2014 Jul 9 – Day 20 – Blue Mountains, ON

As we had hoped, the weather was much better today so we went back to Scenic Caves Nature Reserve and cashed in our rain check.  How appropriate that our rain check was actually due to rain.

IMG_2571 IMG_2573We decided to walk up the caves trail as far as the zip line tower viewpoint to see the view that was obscured yesterday.  Much, much nicer in the sunshine than the pouring rain!  A lovely panoramic view of Collingwood and Georgian Bay.  Three pairs of intrepid people zipped past on the 1000′ line into the woods at the bottom of the escarpment – none of them were screaming, but one was heard to say, “Oh my, oh my,” quite a few times as they flew by.

IMG_2548 IMG_2557 IMG_2562After we hiked back down to the main area we took the 15 minute downhill trail to the suspension bridge.

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IMG_2576This area has lots of poison ivy and there were warnings signs all along the trail.  We have some in our area at home but I have never seen it close enough to identify.  Not so here – there are nice big patches beside the path.  A guide stopped her group beside this batch to tell them about the effects.  80% of people are affected by the oil on the plant – all of it; leaves, berries, stems and roots.  The only way to know if it bothers you is to try it.  We chose not to.  The itching lasts 3-4 weeks.  If you come in contact with it wash the exposed skin in COLD water (warm water will open the pores and let the oil really get settled) and wash your clothes right away allowing them to dry in the sun.  The oil can stay in the fabrics for a year! (Thus endeth the health lesson)

The bridge is 126 meters long (about 400′) IMG_2581with an arc in the middle to allow for a better view.  On a clear day, which we were blessed with, the view encompassed 10,000 square kilometers – all of which we saw from the viewpoint.

Since it was such a nice day we decided to go for a drive to see what we could see.  The lady that told us there were farms at the top of the ski hills was correct.  There are some really nice farms in this area; dairy, grain and vegetables – and some gorgeous houses as well.

IMG_2623Our travels took us down Georgian Bay to a town called Thornbury where we turned left and drove through a few other towns to Owen Sound (another place name familiar to John from his Grandad’s stories).

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Park in Meaford

From there we crossed the bottom of the Bruce Peninsula to Southhampton and followed the Lake Huron coast to Kincardine.

IMG_2620 (Last year when we were driving around Scotland I was amazed at how many place names that we were familiar with in our area at home were named after places in Scotland, and this part of Ontario is no different.  My cousins live in Kincardine, Scotland.  I love these connection-type things.)

For our return to Blue Mountains we took the inland roads stopping briefly to see the Eugenia Falls. IMG_2634 IMG_2637We arrived home in time for dinner – tonight it was Italian.  Another reminder of our visits to Whistler are the prices.  Because ski resorts tend to be ‘off the beaten path’ a bit (although that can’t be said for this one – it is only a couple of hours drive from Toronto) the guests become captive to pay whatever price they will bear.  Both of our dinners in the village cost about $80.  Now, to be fair, we each had a drink and a salad plus our entree, but still our dinners were more expensive than a similar meal at home.  We didn’t have lobster or a costly steak either.  Still it was good food.  I didn’t have to cook it and I didn’t have to do the dishes; thus it qualifies as good food to me.  The fact it also tasted really good was a delightful bonus!

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