La Cloche Day 2: Reflect On It and It Will Come
Beep, beep, beep!
I groggily opened my eyes and reached for my watch. 6:30 am.
All sounded calm outside, so I gingerly slipped out of my hammock tent to see what was happening with the sunrise situation. Hm, not much.
I was super tired from yesterday’s long and steady sojourn to Little Superior Lake in the rain. So, I tied up the tent fly to get a view of outside, and nestled back into my sleeping bag.
I lay quietly for a while, staring out at the clouds and the trees. A slight chill swept in and out with the wind.
I had originally had this crazy plan to wake up at some ungodly hour and hike to The Crack in the dark, so that I could get a photo of the sunrise.
But after yesterday’s challenge, that plan went out the window. Instead, I decided that today’s intention would be to Reflect.
Day 2 Intention: Reflect
Don’t always feel pressured that you have to be going somewhere or doing something. There is value in just sitting and being, and taking in the beauty around you. Use these moments when time slows down to reflect on where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to go from here.
The moody, brooding sky certainly set the stage for some introspective reflection. I took out my notebook and pondered at the blank page.
I thought about the past year and a half, and how time had both flown and been filled with so many new experiences.
I had gotten laid off, moved around a few times, and traveled to Cuba and Peru by myself.
Now, I was ending the final chapter of my eight-year career.
The coming year would certainly bring with it another wave of big events. Already, doing this Loop solo was a huge milestone for me.
Volunteering on a vineyard in Tuscany was right around the corner, as well as developing a new website where I’d share my experiences in nature.
But the most important reflection was how I had learned over the past year how to live in the present, and to make decisions based on what was honest for me right now.
Sometimes that required letting go of the past, and of fears and uncertainties about the future.
Lately, I had been feeling more and more that time was ticking, and that every single day was so precious and not to be wasted being unhappy or even just mediocre.
And that’s why I was sitting out here on Little Superior Lake, as part of this journey around the La Cloche Silhouette Trail.
Because it was out here that I felt completely alive.
It was early afternoon and the clouds were breaking in the distance after a rain shower had hit.
Hot beams of sunlight cast down from the heavens. The light glistened and shimmered across the waters like a dance.
I reflected on the awesomeness of solo camping, but also acknowledged that I missed being able to share the experiences of the day with camping buddies.
For now, I had a different set of companions to spend the afternoon with.
A chipmunk chattered out a laugh and its friend called back a few trees down. A chorus of crickets chirped merrily, filling the lake like a gentle symphony.
The wind echoed as it crossed the sky from the east and a breeze followed, rustling the leaves and cooling my skin.
And the trees — ever majestic — stood at attention at the horizon, green and still. As crazy as it might sound, I had come to feel an emotional connection with trees. Sometimes, I felt like crying just looking at them. Heck, sometimes I did cry.
My bonding time with the trees was suddenly broken by nearby voices. I got up and peeked around the corner.
Two hikers had wandered into my campsite, and were hesitantly approaching me.
“Hi,” I greeted them.
“Hi,” they greeted me back.
They were Cameron and Matt, and they needed a place to crash.
They were supposed to be at H53 on Little Sheguiandah Lake tonight — a very long ways away — but had been delayed helping an injured hiker at Silver Lake.
Of course, in hiking comradeship, I invited them to stay.
Matt, Cam and I ended up sitting around for a while, chatting about hiking the trail, our career paths and playing music.
After all the reflection and quiet, I enjoyed laughing at their stories and jokes.
Both played in bands. Cameron was doing an electrical apprenticeship, while Matt was studying biology and indigenous studies.
Like me though, he felt like he was at a juncture in his life where maybe he should be following another path. What exactly, he wasn’t sure, but nature was where he was happiest too.
It felt pretty surreal that I was now hanging out with two other campers on my site, especially after I had just been reflecting earlier on the joys of experiencing the outdoors with company.
Matt surmised that in any other situation we probably wouldn’t have stopped to talk with each other — which I had to agree with.
Out here though, it was easy to make fast friends given the unspoken camaraderie you had with fellow hikers on the trail.
It was nearing dinner time and I gladly accepted the guys’ invitation to partake in some hot lentil and rice stew.
We ended the evening sitting back out on the rocks, passing around the little bottle of whisky I had packed, while a full, bright moon beamed down on the darkened lake.
Matt pulled out a large wooden flute that he had picked up from a local craft instrument maker. As we gazed out onto the lake covered in both light and shadows, Matt played a slow, entrancing tune on his flute.
It was a beautiful, unreal moment that I knew could only ever happen on an adventure like this one!
>> Read the next post in the La Cloche Silhouette Trail solo adventure series: Commit to Confidence