Rachel and I have had opposite schedules for a while, now which means that last Saturdays hike and this Sundays hike are solo adventures. Last week I was lucky enough to convince a friend to give me a ride to the trail head and back home in the evening (Thanks Brendan!). This gave me a whole day of hiking time without having to worry about looping back to the car or having to pay a driver to spend 30 minutes driving back to the spot I spent all day walking away from.

 

The day started off with me getting up early, drinking too much coffee and packing up my gear, food and water. I noticed I had left my trekking poles and sunhat in my car, so as I waited for Brendan I threw on a pair of sneakers, went out to the car to the car and grabbed the remaining gear. Brendan pulled up to the house as I got back in through the front door. So I quickly grabbed my bag and hopped in his car and I was off to the trail! It wasn’t until about 15 minutes later when Rachel texted me asking if I was gonna hike all day in my sneakers, because I had left my hiking shoes at home…. shit. I wasn’t going to let a couple sore feet slow me down too much so I did ~43km/26miles.

I started outside of Richmond where Rachel and I had stopped on our last walk during the heat wave, walked all day through Marlborough forest and ended up just outside of Burrits Rapids. It was the longest walk of my life and it left my feet lightly battered but still functional. Only once I got home did I notice a few medium sized blisters on the heels and a couple smaller ones on the ball of the feet, I won’t be wearing sneakers for this type of hike again.

This weekend’s hike will start off with me continuing from where I left off last week, just outside of Burrits Rapids. I don’t intend on putting in as many miles as last week. I don’t have rides figured out, so I’m gonna drive out to my starting point and loop around on blue blazes (side trails) as opposed to plowing forward towards Kingston. I will complete the end to end section hike of the Rideau Trail with Rachel and these big miles on solo adventures will quickly add up to a significant portion of the trail without her and I would rather not redo large sections of the trail twice (solo and with Rachel). Even though we’re currently not hiking together, we’re shopping together! Rachel picked up a new rain jacket and I just picked up an MSR Trailshot and this hike will be the first stress test on the trailshot as well as my own rain gear. The weather forecast is anticipating rain and possible thunder storms so I’m going to bring much less water with me and attempt to hydrate myself primarily with the trailshot on water found along the trail. Hopefully I’ll have time to report my findings/experience here tomorrow evening!

– Kris

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