Anyways, we hiked the first leg of the trail, a 7.2 km section, without too much incident, once we actually managed to find it. We considered going further, but decided we probably shouldn't push it on our first day. We called a cab to bring us back to our car. According to the map (official trail map, of course) we were at Firemen's Park. Well, little did we know, that about 400 metres down the road was a parking lot with a big sign saying "Firemen's Park". Where we were, there was no sign. After waiting for a long time we set off down the road and discovered this parking lot. Doh! We called the cab company again and explained our mishap, and they said the cab would try again to pick us up. After waiting for a long time, we decided to walk a little further down the road, until there was a fork, where we stopped in case the cab came along the other road. We waited there for a long time. Eventually, the cab arrived. It turns out that where we were was actually "Old Firemen's Park", and the cab had been down the road at the new "Firemen's Park". At this point we were none too pleased with the map.
Day 2 went a little better. We went back to the cairn and took our picture, because we'd forgotten to do it the day before, and we wanted photographic evidence. Then we drove back up to Old Firemen's Park and parked the car, and started hiking. The hike was quite nice, except that there was a group of 50 hard core hikers, all hiking the opposite direction to us. We know there were 50 because we asked one of them how many of them there were. The path is quite narrow so every time we ran into one of this group either we or they had to stand aside to let the other pass (normally we did, because they were all hiking very quickly and with sticks - while we were unarmed ;) ).
We learned that chipmunks can climb trees, really well! We watched one chipmunk climb a 40 foot tree, then launch himself off the top and fall straight down to the forest floor. I hope he meant to do that!
I hurt my foot part way through Day 2, while we were walking through a weedy field which had uneven ground. Because I couldn't see the ground through the weeds, I stepped funny. I managed to make it to the first planned stopping point, but we were both disappointed we couldn't go further because of my foot. Near the end of our walk on Day 2 we saw this sign. It made us laugh, because it looks like "Business People Crossing". Our theory is it was the closest they could find to "Watch for Hikers", but seriously. Business people crossing?
Things we learned on our first Bruce trail outing:
- Chipmunks can climb trees.
- Bring wet-naps.
- Cabs don't seem to know where anything is.
- Don't trust the official trail guide maps.
- Even though your "compass/whistle/thermometer" seems dorky, it will come in handy.