When most people were still counting “Zzz’s” we were already in the car heading towards Speyside trail near Milton.
It was a wonderful sunny morning and we could not let the opportunity pass by to check out Ontario’s beautiful nature trails in early fall. Eagerly awaiting to feast our eyes on nature’s seasonal color changes, we headed out to yet another section of the Bruce trail.
Speyeside was a new trail for us and we were not sure what to expect. Its difficulty was rated 3 out of 5 which we thought would be challenging and interesting enough. From our previous hiking experiences we have learned that trails marked as 2 or 1 offer flat-surface, straight line paths, which for active folks like us presented a rather unsatisfying or “flat” experience.
We were pleasanty surprised as the trail, which started as a gravel path, soon turned into a welcomed challenge of uneven rock formations going up and downhill. Some sections of the trail we would even rate as difficulty level 4 or more. Because of unevenness along the path we had to pay close attention to our steps, and less to trail signs, so we got lost. We added a good kilometer before we ended up back on on the right trail. It was a bit nerve wracking as we did not have a cell phone, GPS, nor had we seen anybody on the trail, except…
And here was Josh…
About half way through the woods we met a young man, Josh. We got into a chat with him and it turned out that he was already hiking for 21 days on the Bruce trail, having started on its northern end. And no, he had not gotten lost, but this was what he had chosen to do at the end of the summer.
He was still over a week from his destination (Niagara Falls) when we met up with him. We offered him some of our home-made beer & curry beef jerky as well as one of our favorite organic double chocolate protein bars. It was very inspiring to see someone in love with nature, enjoying its beauty and overcoming many challenges.
Hiking through the woods alone is a task on its own, but adding the lack of modern conveniences and food and water, cold nights, wind and rain is really admirable. Just imagine waking up on a cold morning, in the middle of nowhere, without a soul around and in wet cold clothes? Can you see the challenge of getting a warm beverage or a hot cup of soup with only squirrels and bluejays around? I hope Josh will write us a comment to explain how he managed to fare with these tasks.