2011 Reflections

It seems appropriate on the last day of the year to reflect back on this goal of ours to walk to Bruce trail. Although it had been germinating in both our minds for years it still seems that it was a rather spontaneous idea to start back in June and then to randomly give ourselves a 5 year deadline to complete it. We really had no idea of how this would develop, what to expect along the way or even if we would actually keep it up and get this far. But over the past 6 months it has evolved and offered us so many wonderful side benefits.

It seems with every hike we have become more and more committed to our goal. The trail itself is awe-inspiring and constantly challenging us…to go further… to finish the Iroquoia section and then the Niagara section too before the end of 2011. We did it! Now every time I drive along the escarpment I experience an overwhelming sense of amazement, knowing that I have walked “all that way” and an intimate connection to it. Initially we had planned to take a break over the winter months but now we are eager to continue, to experience winter hiking. We can’t wait till spring to get back out there.

The trail has definitely brought our 30 year friendship to a whole new dimension. Walking alone/together for so many hours provides a great opportunity for sharing personal stories, hopes, dreams, struggles, challenges and secrets, resulting in a deeper level of friendship.  Naturally sharing this goal, experiencing the moments together and planning for the next trek all add to the bonding experience. Of course, it’s an added benefit that we are both avid amateur photographers who understand each other’s need never to pass up a good photo op. And the trail has definitely given us ample opportunity to indulge in this passion, so yes, we could probably hike faster but then we’d miss so many great shots…which brings me to another great benefit.

Walking any trail truly allows one to experience the moment. It has a wonderful meditative quality to it… just focussing on breathing, smelling, listening, putting one foot in front of the other. There is so much to take in. Each trek we’ve experienced some new discovery; our first waterfall, a bridge over or under the highway, an historical site, deer; mushrooms; moss; grapes; wineries; the light, the colors… there is always something to take our breath away, to inspire us, or just a great photo op. It’s amazing how such simple experiences can be so thrilling.

Hiking has made us appreciate our bodies and realize that good health is more important than just about anything else in life. Wanting to finish this trail and hopeful try out some others has given us the incentive to stay healthy and fit.

And finally the trail has inspired us to start this blog, explore our writing skills, share our memories, and become part of a documentary.

So cheers to the first installment of our epic adventure!!!  And to the next chapter in 2012!!!  marian



5 responses to “2011 Reflections

  1. You go, girls! I look forward to more vicarious pleasures!
    By the way, this last milkweed photo is stunning!

  2. I finally got around to checking out your blog, Marian.
    It all looks so amazing. I can’t wait to hopefully join you for a stretch of it when I make my way to Canada! Best of luck with it all.

  3. The tale you ladies share is close to our hearts and our experiences. My hiking partenr and I have been freinds for 39 years and set-out a five year goal to accomplish this most amazing feat. We have had many adventures as we have travelled through all weather systems; snow, sleet, torrential rains, hungry mosquitoes and the most beautiful sunny days. Here we are now planning our final adventures: 5 pair of shoes later, one bear encounter and 4 years of therapy we plan to complete the trail. “Tobermory or bust” ( probably collapse). Best of luck and thank-you for sharing your stories.

    • Hi Liz, thanks for your comments. Sounds like you two have great stories, too. Haven’t seen a bear yet, but we’ve met those same hungry mosquitos for sure. Physiotherapy, I am assuming – we’re finding the walking and the trail are quite magical therapy of the other kind! Let us know when you reach the end, okay? _magdalena

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