In 2017 I feel truly blessed that I have tough choices in my life that aren’t so much tough as they are amazing! How does one choose whether to run or hike rugged Cape Chignecto at the top of the Bay of Fundy with a group of triathlon friends or to cycle the entire length of the almost complete Harvest Moon Trailway in the Annapolis Valley on a glorious and unseasonably warm weekend at the end of October with yet another group of active, athletic friends.
The opportunity to do one on Saturday and the other on Sunday truly pulled at my heartstrings. Having covered every inch of Cape Chignecto while building it and designing sections of it (yes the 30km trail is 50km thanks to moi) I have yet to run it in one go while many I know have done it many times. And then there is the Harvest Moon Trailway that has a special place in my heart from the many trials and tribulations over it’s beautiful name and brand. I was fortunate to play a supporting role in it all with my previous job and then as a volunteer, but the sheer joy of experiencing it as a user is all that matters now. Both trails are gems and very different in what they dish out, but each challenging in their own way.
My relationship with trails is complex – I have loved using them for as long as I remember. I was a bit of an explorer at a very early age, and then when I discovered my love of running country in middle school I would run every trail I could find. In the mid 1990’s I was totally immersed in trail development as the Coordinator of Cape Chignecto Provincial Park and I practically lived on the Cape 7 days a week, running between work crews and inspections on a daily basis. Living in Advocate Harbour all my time on the trail was on foot but when not on the trail I was thoroughly enjoying the challenging elevations of the local roadways on my bike. Surrounded by rugged terrain, wildlife and woodland was a reality for road riding in that area. So memorable and so inspiring that it was, I should not be surprised that the idea of cycling in the woods makes my heart sing. Clearly I love it all and both of these projects has a big place in that heart!
Keeping things in perspective I chose to stay closer to home with the Harvest Moon Trailway and not cram in two epic experiences back to back in one weekend. As my husband keeps reminding me “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. This obviously means that Cape Chignecto is still on the “intended” list and for the group that did the Harvest Moon Trailway (along with some others) Chignecto could be the NEXT adventure to enjoy. I am happy for the crew that did Chignecto – looks like we had similar kind of a day and thanks to kilometres of riding through sand, some strangely similar training effects.