Sunday August 26, 2012; Hockley Valley to Mono Cliffs
Sunday was another perfect day; a bit hot but there was a nice breeze. My friend Mary Poppe joined us. She is an experienced hiker who had done this section of the trail before and declared it as her favourite, which added a certain element of anticipation to this day. We arrived with 2 cars again, which is a definite convenience but a constant dilemma as it goes against our ecological stance. It also forces us to commit to our end point, which I think generally results in “playing it safe”, not wanting to push ourselves past our comfort zone. We decided on an easy 15.4 kilometres, which we completed no problem (albeit a bit slower than usual due to Mary’s insistence on a coffee break– yes, she actually brought coffee!)
We have now officially hiked more than half the Bruce trail!!! One could argue that we are now on the home stretch, but realistically the end is still a long way away and I suspect the next 300 km will be challenging as we continue plodding along through the middle, before we begin the countdown to completion. We’ve been reflecting on what it means to be “in the middle” for a while now….that space and time in any project, trip, lifetime, when the novelty of beginning is past and the end is too far away to contemplate yet. It’s a comfortable period; there is a feeling of familiarity about the routines and expectations, but there is also a sense of repetitiveness; things begin to blur, remind us of other places and times and get taken for granted. So I appreciated Mary’s upbeat enthusiasm and admiration for the spectacular vistas and enchanting woods, as it reminded me to focus on enjoying the present moment and the place where I am right now.
In addition to passing our halfway point yesterday, we also completed the Caledon Hills section of the trail and started on the Dufferin Hi-Land section. Another accomplishment and badge #5!
We ended our hike in the usual fashion, enjoying a celebratory beer at a local pub, which was conveniently right where we had parked our car at our end point and came with a high recommendation from Mary. While we were there we met this couple from Milton (and his mother from Germany) who had hiked the entire Bruce trail twice already (with their dog) and were now working on all the side trails. They were eager to share experiences and told us about their favourite B&B in the Peninsula section, which we filed for the future reference. They also told us about their plans to walk the Milford trail in New Zealand, apparently one of the most spectacular trails in the world, which intrigued me enough to consider putting on my bucket list. How about it Magdalena?