Hiking with Bifocals …

Or, The Advantage of Going Slowly. 

I wear bifocals. Continuous transitionals, actually. I have this weird triangular zone in the middle of the lower half of my lenses that supposedly allows me a continuous focus zone, instead of the abrupt two zones of bifocals. The approach works well for day to day life. 

But on the trail … not so well. In order to clearly see my footing in the rocky and mossy sections, i.e., a lot of the Peninsula, I have to hold my head at a 45° angle facing downwards.  That means that I am in effect looking about 2 to 3 steps ahead, and able to instantly and clearly see where my next step is. (Update: the angle is often 60–75° downwards …)

That’s pretty close to the Botanist’s Number 7 position, head and body bent forward and down, peering at Whatchemcalla dunnoensis. So I do see peripherally lots of plants. Good!

I do miss lots of the broader view. It’s a good thing Kookork is as observant as he is. He always leads on the trail, but if I were to take on that role I’d be forever missing white blazes and losing the trail. 

This limited vision became abundantly clear when we decided mid-afternoon that we’d better push without lolly-gagging to Lion’s Head so as to not miss the open stores we needed to patronize. We doubled our speed. (We were actually moving at the pace I thought I might actually achieve throughout the hike. Oh foolish me!)

We saw nothing striding along at that pace. Nothing but the next step. Nothing. 

I stopped at one spot to adjust my pack. I saw several-year-old logging and a thinned immature thicket of saplings shooting for the sky. I saw white trilliums still in good shape. I saw mustelid scat. 

And then I sped up to catch Kookork. And saw nothing again. 

We made it to town in plenty of time. And saw nothing. 

So the slow pace set by Kookork, and our frequent and often brief stops, make for a much richer experience. Yes!

The Fitz Hostel

I’d heard somehow of a new hostel in Lion’s Head. Among other things — laundry, shower, resupply, food — I need to recharge my electronics. (This blogging can chew through quite a lot of juice …) So I decided to check it out while Kookork bought duct tape to fix his failing shoes. 

Unfortunately, no room at the inn tonight. Guest allergic to dogs already booked in for the night … But we could camp in the yard, and still avail ourselves of the amenities. Done!

Except that there are no trees suitably placed for hiking hammocks … (i.e., 7–8 metres apart)  So I’m inside amongst the friendly hubbub of a community hub, while Kookork and Delta are out in the backyard in the quiet but cool evening. 

Megan Myles, “Instigator”

Quite the title, eh? Megan is a young local woman with broad experience, tons of drive, a community-minded spirit, and someone who draws people together for a better life. Impressive, eh? Absolutely. 

There should be a sign out on the edge of town saying “Be good to yourself. Stay at The Fitz!”

I can see those old-style sign sequences of a word at a time spread along the Trail!

(BTW, the beds fit normal-sized people like me!)


  • The sky beginning to blow open, from one of the many lookouts

  • Crevice-hopping

  • Here’s me not sitting on that famous Gun Point srst

  • #blazeoftheday on thre impressive boulder beach of McKay‘s Harbour

  • Never seen so much Blue-eyed Grass!

  • The very impressive Lion’s Head pothole, made 10,000 BP by a huge flood

  • Far enough north that we’ve actually gone backwards through Spring, back to where the White Trilliums in McKay’s Harbour are still colourful!

  • Haven’t seen as pristine a Trillium since the upper Beaver Valley!

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