Monday, November 30, 2015

A genuine "Scotian Hiker" group hike.

There is a marvellous dude here in Nova Scotia who for six years has lead group hikes through various scenic areas of this lovely province for no other reason than to share his joy of hiking and his love of the place.   "Scotian Hiker" as he calls himself, has a web page with a link to a calendar of monthly hikes. Anyone who wants to, is welcome to tag along on a hike.  No need to sign up; just turn up.  For a couple of years I've been following S.H.'s antics on Facebook and have occasionally sought his advice on places to hike, but I'd never actually been on one of his hikes.  Timing and lack of motivation have stood in the way.

I am happy to report that (at last) I finally got off my duff, set the alarm, had an early breakfast, packed a lunch, and drove 110 km. across the province to join yesterday's hike along the Woodville Hiking Trail.
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I arrived at the parking area on Bligh Road late.  The hike was to start at 11 a.m. and when I parked my car I could just see the group of hikers at the top of the gravel road in the distance.  By the time I got my gear from the car, togged up in warm coat, mitts and ear muffs, put on my back pack and got Wendy from the car -- they were out of sight  !   

The trail begins with a loooong uphill slog and I was moving in double-time in an effort to even catch a glimpse of the group.  By the time I did catch up with them, they were resting by a lovely waterfall and I was huffing and puffing like a 3-pack-a-day-smoker -- and their rest stop was over.


 As you can see from the map (above), there were many choices of trails and it was lucky that our intrepid guide had a map.


 Occasionally we'd stop for a head count and to see where we were on the map.


 Guess where "Cabin Trail" led ?


 The cabin was old, sturdy and beautifully made with carved, interlocking wood corners and massive door hinges. 



 There were some soggy sections of trail and I quickly became aware of the benefit of having a walking pole to steady oneself on uncertain ground.



 We found this memorial stone next to a stone foundation


.  I wonder if Mr. Balsor ever lived here ?  


Later, we came across this BIG sign for "Picnic Table".   See the tiny sign for "Look Off".  


As a result, the  look off view came as a lovely surprise.   The picnic table was nothing to write home about..    ;-)


For some it was an irresistible "selfie with view behind us" photo op. 


And then we did more walking.


Overall we guessed that we walked 12-13 km on the whole hike.   Some of the dogs probably did twice that distance.


More walking ...


Finally back at the parking lot we said our "goodbyes", and spoke of looking forward to the next "Scotian Hiker" led hike. 

Sam gets a hug.



See you next time everyone and many thanks to Scotian Hiker for a marvellous outing.

15 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Debra. Took me long enough. ;-)

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  2. Some of your hike reminded me of "walking, walking, walking"...etc. from the infamous Duck Dodgers episode, Samurai Quack. Dodging the soggy bits too.

    Glad you and the doggies enjoyed the hike.

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    1. I'd say that about 20% of the hike was soggy. Oh the dogs had a blast. Wendy was quite prepared to keep on walking, walking, walking ... My hips were starting to complain and I was glad we were done ...

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  3. I'm glad you were able to catch up with some kindred spirits.

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    1. Me too, even if catching up left me huffing and puffing. lol

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  4. What a great long hike and some lovely scenery. Love the large door hinges. Almost everyone is wearing a hat - must have been brisk out there. :)

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    1. It was around zero but didn't feel like it. I can take the cold as long as it's not windy. It WAS a lovely hike and I was proud that I was able to keep up.

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  5. I love that cabin! What a great little hide-away it must be, and I can imagine how gorgeous it must be when there is snow around. You'd need a nice big log fireplace there though. :)

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    1. I think it winter it is used by snowmobilers or skiers. There was a rather broken looking wood stove inside and a ladder to a loft area. It looks like it was someone's home ...

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  6. Good for you, Sybil! I'm glad this hike went well and I hope there will be more to come. I sense that like me, you are a reticent "joiner." But I almost always enjoy myself when I do pull myself together enough to join a like-minded group. That did look like a very large group of hikers, though. I get a little frazzled with groups larger than 5 or 6. Partly it's because I so enjoy the quiet of hiking, which is hard to appreciate in the midst of a crowd. I loved seeing all those happy dog tails. The hinges on that cabin are really amazing.

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    1. Well you've got me pegged right Linda. That was my very first group hike. The group spreads out along the trail and you end up walking on your own or with one or two others as you so choose. I'm a chatty sort so have no problem striking up conversations. I would never go on a hike of that length or uncertainty on my own so in that way I'm comfortable with the numbers. The leader said that was the largest group of dogs he'd had on a hike. No barking. No problems. Yes. I thought those HUGE hinges were quite wonderful. None of the shots of the inside of the cabin turned out. Clearly it IS used from time to time.

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  7. Oh, that sounds and looks like fun! I'll have to check out the Scotia Hiker's FB page and see if he has any hikes happening in this area.

    The cabin is very sweet :-) I was told there there used to be some cabins around here that hikers could use for resting, eating, and even sleeping. I've seen one of them, although it's not used anymore.

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    1. Whoops, make that Scotian Hiker and web site. Damn ADD! ;-)

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    2. He has a FB page and a website with a linked calendar of events. Though he lives in the Wolfville area he leads hikes all over the place. I'll let you know if I see any on the South Shore ... BTW have you walked at Duncan's Cove or Polly's Cove (the latter is next to Peggy's Cove)

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