We are right now enjoying a nice cup of coffee in the heart of little Italy, Toronto… A nice change from the lake water we’ve been drinking over the past days hiking and camping on the Bruce Peninsula. The days leading up to the hike was hectic, to say the least. Running around town trying the get the last of our gear, organising where to stay along the way, what to bring and what not to bring, how to get there as well as planning ahead and organising out stuff. When the day finally arrived to leave, with only hours left before the train departed we still hadn’t packed and tried on our backpacks or bought our food for the hike! Unfortunately our backpacks were too heavy and we had to leave behind all of the camera gear + more stuff. Needless to say Marita was getting more and more stressed, while (of course) Anders’ kept his calm. We ran to the store and just grabbed the first food items we saw, hoping it would be a good enough amount of energy/fat to keep us going for the whole hike – pasta meals, granola bars, chocolate and cookies – all so very healthy! We made it to the train with 4 minutes to spare!
The train and the bus took us the town of Orangeville from where we had planned to hitch hike the rest of the way up to Lions Head, a small town another 175km north. We had planned to make a cardboard sign, but in the morning stress it got forgotten. But, as if faith (if you believe in that) wanted it, we found a perfect piece of cardboard on the side of the road which we were able to write on, and within 10 minutes of holding out our thumbs and offering free hugs we got our first ride! Our ride was a guy who had just finished work in Toronto and was driving up to his girlfriend in Shelburne. It wasn’t far from Orangeville, but when you’re hitch hiking, any kilometers will do. In Shelburne with scorching heat and little water we watch the cars pass by one after another for over an hour before getting picked up by a fella and his elderly dad in an old pick up truck. The guy told us that he used to hitch hike from where we were standing to go to school every day in his younger days because he didn’t’ like taking the school bus. More interesting stories followed from both him and his dad about travel, hiking, camping and fishing over the next 20 km until we reached the gas station in Dundalk where we could finally get some cold water and a Maple Iced Capp, Anders’ favourite drink at the moment. Canada, you really know you maple!
After the cooling break we got back out on the road and within minutes we had a ride all the way up to Owen Sound with a tow trucker, another 70 km north covered! A very knowledgeable and interesting guy who knew the area very well and told us interesting facts ands stories from past and now as we were going through various small towns along the way. Arriving in Owen Sounds, we felt lucky having met so many cool guys going up. The last stretch from Owen Sound to Lions Head was with the amazing lady Christine; long story made short – Chris is the mum of the manager at Sweet Pete’s where we had rented our bikes a week before. We told him that we were hiking the Bruce Trail and he put us in contact with his mum who lives right on the trail, and she offered to cook us dinner the night before starting our hike. We love how randomly we meet people during our travels! Chris and her partner Gary made us a very tasty dinner with beer and wine and interesting conversation on their porch in their beautiful home in the forrest, they picked us up and dropped us of at our camping site and were so incredibly helpful and amazing! Day zero of our trip was soon over and we went to sleep in our brand new tent with our stomachs filled with food and excitement for the day after.
So I won’t go into too much detail about Day 1-6 as I’m making another post just for that as soon as I got time, but I’ll give you a small summarize; The hike didn’t go nearly as originally planned which was to do the Bruce trail over 10 days with hiking and camping overnight. Instead we downsized to 6 days before leaving, but ended up only walking 3,5 days and we slept outside for 5 nights. Some parts of the hike was a bit tougher then we anticipated and the weight we were carrying was a bit too heavy for Anders’ back. At the longest we walked 18km, and the “shortest” hike was 4km – all hikes were a fascinating non-stop change of trail conditions, scenery, type of forrest and weather. Overall I feel that we learned a lot though over the days in terms of camping gear and set ups, food and energy needs and physical strength and endurance. We also had a lot of fun at our campsites in the evening playing cards, cooking, scratching scratch lottery tickets, reading, meeting other people, watching the stars and trying out things and ideas from the “Junior Woodchucks’ Guidebook” known as the book with answers and solutions on every possible subject (according to Donal Ducks’ nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie) – again, a more detailed description of our days on the trail will come.
Now over to a quick subject change: We moved fast from the cup of coffee in Little Italy and we are now in Montreal! We have officially left Toronto (will only go back for one more day) and are now planning to be on the go for the next month with stops planned in Ottawa, Kingston and Prince Edward County, New York and Boston before heading out west to Calgary. We have sent most of our camping gear to a friend in Calgary and are excited to continue our outdoor adventures in various national parks in Alberta and B.C. We hope to spend as much as possible of the summer outside, but over the past weeks we have learned that camping in Canada can be very expensive so we’ll see how many campsites and park entry fees we can afford. If you know of any cheap once or have tips on where to go for free let us know!
How to make a chair using the Junior Woodchuck’s Guidebook:
First you have to gather the resources that is required. For this chair you need to find two (2) sticks which is thick enough to support your back. You can also use a knife to make it the proper size if needed. When you got your sticks you need to get the sticks deep enough in the ground. The third step is to bind the sticks together making a back support. I used a string in my example, but you should use a proper rope if you got one. When you are done binding the sticks together you need to make an additional support to the chair by using a rope from the sticks and tent pegs (which I couldn’t do because the surface was only a couple of cm deep where we were camping).