The boys are back from their hike in Algonquin Provincial Park. It was a resounding success. While Zach seemed to find the first section tiring, his enthusiasm was reignited when the hiking got MORE difficult! Luke also found that what they referred to on the trip as “obstacles” made the hiking more interesting and took their minds off of their pack loads. Deadfall on the trail, uphills and giant mud puddles traversed by balancing on logs were far more fun than the boring old straight aways.
The weather was perfect and the report back from Fraser was that the gear we have set the boys up with worked perfectly. Zach rocked his new Deuter Fox 30 backpack and Luke took along his trusty MEC Big Squeeze. Both boys were in new hiking boots as well. While they’ve been breaking in them in for a while now, this was the first real hike that they were tested out on and there were no complaints. Luke sported Keen Targhee II Mid’s and Zach’s Timberland’s provided blister free comfortable feet.
With our longest and most challenging hike to date just short of three weeks away, my mind is now at ease that our boys are well prepared and looking forward to the fun. And there won’t be any lack of obstacles in Pukaskwa, the terrain will be one challenge after another. So obstacles beware, we’re coming to get ya!
Now THAT’S an obstacle!
So apparently last night was the biggest full moon of the year which meant that it was extra impressive. My boys had been talking about this super happening for days and they were granted special permission to stay up and watch it. Guess where they got to watch it from…Algonquin Provincial Park. Guess where I DIDN’T get to watch it from…Algonquin Provincial Park.
Fraser has taken the boys on their last training hike before our epic adventure to Pukaskwa National Park in three weeks. I however, had to stay in the city and work. That’s okay though, I THINK that I’m prepared. The training thus far has included loading up the packs and hiking around our hilly neighbourhood so carrying all of that weight won’t feel so foreign. We’ve also been trying to get out on regular runs to build endurance. Personally I’ve been periodically wearing a 30lb pack for entire shifts at work. I get a lot of questions from customers about that one! But the best gauge of our preparedness is going to rest in the success (or lack thereof) of the hike this weekend.
While we normally don’t mind shouldering the majority of the gear burden, Pukaskwa’s wild trail will mark the first hike that the boys will be hauling all of their own personal items including sleeping bags, sleeping pads and clothing. Fraser and I will carry our own stuff and then split the remaining shared gear and food between us. Our packs weigh-in somewhere in the neighbourhood of:
And so that is what they are carrying this weekend. My hope is that their little shoulders survive unbruised, that little feet remain blister free and that enthusiasm doesn’t wain in the face of difficulty. This lonely mom can’t wait until her boys are home again. I can’t wait to hear what they thought of that gorgeous unobstructed view of the super-moon. And I can’t wait to hear the trip report, the one that hopefully proves that all of our preparation has paid off. Keep your fingers crossed for us because the last training mission ends today. The next time we gaze at a moon from a park we will all be together, 14hrs north of our real lives, living out a dream.