I realized on Friday August 16th at 6:00 PM, that my Lovely wife Ann
does not forgive, or forget, she gets even.
Two years ago "I" decided it would be great for "us" to do a 2-3 hour bike
ride to Bay St. Lawrence and Meat Cove from Cape North. Ann was quite
willing to give it a try. On one of the hottest days in August of that
year, we set out. It took us 5 1/2 hours, and we were half dead when we
got back to the car. Ann called it, Extreme Vacations by Greg.
Last Friday was her revenge.
Back in Halifax from our glorious vacation in Cape Breton, Ann
suggested a 5 K hike off the Musquodobit Railway Trail called the
Admiral Lake Loop. I thought to myself, why not? A two hour hike on a hot,
and lazy Friday afternoon, at the end of our vacation, why not? Since it
was such a short hike, having two beer before the hike would only lead to
excessive sweating for awhile. Hell, I could burn off four or five on a
little hike like this, if I wanted to. I stuck with my original two pack
We parked in the very well appointed parking lot at the Rail Car in
Musqudobit Harbour. We loaded up with a bottle of water each, leaving two
beers to cool in the chill bag I had in the trunk. (as a toast to the end
of our vacation, so to speak, when we get back.) With Johnny Nicks Hiking
Sticks in hand, we started our hike. Before we left the parking lot I had
a glance at our trail description. It said it was a "rugged" 5 K hike. As
we walked along the rail line I was thinking to myself, 'if this is a
rugged as it gets, we can jog it and be back in 30 minutes.'
With easy walking for the first 1.7 K along the line, my only concern was
the heat. The two beer I had were now flowing out of my body in a frenzy
to taste the hot air. At the 1.7 K mark there was a notice explaining that
we now had to turn right to get on the Admiral Lake Loop Trail. Not a
problem. I was a bit disconcerted when the sign said, "average speed per
Kilometer 45 minutes." As we started the loop I was thinking, they were
really wrong. After all, we've hiked on the Appalachian Trail and Mount
Washington. Some of those climbs were 45 minutes per kilometer, not this
pansy assed loop. I was wrong. Very wrong.
On this loop, you are constantly climbing or going down. There are
rocks to climb over and around. Stairs to climb, yes stairs cut out of a
tree. A cave to walk/slither through. There are 5 spots with really good
look offs, and if I wasn't so pissed off at myself for not taking along
enough liquid, I would have enjoyed them more than I did. I was quickly
realizing the 5 K loop, was from where we entered the woods, not from the
original trail head. To my dismay, I was realizing, this is not a two hour
hike, and the 45 minutes per kilometer although excessive wasn't extremely
excessive for the conditions.
Ann was like a camel. I guess camels don't drink dehydrating beer
before they cross the desert. Smart camels, dumb Greg. My hiking
shorts were completely soaked. Water was not dripping off my chin, it was
flowing off my chin. Christ, it was the first time in my hiking career,
that my hiking boots were sloshing from water in them, from sweat, not
because of stepping in anything wet. We did cross a small brook, early in
our quest, but I assumed there would be others. Wrong! I was running on
empty, so I started to slow my pace to make sure my "bonking" wouldn't put
me in the hospital. All the while Ann was pleasant and cheerful. How
By the grace of God, we got back on the railway trail, and proceed the
2.?? kilometers back to the trail head. All in all, it was a 9 K hike with
one hell of a 5 K workout thrown in between. When the brochure called it
"rugged", they really meant it. My 2 hour hike took almost 4 hours. In the
scorching heat it felt like 8 hours.
There were a few valuable lessons learned. 1) Don't drink beer before you
hike on a hot day. 2) Take as much water as you can carry on a hot day. 3)
Never take Ann on a stupid bike ride because she we get even with you
sooner or later!
I've attached some pictures from our quest. Enjoy them more than I