|Wanna come along?|
Gail, Sadie B, Eddie and I decided to head UP the Maple Mountain Main logging road (note emphasis on 'up'), a route I have not taken since hiking it last with Lucy.* I remembered it was steep, but we wanted a relatively good trail for a very wet day, and logging roads at least provide that. I also knew it was not a place one could get lost as long as one stuck to the main logging road - and on a wet, foggy, fall day one really doesn't want to get lost. Gail hadn't done the route before, and an overindulgence in Hallowe'en candy had me needing to burn some extra calories, so it seemed like a good choice. We set the top, where the road starts to descend down the other side, as our goal.
At first, I thought I had remembered it as worse than it was - it started out a relatively gentle walk. Then we hit what I remembered - the climb. It is a climb that seems to go on forever. I have three sources of information on the Maple Mountain hiking trails (two books and the municipal website), which variously put the distance to the top as approximately 3, 4, or 5 km (though I swear it was 25), and the elevation at the summit as either 505, 535, or 565 meters (from a starting elevation of approximately 100 meters). Since most of the climbing is done in the last half of the trail, that's a fairly significant elevation gain for a casual Thursday morning walk with the dogs.
|Beautiful fall trail|
But it was worth it. The fall leaves are still beautiful despite the heavy rains and gusty winds of the past few days. The dogs had a blast and although the top was blanketed in heavy fog, the rain stopped and the hike back down was quite pleasant. It was a good workout, and we covered a greater distance than usual - something young energetic Sadie B needs and a good antidote to the wet-weather-blahs.
|An eagle appears in the fog near the summit|
|Yellow leaves through evergreens set the woods afire|
|One lone yellow tree on a hillside near the top|
When we returned home, Eddie collapsed for a long afternoon nap. I puttered around the garden for a while, noticing that the blueberry bush has produced a late crop which is ready for picking.
|Blueberries in November!|
The sugar peas have also decided to bloom once again and though I doubt they will have time to mature, the raindrops on their two-toned purple blossoms provided a moment of pleasure.
|Raindrops balance on a November blossom|
|Sugar pea flower after November rains|
Hallowe'en is thankfully over for another year. Eddie handled it very well, and even spent an hour in the carport with me (leashed to my waist, of course) greeting the children as I handed out candy. He practiced his quiet "sit and greet", and showed no anxiety at the children's masks or outfits. The fireworks exploding a few blocks away only startled him momentarily, until a large display produced noises louder and faster which caused him some stress. At that, we turned off the lights and hunkered down in my office watching television for the rest of the evening.
One final bit of news. I spotted the November edition of Reader's Digest at the grocery store checkout yesterday, and realized I had not mentioned on the blog that an excerpt from an article I submitted to Our Canada Magazine was cited on page 92 of the October Reader's Digest (Canadian edition)*, as part of a promo for a writing and photography competition about "Canada's Most Interesting Towns". I was rather tickled to see I shared the spotlight with such notable Canadians as Pierre Berton, Lorna Crozier, Audrey McLaughlin, Michael Buble, and Stephen Leacock. Just think, four or five years from now, people will still be reading my words in waiting rooms across the country! :)
* Speaking of Lucy, I suddenly realized that I completely missed wishing her pups a happy second birthday on October 1st. If any of the adoptive families are still reading the blog, I'd love to receive an update!)
** I had mentioned this matter when I was contacted by the publisher, but thought it was going to be used for a promo in Our Canada, not in the larger, better known Reader's Digest. I'm hopeful that Our Canada may eventually publish the whole article.