11 months and counting

The calendar says today is May 1st, but looking across our frozen lake, two foot high snow banks and barely 0C temperatures – you’d think it was January 1st.

As bleak as this sounds, there are signs of Spring. I see a few patches of brown under the pine trees. The chickadees are hanging around the backdoor of our house waiting for breadcrumbs. And the sun now sets around 8:45pm – nearly 40 minutes later than when we lived in Ottawa.

We still need to rely on our wood stove for heat for the time being until temperatures start rising. Next week we’ll see double digit temps. Woohoo! Warmer temperatures will lead to more bike riding, hiking and hopefully getting into our new property that we acquired in March. With all the snow, we’ve not been able to walk and survey the property…but soon.

Really enjoying my new fat bike. Unlike traditional mountain bikes, the tires are five inches wide. This wider surface allows for better contact on the road when there is ice, snow and mud. I went for a ride the other day and got totally covered in mud.

My mind is working a million miles a minute with all the Spring stuff we have to do here. Returning to the Appalachian Trail in 2020 consumes a lot of my mind. I’ve been reading an interesting book by John Desilets: Appalachian Fail: What I Learned From My Failed Thru-Hike. Unlike the dozen or so hiking books I read prior to my 2019 hike, this book delves into some interesting thoughts. As I read though it, I realize how much this book speaks to me. Not as a failure, but not being prepared. And, I was overconfident…which isn’t a bad thing, but I could have been better prepared.

I’m now doing a series of 7 stretches that will help strengthen my hamstrings, quads and knees. Best part, I will do these when it is winter and unable to spend as much time outdoors. Once it gets a bit warmer, I’ll be back on our road and side trails hiking. I foresee a few overnight backcountry hikes to Pukawaska National Park, Algonquin and Killarney.

Today is opening of Spring bear hunt, and while I have a tag I doubt there are bears around here as yet. John said he thinks he saw bear tracks at our other property last week. I’m more interested in the Fall season when it is bear and deer season. I’m planning come August to do some scouting trips north of Kirkland Lake and Lavant County near Renfrew. These trips see me walking a lot of miles backcountry – so great exercise at the minimum even if I don’t see anything. Hopefully it’ll warm up soon so I can get outside and hit my outdoor archery range to begin upper body strengthening and practice. I haven’t shot my bow since last September, so I’m sure I’m a bit rusty.

That’s it for now.