So I spent yesterday afternoon taking everything out of my pack, questioning everything — including my fears — and re-organizing the contents of my pack. What you see here is my pack for the first week, complete with food, but with no water in the bottles.
I did take a few small things out. I did put one small thing in — a collapsable tabor pipe. (This is at the suggestion of a fellow Morris musician with lots of backcountry working experience. I imagine it might also scare every creature within kilometres away from me … I’m thinking it’s not going to last past my first re-supply point.) I also re-organized the little bits and bobs that I’d stashed in various glory-holes over time. All the maintenance stuff is in one stuff sac, with separate components in separate plastic baggies, i.e., ropes/string in one ziplock, mini-tools such as sewing in another, spare batteries (hearing aids, headlights, phone) in another ziplock. Camera lenses and tripod in one waist belt pocket (the left side), on-the-trail water treatment and bandaids and lip balm in the right waist belt pocket, binoculars in the little Osprey pouch with the green stripe that hangs above the waist belt, and so on. I’m feeling a bit less scattered now, and I at least know where things are.
I had some great news that Ron and Stewart, several of my teaching heroes, are going to join me for an overnight of botanizing and photography up east of Owen Sound! That makes three separate times I’ll share at least a night along the Trail with friends! I also got some not so great news that Dave, one of my mentors, has a knee needing surgery and may not be able to join me. I think I’ve also got one day around Orangeville set up with Herb, a serious hiking friend from choir, who’s going to spend a day speed-hiking with me — just because! We’ll see what I can do without a pack in one day.
Another friend sent me perhaps the best description of what I’m thinking about my hike: “I read your introductory email of your Bruce Traillium adventure with great interest and a gratifying sense of connection that you included me in the audience you were engaging. We were still down south, very absorbed in life there and I smiled as I read your message. Yes, an adventure, an undertaking, which stirs much in my own psyche; a combination of the physical — the swinging of one’s body through space over and over again; the intellectual — marking the natural world around you for citizen science contributions; the spiritual — being, powering down and connecting to the here and now; emotional — allowing yourself to rise to the surface and compassionately experiencing all that you are; it’s all there.” Thanks, Jiiva! You’ve said it better than I have!
Now shall I walk Or shall I ride? “Ride,” Pleasure said: “Walk,” Joy replied. W. H. Davies