The good news is that it is March and spring is in sight.
The bad news is, wow, I have been dealt a lot of lemons lately.
Of course, I am referring to where I am at on the Bruce Trail right now.
Ahh, setting a goal of walking 1000 kilometers in the wilderness in one year, it was so lofty.
Then came the downer of realizing in about September that there was no way it was possible to do it at my pace, and that I’d have to revise the goal to extend to 18 months.
Then December came. It snowed. A lot.
Most of you know little about winter “up there”. Geez, it sounds funny even saying it that way. After all, you can get in a car and start driving and as long as there’s no snow, you can get there in 3 hours. How can the weather 300 kilometers northwest of Toronto be so dicey? Well it is. It is kind of the Buffalo of Canada. The wind comes off the Bay and brings gads of snow.
Then in January it was freezing.
Then in February it started snowing again. 3 feet deep in some places.
Try to imagine how far you would get in a single trip walking in 3 feet deep snow? 3 kilometers, 5 kilometers? And would you get in an accident in your vehicle on the way up those slippery roads? We nearly did, twice. And at one point I had to be towed out of a hole. Lemons, lemons, lemons!
So, in 3 months, instead of walking from Epping Lookout to perhaps Wiarton, we’ve been stuck in the nothingness of countryside around Walter’s Falls. I have nothing against Walter’s Falls. Cute falls, little Inn next to it, but I have grown to hate the road signs to it. There are many. Once you get there it feels like Hotel California. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
I am determined to make lemonade from this experience. Despite long drives for short hikes there have been some bright spots. For one, I’m getting pretty good on snow shoes. For another, there have been some surprises, like the day we skipped forward by 10 walks and saw Inglis Falls just after a heavy snowfall. Or, the extraordinary rock wall just west of the KOA in Owen Sound. Or the caves to the west of the Owen Sound airport.
By the way, the greater Owen Sound area is a pretty big place. I think I have been walking there for 8 weeks now.
I am still in the game. You can’t get to where I am on the trail right now and give up. They tell me the best parts are still to come.
It is this part of the experience that I hope will resonate with you. Look, I know that the chances are that none of you are ever going to try and walk across Ontario. That said, it is important to find something challenging in your life, something where you will win and you will lose. HR can be a tough field to be in. It is helpful to have something else challenging in your life that you succeeded in to refer back to when you just don’t see a positive light.
Do you want ice with your lemonade? I’ve got a lot of it right now.