Sunday, May 3, 2015

May Frontenac Weekend

Not a running weekend, but...I can blog about hiking and backpacking if I want to.  MWUAHAHAHAHAHAHA


So, Neb and I got up bright and early (5 am) Saturday morning to get to Frontenac for the park open at 8:30.

My pack weighed 9kg, or for those who don't like metric (AND WHY NOT!) 19.8lbs.  That's with food and water, so it's not as bad as you'd think.  2L of water in Nalgenes.

This trip I decided to try to ZPacks Hexamid with Neb, which I've used plenty before, but not with the dog.  I figured he'd be good in it.

We started off with a plan to do the southern perimeter of the park, head to the north side of Big Salmon, meander over to the Bufflehead trail, then end up at our campsite at cluster 7.  ~34.5k.

About 5, 6k in, I was like ' is very hot' (over 20C).  I was wearing pants tucked into socks (there are TICKS in Frontenac, and I will die if I get a tick, though I brought my tick lasso recently purchased from MEC, and Neb wears Advantix which is a tick repellent), so I was sweating like nobody's business, and Neb, true to Husky form, was slowing down - first hot hike of the season (why is that dog not better at camping in the winter....sheesh).

At 7.8kish, we got to a nice pond - we were past Flagpole Hill - and I thought - what am I in a big rush for?  I was worried about our speed, which had averaged 4.9k/hr moving for the first hour, but then I wanted to be good to Neb so I slowed down for him.  I'm not running ultras this year as a stress management technique, and here I am stressing out about pace and not enjoying just being out in the woods.  What the hell, me?  So I sat down, let Neb walk around in the water, we had something to drink, to eat, got more water, and I looked at the map.  Decided to turn around and head to Cedar Trail, which we did, over to Dedication (both new trails for me, yay) to West Arkon to Bufflehead to East Arkon to the campsite.  Got in, had a big drink (I was dehydrated) and got Neb up on his tie out.  He of course immediately went to the fire pit to eat charcoal.

Let me first say the day.  The sun was BEAUTIFUL.  The flowers - beautiful.  And you could see the trilliums come out over the course of the day.  I love spring.  And it was amazing to see the forest floor carpeted in small flowers (I'm not good with plant identification sadly, but they were really pretty).

However - and here, let me say - I have NEVER had trouble setting up the Hexamid before.  It's a tarp, with netting, and you use a hiking pole to put it up.  It's not rocket science, it's a tarp.

But for whatever reason - I could not get the damn thing up right.  The net wouldn't zip close, then I got it closed, but it was all awkward, and the beak wasn't taut, and after 20 minutes I was like 'WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!' and said 'no shelter - fuck it' and packed up, took poor Neb, and hiked out to the car for ~30k on the day.  Decided to stay at the Motel 6 in Kingston (hey they take dogs, don't judge) and managed to hit up the Sydenham LCBO 3 minutes before it closed so had beer for the night.

Derrick saw I was there and was like 'Dude!  You should've told me!' so we made plans for me to have breakfast at their place Sunday.

I had some serious heat rash - still do around my ankles.  Stupid pants and socks.  Stupid ticks.  Enjoyed a quite night with actual TV (how boring TV is...nothing I wanted to watch).

Sunday got up, went to Derrick and Sara's, had breakfast - it was LOVELY to see them and the dogs, and enjoy Sara's delicious homemade granola with almond milk...yum yum yum.  Great folk.  Hadn't seen them since the snowshoe race - gooo Frontenac!

I was going to hike Little or Big Salmon, but then driving to the park I thought - you know what, I haven't spent as much time in the north end of the park - so I drove to Kingsford Dam and we did Tetsmine Loop (I snagged some mica for Jaene).  Was going to do a bit more but a blister on my heel got shirty (I'm not used to wearing hiking boots versus trail runners) and Neb was doing okay but I thought he was a bit tired.

We saw deer, a snapping turtle, birds, and a CHIPMUNK WITH A FROG IN IT'S MOUTH.  I wasn't believing what I was seeing so I stopped and stared - Neb didn't notice it, and the chipmunk wasn't scared - it was probably all 'yeah I'm badass I just killed a frog SUCK IT'.  I googled when I got home, and chipmunks are omnivores known to  kill small frogs.  So there you are.  I learned something today, and I think that's super cool I got to see that.

So all in all, it sucked that I'm a loser about putting up the Hexamid (was planning on the Tarptent next weekend at Killarney, and you'd better believe that's what I'm using), but it was a great weekend of hiking and seeing cool people.  So it all worked out.  Drive back was boring but good.