Two long months!
That’s how long it’s been since I’ve had a decent hike.
Just when Deb (the Widow Badass) and I were getting into a great weekly hiking routine, the pandemic tossed us an anchor.
But now restrictions are slowly starting to lift in our part of the world, and Deb is leaving for a permanent move to the west coast next week. We had to seize what will likely be the last Ontario hike we do together.
We did, and it was glorious.
Since we come from opposite directions, we met at our planned location in Elora, northwest of Toronto.
There were none of our usual hugs which, quite frankly, felt really odd. To not hug someone I was SO HAPPY to see just felt wrong, wrong, wrong …. but one does what one must do.
Our spirits were high, and off we went … immediately blabbing away as though we didn’t have a care in the world.
What was intended to be a sedate stroll on a well marked path along the top of the Elora Gorge, quickly turned into a wilder adventure when Deb spied a staircase with no barrier.
It took a nanosecond for us to decide that this was the course we needed to take.
I wonder how many times I could squeeze the word ‘glorious’ into one post, because that’s what it was … and EXACTLY what I needed to finally shake off the doldrums I had been feeling for too many days.
Luckily we had thought to toss a hiking pole into our backpacks before we headed out, because without them, most of this trek wouldn’t have been possible.
This unmarked trail was everything I love … quiet wilderness, water, trees, and rocks. BIG rocks. The kind of rock that hints at the age of the universe.
Some sections of the trail were so steep, it required scrambling on our hands. We would merely look at each other with an enthusiastic ‘I’m game’, and off we’d go.
At several points along the water, we would linger – spots where I could easily have stayed much longer – but the trail would call us away again.
So why did I title this post ‘Bittersweet’?
Well, I was trying to imprint every moment of this grand hike into my memory because it will likely be a very long time before I get to take another trek like this one with my dear friend.
Next week, Gilles and I will be breaking pandemic protocols by having Deb enter our ‘bubble’ for 2 nights – the time between all her worldly belongings being picked up by the movers, and when her flight leaves for British Columbia.
Next week at this time, I will already have dropped her off at the airport and she will be on route to her new home.
I can virtually guarantee there will be tears shed.