If you haven’t had a chance yet, give a click here to read Dumb-Ass: An Afternoon at Old Baldy.
So, after the beer cans, pee and dumb-ass meltdown. We thought it best to keep moving along.
As you can see, the views from Old Baldy are stunning.
A trek to Old Baldy is well worth it, if for nothing else other than the views across the Beaver Valley. We kind of fell in love with the area last fall when we stopped at the Epping Lookout Conservation Area(John Muir Lookout) located on the west side of the Beaver Valley on Grey County Road 7.
If you get the chance, go in the fall. The views across the valley with the trees in full blazing colour are epic, to say the least.
We continued along the admiring the views. Soaking up the sunshine and thinking warm temperatures; no bugs; great trail. Doesn’t get much better.
The trail snaked its way through a mixture deciduous forests and moss-covered boulders; to the well scraped Canadian Shield with cedar trees seemingly popping out of the rocks.
The trail started to come down from the top of Old Baldy onto a second plateau.
As we hiked along, we came across a ravine to our right with a perfect set of rocks to scramble down to check out the mysteries below. Down we went and down even further.
After my “near-death experience” the previous hour, coupled now with rocks and boulders covered in moss, snow and ice, I felt that would be prudent and less paperwork for Lynn, to just put my phone away and concentrate at the task at hand.
See, I’m always putting Lynn’s best interest at the forefront. I would have felt bad to have had her interviewed by the police, “So, Mrs. McKenzie, your husband did what? Oh, I see. It’s that all too common dumb-ass syndrome again.”
I tend to be a bit more adventurous then Lynn. While on the way down, did I not find a cave and crevice in the rock face. I swear it said, “enter my friend I have mysteries to show you.”
What did entice me down was the sound of running water, an underground stream.
Now the next picture doesn’t really show the opening and such very well. The bottom left of the picture shows snow with light reflecting off it. What the picture doesn’t show is the little tiny opening I had to squeeze through, with my pack off and crawling on my stomach, head first downslope on the snow.
The picture also doesn’t show two other things. One, the opening as well as the cave/crevice was very steep. Not long, but steep. It also doesn’t show very well that the left side of the rock wall was covered in clear ice.
I wiggled myself through the opening, got myself turned around to have a better look. The sound of that running water, keep saying, “come closer it’s okay.”
I took a step or two down the slope further into the cave.
By this point in the narrative, you’re thinking, “I bet he heads down further and something happens!”
Well, I might have been born at night, but I wasn’t born last night!
I might be slow on the uptake, but I do know that it is not a good thing to poke a sleeping bear. In fact, it’s not good to poke bear at all. Unless he has a ranger hat on and is accompanied by a smaller bear and is carrying a picnic basket. You older folks will know what I’m referring too.
Yup, not wise to poke the “bear of dumb-assness” to many times in one outing.
I started to think a review of the old check-list might be good. No ropes(check); no harness(check); no helmet(check); no headlamp(check); no micro-spikes or cleats(check); no protection or safety gear at all(check).
Conclusion: Maybe right where I am might be the best place to stay.
Lynn found a way through to the opening and we were both trying to figure out where the stream came through the rock face.
All kidding aside, the sound of the stream was very loud. The last one we came across was a month or two ago near Walter’s Falls. Walking along the Bruce Trail, I could hear the faint babble of a brook, and out from the base of a small rock face was a tiny small stream. Very neat.
The next two pictures were taken from just about where Lynn is in the picture above.
After working our way out the crevice, we scrambled down some other rocks and a small slope and found the opening in the rock face and the stream.
I guess we spent a couple of hours exploring and taking pictures down in the creek bottom and along the slopes of the ravine. Seemed at every turn there was something to scramble over; something neat to see.
We worked our way back up out of the ravine and headed back the same way to our car in the parking lot.
I bet we only covered 5 kilometres or so. But, it was a well deserved and special outing.
We’ll be back to pick up where we left off at Old Baldy. Even if you’re not into scrambling down rocky slopes, crawling over deadfall or wishing to experience “dumb-assness”, a trip to Old Baldy is still worth the effort.
If you go there later this spring or certainly during the summer, more than likely you’ll be treated to the sight of rock climbers making their way up the classic climbing routes along the many faces of Old Baldy.
It’s a pretty easy hike from the parking lot to the lookout areas. Not steep, just a very gentle slope that might take 15 to 20 minutes or so.
Hey, thanks for reading and commenting.
Just out of curiosity, what is your classic “dumb-ass” experience?