EtoE #6 - 18th SR + 8th Conc. to Palgrave Forest 2015-6-15
E2E hike #6, June 15th 2015.
Hike: West bound from 18th SR + 8th Conc. to Palgrave Forest.
This section of the trail passes along the edge of fields, though coppice, along country gravel roads and beside various pathed roads and the Trans-Canada Trailway.
A lot of rain had fallen the previous week including the day before but this Monday morning we had sunlight filtered by overnight fog. The day had the makings for a beautiful adventure.
13 hikers shuttled to the start of our hike on 18th SR., west from 8th. Conc.
In 35 minutes we reached the ORTA Trail marker on Hwy 27 and turned west along a fence line. Gaiters were little protection from the shoulder high wet grass that had been fed by the previous days of rain. I think rabbit had conspired to dig burrows in the long grass for unsuspecting hikers to stumble into.
Soon it was necessary to move any paper stored in ones pants to a higher location if one didn’t want the document turned to Paper Mache.
Between Hwy 27 and 10th Conc. the trail crosses a rickety stile which Marco graciously held steady for the rest of the troop to cross.
The trail heads north at the 10th Conc. and then west again along another field fence line (more high/wet grass with hollows created by rabbits). Shortly after entering this field a stream barred our way that is crossed by two carefully placed planks. The rains (some said monsoons) since the start of June had caused the stream to cover the planks. As this appeared to be the only crossing, one at a time we carefully shuffled across the slippery planks, getting our boots washed at the same time. Someone suggested old corn stalks would make useful snorkels at this point! I think I heard another hiker humming a few bars from Yellow Submarine!
Boots and gaiters soon became muddy again as we negotiated a gumbo mud field a short distance further.
The Pucks Farm area has recently been acquired by another land owner and the trail has been re-routed to the north along 19th. Conc. Malcolm didn’t tell those at the front of the group about the trail re-rout until they were about to follow the faded trail turn blazes (got to make sure all keep their eye on me)!
Dark rain clouds were gathering to the west as we reached the junction of 10th. Conc. and 19th SR. so we ate lunch here on a convenient grassy knowl and before the threatening weather reached us.
Light rain started fall soon after our lunch break. Several hikers didn’t bother to put on rain gear as they were looking forward to some cooling rain.
Shortly we passed a farm where Peacocks were seen to be wondering. We were now able to link the strange cat sounds heard during our lunch break to these Peacocks.
The rain was a short lived shower and those that had covered up with rain gear were glad to strip.
The last several Kilometers of trail into Palgrave are on the Trans-Canada Trailway. Just east from Palgrave an arena is being set-up for PanAm events to be held in July.
We reached Palgrave by 2:45PM and thankfully pulled into the convenience store for cold refreshments. Thank you Linda for the cherry popsicle…
We reached the cars in the Palgrave forest parking lot on Hwy 50 by 3:00PM having covered 23.3Km.
Thank you Mel for carrying my backpack for several kilometers.