When I began the quest, I really had no time frame in mind---all I really knew was that I wanted to get it done by the end of the year, as doing so would make me eligible for the Thames Valley Trail End-to-End patch. The thought of walking the whole thing was a little daunting, both distance and time-wise, and this would be my first real experience at hiking so I wasn't at all sure what I was getting myself in for.
As you can imagine, it was quite the learning experience. It seemed as though every time I set out I learned something new which would better prepare me for the subsequent hikes.
|Sample of a map and some of|
the directions (hope no copyright
I combined the following two sections as they were shorter and also tacked on an extra bit from the first section, because I had missed a turn near the end and wanted to be able to say I'd walked the whole thing. This was part of a tactical error on that day and I later on found myself in some reasonably serious trouble as I'd totally miscalculated the water I'd needed. It was about 34C (93F) that day and substantially before the end of the hike I found myself feeling dehydrated and sick to my stomach and out in a forest with no true way of getting help in a hurry, if things got any worse. I did
|Marriage of humans and nature|
On subsequent hikes, I learned how to marry the maps and the guidebook a little better, how to keep my hat on my head, how to keep my food cooler, how to be patient and wait for the blazes to appear, and how to check both sides of the road for trail markers.
|The badge and the guidebook|
Where I go from here, hiking-wise, is kind of up in the air. There is no shortage of amazing places to hike here in Ontario, if you are so inclined, and perhaps I'll check some of them out. Doralyn is not a hot weather person so maybe once fall arrives the two of us might be able to get out and do a little exploring together.
One of the things I do need to do, though, is get back to running. This was to be a trail-running summer for me but that was derailed back in the Spring when I did something to my knee and the doctor said WALK. The knee, for the most part, is starting to feel better and I think it's time I started thinking about hitting the trails once more!