A salute to Dufferin end-to-enders

Saturday, September 29, 2012.  Pine River area.  As I was parking my car at our endpoint this morning I met one of the Dufferin section volunteers who told me, “Be forewarned, you’re going to see a lot of hikers today.  This is our section’s end-to-end weekend .”

I’ve always been curious about end-to-end weekends advertised on the Bruce Trail website.  Last year I was advocating that we join one of them just to get a section done and also to see what it was like.  Marian was not particularly enthusiastic so we let it drop, but today I got to satisfy my curiosity with a close-up view as we crossed paths with about 50 hikers heading in the other direction.

Our first encounter was with the hiker in the lead.  He was sweating hard, moving at a frantic pace and barely giving himself time to offer a quick hello as we moved aside to let him pass.  By the time we met him he was already more than 20km into his hike.  He had a strong lead over the next few hikers, who also were clearly striving for speed and were grateful that we stepped off the trail to let them by.  Soon we came to a checkpoint station, where volunteers offered fruit, drinks, home-made brownies and encouragement, all of which they were happy to share with us.  Over the next hour we encountered many more hikers, with varying degrees of speed and attitude.  We found Graham here, the contrarian in the crowd who actually stopped to enjoy the view and even offered to take our pictures. We like your style, Graham!

I would say end-to-end weekends remind me of my experience with marathons last summer.  Both have a great element of athleticism, with those who push themselves to achieve a personal best, and those who come (I was one of these last summer) just to see if they could do it, or, in my case, half of it.  It’s a good challenge even for the ones who opt for the slower pace — with 55 km in two days, the second day through the Boyne River area with lots of steep climbs, it’s arduous.  Yes, I’d say it’s like a marathon, but instead of pounding Toronto asphalt you get to hike through the amazing beauty of the escarpment and Dufferin County in late September.  Hmm…  not bad.

It looks like a neat thing to do.  It’s just not for us, at least not at this stage.  We like to think we should pay attention to the signs around us, and today they told us to be SLOW!

A couple of final notes about the rest of the day.  It started with the beauty of the drive up this morning. Many people make road trips at this time of year just for the views from the car, but most don’t have the added element of the magical quality of the light in that first hour after the sun rises.  So many moments along that drive took my breath away.    I’m especially loving Airport Road north of Hwy 9.  We also learned first-hand what Jennie and Howard meant about Centre Road being more like a dirt path than a road (see previous post).  Rugged, narrow, and twisting, we were glad not to meet cars in the opposite direction.  magdalena

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6 responses to “A salute to Dufferin end-to-enders

  1. Hello Ladies

    I enjoy your blog and thanks for the picture. I just wanted to enjoy the view and have my lunch when we met as the colour will soon be gone.

    Happy hiking Graham

  2. great blog!!!

  3. Beautiful photos!

  4. Fabulous slideshow, especially the shadow and the ‘Slow’ sign.

  5. Hello… We met on the Kilgorie Hill….. you were coming down and we were going up. Pat and I have been hiking the trail ….our goal is to complete it in 2 years but sometimes life gets in the way or a strained ligament from walking too many km a day…. 2 days in a row. We have decided end to ends are not for us.
    We prefer 20km per day and we want to enjoy ..and yes we are still at the
    picture taking phase. We hope to hike Caledon before the snow flies.

    In the spring we will work on Blue Mountain… we are fortunate in that we have a place to stay in the area that will allow us to complete Blue Mountain Beaver Valley and Sydenham. Perhaps are paths will cross again

    Happy Hiking


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