Saturday afternoon, BDH suggested we go for a walk.
Now, this is big, because BDH has busted everything. He’s torn ligaments in his knees. He’s broken ankles. He’s got orthotics to help with his arches. Walking? Not his favourite thing to do. So when he suggested that we pack up Stinkerbelle and walk to the local Staples store to run some errands… well, I was more than happy to agree.
Walking to Staples is a hike. It’s probably 5 km there and back. I mentioned this to BDH because, well, he is not one with the walking. He thought he would be fine, so we gave That Baby her 3 pm bottle, slathered her in sunscreen, and set out with our old bargoon jogging stroller.
We trudged along, and about 2/3 of the way there we came to a little park. BDH suggested we stop and play at the playground, and Stinkerbelle got her first ride on the swings (which we captured on video – YAY!) and the slide. Once that was done, and we sat down to have a little drink, BDH admitted that it might have been a bit too ambitious for his first walk, and perhaps we should head for home. So we did.
Now, I have mentioned before that our house backs onto conservation land. More accurately, it is actually a 27 hectare area of watershed land that was apparently funded by the money saved in the first year of newspaper recycling with our local blue box program. So, yeah, I live in a green town full of green space. And this one is forested and home to deer and other wildlife and full of trails.
So, as we passed the entrance to one of the trails on our walk home, BDH suggested we shortcut through the conservation area. It would take us away from the major thoroughfares we came on, with all the road noise and whatnot, which would be nice since we hadn’t walked in the conservation for years. This would also be considerably cooler than the hot afternoon sun. So, since we had brought That Baby in her SuperStroller, I thought it was a grand idea.
And it was.
Until we got lost.
Well, we didn’t get lost exactly. I mean, we were on a trail. A very nice trail too, complete with boardwalk and chirping birds and everything. But the trail did not come to a left turn as we needed it to do, and pretty soon we found ourself exiting the trail and ending up at a place we call Dog Park. It’s a leash-free zone created from a disused road on the edge of industrial park. And it’s on the extreme southwestern border of our conservation area.
We live on the northeastern side.
So. We had somehow managed to walk clear across the conservation.
So we thought, alrighty then, we’ll follow the nice well-tended gravel walking path for a bit and see where the hell we are, exactly. So we walked for awhile, and soon it became clear we were getting further south, to the southern-most border of the city. And this was not good.
We walked on a little more, and finally saw a path leading north, back into the conservation. At this point we thought, what the heck, and we took it. And it headed north for awhile, and it was good.
Until it veered east, and the next out we found was in a subdivision on the extreme southeastern side of the conservation.
Back in we went. SURELY we’d be able to find a path back to the north from here.
Well, there was a path heading north-ish, but basically stayed on the southeastern perimeter of the park. It was at this point that we said, “Screw this”. And the next sign of sidewalk we saw in subdivisionland, we were gone baby gone.
We trudged through this unknown subdivision, until it eventually led out to the major thoroughfare that marks the eastern perimeter of the conservation area. From here, it had to be a good 2 or 3 km home.
By this time we were fighting the clock. Stinkerbelle would need supper very shortly, not to mention be ready for bed. And we were getting tired to the point of being punchy, as well as seriously blistered.
Finally, the hill on which our home is perched — like a glittering prize on that day, I can tell you — was in sight. We trudged on, planning the 3 billion pounds of convenience food we were going to eat when we finally got there.
And as we stepped in the door, after effectively completely skirting 27 hectares, 3 hours from when we had started, I asked BDH, “So… want to go for a walk tomorrow?”
I cannot repeat what he told me to do.