Tomorrow I leave for Ontario and my walk through the Haldimand Tract. Today I’m going to be looking after last-minute details. So yesterday was my last day for a training walk, and I took advantage of the opportunity.
I walked around the small half of the lake with Christine, then headed out to the east end. It was hot–31 degrees–and, for the prairies, humid: in other words, almost the kind of weather I can expect in southwestern Ontario. And I’m not used to it. That could be a problem. Over the last five kilometres or so, I could feel the symptoms of heat exhaustion coming on–headache, muscle weakness, nausea–despite drinking lots of water and all my electrolyte mixture. This morning my legs are still covered in heat rash. There doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about my reaction to the heat except to push through it. So that’s what I’m going to do.
I’ve walked this route many times now, but it still holds surprises: a Baltimore oriole in an elm tree beside the lake, a flock of Bohemian waxwings feeding on a cotoneaster bush, and the heavy smell of a field of purple milk vetch, an indigenous prairie plant. I don’t know what kind of milk vetch it was: Missouri? two-groove? I have no idea; my botanical knowledge only goes so far. But it was quite lovely.
My pack was full with almost everything I’ll be carrying through the Haldimand Tract, and so it was heavier than usual. The weight of the food was the difference. That bag of food isn’t only heavy. It also takes up a lot of space, which means I have to hang stuff on the outside of the pack: a pouch of things I need easy access to, a first-aid kit, my sandals. The result is untidy, even messy. That’s okay. I’d need a slightly bigger pack–a 40-litre, say, instead of the 38-litre I carry–to be able to carry everything inside. Today I’ll go over everything in my pack to see if there’s anything I can leave at home. You never know: maybe there’s something that’s not absolutely necessary and can be left behind.
This is my last blog post here until the end of my walk through the Haldimand Tract. I’ll be writing about that experience on my other blog: Muscle and Bone. I hope you’ll check it out.