Well, it’s likely that you haven’t met Miss Logie, but undoubtedly my introduction of her will bring someone similar from your own school years to mind.
Ahhh…Miss Logie…the nightmare of elementary school for all the kids who couldn’t carry a tune. Our music grade for all those years was based on how we did as we were each in turn, called up in front of our class to warble a tune beside her as she played the piano. My music grade sat at a steady C+ year after year, so it’s pretty obvious that this whole procedure didn’t work so well for me.
But Monday! If only Miss Logie had been in the woods with me! She would have heard me belting out every tune I know (three), over and over, along with many a fine rendition of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat!”
Why? Well, I’d gone along with a different group of walkers. We planned to walk to Emerald Lake, a trail I hadn’t yet been on, but had hoped to walk this year. Turned out that most of this group walked at a different speed than me. But, to start at the beginning.
Emerald Lake lies five miles and a 2000′ elevation gain up the Emerald Lake Trail, which follows Hyalite Creek through a canyon. It hadn’t dawned on me or most of the others that we may run into snow along this climb, so most of us hadn’t brought along our grippers. The trail was a mixed bag from the get-go…
…but mostly it was snow covered. A few hikers had passed by earlier, so for the most part the trail was packed down, which was great because we regularly measured 12″ beside the trail, and…no gaiters along, either.
We took our time on the climb, which I really enjoyed until realizing that we were strolling along at a mere two miles per hour! At that rate the walk would take all day. Two speedier walkers broke away and I thought about joining them, but didn’t. Instead, I ended up walking and waiting, walking and waiting, but we all stayed fairly close, first reaching a handy bridge,
and then Emerald Lake…in a full-on squall.
I’m sure the lake is lovely in warmer times, but it was a bit nasty with snow and wind. After a few quick pictures, we circled back down the the bridge, for lunch.
My thermos tea cup up close and backpack hanging in a tree in the distance…
I have to say that my usual walking group spends a bit of time relaxing at lunch. Not so this group and I quickly realized that I’d have to pack up half of my lunch to be ready to leave with them. And that’s when I realized that the group would be going down at the same pace as they’d gone up! The trail was ripe for boot skiing, it wasn’t especially steep, rocks for the most part were exposed so posed no danger, and as I knew five miles were ahead of us and it was now nearly two in the afternoon, I just couldn’t walk at their pace.
So, I figured I’d walk and wait, walk and wait…just like the route up. Except, letting myself slide and run a bit put me out front by quite a bit, quite quickly and before long, the group didn’t appear even when I waited.
What to do…what to do. I figured I was fairly close to the trail head (not so), so I struck out knowing that I’d be walking the rest of the trail on my own. Not something I enjoy. Especially in our woods of bears, cougars and wolves.
And, that’s when I struck up a tune. At each corner I got a little louder (and likely a little more off-key). These woods had probably never before been treated to “Farewell to Nova Scotia,” or “I Wanna be Free,” (remember Davey Jones of the Monkees?), or even “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah.” Or, the many, many repetitions of “Row.” If Miss Logie had thought I’d been bashful beside her piano, she’d have been shocked at my newfound lungs 🙂 And, you know what? It worked! Not a bear, nor cougar, nor wolf crossed my path!
Only a spruce grouse and it didn’t seem in any hurry to get away from my crooning. Ha!, Miss Logie!
It was unnerving, though. The woods are dense, the trail curvy and the snow kept my world quiet. I probably set a new pace for myself. And, not to be repeated.
Despite our beautiful scenery…