(So much happened yesterday, that I fell asleep before I could even decide on a title … This is two full days compressed into one blog post …)
(Hearing Sandhill Cranes bugling as I finally begin this. The sun is now down; a gentle somewhat cooler breeze sifting along the ridge; the farmer just slowly drove his field checking how his corn is germinating, passing 30 metres from where we are camped (on Bruce Trail property) without noticing us; spent the last hour texting with five different friends & family — wonderful interwoven (for me) conversations!)
I had meant to expound on how the botany part of Tracing Spring Northwards has changed from a data-collecting phenology project into a much broader and more rewarding developing understanding of how so much of past history of our forests is plainly visible and interconnected through an intertwining of logging history and grazing practices.
But I won’t do that today …
I should say The Greetings. I’ve been communicating with a teacher of both of our girls who was one of their most formative influences through elementary school. Turns out Jill is heavily involved with the Bruce Trail, not just here in the Beaver Valley, but also provincially on the BTC Board.
She invited me to stay with her as I passed by. She invited my wife as well (which meant I could use her place as a resupply point for the next eight days or so through to Wiarton. And one daughter (unfortunately not both) could join as well. And Kookork with his dog Delta!
David, her husband, met us on the Trail yesterday as we hiked through thundershowers up past the ski hills and the incredible karst topography of the western side of the Beaver Valley. Within five minutes of arriving to the warmest of greeting hugs from Jill, my wife arrived. More warm hugs and (bristly-bearded) kisses! And then, when the red-fleece-sewing daughter arrived, well then! Jill is such an angel! And that was only the start of so much more that went beyond just hiking …
I am not only my stomach. Really! But when hiking, my stomach does assume a rather prominent position of importance. Jill and David did their best to help in that regard. Oh my! Thirds and forths — and sleep! And the breakfast. And then more offers of Trail Magic!
The giving of Jill and David never stopped. They will help us resupply as we pass Owen Sound in in five days. David took our heavy food bags out of our packs for today, so we slackpacked once again — very much appreciated on this hot and humid day! And Jill hiked with us today, giving us a whole different and much more complex understating of what local volunteers give to the Trail, of how complex and subtle many of the local issues are and how they are resolved, and of the tremendous work of the tiny provincial staff. She also talked glowingly of the personal value of giving to the Trail.
I am convinced.
So much more!