Saturday, March 15, 2014

Behind Frozen Waterfalls – St. Catharines, Ontario

I have good memories of Decew Falls. My husband and I took some of our wedding photos there and they turned out beautifully. That was in the fall, some years back, but this time I saw Decew Falls in the winter and it was magnificent. This winter’s been the coldest winter of my lifetime and while that has generally been unpleasant, it did lead to totally frozen over waterfalls. It also led to me and hiking group being able to hike behind Decew Falls where the cave-like lighting and vibrant blue colours led to some interesting shots. I love nature!

edit.1Terrace Falls

edit.2Smaller (First Set) Decew Falls

edit.3 First Glimpse – Decew Falls

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edit.5Hiking Companions near the falls

edit.6A wall of icicles

edit.8After climbing through a narrow passageway – the first sight behind the falls

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Solo Hike

blog.edit.1Centennial Ridges Trail, Algonquin Provincial Park

Yesterday I downloaded Cheryl Strayed’s, “Wild”, onto my Kindle. I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile, wondering what it was like for a woman to walk the Pacific Coast Trail alone.

In 2011, I did my first solo hike. It was small – just a day hike in Algonquin Provincial Park, as pictured above. No big deal for some, but a big deal for me -http://explorationproject.blogspot.ca/search/label/Algonquin%20Provincial%20Park. From that point on, when I haven’t been able to find a companion, I’ve been hiking alone.

But, I still fear. Every time I’m alone I think, “Will it be this time? Will what they warn me of come true?” Then, I feel guilty. Guilty for putting myself at “unnecessary risk”. Then I feel angry. Angry that, although male and female hikers both need to worry about the risk of injury while alone, it is women who primarily have to worry about safety from men and who are discouraged to go anywhere or do anything alone. This is true, I believe, even when the risk is small and can largely be mitigated through preparation.

This is why I love this quote from Cheryl Strayed, “Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”

How much of our fear is reasonable? If it is, prepare and mitigate the risk. But, how much of our fear is a story that society has thrust upon us? A story, that especially for women, is oppressive? If this is the case, perhaps Cheryl’s strategy could allow us to fear less and live more.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Empty Tracks

“The restlessness and the longing, like the longing that is in the whistle of a faraway train. Except that the longing isn't really in the whistle—it is in you.”
Meindert DeJong, The Little Cow and the Turtle

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I love the quote above. I think the longing for me is wanderlust. I wished we’d come across a train the day I took this picture, but we were ten minutes too early. By the time we heard the haunting whistle, we’d gone too far in the snow and ice to turn back. But, every time I hear a train in the woods, I feel that pull, that longing to go, just go. Just walk.