Saturday, May 30, 2015

Frontenac Hiking Trip Reflection

Frontenac Hiking Trip Reflection
Class: Mr.Brouwer PAD2O
By: Fatima Abdul-Kader
Thursday, April 30th, 2015.

The PAD20 Frontenac trip was my first ever hiking trip! The hiking trip was amazing and immensely intense that occurred Monday 27th, Tuesday 28th, and Wednesday 29th. Whilst hiking, I was constantly persevered and determined to keep up with the other group members, make it to the lookouts and the campsites to eat lunch or supper and finally rest. My group members were Emmy, Emily, Sophia, and Caylee. My group was completely prepared for equipment such as hiking gear, tents, sleeping bags, utensils, plates, food, and hygiene products. We also were dressed accordingly to the weather for the three days of the trip, and had separated our sleeping area with two tents; one for me and Sophia and the other one for Emmy, Emily, and Caylee.

On Monday April 27th 2015, Mr.Brouwers PAD20 class began a hiking trip to Frontenac. We began our journey at the Frontenac park office where one of their newest members performed a speech to our class about Frontenac’s surroundings and wildlife. We then headed off the bus to start our hike near Arab Lake and along Big Salmon Lake road. After an hour into the hike, the back of my foot started to get sore, but I ignored it as just hiking fatigue and I persisted on heading forth. When anguish had overcame me, I took a look at my foot and discovered a blister had already formed and popped as said by Mr.Brouwer, Mrs.Trumpower, and the two accompanying teachers (one male, one female). The male teacher had given me a blister band-aid, which relieved the pain a lot and kept me on my feet to a somewhat normal pace. The male teacher gave me crocs to travel in for the 
results of  feeling more comfortable during the hike. We stopped along the Salmon Lake lookout to rejuvenate ourselves by taking a break, refill our water bottles with purification tablets and eat some snacks (trail mix and dried apricots). We had taken the long route along Bufflehead trail. After a long excruciating hike along Birch Lake towards campsite twelve, we finally made it! The class had to now split up along with the four teachers, of those who would stay at campsite twelve and who would go to campsite nine. My group along with a few others decided to stay at campsite twelve with Mrs.Trumpower and (male teacher), and the rest of my classmates would hike a bit longer to reach campsite nine. Though we knew in the morning that my group would have a longer hike than the groups at campsite nine and that we would have to wake up earlier. We finally relished in the moment of completing thirteen kilometers of our hiking trip and tended to our tasks at our campsite. Sophia and I set up our tent while Emily, Emmy and Caylee set up theirs. With it being my first time setting a tent up, I learned fairly quickly at doing the task itself. We took out some food from our hiking packs and set it on the bench. While Emmy started heating up our grilled cheese for dinner, Sophia, Emily, Caylee and I searched for firewood. Once we collected enough our group ate the grilled cheese and cooked a few hotdogs over the fire. After, we began a communal fire where all the other groups attended, and each individual collected firewood every once in a while whilst Caylee and I attended to feeding the raging fire. We roasted marshmallows along with our friends and had a joyful time together. Once nightfall fell, I played a game of cards, and Emily and Emmy hung our food up upon a tree to avoid small animals from stealing our resources. Later, the rest of us headed off to bed once the raging fire had subsided and left nothing but ash. I had a rough time sleeping because it seemed as though there was something clawing at the tent, but once I got used to the constant sound of the unknown animal, I fell off into a deep sleep.

The next morning Tuesday April 28th, I woke up to the bright rays glimpsing through the tent and birds chirping at 6:30 a.m. sharp. I gathered information within my knowledge of understanding in the hour of my wake that it was probably just a beaver collecting wood during the night and had I not been paranoid, I would have fell asleep much sooner. Afterwards, we all got up and started to prepare breakfast, which was croissants with nutella, some blueberries and raspberries, and hash browns. The breakfast was delicious and then my group got ready to pack up our belongings and tents. Around 8:30 a.m., our groups left campsite twelve and headed toward where the other groups were, at campsite nine. Once we got there, we left a while after and started our hike to campsite four and five. It was a long and enduring hike with a blister, but I persevered through the worst. We stopped at a mine halfway through our hike and ventured to the forest to find to discover left behind items of old mines. Everyone then took a rest and ate some snacks. When everybody had rested, we moved on towards our destination. The weather was very windy and cold that day but when we hiked upon areas where there was no shade, it seemed as though we were in the Sahara desert. Alas, once again we stopped at a lookout with extraordinary beauty, we climbed upon large rocks to get to where we stood upon a cliff with a lake just below us called Salmon Lake. Alot of bees occupied that area, and some of my classmates even saw snakes which I was unable to see because I didn't bring my glasses. Not once during the trip had the other lookouts been compared to the significant view of the vast lake I saw during that moment. Salmon Lake glistened upon the sun's rays like little gems, blinding the human eye from seeing down into the depths of the water. Once you looked upon the water, you could see the lake reaches a fair distance up until where the trees lined the boundaries, where our view of the lake beyond those trees in the distance could not reach. We finally succeeded in making it to campsite five which was just below the lookout. To campsite five it was about a 6.5 km finish, but alas it was not time to rest because it was my group's turn to walk a further distance towards campsite four. After a bit of a hike to campsite four, we finally made it! Each group member rushed off to find an appropriate and adequate location in which their tents would be placed.  We were still placed upon a campsite along Salmon Lake and beyond the boundaries of trees it was also as breath taking as it was from the lookout. We proceeded to do the same task we had done the previous day, once we found our platform we took out all our food and placed it on the bench. We made veggie stir-fry, it was extremely delicious that I had to ask for seconds. Afterwards, another group had a communal fire and we joined in. We ate marshmallows once again and soon afterwards snoozed off to sleep.

The final day of our hiking trip was April 29th, we woke up around 7 a.m. I had fallen asleep fairly quickly during the night and had not heard a “peep”. For breakfast, my group had oatmeal with some fruits such as blueberries and raspberries. We then packed up our tent and belongings to begin our hike towards the buses. It was very hot this day and everyone was tired. My class made it to our final lookout upon some rocks and we took a quick break. Once everyone had some water and felt somewhat rejuvenated, we recommenced our hike. We finally made it to our destination having had about a four kilometer walk. Everyone was fatigued and sat down to eat their lunch at this location. For lunch my group had tortillas with lettuce and caesar salad dressing. Then Mr.Brouwer announced that we had to take out all the class supplies such as tents, hiking bags, insulate mats, etc. and set them into piles, so that the next class could supply themselves with these items. Once the bus arrived, the other PAD2O class got off and we got on. I was very tired so I had a short a nap on the bus. Finally about two hours later, we arrived at school (Cairine Wilson) just before school hours ended!

           Overall the Frontenac hiking trip was a positive experience. I learned that it is quite comfortable walking in crocs and I didn’t have the displeasure while walking in them. While wearing crocs, I was able to do about everything everyone else could do and more! I also learned to not spit the toothpaste right outside the tent. Therefore after one night of being terrified of the small animals, I went to the outhouse and spat the toothpaste there. I enjoyed viewing the beautiful scenery at the lookouts and having communal fires. What I enjoyed the least was having a blister whilst hiking. Next time, what I would do differently during the hiking trip is take a few more pit stops, so I am not focusing on just getting to our destination and panting all the time because of exhaustion. I would totally do it again, it was extremely fun and adventurous, and it was a stress free related event!

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