"I think so." I responded, half-certain. "The trailhead is here after all." Though, none of the colours on the map had matched the web version in the slightest.
As we further along the path, we found a largely barren path filled with info boards distinctive to trees - arboriculture content. Confirming our coordinates with Google Maps, it had turned out that we indeed ventured along the incorrect path.
I looked over, acknowledging what I initially thought to be a log as the underside of the overturned fish. The pungent odour filling the air finally made sense to me.
It was unbeknownst me at the time that these species were set to perish and deteriorate after the spawning process. During our brief stay, only one of several salmon succeeded in jumping over one of the river segments. Another was observed to make numerous tries, only to be gradually shifted downstream. There was another that surrendered altogether and began swimming with the discharge direction instead of against it.
We came face to face with a freshly mowed lawn instead. I intended to cross over the private property to meet our original path, but found a steep descent, followed by a waterway and no obvious signs of the trail we had came from. Descending back towards the river, I spotted a handcarved sign bearing the word "TRAIL" and two spade-like arrows. It led to visible access.
"I can't believe we got lost already!" expressed my first-time hiking companion.
Manmade walkways came into view: a bridge crossing over the channel, followed by boardwalks lined with trees bearing either blue, red, or white markings (or both red and white).
The path ended at a series of boulders, where the only way forward was up.
"It's here!" was proclaimed shortly. As it turned out, we had arrived near the bottom of the falls. In the distance was a lookout platform, likely attainable by routing up and around the path we had taken.
The red trail apparently also connected to the lookout point, but from the east side of the lookout point.
We returned to McDonald's for bathroom usage, encountering a brilliant pink sunset as dusk fell upon Owen Sound.
We took a Swiss Onion Soup sheerly out of curiosity to compare against its familiar cousin of French Onion Soup and a Flädlesuppe, described as "thin sliced savoury pancakes with fresh herbs" paired with beef consommé. "We plan to share" I announced, "so could you bring us two sets of utensils?". Our server had nodded in response, but ultimately misinterpreted the order through the system as two Swiss Onion Soups. The Flädlesuppe had been forgotten entirely.
We commended the dish for being well-seasoned yet not overwhelming in sodium levels. There was an adequate degree of briny-ness; the onions possessed a near-jammy consistency, albeit not having the stringy, barely-intact qualities of caramelized onions. The result was a Swiss Onion Soup that was saltier than it was sweet.
A Regular Cut of The Alphorn's Famous Schnitzel had been requested with a side of Alphorn Hunter Sauce for an additional $4.75. As opposed to the red wine-pepper medley that had been depicted ever-so-deliciously, the substance residing within the sauce boat was dark, gloopy, and gravy-like. There were not even vague references to red wine. Thin slices of mushrooms was its only saving grace.
The dish was satisfying overall, however the seared pieces of red meat was stiff and unyielding - not the tender profile we had imagined.
The sleepy polar bear reached for my glass first, surprisingly. After declaring with a grimace that "It tastes like beer." (No duh), the golden fluid was returned to my side. I made the spectacular discovery that it tasted fresh and malty, as a beer should! The aftertaste of cough syrup remained, though it appears that certain tasting capabilities are returning.
Satiating in large quantities, I took to consuming the slice across a few sittings. The portion was generous at its given price.
A contoured map of Switzerland was positioned just beyond the stall door. I took much interest in this framed portrayal of mountains, even enthusiastically relaying my discovery to the sleep polar bear with my return to the table.
Our server, who casually asked to identify our status as visitors or locals, was learned to originate from Mississauga as well. He admitted to loving the area and made the move up north with his wife, away from his home neighbourhood of Clarkson.