrived at the first bench. The deep mud made hiking difficult and we took a much needed rest. Much to Chris’s disgust, they do not serve coffee at this location.
The view here is very nice and peaceful except for the panting and whining dogs. This place is so beautiful I wish we could spend more time here. We can hear all different sounds of birds in the distance.
Coming out into an open area with overhead power-lines means we are about ½ way through the Scarlett Tanager trail. Some deep mud and water provided us with amusement as Chris attempted to cross with inappropriate shoes. Further along the trail the ankle-deep mud proved to be quite a challenge for all of us, including Chris who provided us with some short lived, but stern amusement as she fell into the mud repeatedly.
14:50 Tori realised we have a cell phone with us, to check the time. Part way through the Hemlock Valley Trail we stopped for a rest on some logs. The soft, warming earth makes such a beautiful and unforgettable smell this time of year. The park is so quiet. We did find part of an old plow in the forest, pieces of the past still loom. This dense forest was once a farmers field.
16:15 We used Chris’s cell phone and called rogers *611 to find out the correct time. We stopped at a large bridge to relax for a while. The sound of the babbling brook under the bridge always calms us. We are unsure of how far along we are on this trail at the moment, but could hear cars in the distance. Chris is starting to get blisters on the tops of her feet. We started to head out again. Chris picked up a 8lb rock which she likes and will now have to carry with her the rest of the trip.
16:45 We arrived at the split of trail 5. Probably ½ way back to the truck.
17:00 We arrived at the ½ way point of the Scarlett Tanager trail. Chris is still holding her big rock she claimed some time ago. We now begin the trek back towards the truck.
17:06 After going down a large, steep, muddy hill we crossed the first bridge on the way back.
17:13 After attempting to not go over the bent and damaged bridge, Chris decides to cross using an old fallen tree only to realise it did not cross the area where the bridge crossed and will still have to cross the bridge – on her hands and knees. Other than providing us with quite a bit of entertainment, no one was hurt.
17:45 Tired, and sore we arrive back at the trail head. My mom said she feels proud of herself for hiking all this way. We are all very muddy. We stopped for a rest at the bridge by the trail head. We are very pleased that Lupis made the trail. It has been a long hike.
18:11 We returned to the truck. Chris was wearing my set of gaiters, low-cut hiking boots, black pants and a floral print shirt. Her feet got soaked and blistered. Tori was wearing her green galoshes, black pants, and a red shirt with her hiking jacket. Similarly, Wolf was wearing his green galoshes, black pants, denim shirt and hiking jacket. Both Wolf and Tori had their adventure hats on. It was our longest hike in several years. We came home and bathed Merlin, Morgana, and Lupis then cleaned and washed our boots. It was a great afternoon.