Last fall, not long after I moved from Dundas to nearby Hamilton, I took a hike along the Bruce Trail from Dundurn Street in Hamilton to Governor's Road in Dundas. It was a sort of connecting pilgrimage that I felt I needed to do at the time, a way of saying, it's not that far, I can walk there. Well, that, and the inviting beauty of the trail that helps transmute the daily noise of living into a long, solitary, and highly enjoyable hike.
I did the same route today, this time a summer walk in glorious sunshine, and it took longer to reach my destination as I was able to linger without the threat of a chill. In all, I was walking for a little over five hours. Well, walking and snacking, taking photos, dipping my feet in a forest stream, stopping for lunch at Sherman Falls, etc., but alone, mostly walking, and trying to be present while letting the stresses of life fall to the wayside.
Not having anyone with me was just right today. Sometimes I just like to set my own pace, and not have to worry about talking or adjusting my response to another's needs. Being able to find your natural rhythm is by definition not a group activity.
The route takes me from Hamilton, through Ancaster, and into Dundas, with distinct natural habitats encountered along the way: deep forest streams, open fields, escarpment bluffs.
When I got to the end of my route through the woods, I went to a bus stop to wait for a ride back to Hamilton; after a few minutes a friend drove by, saw me, and pulled over to offer a ride. It was a great way to break the silence.