Mono Cliffs and Dirty KidsBy
Mono Cliffs is a provincial park located in the town of Mono, about 1.5 hours drive from Toronto. The park is part of the Niagara Escarpment and contains a portion of the Bruce Trail. Tito and I decided to drive up for a day hike – couldn’t have picked a better spot.
I only visited Mono Cliffs once before – as a grade 5 student. My school had a program that sent kids to camp for one week in Mono Cliffs. It’s amazing how much of the park, the trail marking system and the cliffs, seemed familiar to me when we went hiking there.
However… my only really vivid memory of visiting in grade 5 is a silly one. I had never had any camping experience – it just wasn’t something my family did. I had no idea what to expect. On the first day of camp the counsellor informed my class that there was no hot water for the showers – which elicited a perfectly synced chorus of groans from all the girls in my class… except me.
My grade 5 self had, to that point, thought it would be splendid to be muddy and in the woods for an entire week. The groans of the girls made me feel self conscious, and immature, as though they had already evolved to the point where things like showers were important and here I was looking to play in the dirt like a small child.
Luckily I had a strong enough sense of self, even then, to get muddied up to my hearts content and to evade showers for as long as the staff would let me ;) I’m grateful for it now… and I still love a good, muddy hike! I told the story to Tito on our trip; it’s funny what you remember sometimes.
The park itself is stunning, and contains rock formations with a staircase descending down about 30 metres – offering a great view of the plant life as well as the rock crevice. We have plans to come back for more hiking and photography this autumn, can’t wait! We finished off our day with deserts at the Mono Cliffs Inn – check this goodness out, Tito had coconut cheesecake and I had Lavender Creme Brulée. Just thinking it makes me hungry.
And last… couldn’t resist a shot of these guys while driving back to Toronto :)
We were babysitting my then 3-year-old grandson in Hawaii while his parents went to another island for the day. It rained, and we let Bryan play in the mud. Two older ladies came over and said how nice it was that some kids were still allowed to get dirty–so many parents don’t let their kids play in the mud, and I think it’s healthy–builds up the immune system. I always say “a dirty kid is a happy kid.” Thanks for sharing a beautiful day!