Sunday, 26 September 2010

Hike #2 September 26, 2010

Hike # 2
Date – September 26, 2010
Location – Map 2 St. Catharines
Distance – 11.1 km
Hikers – Dean, Marlene, Benjamin, Steve, Elza, Simon, Robyn and Jacob
Start – 5.1 (Niagara)
End – 16.2 (Niagara)
Direction – West (or North)
Weather – Sunny with cloudy periods, high 17°
Details – We meet the Folkerts where we left off last week, but they have dropped a vehicle at the west parking lot of Woodend Conservation Area, so we are able to hike in one direction. Parts of the trail are deeply rutted by dirt bikes and ATVs, especially the re-routed section along the railroad tracks.

It is a lovely day and a lovely hike, and we are in places that we’ve never seen before. From some vantage points we can see Toronto. We like the pedestrian bridge over the QEW at Sand Plant Hill, but highway noise accompanies us for much of the hike.

The three boys hike ahead of us and it’s not until the end that we learn that they have hidden and are actually following us!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Hike #1 September 19, 2010

Hike # 1
Date – September 19, 2010
Location – Map 1 Queenston
Distance – 5.1 km
Hikers – Dean, Marlene, Benjamin, Steve, Elza, Simon, Jodi and John
Start – 0.0 (Niagara)
End – 5.1 (Niagara)
Direction – Out and back (north and south)
Weather – Warm and sunny, high 19°
Details – We meet after church at the southern terminus at Queenston Heights and have a thoroughly enjoyable 5K out and back. I briefly consider Adrienne’s contention that once you’ve seen one forest you’ve seen them all, but it’s a nice hike just the same. Good company, good weather, good conversation. It’s going to take a long time and we are going to end up hiking the entire trail twice if we do out-and-back hikes. Next idea: work out a system for point-to-point hikes.

The adventure expands

September 2010
We invite Steve and Elza and John and Jodi to join us for our first hike, and, to our surprise, they agree. In fact, Steve says he intends to go end-to-end too, while Jodi says that they may not join us for every hike, but even if they say no, would we please keep inviting them.
So, on Sunday afternoon, September 19, 2010, we meet at the cairn at Queenston Heights that marks the southern terminus of the trail. Dean has ordered a new set of maps (ours are from 1997) and we are both excited and daunted.
To me, it doesn't really matter if we get it all done by 2015; more important is that we started and that we keep working away at it. I am glad to live in such a beautiful area and to have the time, friends and physical ability to embark on such a journey. May there be much joy along the way.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

How the adventure began

September 2010
We have just dropped off two girls at two different universities and I am wondering what the next five years will be like with an only child at home. I grew up in a house full of girls and now I find myself in a house of boys, including an always-hungry teenager who is probably left to his own devices (and glowing screens) too often.
On Monday, after we dropped off Adrienne, the three of us went for a hike in the Niagara Gorge. I wanted to send a signal to Ben that as a family of three we would do things together, that we would be active, and that we would enjoy the outdoors.
Some time later, and I'm not exactly sure how or when, I thought that hiking the Bruce Trail would accomplish these goals. Without checking to see exactly what was involved -- such as, how long is the trail anyway? -- I proposed to Dean and Ben that we hike the Bruce Trail before Ben finishes high school. That means we have five years. They agreed.