Friday, July 8, 2011

Near Perfect Sunday II

A perfect spot for a Sunday lunch.  I don't know if it can get better than this.

"Note: This is a version of a column that I had published in the July 5th edition of the Kings County Record.  It is part 2 of 2 part series on a hike my brother and I completed across the Parlee Brook and Upper Trout Creek watershed.  It was a great day and I hope you enjoy the read.

You'll have to wait for my next column to hear about it though."  That is the way I ended my last column where my brother and I were hiking across the Parlee Brook watershed.  We had walked from Friar's Nose across a open rock ridge and just explored a great waterfall on an unnamed tributary to Parlee Brook.  We took some photos and video of this waterfall and now I can tell you about the rest of our near perfect Sunday.

There are 5 sets of falls through this short reach of Parlee Brook, each with a deep cold pool
We continued down the tributary until we met Parlee Brook and headed upstream to have lunch at the large waterfalls I knew were there.  The cold, deep pools, at the bottom of the falls were crystal clear and looked like an impressionist's painting.  We enjoyed our lunch and thought briefly about taking a swim but knew the water was much to cold and the air not near warm enough.

One of about 20 grave markers in the old cemetary, this grave held a two year old girl who died in 1883..
After our lunch we made our way down Parlee Brook to the Donaldson Road crossing.  We struggled up a small tributary with some interesting geology that if it was a larger stream would lend itself to a great water slide.  We came out to the Walker Settlement Road and paid our respects at the old cemetery there.  It was humbling to read the grave markers and see how young some of those who died were and how long ago it was.  We wondered what the area would have looked like back in the late 1800s. 

These falls are scenic no matter the time of year you venture in to see them.
We were now heading into the Upper Trout Creek watershed and were going to follow yet another tributary down to the Creek.  I have walked this tributary twice before in the winter and I was looking forward to seeing it under spring conditions.  A short distance down the stream we encounter another waterfall that cascades down more than 25ft in two stages.  The topography and geology are rugged and steep on both sides and we are continually drawn down stream to see what is around the next turn.
Sometimes when you venture down an unknown stream, you have no choice but to get your feet wet.

Suddenly the already steep terrain narrowed in and the only way to continue down the stream was to get your feet wet.  We pushed a bit further until suddenly we looked over yet another waterfall.  We had to back track to a point we could scramble up and around the steep valley and then we could resist sliding back into the ravine to view the falls from the bottom.  The narrow ravine held a deep pool that is well hidden like natural jewel and I was again feeling blessed on this nearly perfect Sunday.

This narrow ravine held a cascading ribbon of white water that likely has been cutting away at the conglomerate rock for centuries.
So why was the day only nearly perfect and not perfect?  Well, once we finished up the hike just before sun down we drove into where my brother and parked his truck only to realize, for some reason his electronic lock wasn't working and we had to break into the truck.  This was just the right amount of humor and humility we needed after such a great day.

The last stretch to home was through some scenic farm fields that overlooked the Chamber Settlement area in the upper Trout Creek watershed.
Are you looking for a near perfect way to spend a couple of evenings?  There is a Beginner's Fly Fishing workshop being hosted by the Kennebecasis Watershed on July 13th and 14th.  For more information, check out the Kennebecasis Watershed Restoration Committee on Facebook, or call 433-4394.

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