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Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

IMGP5962, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

We hiked through a jumbled terrain of massive slabs fallen from the cliff face and rounded boulders that have been washed by epic wind-spawned storms.

As entrances go these sea caves far surpass others that I’ve seen, though admittedly there are few sea caves to rival Rover’s some distance further along the shore.

In the picture above Jeff and I have been hiking and reached the end of dry land. Further progress would have to be through Georgian Bay’s icy water. What I found most intriguing about Cave Point was its sea caves part way up the cliffs. For the most part it looked like difficult climbing and I’d imagine few if any people have ever visited some of those harder to reach places.

See video on our trip to Cave Point (Georgian Bay)

Our initial idea had been to see if we could locate low-lying bedding plane squeezes close to the water line as we are aware that not every opening in this area is a sea cave, there is huge potential for solution caves and as has already been discovered, there are nearby that are intensely decorated with speleothems.

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The Niagara Gorge is rich in history. From the disasterous assault by American militia on Queenston Heights to the geological record in the Gorge’s rock there is no shortage of things to see and learn about.

Of particular interest to me was the story of the short and disastrous life of the Niagara Gorge Railway. It runs along the bottom of the American side, just above the river. It is said that the construction was the most costly stretch of railway ever to be blasted. And not only was the line costly in money, but there was a heavy price in human life as well.

See the documentary video on the Niagara Gorge Railway and the wrecked train that we found while hiking along the Niagara River.

Amongst the more memorable disasters for the Niagara Gorge Railway were the sewage pipe explosion beneath the tracks, where passengers were showered in raw sewage, and there was also the huge landslide that killed 9 people. As mentioned in a coment about a recent accident in the gorge, NenaSan says, “The Gorge is a beautiful but unpredictable place that needs to be both feared and respected”. true enough, several helipads are marked out beside Devil’s Whirlpool for the recovery of injured hikers and the all to frequent bodies that are fished from the river.

Pictured above is the boiler of an old train that we found while hiking in the Niagara Glen. It lies beside the Niagara River just across from the spot where the landslide wiped the Niagara Gorge Railway from existence – oddly, I suspect it might not have been the train that was used on that line.

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Dangerous Ontario cave

IMG_7591, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

The thing with Marmora is that you need to get a feeling for the sinking and resurging channels. Here we are walking up a section of stream bed where the water resurges strongly in the spring from a blind valley. The valley is fed by a number of tunnels. At this time it is possible to explore the tunnels as they are mostly dry but when the water is high – no chance.

The Marmora Maze caves switch back and forth beneath a low escarpment somewhere off in the bush. Josh (my son) and I, had long suspected the existence of tunnels there and one Saturday morning we dug away the debris beneath a joint to open a passage into the maze caves.

The Marmora Maze cave consists of tunnels that have only been explored a little in either direction, both up and down stream. It would seem that the tunnels upstream are low and trough-like beneath a rocky shelf, while down stream there are deeper trench-like passages.

The rock of the area is the Bobcaygeon Formation – rich in fossils, namely some pretty sizeable cephalopods. A couple of years ago we had visited the area with some Russian cavers and one happened to be a specialist in Cephalopds. A cephalopod is like an ice cream cone in appearance, chambered through the cone and with tentacles coming out of the top of the cone.

The entrance to the Maze Caves looked pretty unstable today, a good bump will likely to bring several tons of rock down on your head. I think the entrance needs re-digging before anyone enters there again.

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