Day 18: Nottawasaga Bluffs - Petun Conservation Area, 453 km completed

First night without service unfortunately. But pretty amazed this was the first time.

The morning was mostly flat and unassuming. We crushed 18 km before we stopped for a brief lunch in Pretty River Valley Provincial Park. I think we felt pretty well rested from yesterday’s day off.

Even though the afternoon was shorter, it was a lot tougher. We found ourselves on either gradual inclines or gradual declines. Both were always long and are difficult for different reasons. The declines really hurt your feet and knees and the inclines are all about muscle strength.

Determined not to make the same mistakes as Sunday, we kept our eyes peeled for trail markers. Despite our best efforts, absent and faded trail blazes caused us some confusion trying to enter Petun Conservation Area and even more confusion (and frustration) trying to find the designated camping area. Confusion equals extra kilometres. We added about 2 to the day.

In the end we decided that the Guide meant that the general area was open to Bruce Trail thru hikers for camping. We found ourselves a relatively flat spot and are setting up camp.

We’ll be sure to practice no trace camping.

Trail Tuesday: as you’ve seen in our previous blogs, we’ve spoken a lot about our Trail Angels. Now this isn’t a term I came up with on my own. The term is used to refer to a person that provides food, shelter or lodging to a thru hiker. It originated (I think — I wanted to double check this but I don’t have service) along the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from the Mexican border to BC through the Western US States. Trail Angels are generally people that live in close proximity to the trail and offer their help to hikers who they don’t know.

In our case we used the term to identify our friends and family who are helping us along the way. In total we have 19 Trail Angels. That is a small army of people that helped us or will be helping us. And we couldn’t have realistically done the trip without them!

Long after our planning was done we found out that the some of the Bruce Trail Clubs have designated Trail Angels that offer their assistance to fellow hikers that are either thru hiking or section hiking!

Happy Trails,
Natalie