A friend of mine posted pics of a pretty waterfall on Facebook yesterday, and I absolutely had to see it for myself. After a brief discussion on how to find it, I set off this morning in the rain. Yes, I wanted to see it that bad!
I parked in the lot next to the cemetery, not sure where the trail head was, but this opening behind the Jeep looked as good as any, so I headed off down it. At first it looked like an ATV or dirt bike trail, and I wasn't sure how interested I would be in it- until the ATV tracks stopped and I had to climb an embankment and pass through some rocks that no dirt bike could manage.
In most places the trail was well groomed and easy to follow, even if some of the bits of gravel were bigger than others!
There is a lot of granite in this area, and much of Nova Scotia is peppered with these random boulders, likely left by glaciers, or laid by giant, prehistoric granite chickens, and I have to say that I really don't want to be here when these things hatch!
After some hiking I started to see the lake through the trees, and I had hoped that meant I was near the waterfall, which was supposed to be near the lake. A little while later I started to hear the rushing of water (not just the stuff running down my rain hood!) and my heart started rushing as well.
When I arrived I was not disappointed- this waterfall was very pretty indeed! But, it got better- you see, about 50 meters back the river splits, and there were actually two side by side waterfalls!
I was in heaven!
For those of you that don't know, I am absolutely fascinated by the movement of water. I could sit and be fascinated by it for hours, and I have always wanted to mount a GoPro on a toy boat and throw it in the river a hundred times, knowing the footage it gets going down the same river will be entirely different each and every time. Chaos theory at it's finest!
When I was finally able to tear my self away from the falls, i decided to look around, and immediately felt remarkably dumb. This is the trail I came down:
And this was the trail I didn't come down, but probably could have if I'd looked around a bit more before I left:
I am glad I took the rougher trail, but with my busted, bolted ankles, I know I am going to pay for that enjoyment later on.
I knew there was another trail off to the left a ways, so I decided to try following the river to the lake, then follow the shoreline until I found the other trail that I would use to make my way back. That's when I cam across this "bridge" and I was immediately glad that I wasn't intending to cross!
I'm not sure it's up to code....
Soon the river opened up to lake, and despite the grey, rainy and cold weather, it was still nice to see open water, and I really began to wish I had brought my kayak- or my fishing rod. There are no cottages or homes on this lake, which makes it an excellent place for me to enjoy without having to tolerate other people.
As I said, granite boulders are everywhere- so much so that even the water is granite!
It is said that in Nova Scotia you are never more than 62 kilometers from the ocean, and I would say that you are probably never more than 62 feet from granite.
The path I was following along the shore seemed to be more of a deer path than a walking trail, but that was making it fun. And interesting. I came across many overturned trees, and you get an idea of how hard they fell when you see how they refused to let go of the boulders when they went down!
This particular boulder was probably a couple of feet across, and likely weighed a few hundred pounds. I put a couple of granite boulders around a garden in my lawn that were maybe 2/3's this size and I could barely move them, let alone lift them!
As I kept going the trail seemed to alternate between opening up and almost disappearing. I took a few wrong turns, thinking that I was on the trail only to find that it was not, and I had to turn around since I really didn't like the idea of wandering aimlessly in a swamp.
Even in places where the trail was open, it wasn't exactly easy going. This may also be a good time to mention that the weather today was only a handful of degrees above freezing, about as cold as the average refrigerator, and it was raining. This was not a good day to get lost in the woods, despite me having brought some granola bars and matches. Any found wood was likely to be wet, so starting a fire wouldn't be an easy task. The good news is that you don't have to look far foo Old Man's Beard, and you can gather enough to start a Hindenburg-esque bonfire in no time.
Since Nova Scotia is very rocky and subject to high winds being stuck out in the ocean, big trees are not that common, although I did manage to find a couple. Yes, I know they aren't big
trees, but for Nova Scotia these qualify as quite large.
I had forgotten how cool big trees are until I went to Ontario and started to see them more often and realized what I'd been missing. Now that I am back in NS and big trees are rare, I try to take a moment to appreciate them when I se ethem.
At one point I realized that I was only a couple of dozen meters from the main trail, and I decided to take that for a while as I was soaked and my ankles were starting to complain about the rough terrain. Most of the wet on my pants came from drying plants and trees, and not from the rain itself!
Then I came across this nice little beach.
the day still wasn't any nicer, weather wise, but I still felt happy to be here, enjoying the sand and the lake. If only it was a little warmer, I'd have kicked off my socks and shoes and enjoyed the feel of the sand bwteen my toes.
On the way out my Spidey sense started tingling as I started to sense a trap....
Luckily I managed not to trip it, and I couldn't help but think it would be a lot more effective with a can o Coors Light hanging from it...
What looks to most like an easy trail is actually a minefield for someone like me, since I have very limited range of motion in my ankles- especially my left one. If the angle is too great, it will stop and I will fall, and none of this is the kind of terrain you want to fall on. Some angles my ankle will bend on, but will hit the Pain Button, which will stop me in my tracks and completely reboot my brain, after which every step is agony for the rest of the day and probably much of the next. It's actually really, really
stupid of me to be hiking at all, let alone on terrain like this, and even more so since I was alone, but who wants to let a little thing like agony stop them from getting out and enjoying life?
Fortunately I made it back to the Jeep without any major incidents, and headed home for lunch and a nap- my two favorite ways to finish a hike.
Next time I'll bring my kayak... for sure!