"The Sunshine has Stolen All the Water and Won't Give it Back: and Other Ways a Ross May Perish"
236.5km/147 miles, 11 days, British Columbia, Canada
Reflecting on a trail I walked 8 months ago is quite tricky; a semi-smilie (I say this because not sure if it is full simile, or if simile is the right word) is that me reflecting on a walk I've done months ago is possible but it is like a reflection of that in a lake, or a puddle - sometimes it's clear, sometimes it's murky, and there are definitely buggy bits. Not a pristine mirror reflection, something I guess I can make directly after I've collapsed my hiking poles, bought a pizza, and entered the Era of Couch, so just at the end of walk when it's all fresh in my mind. Normally I write these little intro blurbs then, but now I am past the Era of Bed (Hibernation) and have entered the Era of Get This Written Down (Procrastinating by Watching The Office on Repeat) so reflecting on my time spent on the SCT is a bit murky. I mean this is why I tend to write as I walk, so my reflections are in the moment, and probably a bit more honest. Anyways, I will find a way press on, much like this intro blurb isn't not doing!
The Sunshine Coast trail....is on the Sunshine Coast of Canada. Canada is very big. Great start.
Really the whole experience was box-tickingly exceptional. Boxes that were ticked: no debilitating injuries, a pub along the way, wonderful locals full of wisdom, irreverent hikers who like to laugh at themselves as much as me, many signs, much trail maintenance, a tea party setup in the woods, only 3/4 of the trail was almost dry of water (which sucked but I like the drama), huts to hide from nature in (except from mice; this is a mouse's world and we're only living in it!), and someone drew chalk penises on the sidewalk for what I can presume was my arrival.
I actually walked a wee bit more than the 'proper' length of the trail. I started in a town called Powell River that's at the 50km mark on the official trail. By starting there I walked up trail to the north end of the SCT, so adding 50km before turning around 180 degrees and winding back down all the way past the familiar chalk penises, to the southern end of the trail.
I very much enjoyed my time over these 11 days. I am not one to fully compare my experiences on different long distance trails as a whole - they all kind of blur together anyways. But I will say that all this box-ticking was really really great and isn't always the case on long distance trails. When I look into the murky pond of memories to do my reflections, I get moments of it clearing almost perfectly, and there I see myself on trail smiling at a stranger as they hand me an apple on trail, and I remember that I felt like I must have been the luckiest little slug in the woods along the SCT. I also feel like a lucky little slug in this very moment because thanks to past-Ross, I have things written about my journey from when I was actually on my journey. They are shared below, and now I can go back to The Office. Enjoy!
xoxo, The Gay Man Walking