Wednesday, June 12, 2024

What were we thinking?

 Pistolet Bay Provincial Park - June 4 to June 14, 2024

The end of the road in Saint Anthony is Fishing Point where the old lighthouse is located. This is another popular tour bus stop. We wonder where they come from because the nearest airport is at least 5 hours away. We don't recall any village along the way that could accommodate 40 or so passengers overnight. Oh well, according to no cruise ships are due in Saint Anthony today. But, during the 3 hours we were there, at least 5 tour busses showed up. Fortunately we only had to momentarily endure one, before embarking on our hike away from the swarm.

EJ had suggested we visit this area while the weather was reasonably nice. There was no rain in the forecast, which was nice. The temperatures were supposed to be near 50F. So we bundled up and headed of for a nice hike along the coastline.

It was pretty windy so we were waring our wind breakers. That 50F temperature feels pretty cold when it's blowing about 10 of 15 mph. Then sum fule (me) suggested we go find a geocache that is nearby. EJ said "I bet it's up there".

And she was right!

At the bottom we meet a local who is concerned about our physical capabilities and cautions us about the steps. Too narrow, sloping backwards, makes balancing hard, etc. We thank him for the information and he heads up the trail never to be seen again (at least by us).

We tighten our shoes, slurp down some water, suck on some Jolly Ranchers and mentally prepare ourselves for the ascent. And yup, the sign says 476 steps to go up 550 feet. 

After about 5 minutes of climbing, EJ asks me if I'm counting the steps???? I doing all I can huffing and puffing and she wants to know if I'm counting steps? So I tell her no, I'm not. Eventually we find a step that someone, obviously much younger and fitter than we, has marked with the number 100. We assume that means that this is the 100th step from the bottom, only 376 to go. Oh god! Taking many, many breaks we continue our ascent. We begin to wonder, where is step 200? Those younger, fitter folks didn't just number one step and then stop, did they? Maybe they aren't as fit as we gave them credit for! Onward and upward we trudge. We get passed by a slender athletic person almost running up the steps. 

Oh joy! What is this? A step with another number?

Hey, we're doing better than we though! 300, woohoo! Upward we continue our struggle. After another eternity we encounter the same slender fit person on her way down who informs us we are almost to step 399. We wonder is it too late to turn back? We are almost there! Will we make it? More slurps of water and another Jolly Rancher, we continue or climb.

Every time we turn a corner and look up, there are more steps. Finally, we make it.

They've even posted a sign up here showing us which way it is to Florida.

We find our cache, make our mark and return to begin our descent. This part goes much easier, but our leg muscles protest. They are quivering and protesting with every step. But, knowing we must prevail, we eventually reach the bottom.

Success! This is really gonna hurt tomorrow. But for now, a cold beer is just what we need.

A few days ago I met the owner of the Ragnarock Northern Brewery as he was delivering a case of beer to the Northern Delight Restaurant. I asked him about his dark beers and he confessed that he had none available right now, but he should have some ready to tap next week (which is now). He said he would have a stout and a red ready.

As it turns out, he had no dark beers available when he said he would, but he did have a new red that I tried. It was quite tasty. Our time here on the GNP (Great Northern Peninsula) is done. It is now time to head to Puffin and Whale territory.

Obligatory cat picture follows...

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