In one of my previous posts about our microadventures at Dundas Valley Conservation Area, I promised that it wasn’t the last time we visited the park. It took us a few months, but one Saturday in October we finally made a trip back.
Sometimes it’s hard to find a new angle for a story; after all most of our microadventures involve walking and looking at trees. It may seem even harder when it’s about the place we’ve visited several times before. But you know how they say you can’t step into the same river twice? Well, I believe you can’t walk into the same forest twice. The Dundas Valley during our last trip was certainly different from the one we encountered back in the spring. And I am not just talking about the abundance of multicoloured foliage where none was present before. It’s also about different smells and sounds and shimmering, dispersed light. Not to mention different impressions, emotions and conversations inspired by nature and the people around you.
This time, our friend joined us. You know our friend, she made several appearances on my blog before. She used to be known as the friend who hardly ever leaves the city. That is certainly not the case anymore – I have proof here and here and here. So she currently remains without a nickname.
I always enjoy her company on the trail (and away from it as well) because her deep insights, keen sense of beauty and infinite fascination with the world provide a new look at things and inspire some interesting conversations. So as the trail dipped down and climbed back up over the hills and along the Escarpment, we talked about spirituality and religion, linguistic matters, Indigenous history of the area, and, inevitably, the election south of the border. After each encounter with a dog, our older son tried to (unsuccessfully) convince our friend that dogs were fun. While the younger one kept searching for geocaches especially for her since the hike happened right after her birthday. He had his sights set on 20 but could locate only five, which, according to our friend, was a perfect amount. She also noted that her idea of geocaching would involve caches hidden at the bottom of a latte rather than a hole in a tree. I guess she remains a city girl at heart, albeit with deep appreciation for nature.
As I mentioned in my previous post about Dundas Valley, the park has an expansive system of multi-use trails – over 40 kilometres to be exact, including parts of Bruce Trail and Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail, all open to hikers, joggers and equestrians. We covered a few of those trails during our two trips in the spring. This time we focused on the Main Loop. While short, this 3.4 kilometre trail offers a lot of natural diversity: a deciduous forest, hemlock groves, an old apple orchard and an open meadow. It also stops by some of the park’s landmarks, like the Trail Centre, Hermitage Cascade, Sulphur Spring and Hermitage Ruins.
When we were done, it was getting chilly and everyone was getting hungry. So we headed home for some wine, good food and a bad dystopian movie.
P.S. Many unexplored trails and undiscovered geocaches still await us at Dundas Valley so we will definitely be back. Maybe this time we will check it out in the winter.