Play in Grey – a blog about my favourite things in Grey Highlands
I spent my childhood days at our family cottage on Lake Eugenia. My sisters and I enjoyed each day with one adventure after another. Trails - did we know trails?! We explored every trail we could find - some of which, as children, we probably should have avoided. But, those were the best adventures of all - the ones we still tell stories about. Our outings were filled with discoveries, make believe, made up stories that only we, as sisters, had experienced together. I now have two boys of my own and have been eager to share with them the adventures of my past.
I was recently introduced to Barbara MacKay’s new guide for hitting the trails - STEAL THIS TRAIL. The book is no ordinary field guide. Barbara cleverly guides you through the trails with stories that cause you to not only appreciate the nature that envelopes you but also envision days gone by with her historical notes and trivia. Anyone can give you a map to follow; this book gives you an adventure to follow.
For me, the book fed two of my passions - exploring the trails and storytelling.
So, with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of exploration, my boys and I set off for the Flesherton foothills with my sister and her family. Somehow, the old apple orchard and wild flowers that dotted the fields took on new meaning for me as I remembered what I had read in STEAL THIS TRAIL. I became the family trail guide. To my own surprise I could recollect much of what Barbara had put into her writings and apply it to our own hiking trip; a family outing that transformed itself into an exciting expedition of discovery.
In my own mind, I couldn’t help but imagine this setting in glorious autumn colours and sans the bugs... Who was supposed to bring the bug spray??
We walked past a large pond and through some cedars. Wait a minute - ponds and cedars?!! …You gotta be serious about bug spray! We followed the sound of bull frogs as we made our way to another pond where we discovered the work of some industrious beavers – a real, live beaver dam. As we walked through the forest loop, the sound of busy woodpeckers in the background , we caught a perfect view of the lily pads with their beautiful yellow blooms.
Here is by best close up photo . My sister and my son, I’m afraid, did not fare quite as well in their attempt to get a closer look – always good to carry an extra pair of socks. Sometimes the best stories come from venturing a little bit off the beaten path.
On our way back we checked out a picnic area. This cedar fence made for a great resting spot and a great photo. I plan to explore these trails again in the winter perhaps with a set of snowshoes which have been beckoning me for some time now.
A little bit tired and in need of nourishment, we decided to finish our adventure with a treat at The Bakery, a quaint eatery in town. It was late in the afternoon so many of our favourites were sold out but we still enjoyed some of their famous ginger cookies….I had almost forgotten how scrumptious!!. If they hadn’t been devoured by the early birds, I would have chowed down on a sticky knot or samosa….Oh well, next time. While the kids bantered on about the day’s discoveries, I noted a “30% off all merchandise” sale. My day was complete.