Rachel and I only shared a single day off together this week, so we thought we would try to make the most of it. We loaded up the gear. packed up some food and a bunch of extra water. We had to fight an enemy we nearly forgot about over these last few months. The heat! Ottawa was hit with it’s first heat wave and today’s hike was made more challenging. With the humidity the temperature reached highs of 38c/100f. We still managed to complete another 22km/13.5miles of trail. The second half of today’s hike, the trail from Fallowfield Rd to Richmond consisted of long stretches on roads or shoulders with little to no shade. On the few occasions a rogue tree was growing on the side of the road we would pause for a welcomed break from the battering sun. This was not a great experience, there were no sights, wildlife or varied terrain, just dodging traffic and empty fields in blistering heat. The trail experience could absolutely be improved here. That being said, the first half of the hike Corkstrown Rd to Fallowfield Rd was simply wonderful, varied sections of scenery including swamp, forest and fields brimming with wildlife. We had a close encounter with a deer, which posed for an entire photo shoot with us only a few feet away as well as countless frogs, squirrels, birds and the usual pests out enjoying the heat. Luckily for them, because I was ready to smash some bugs today. the mosquitoes were few and far between this time.
Those of you who have been following us on Instagram or reading the blog have surely noticed that much of our hiking has been done on the Rideau trail. We’ve been very happy with the well maintained trail, little to no garbage to be found and hundreds of kilometers of trail available to us. Although there were long stretches of sub optimal hiking today, I understand that these stretches are necessary to connect the trail sections and looking at the map for the entire trail we can see this is the exception, not the norm. For these reasons we thought we would help maintain the trails and signed up for membership at the Rideau Trail Website. We intend to not only complete the Canada 150 challenge – Which should be simple enough, hike a combined 150km on the Rideau trail – but also section hike end to end the entire Rideau Trail this summer. As we prepare for our long term goal of hiking the A.T we’ve made a short term goal for summer/fall, hike to Kingston from Ottawa and share our journey with you!