Now, that the dust has settled, the feet have been rubbed, and for the most part, things are back to regular around the house. Iâ€™ve the gumption to write about last weeks adventure.
After years of getting to know myself, Iâ€™ve come to find that like it or not, I tend to change my mind, more often than my behaviour, yet, I am happy to report that I set a goal and reached it!
I donâ€™t remember when the thought of a long walk came into my mind, but because Iâ€™m also very used to comfort, I needed to find a long walk that didnâ€™t involve hauling my food and tent on my back or sleeping in a place without fear.
The Suncoaster Trail, support team Ken and walking partner Anna was all I needed to make this goal a reality.
We were not sure it would actually happen, right up to the day before we walked the first leg. And honestly, I had some very serious doubts the very first kilometre we set out! But, spoiler alertâ€¦. We made it in fine fashion!
Anna, is my tai chi sister who lives in Prince George. Weâ€™ve known each other a long time. No oneÂ I know is more steady or less bothered in the world. A couple of months ago, Anna wrote me that she wanted to do this hike with me. Perfect! She arrived the night before we set off.
We carried our cameras, PB & J sandwiches, a baggie full of mixed nuts, a chocolate bar or two and three bottles each of cool water on our backs. We both had walking poles and hats and off we went.
Ken dropped us at the trail head of the Suncoaster Trail on the first day and 10 km down the road he waited for us at a meeting place.
Like I said, the first km about did me in as it took forever! Iâ€™m in good walking shape as everyday I take a walk or two around the neighbourhood and usually clock between 5 and 8 km a day. So, I was off like a rocket on day one, only to look back and see Anna needing a rest before we had taken 100 steps! Seriously???!!! Then the plod cameâ€¦ OMG, I thought to myself, this is going to take for-fucking-ever! WTFâ€¦ another rest??? Granted we started with an uphill climb, but come on!!! I was sure we would never make the rest of the journey if this was to be our pace and I was beginning to think I might have to actually carry Anna.Â I was nervous.
My fears were not warranted. Anna picked up her pace and the two of us walked well together for the next 5 days. Really well.
Day one 10 km-
I have to say walking the entire Suncoaster Trail was our goal, but day three was the experience and memory I will hold from this adventure. We were awesome ALL day as we persevered and only in hind sight did we understand our mistake and where we could have/should have turned around instead of where we did.
Day three was by far the hardest day and also the best day. Anna and I were troopers if not silly troopers. If we could survive day three â€” we knew we could pretty well survive anything!
We took day 4 off from the trail and enjoyed a short 6 km walk around Sechelt, met Ken at the marina and let him row us around Porpoise Bay in Pearl for a couple of hours.
We were ready for the last leg of the trail on day 5. We knew where we went wrong on day 3 and easily made our way up and down what was to be, the prettiest leg of the trail. After a mere 16 km, it was us that had to wait for Ken at the pick up spot as we arrived almost 20 minutes before we thought we would.
How grand! How satisfying!
Iâ€™ve said it before, there are prettier places to hike on the coast, much of the Suncoaster Trail runs under big power lines and shares the road with ATVs and mountain bikers. (We only saw two ATVers and that was day three and they helped us figure out where we went wrong.) We saw loads of bear poop, but no gratefully because of our constant singing or delightful conversations, we saw no bears. We did see snakes, and eagles, and the hoof prints of elk and deer.
Our lunch breaks were taken in the middle of the trail, sitting on rocks. We stopped when we needed to and took photos when warranted. Everyday, sweat poured out of us giving us salty lips, and soaking wet backs. Knowing Ken was waiting for us at each days end was the best. Being able to go home for bath, bed and easy dinner each night made the adventure all the better.
Walking 57 km with Anna will be a fine memory for me. We set a goal and we made it.