Monday, September 30, 2019

Dobson Trail kilometer 10.8 to kilometer 27

We awoke this morning to the sounds of a pack of dogs barking and braying as they chased something down a little distance from our campsite.  Unfortunately their chase took them through our campsite which led to two of them tripping over the wires pegging our tent and tarp down.  Evidently hunting season has begun. When we emerged from the tent we discovered our trail Angel had already departed with the first light of day as she had planned.

It was a sunny morning, but there was a definite nip in the air. As we washed up and packed down our site we were really quite chilled and eager for the sun to emerge. The irony wasn't lost on us when throughout the day we sought out patches of warmth along the trail. Only a few weeks ago we were seeking shade and silently cursing the relentless heat of shadeless roadways.




We spent the day basking in another beautiful day on the trail. Today it took us through stands of deciduous trees with bright red, yellow, orange and green foliage, and under stands of dense, dark green conifers. We also traversed sections of white pine, and passed some enormously tall spruce and fir trees.

 
 

About half an hour after setting out we were navigating a rather muddy stream crossing when an extremely large and exuberant puppy came bounding up. It seemed like he was spring loaded, since he jumped as high as our faces, barking and trying to nip. We managed not to fall into the stream mid crossing, and the owner soon showed up to manage his dog.

 
 
 
 

A bit later in the morning we stopped to admire a truly gigantic white pine that must have been 3 meters around, and towered high above the rest of the canopy. Someone had built an unofficial campsite at the base, and just past it we spotted a geocache! I happily signed the log book, only to discover that I couldn't log it because it was a premium cache. Too bad.
 
 
 

For much of the day we took it slow, taking lots of photos and enjoying the small things along the trail, like the colourful caterpillars, the diversity of mushrooms, some of which were enormous, and the remaining blackberries. We didn't get too far today, but after so much road walking, we sure enjoyed being immersed in nature once again!

 


For the last few kilometers of the hike today we walked along a gravel road. It offered a beautiful views over forested hills, and some easier walking. While the forested footpath is wonderful, our pace is much slower on it, both because we are enjoying it, and because picking our way over muddy patches, swamps, and stream crossings is time consuming.

 
 
 

In terms of birds, the day was quiet. As we left the campsite we listened to a pair of American Crows going through a very complicated and creative repertoire of sounds. Throughout the day we heard the occasional crass calls of a Blue Jay, the quiet chatter of Black-capped Chickadees, and the toy horn honking of Red-breasted Nuthatches. As we crossed the paved road and a bridge where two streams joined to become one, we spotted two female Common Mergansers. Otherwise, it was a quiet day on the trail.

 
 


The gravel road eventually met with a paved road, and after crossing it we began to climb. We followed a path beside a river for a few kilometers until we came to an unofficial but established campsite. Our tent is on the side of the stream, tucked into a little campsite on the side of the trail. It is a peaceful spot, and as the temperatures plummet once again we are falling asleep listening to the water.

 
 

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