By Kay Knox
Trekking, suggests my dictionary, is making one’s way arduously. Those of us dealing with hip or knee replacement surgery know what that feels like – even for short distances.
Finally home from the hospital with a new hip, my first “walk” took me down our six front steps and all the way across the driveway – on crutches.
After touching the garage door to prove I’d made it, I returned the same way, happy to reach my wheelie walker in the house.
Each day saw me out there, adding a few more steps each time. With my surgery date now seven weeks behind me, I have “graduated” to using a walking stick inside; outside, my trusty hiking poles propel me, not quite so slowly and arduously, several blocks.
Visiting dogs are also pleased to be taken out on local lanes once again. We aren’t the only ones trespassing for the tracks of deer, squirrels, rabbits and evidence of a raven conference show up in the snow.
Oh – other humans and their canines obviously enjoy those flat, clear trails as much as I do.
Meantime, of course, the regular Friday morning hikes proceed without me, but thanks to an email from Bonnie each Thursday evening,
I can picture their route each time. Margaret’s photos in Facebook jog my memory and show what it looked like that particular day.
But I don’t miss out completely thanks to the newest tradition, which has the group going for coffee and goodies upon their return.
John was my faithful chauffeur until just recently; now I can drive us to meet them to hear about the day’s “real” trek.
“It was so misty on the Flat Iron trail we were lucky it parted enough so we could see the waterfall across the valley from one viewpoint,” they told me.
“Look at these photos of the huge Inukshuk way up on the Candle Creek trails,” I heard another time, as I drooled and hoped I’d make it up there someday to see that recent addition.
“Good thing you weren’t with us today,” said an unusually weary person on another Friday.
“We went up beside Spahats Creek to the former prison. After we passed the well, many fallen trees criss-crossed the trail so bushwhacking was essential and difficult.
Perhaps even worse was seeing the disastrous state of those formerly useful buildings.
Between vandalism and a fire – it’s just a mess.”
So, does visiting such familiar places in memory and imagination still count as trekking? Even if it doesn’t, gathering in local eating places like the Strawberry Moose, A&W, and DLCC for the Challengers Soup Kitchen makes it all worthwhile – and encourages me to keep walking.
It gets better: “Bring your snowshoes to your next appointment,” instructed the physiotherapist. Real treks are on the horizon…