This is it – it is the End

It’s our final day. In the morning the power is out, the wind is blowing hard and the sky is clouded over. And still I think to myself, this is good. A perfect day for hiking. We have less than 8 km left to hike, an easy walk by all accounts. I am filled with excitement.

IMG_6245By ten a.m. we are on the trail, dollar-store pinwheels planted in our knapsacks to catch the wind with a celebratory flourish and mark our final stretch. I feel like I want there to be a parade. Maybe, I think, we could blow our whistles as we walk the last kilometer. Not that I suggest it – I’m not sure it’s Marian’s style.

Behind us a group of three male hikers with full-sized packs is striding purposefully in our direction, quickly gaining on us. These are hikers in a hurry, and we let them pass. Today of all IMG_3276days our purpose is not to finish fast, but to savour. For one more day we will breathe in the smells of the forest, feel the soft carpeted trail beneath the pine trees, appreciate every mushroom and inspect every lookout. For three years we have been on this journey, a journey that so often felt like it would never end, but also a journey that taught us that progress is made step by step, slowly. As we approach the end and look back we see that we have walked far – clear across the province, almost 900 km.

IMG_6269When we reach the Visitor Centre, milling with people, and then walk on into town to reach the cairn, by now almost hidden from view by a row of parked cars, it strikes me how anti-climactic it all feels. There is no one to greet us at the end, no one to shake our hand or give us a certificate. Definitely no parade. It makes me glad that we thought to bring the pinwheels, and that we have a bottle of bubbly in the cooler in the car. We need to make our own celebration.

IMG_6272The saving grace, it turns out, is social media. As we toast our achievement on the bench beside the cairn, we post our photos on Facebook and immediately the messages of congratulations begin to pour in.

Maybe it is a parade after all. magdalena


14 responses to “This is it – it is the End

  1. Congratulations! Much admiration from me. Any plans for the next adventure?

  2. Thank you, Maggie. Ah – the big question about the next adventure. Mine is actually planned – I will be walking the Camino in Spain in Sept and Oct. Marian’s plans? Not yet as specific, but knowing her, they will be wonderful and exotic. magdalena

  3. Congratulations! An amazing accomplishment!

  4. Thanks, Toby’s pals. How many more km to go for Toby?

  5. Well done!! We’re looking forward to one day being able to post a similar announcement.

  6. Congratulations!! I feel both happy and sad for you 🙂

    Good luck with the Camino, Magdalena. I look forward to hearing the stories 🙂

  7. Thank you Joanne! Hope to have my new blog up and running soon. magdalena

  8. Pingback: the progress of others – oops | Under the Sky

  9. Hurray for you!! While we are only at the beginning of our Bruce Trail Quest, reading about your final kilometres was inspiring and thought provoking. I will continue to read your blog posts as we hike each corresponding section of the trail.

  10. Congratulations to you both! What a wonderful accomplishment.

  11. Congratulations Magdalena, to you and Marian. What a wonderful accomplishment! Back in the Spring Darlene and I thought about the possibility of meeting you at mile 0 with a bull horn and a ribbon for you to walk through at the finish line. But then the computer died (this D—–d dead zone at Maxwell) and we lost track of when you were finishing. But you did just fine without us. All the best. If you ever come our way please drop in again and we’ll toast your accomplishment all over again. Keep in touch, Darlene & Tom

    Date: Sat, 2 Aug 2014 00:07:05 +0000 To:

  12. Thank you, Tom! But gosh, the idea of the bull horn and the ribbon… It would have been much more fun!

    You and Darlene, in addition to your cabin, remain a highlight of the experience. Thank you for your friendship and for cheering us on as we hiked. We hope to come by for that toast – it would be great to see you again.

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