Fuelling The Next Generation

Yesterday I received one of those Facebook Memories on my wall. It was the 7th anniversary of Helen and I completing our end-to-end hike of the 900km Bruce Trail.

At the Northern Terminus of the Bruce Trail in Tobermory in 2013

As these memories tend to do, it triggered many flashbacks of a grand adventure that caused me to fall irrevocably in love with hiking and the outdoors.

You would think that in the years since we completed this adventure I would have returned to do a lot more hiking on the Bruce, but the problem is, no part of the Bruce Trail is anywhere close to where I live.

Mount Nemo Conservation Area

I haven’t been able to routinely pop onto one of my favourite sections for a quick hike when the mood strikes me. It means fighting traffic across the city for at least an hour on one of the busiest highways in North America.

Needless to say, I don’t do it very often.

Yes – the trail goes this way …

Maybe it’s just 6 months of pandemic-living talking, but lately I had been feeling like the best adventures of my life were now in the rearview mirror. Time, energy, and an aging body were definitely not working in my favour.

Then, unexpectedly, something changed.

About a month ago, I had mentioned to son #2 that his brother and his father had bonded over triathlons and for the past couple of years spent their summers training together up to 3 times a week.

Why didn’t we do something like that too? (I’m embarrassed it took me so long to think of it.)

And that is how the idea of hiking together each weekend was born.

Meet Misha – son #2

We have now been on the 3 hikes together … 2 of them on the Bruce Trail. In just 2 hikes, it’s become very clear that Misha too has felt the powerful allure of this extraordinary trail, and this is where we both feel like we’re in a happy place.

At Limehouse Conservation Area. For perspective, Misha is 6 ft tall (183cm)

I now have a reason to fight my way across the city each week so I can introduce my son to all my favourite trail sections. We aren’t planning an end-to-end – that’s for Misha to undertake some day if he’s inspired – but there are a LOT of highlights for me to share with him.

Not only do I get to spend one-on-one time with one of the dearest people in my life, but I get to share and pass on my love of this extraordinary treasure to someone who really matters to me.

At Mount Nemo Conservation Area

It’s an honour to have my adult son interested in spending one of his precious days off with his mom. It might be the beer and muffins I bring each week (I’m teaching him everything Helen taught me) … but I think it might actually be love.

I’m a lucky mom.

41 comments

  1. A shared passion with family – a rare thing, I think. I’m pleased for you that you and Misha have this time together – away from the urban congestion and all the hazards of that. If I had one wish for you, it would be that you could skip the long trip just to reach the trailhead.

    Be well, m’dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Maggie. While I whine that I have to cross the city to get there, I’m also grateful that I have access to it.

      Misha has recently discovered some trails near the Bruce at Kelso which are categorized as ‘very difficult’ and ‘extreme’. This is what happens when you introduce a rock climber to hiking. It appears my life is about to get very interesting … and difficult!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Joanne, I have heard such amazing things about the Bruce Trail from you and other hikers. I am very happy to hear that the hiking with son #2 was not a one time whim. I cannot imagine what a treat it is to enjoy this type of an adventure and something you both love to do with one of your children. Your phrase “…where we both feel like we’re in a happy place” speaks volumes.

    I get it, Joanne, on spending one-on-one time with one of the dearest people in your life. I could feel the deep and genuine emotion in this post. Wow! Tears brimming. Thank you for sharing. ❤️

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  3. How absolutely wonderful Joanne. You are a lucky mum. I’m hoping in a few more years my boy will feel like spending time with me again. I know there was definitely as stage when I didn’t enjoy my mother’s company, but I grew out of it when I realised we were both adults and I needed to act like one.

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    • It doesn’t get much better 🙂

      Because of COVID, this conservation area requires reservations so they can control the number of people on the trails, and unfortunately there is a time limit. On the plus side, it was much, much quieter than I would have expected on a beautiful fall weekend. We were definitely happy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How very special 💕I know from your blogs the extraordinary spell the Bruce Trail caste on you…and now to be sharing it with your son! The fact he is an adult and wants to find the time to do this together is also amazing. It goes without saying but enjoy, enjoy.

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  5. I enjoyed spending time walking with my adult son when he was here recuperating. It’s good to have that chance to have 1-1 time with our children. Something I never had when they were small. Enjoy your hikes in your amazing country. And how is Helen these days?

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    • I didn’t have special one-on-one time with my boys when they were young either. We were just trying to survive from week to week 😏 Now it is sweet beyond all imagination ❤️

      Helen is doing very well. Because of covid we’ve seen each other only a handful of times since March but we’ve managed to get a couple of walks in together. Helen favours the ‘gentler’ paths these days.

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    • Sometimes life takes a turn that is both unexpected and completely delightful. This is one of them.

      I’m sure we look like an odd, unlikely pair out there together … and it makes me smile 🙂

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    • My husband has often said over the years that we create our own luck. In spite of all the mistakes we’ve made as a parents, we obviously did something right that our children want to spend time with us. What an amazing gift!

      … and yes. I would LOVE a head of curls like his!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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