We’re Back!

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Finally! After an almost 9 month hiatus, we’re back on the Bruce for the long weekend in May. It feels great to be back. Even so, there is some trepidation about how my ankle will hold up. I haven’t really practiced much, other than occasional short hikes around High Park and a recent 3 hour trek down a steep, rough mountain path in Nepal. I am also worried about keeping up with Magdalena, who has been rigorously training for the Camino which she plans to hike in the fall.
Getting to our starting point early Saturday morning, I am flooded with anxious memories of how our last hike ended. But my ankle is fine and we hike a total of 55 km over the 3 days, averaging about 3 km/hour. Not much by some standards but we are proud of our accomplishment this weekend. And we have reconciled ourselves to the fact that being slow is okay; preferring to take frequent breaks to enjoy the scenery rather than making great time covering long distances.
Physically and spiritually the breaks are as essential as the walking for me. I realize this especially now as I become more aware and respectful of the fragility of my body. One of the lessons that breaking my ankle drove home for me was that I needed “a break” from the rush and busy-ness of life. Doing nothing is a challenge for me. I have a compulsion to not waste time; to fill the void; do something, but I am slowly beginning to embrace doing nothing. I have rediscovered one of my favorite childhood “activities”; lying on the ground, staring at the sky, watching the ever changing cloud formations, listening to the sounds, feeling the grass and insects tickle my skin, emptying my mind and becoming one with the universe.
We finally completed the Sydenham section and are on the Peninsula section now; from all perspectives the most challenging part of the Bruce trail. The end is near. We now have only about 130km left to complete the Bruce trail and there is a sense of urgency to finish this summer, especially for Magdalena who is now focused on walking the Camino in the fall and prefers the neatness of ending one thing before starting the next. Planning ahead we figure it will take us about 8 days to complete, taking into account the logistics of limited road accesses. This should be attainable in 3 summer months, we think, but looking at our already packed summer schedules, we are cognizant that it will be a challenge to find a few consecutive days when we are both free. And so the adventure continues and we may be hoping for a mild, snow-free November … marian

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9 responses to “We’re Back!

  1. Hi there, I just discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago while googling for a plan to hike the Bruce Trail in 20km stretches. A friend and I have also set a 5 year goal to hike the entire trail. While I haven’t read every post yet, your blog has been a fantastic resource. We are planning our first hike for Sunday and plan to do a section in Caledon Hills. Great to read you are back hiking!

  2. Congratulations! I was thinking about the two of you and wondering if you made it back out on the trail ok.
    Love your pictures. They brought back some great memories.
    My impressions of the Peninsula section? We too had heard it was the hardest section, but we both agreed that it wasn’t anything we hadn’t encountered before. You’ll be fine!
    Looking forward to hearing more!!

    • Thanks, Joanne. I looked up your blog again when I got back, and was relieved to see that we didn’t need to worry too much about that section that warns about “most remote and challenging section of the trail.”

      • Helen has a theory that it’s written this way to discourage inexperienced and improperly equipped people from venturing into some of these areas from which it would be quite challenging to evacuate someone who’s been hurt.
        These areas are reasonably close to Cypress Lake where we encountered casual ‘hikers’ in flip-flops and with small children in tow.
        For us, it didn’t live up to the ‘most challenging’ moniker. I can think of other sections that I struggled with much more.

  3. Great photos and look forward to following the completion of your hike. My friend and I are just starting so it’s great to draw inspiration from those who have gone so far.

  4. You’re going to love the journey. I keep saying that the whole experience has become so much more than I ever imagined.

  5. Hi Marion & Magdalena: so good to hear you are back at it. Yes pace yourselves and enjoy. You are almost there! How exciting and to be looking forward to hiking the Camino – you two are amazing! Tom & Dar

  6. Hi Dar, we think of you every time we head up to the Peninsula. Miss you guys! Hugs, Marian and Magdalena

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