It was time to get lost. Lost in the woods amidst the rustling leaves and chorus of waves lapping against the rocky beach.
Every year a good friend and I head into the wilderness for a week of camping. We leave behind the trappings of daily life for the simplicity of what we can carry on our backs: a tent, food, rain and cold weather gear, a sleeping bag.
Our most recent trip landed us in Pukaskwa National Park, a Canadian park on Lake Superior’s northern shore. Few visitors venture through the park, even fewer decide to do 2 weeks worth of hiking in 7 days.
A crazy, ambitious goal, that beat the crap out of us at times but we succeeded (minus a few blisters and scratches and bruises) to complete the hike. We traversed fields of scree, bisected a dried up lakebed, and hauled ourselves up and down bluffs that overlooked Lake Superior’s crystal clear water.
Part of the hike’s fun is finding out – to use a cliché – what we’re made of; how far we can push our bodies and more importantly, our minds. The challenges were great, at times grueling; like the 10-hour day hiking through rooty, rocky, slippery terrain.
We followed cairns – pyramid shaped stacks of rocks marking the trail’s path – along the lake shore and through lush boreal forests.
And we carried ourselves.
Through nature’s known and unknown bounty we wandered – our feet on the trail and minds lost in the beauty of nature’s solitude.