I’d love to say I’m as fit as a fiddle after another long hike on Spout Path, but that’s just not true. Everything aches, my feet, ankles, knees and back are all up in arms.
This time around the Spout itself wasn’t the mark I was aiming for, since noon had come and gone when I started out at the trailhead in Bay Bulls, it was just too late to reach the Spout.
Until recently the south end of Spout Path was all I was familiar with, I had hiked it a few times in my first year here, but only up to the lighthouse. That point always seemed to be the end of my rope back then, this time when I got there I sat down and had a short lunch before continuing the trail due north.
Not long after the Bull Head Light I nearly walked into a moose which was standing in the middle of the trail munching on young twigs. It was a winding trail so we only noticed each other at the latest possible moment, the moose was startled and ran up the hills, looking back at me from above, before dismissing me and finding another shrub to feed on.
After this I reached Freshwater, where a wild stream cascaded down the cliffs before reaching the ocean. This location had been my initial goal but I decided to press on while I still had the time and energy. I knew the sunset was well after 8PM so I figured I’d hike to wherever I was at 4PM and then return the way I came in.
You can see in the above picture why I should have started the hike much earlier, after midday every east-facing attraction along the way is hidden in deep shadows.
Beyond the Turn of Bald Head the going got tough. Before this point, Spout Path could have been classified as easy (up to the lighthouse) and moderate after that, but after this ‘Turn’ the trail climbed up onto the forested cliffs and got even worse with a steep ascend around a deep crevasse called the ‘Chaver’. The difficulty for me was mainly in the fact that there were no even surfaces to put my feet on, every other step was either a slanted rock or slippery mud, which soon proved too much for my ankles.
Somewhere along the trail I happened to look into a small cove and noticed this hard to see sea arch far below me:
At 4PM I reached the turnaround point for my hike at Drop Cove. It wasn’t far from the Spout but my ankles decided it was time to go back when I sprained my left one by stepping on a tipping rock. Resting my injured ankle I hopped around Drop Cove, a beautiful deep cove with an enormous rock pinnacle as the centre piece.
After a ten minute break I carefully started the long walk back, being extra cautious with my left foot. Of course, this only meant that after two hours of hiking I also injured my right ankle. In disbelief I whispered to myself “You’ve got to be kidding me”.
Wobbly on two sides now, I took frequent rest stops on every boulder along the path until I reached the lighthouse. There I took all the weight off my legs for a few minutes by laying down. Thankfully this seemed to somehow reset my ankles and knees and the remaining walk to the car was almost painless, although I must have looked like a staggering zombie to all the creatures I passed along the way.
At sunset, I reached the car.
Now, it’s time to do a whole lot of nothing.