I’m doing these stories a little out of order, but I figure you don’t care about the chronology of our week-long camping trip, so just sit back and enjoy the show.
Thursday was our last full day in the park, so we decided to try out one of the many hikes around the park. There were a few that were between one and three kilometres and we figured we were up for something a little more challenging, so we opted for the 15 kilometre “Lakeview Loop”. After all, 15 kilometres isn’t THAT long.
We headed off around 1pm with the dog in tow, or more aptly he was towing us, and a backpack with a litre of water, two apples and two granola bars and began the loop. The trail was beautiful and took us up huge hills and back down, to scenic lookouts over the lake and to secluded little rocks on the lakeshore. After a few hours, we found ourselves at a marshy point in the lake with boardwalks and crudely made duckboard bridges over little marshy rivers. Mojo managed to pull Danielle into one of these and soaked her shoe with boggy mud.
As the afternoon sun began to drop and the temperature began to cool, we got worried about where we were. We were still following the proper trail signs, but it seemed to be neverending. We finally popped out of the woods with a spectacular view of the lake… on the opposite side from where our campsite was. We were only halfway around the lake, our food and water gone, our feet and legs aching and the sun rapidly dropping.
I called to a nearby canoe for help (and a possible ride back to the main beach) but the owner, a fisherman with his wife and kid, told me that his boat was too full for us and he turned and paddled away. Jerk.
So our only option was to plow ahead through the bush on the trail at full walking speed in the hopes of beating the sun back to our site. After six long hours, we finally reached home where all three of us collapsed by the fireside barely able to talk, let alone move.
So, if you find yourself considering a hike in the woods, check the length of the trail and bring lots of food and maybe a flashlight… just in case.