This idea was born out of a chance meeting. While snow shoe hiking on the Bruce Trail in March 2010, my husband Paul and I crossed paths with the weekly hiking group from the Blue Mountain Bruce Trail Club (BMBTC). The leader of the group that week was Hart Fischer and he, along with the group he was leading, helped us to find the Singhampton Caves that are part of the trail we were on.
We started up a bit of a conversation as we tramped along and it didn’t take long to realize that we were lucky to have met up with a very experienced group. Hart told us about his end and back journey along the Bruce Trail in 2006. He did it over several weeks but quite a journey, to say the least, considering the fact that it's 885 km from Queenston Heights in the Niagara region to Tobermory!
That conversation got our inspirational juices flowing. What a neat thing to do! And, what a great way to see a part of our province that so few people get to see. Being nature lovers and the outdoorsy type, why wouldn’t we want to do such a thing?
But such a huge undertaking...the time commitment alone is a major one! However, one can always refer to the quip....”How do you eat an elephant?....One bite at a time of course!” But maybe we needed to start with a baby elephant. Why not do the same thing on the trail that’s practically in our own back yard? Yes, that’s right....the Thames Valley Trail (TVT).
So, the idea evolved from there. We would hike the TVT, end and back, as a training exercise for doing the Bruce Trail someday. I refer to this as a training exercise because the TVT is 130 km long, starting in Talbotville following the Thames River and ending in St. Mary’s. We would start at the end and work our way back to its start. Parking at one spot, then hiking out and returning to our car, we would technically be hiking the length of the trail and back again—a total of 260 km.
This blog will hopefully serve as an incentive to keep our goal in sight and to document our adventure. There won’t be regular posts—only when we’ve completed a leg of the journey. Our goal is to complete the “End and Back” project by the summer of 2012. Then, perhaps, this blog will become one about our quest to complete the Bruce Trail—or aka, the eating of the elephant. (Please note...no elephants were harmed in the composition of this post!)