Day 4; I felt as though we were becoming pros-we knew the drill-what to pack; where to go. We met at Crawford Lake, where I parked my car and then we drove together in Magdalena’s car to Mount Nemo, where we would start our hike. It was hot and muggy already at 9am and promising to be even hotter. My shoulder was bothering me so I wanted to carry as little as possible and in an effort to reduce weight in my carrying pack I told Magdalena I was leaving my keys in her car. Neither of us thought twice about the absurdity of this and off we went for our hike back to Crawford Lake; about 18 kms.
Other than the mosquitos, which were very persistent and seemed to follow us in clouds, it was a pleasant walk; through a variety of backdrops, some steep rocky inclines, a few breathtaking views from the escarpment edge, lots of pleasant fields with high grasses and colourful wildflowers which reminded me of my childhood; a few sections along country roads and then again into the tranquil, cooler woods with dappled sunlight and across several burbling streams on boardwalks and bridges. We met several hikers along the way – some traveling with dogs which made me reminisce about Molly who would have loved this experience.
One interesting person we stopped to chat with for a bit was an Iranian man travelling with a huge rucksack and his dog- a collie. He told us he’d started in Niagara 11 days ago and was hoping to reach Tobermory in about 55 days, camping along the way wherever he found a suitable location. He told us he’d done a 1200km trek in Iran which was not nearly as enjoyable and shared some of his life experiences and comparisons between Iran and Canada. After we said our goodbyes we wondered about some of the practicalities of his adventure and envied him the freedom to be able to do it.
We finished in about 5 hours and were walking across the parking lots to my car looking forward to a nice cool beer, when it suddenly hit me what I had done. My keys were 18 kms back in Magdalena’s car!!! Now what? We tried calling Makudu but no answer and so decided to hitchhike. We walked back towards the entrance of the park and told the girl in the booth about our predicament. She offered to call a cab- noting lots of hikers did that. What a novel idea! It hadn’t occurred to us but a good idea for future hikes- we could then save on gas of taking 2 cars and be more flexible in how far we walked. The cab driver was another interesting fellow – he told us he came from the northern part of India in the foothills of the Himalayans where there were lots of hiking trails-a place that’s always been on my bucket list.
And so we realized yet again the auspiciousness of the moment. Instead of getting upset about the stupidity of my action, which I won’t deny was extremely stupid- we were able to laugh about it and find a solution that would serve us well in the future…marian