We were dreading today for a long time, not because of the terrain but because of the distance and our packs. This was supposed to be our longest day yet, but we ended off shaving a few km off by walking a bit further yesterday. Even so, we had 34 km of trail to cover. Our bags are also the heaviest they’ve ever been, because we don’t have any re-supplies between here and Tobermory. So after a very brief ride from Trail Angel Heidi to get started, we sped out of Wiarton faster than a groundhog could even see its shadow.
We kept our pace up for a good distance, hitting 18 km by lunchtime. We knew by this point that we would make it just fine. Our bags were feeling a little lighter than we expected thanks to all the distance we’ve already built our strength over. The trail itself was beautiful today - it runs over the top of the escarpment the whole way and gives great views of the islands and bays around Wiarton.
I had my head down after lunch just trying to keep the pace, when out of nowhere I smelled what I thought was burnt rubber. We were in the middle of nowhere, so this grabbed my attention pretty quickly. As I looked up, we saw a porcupine right in the middle of the trail, not even 20 feet away. We learned later that the smell is actually the animal’s first defence mechanism, that lets you know they’re ready to use their quills if needed. I waited for it to run off so we could leave it alone, but the porcupine ran away straight down the trail! We caught up to it again a few dozen feet later, and off it ran - this kept going for quite a while! Finally, it went off into the bush and we continued on our way.
When it was all said and done, we made it to the campsite in pretty good time. We’re staying at Cape Croker, which is part of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. We missed getting to the camp’s store by a couple minutes, so Natalie (who’s always desperate for a fire) went around to vacant campsites looking for sticks and half-burnt logs for us. I have to say, she made a pretty good fire with what she found!
Motivation Monday - 500 miles
As of tonight we’ve covered 803 km. That means tomorrow morning, at km 804, we’ll have walked 500 miles, a huge milestone that we never really believed we’d see. I’m sure The Proclaimers thought that anyone who would walk 500 miles would have to be crazy when they wrote their song, and clearly they were right - now to walk 500 more!