Day 5, Slough of Despond and parts of the Bruce Trail NW of Owen Sound

Our first overnight in our tent, and all in all it wasn’t too bad.  The evening cooled down to 14C, so it was perfect for sleeping!  Doesn’t this look cozy??

We were both up early, so took our time making a fresh pot of French Press coffee and then into gourmet steel cut oatmeal with granola and cinnamon honey.  I made our lunches first, and Dan did his Tai Chi.  Once breakie was done and washed up, we were off!

As part of our “modified plan”, we were only able to spend one day north of Owen Sound.  We chose to do the trail for a part, as well as take in a very interesting side trail, the Slough of Despond; or as my kids would remember it as the “swamp of sadness”!  Hate to disappoint, but it wasn’t really a swamp, and it wasn’t sad, but I digress!

Since we were planning a circle route of about 15 km, we only needed one car.  Once parked, we energized ourselves for the hike ahead.  You got it, superhero with the 1000 yard state!

Our first trail was straight along the rough road we had just driven.  It got ALOT rougher as we went down hill!  It soon took a turn at the bottom, and became this one lane track filled with puddles, which attracted frogs, which in turn attracted snakes ( all small and nonvenomous I assure you!!!)

As we wandered down the road we stopped for a drink break and looked back.  We had just descended the escarpment! (You just know we’re going to have to ascend it at least once!!)

We followed this to near the end, then the trail parted from the road and meandered through forest, sometimes hardwood, and sometimes cedar.

We followed this for another km or so ( through lots of poison ivy I might add) and then we came to a lovely pastoral side road.  This was more like the Camino we knew, and we were able to make some good time along this!

After 5-7 km of road walking, it was back to the lanes and forests for us.  We happened across this herd of sheep enjoying a little shade.  Unfortunately their keepers, two very large golden sheep dogs were not as pleased to see us!

Once we cleared ( safely, because of a fence between us and the dogs) this lane way, we were heading towards the woods.  Lots of ripe apples just hanging wild on the trees!

Soon we were greeted with a glimpse of the bluff, and therefore climb we had in store!

The pathway enroute yielded lots of interesting sites from the smallest ferns I’ve ever seen ( growing out of the top of a mossy rock)…

…to evil crevices waiting to eat your ankle!

… To spectacular panoramas once you reach the summit!

On the left, waaay in the distance you can see Georgian Bay, and immediately in front is the Slough of Despond formed during the last glacial retreat)

Well enough of these vistas standing on rock outcropping a that had been severed from the escarpment only to have their position anchored on high by a few cedar roots!!! Back into the woods we went! Now at this point, the guide suggested that we would be walking through a lovely grove of birch trees.  Well, the grove was indeed lovely, but with the Karst topography you had the watch every step!  It was like walking through a mogle field ( skiing reference) in the middle of the forest, only the depressions represented 2 to 1 odds that there was a never ending sinkhole!

I’m really glad that Dan was taking the lead and watching for the blazes, cause I wasn’t looking up for love nor money!!! ( come to think of it, the blazes were blue… Maybe that explains my mother’s expression “What in Blue Blazes…”

We soon left the forest ( not really soon enough!) and were walking along a farmers field where some dear soul had mowed a path with a bush hog!  Thank you!!!

And a couple of fields later we reached our car with about 15 km behind us!  Time to head back into town and get a) an new chair for me, cause the one that was packed was broken, b) some “meat” for Dan, ’cause clearly the carbonara’ wasn’t protein enough for my man, and c) get that drink poured!!! Success on all accounts!!!

On to dinner, and of course red wine!  I’m not so sure it will be an early morning tomorrow!!!

After dinner, a little r and r, then off to bed!

Will be sending greetings tomorrow from Wiarton!  Have fun till then!

Categories: Bruce Trail 2016 - A True Canadian Trek!


  1. Pat and Dan I am so inspired. I thought the Camino would be tough. Sounds like the challenge is right in our own back yard!


  2. You are doing so well. Good for you two. I am soooo impressed. Have an excellent sleep. Thank you for the wonderful pictures and the on going chat. It is so interesting. Love the superhero stance with 1000 yard stare. That’s the spirit.👍


  3. The goal is always “the Way” which you two inspire others to emulate. The vistas from the top compensate for the hard work getting there though, I am sure.


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