Sometimes the best laid plans get derailed in spite of our best efforts. Today was one of those days.
One of the things I planned for this year was to continue hiking and the decision was made to tackle the Oak Ridges Moraine. It is a 300km trail system that runs across southern Ontario.
January was a total wipe-out because of the bitter cold and snow, but February hasn’t been as cruel. Today was to be our 4th hike on this trail system. Mondays had become our designated hiking day and my instinct this morning told me that today wasn’t a good day. There was a -15C windchill and I didn’t feel up to it. Did I listen? No. In the end, it wasn’t the windchill that did us in.
We use a 2 car system in our hikes. We leave a car at our planned end point and shuttle to our start location. This morning we arrived at our start point, put on a brave face and proceeded out into the blowing snow whipped up by the winds. About a mile into the hike, we lost the trail. We trudged around for a bit trying to figure our next move but we had no clue where the trail went. Given the bitter cold, we decided the best approach was to abort this section, return to the start car and resume the trail from a different access point. We could salvage this hike – we thought.
Now hiking into the wind, we returned to the car and moved to our new starting location. Stopping and restarting doesn’t feel very good. Everything starts to tighten up a bit, but we headed out again anyway. This time we got about 3.5 km into the hike when we encountered signs that the trail was closed due to hazardous conditions. I knew that a lot of damage had been done to the trail systems because of the ice storm in December but I admit, I hadn’t checked to find out the trail status.
We briefly considered proceeding anyway but ultimately made the decision to abort the hike again and turn back.
A very disappointing day.