In just a few days, my Dad is heading out on a solo-hike. He is aiming to cover the 890km in 40+ days… which means walking 22km/day while carrying a 60L pack full of food, water, clothes and a hammock to sleep in. The weather will be down to freezing some nights at the start, even though he is starting in the warm southern end of Ontario, and he’s hoping to miss the worst of the spring mosquitos as he walks north!
(This is Dad posing for blog pics in a yet-to-be-blogged Jalie fleece hoodie that I made him for the hike!)
In his words,
“My name is Mark Whitcombe, and I’m a 65 year old retired outdoor education teacher. I’ve spent many summers canoeing, both as a guide together with my wife, and with my family. I’m quite familiar with the landscape and ecology of Southern Ontario, though much of the Bruce Trail will be excitingly new to me. I’m a botanist and general naturalist — which leads me to my goal of tracing Spring northwards.”
For those of you who aren’t from Southern Ontario, the Bruce Trail follows the Niagara Escarpment (a rocky shelf of cliffs, in very untechnical terms). It’s a UNESCO biosphere reserve, and Dad is planning on contributing to botanical citizen research projects about pollen and and what’s in bloom during the hike.
I’m incredibly proud. He’s been planning, researching, and training for months, and while I find the whole thing a bit terrifying, I know that he is very well prepared! Dad sets off on May 3rd, so if you want to follow his progress or wish him luck, you can read his blog at Tracing Spring Northward, or follow him on Twitter as @brucetraillium .
Go cheer him on online, or wish him luck in the comments below! And I’d love to know if the idea of a epic hike appeals to you personally, or if, like me, it sounds like the last thing you’d willingly do?