I am SO exhausted I don’t know if I can even muster up the energy to type this post. My husband and I are veteran hikers with literally thousands of miles logged into our hiking log. Yes, we keep a hiking log much like scuba divers keep a diving log. We ventured into Canada to Parc National du Mont-Orford with the intention of hiking Mt. Orford on the hiking trail not the ski trail. The ranger convinced us otherwise and recommended a hike up to a lookout point (about half way up the trail to Mt. Orford.) It’s a 3.1 mile hike (converted from km) and the ranger said it would take about 6 hours round trip. I asked how many kilometers and he said, “It takes about 6 hours round trip.) We’ve never been told a time for a hike before. We smiled, thanked him, got in the car and looked at each other both saying at the same time, “He doesn’t know how we hike!”
We figured 3 hours, maybe 3.5 because we were hiking in a much lower elevation (used to the Rockies) and we’ve hiked much longer trails faster than that. So off we set on an easy pedestrian/bike path for a mile before we hit the trail. Basically, the trail goes through the woods all the way up to Mt. Orford. We started out with an instant incline and big rock steps leading the way. Still no problem, because we are used to initial steep ascents until we get up the trail where it levels out. Big rock steps…higher than a normal stair height. And if there was a section without the big rocks there were 6-10″ rocks scattered on the trail to dodge along with tree roots everywhere…the nasty kind that have the dirt worn out from under and make a perfect stirrup to slip your foot into and then trip and fall-we’ve done that before.
We kept climbing up rock stairs and climbing and climbing and basically climbed those rock stairs for 2.1 miles all the way up to our lookout point, Pic d l’Ours. It took us 2.5 hours to hike 2.1 miles-a very slow hike! Usually, we hike down at least a half hour faster than our ascent time. NOT the case today. It actually took us the same amount of time to get down because the rock steps were so steep…and scarier when looking how far one can fall if one trips. So while we could have hiked faster descending we had to be more cautious. It was a 5 hour hike! We did beat the ranger’s estimate but not by much!
It was a hard, slow hike but the 360 degree vista view was wonderful and the challenge was worth the climb.
We could see Mt. Orford…right-over-there.
It looked so close but we didn’t dare try after the climb we had…thank goodness. And so, I’ll sign off and literally fall into bed to let my aching body have a good night’s rest, and it’s only 7:30 pm! What a challenging hike!!!