Adventure is worthwhile
My wife Jane and I love to hike. One of the goals of the sabbatical is to hike 200 miles, about the distance from the Quad Cities to St. Louis, as the crow flies. The great thing about hiking is that you never know what’s around the next corner.
We started our hiking in the Maritime National Parks of Canada. At Fundy National Park in New Brunswick, we hiked to the shores of the Bay of Fundy, where low tide is 30 feet below high tide, leaving boats stranded in the mud. At Terra Nova National Park in Newfoundland, we discovered peat bogs and the fascinating plants they support – including the insect-eating pitcher plant. And in Gros Morne National Park, arguably the most interesting of the Canadian National Parks, we hiked through four different habitat zones – alpine, subalpine, boreal forest and coastal forest – all during one afternoon. We emerged from the damp forest to a stunningly beautiful coast with the surf crashing on rocky sea stacks.
But you never know what to expect. On one trail in Gros Morne National Park, we were hiking on a long boardwalk spanning a peat moss bog, on our way to Bakers Brook Falls. A big moose was browsing right by the trail. I grabbed my camera and got some great pictures. But soon the moose started to do a little “hiking” of its own… straight down the boardwalk, and right toward us. Moose are afraid of people, aren’t they? He will head off the board walk, won’t he? He wasn’t and he didn’t. So I jumped off the boardwalk into the bog, sinking a foot deep into the mud. I grabbed for a nearby tree, but pulled it over with my 200-pound frame. The moose watched curiously. He must have taken pity on me, because he turned and trotted off into the woods.
After struggling through the bog back to the boardwalk, I could not help but think about what Aristotle said: Adventure is worthwhile, if for nothing more than creating lasting memories.
(See also Jane Bahls’ Arctic Adventures)
Posted on June 7th, 2012 by stevebahls
Filed under: Canada