Who would not be blessed to be walking comfortably with a new friend, and being joined by a longtime friend, sharing stories and interpretations, hiking through beautiful territory watching Spring unfurl? Who would not feel totally blessed to walk down the road to a favourite country cidery, seeing my family coming towards me, whooping and waving arms?
I could have been depressed by the snow squalls, with at times pellets 3mm in diameter. But not me. I was worried by the serious potential for frost damage to the apple blossoms that are ready to burst. But “this is Canada!” And I’m a weather geek …
Trail Magic from Bill & Lynda
Bill and Lynda met us by the side of the road, bringing us doughnuts from a fabled Rockwood bakery. (Gone in an instant, even before the camera flash could reach the box!)
I reported to Bill in my last job. Always with a chuckle and a smile, Bill would say something like “I like what you’re doing here. You might want to think about … Have you talked to …?” Always encouraging, always enabling, always gentle and wise. So when he offered to meet us along the Trail with some trail magic I as graciously as I could accepted his offer. Whahoo!
A bonus to this was that Linda turns out to have been a student at a school that my mother taught at, and has yearbook pictures she’s going to send me!
On Saturday about noon, we were met by Mave, a longtime inspiration to my wife and to me. She hired us as canoeing guides for Killarney trips way back in the 1970s. Bubbly, smart, full of rich and varied experiences, interested in everything, willing to try new things — we had a blast! She joined us for nearly 11km Saturday as we hiked into Terra Cotta, shared a campsite with us — and food! — and then came with us to the Spirit Tree Cidery where we met our respective families.
I made a mistake Sunday morning in offering her coffee at an early morning break as it was beginning to snow. She accepted, but warned us that coffee made her talk more. (I wondered if that was possible … but she reminded me that I used at least equal airtime and that she asked more questions than me. … I didn’t think that was a fair way to treat a host …)
Along the Trail, I’ve been working through understanding the patterns of the forests. When was this last cut? How long ago was it grazed? What explains this pattern of ephemeral plant distribution? Why? How? When? Kookork has been most kind to listen to me babble. With Mave and her rural roots and her natural history knowledge and her inquisitive bent, we had a field day! We traded understandings, conjectures, ideas, counter-interpretations, … I’m grateful to Mave for her stories about her Scots-Irish ancestors struggling in the stony areas of rural Quebec, so parallel to that of my mother’s family. So much affirmed!
Thanks for joining us, Mave — and it will be wonderful to have you join us again later if possible!
- First apple blossoms
- I get nostalgic passing every Ash tree …
- Senescent hikers and families