One of the things I had always wanted to do – well before the term “bucket list’ was made famous by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman was to hike the Bruce trail from end to end. It was always something I planned to do someday. When I was young, I fantasized about doing it all in one shot; taking a few weeks and camping along the way – not considering realities, like how long the trail actually is (885 km end to end- not counting 400+ side trials) and where I would sleep along the way. It was just a fantasy after all. It wasn’t a priority for me and so over the next 30 years, life got in the way and it just never happened.
I have no regrets that I made choices and set priorities which didn’t include the Bruce trail until now. I have achieved many of my goals and lived through numerous dreams. I feel truly blessed with all the things I have been able to accomplish and experience so far. My single, greatest achievement has been to be a mother and it has taken priority over everything else for the past 25 years. Fortunately, however, many items on my bucket list included my kids and we have had lots of wonderful adventures and experiences together.
But now that my kids are all grown up and busy with their own lives, I have more time for myself. And so, as is common for many of us in this demographic, I began to seriously think about the things I still want to accomplish and experience and the places I have yet to visit. I am lucky to have a job that gives me the flexibility and financial means to live my dreams, within reason of course. And grateful that I am still in good health and reasonably fit.
My bucket list is not rigidly defined; rather it tends to flow naturally out of the moments of my life; emerging out of past fantasies and present opportunities. Ironically my bucket list keeps growing with each item I cross off it. My goal is to continue to work on my bucket list for the next 50 years.
So a few months ago, I casually mentioned my goal to hike the Bruce trail from end to end to Magdelena. Auspiciously, she informed that this was on her “list of things to do” as well. So over the next few weeks the idea began to germinate. Given our years of life experiences, we were no longer foolish enough to consider doing the whole trail in one piece. We decided to start with a 2 day trek in Tobermory and slowly work our way down to Niagara over the next 5 years (an arbitrary time limit we set for ourselves to keep it realistic and attainable). We’ll see if it is… We set the dates for our first hike; June 2 and 3, 2011, invited our partners to join us and began planning.
The rest is history in the making….while we were walking and talking we decided to attack another of our mutual goals together … to write… and hence this blog.
Our first realization in planning this trip was the need to be flexible; to be willing to change midstream and not get caught up in rigidly defined goals if we were going to maximize the enjoyment of the experience. This need to be flexible presented itself to us many times in the first 2 days of our adventure, but more on that later….marian