E2E hike #7: Purple Woods to Uxbridge 7th Conc. 2015-06-29
June 29th 2015, E2E hike #7: West bound from Purple Woods to 7th Conc. (microwave towers).
A surprise hike!
The plan had been to hike eastward from Hillsdale Rd. to 7th. Conc., but significant amounts of rain for the preceding 48 hours flooded the trail between the Town Line and 2nd Conc.
As the group gathered at the meeting place Mike claimed he was prepared for flooding having brought a rubber dingy with him!
Smiles crossed all faces when Malcolm advised the hike rout was changed, we would hike higher ground to the east of 7th Conc.
After being out of commission for a month Bill was back on his feet hiking with a brace to support his injured ankle.
As we started out the air temperature was in the low sixties with a steady breeze from the north with a solid grey cloud cover that looked as though we would have more rain before the end of the hike. However as the day progressed the cloud cover was replaced at first by sun beams then blue skies. No rain, it turned into a beautiful day for a hike.
With the exception of a loop through the Rahmani Tract the first half of this hike covered country roads with farms interspersed with golf courses and country homes.
The Rahmani Tract was the only place on this hike that we got wet boots as we negotiated the wet grass covering the trail.
Soon we reached Scugog Line # 2 which travels along the crest of a ridge with wonderful views south to Lake Ontario and north to Lake Scugog.
The changed hike rout that eliminated the need for Mike’s rubber dingy must have had a deep effect on him as he didn’t organize the threaten revolt (stop) at the Ocala Winery to do a little wine tasting instead he was leading the group as we walked right past the winery without stopping.
During the previous E2E on June 15th Malcolm experienced back problems making it difficult to finish that hike and made arrangements for Brian Millage to meet us at the Winery to take over leading this hike if necessary. Much to Malcolm’s relief it was not necessary to cut his hike short, both he and Brian lead the hike to the end of this section of the E2E by the microwave towers on 7th Conc.
Brian lived in the Uxbridge area for many years and knows this section of the trail like the back of his hand. Often he would identify points of interest and at one place drew the hikers’ attention to an orange salamander that was crossing the trail (see photo).
We stopped for lunch a short distance east of Ashburn Rd. swatting on large rocks in the shade of some well-placed roadside trees.
After lunch we headed west from Ashburn Rd. and immediately noticed a very large shrub (several feet high) of Poison Ivy. The growth wasn’t on the trail but it served as a warning to hike with care.
The sun was now heating the air but the trail west from Ashburn Rd. passes through one forest after another, the forest leaf cover thankfully dulling the sun’s heat.
On reaching the Durham forest I was stiffening up and Mel. convinced me to let him carry my pack (better safe than sorry). Thank you Mel., that’s two hikes in a row. My task over the next two weeks will be to fully recover and put Mel. out of a job.
We exited the Durham forest to our cars at 1:30 PM having covered 19.2Km.