Treetop Trekking

The day dawned dark, cool and wet, but was forecast to improve.  I met Patti for our Saturday morning run and increased our running to 90 seconds running, one minute walking.  We repeated that 16 times which led to 60% more running that last week.  I had planned to get out running in the week, but between cycling and stair climbing didn’t have the energy.

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After a hot chocolate at Second Cup I headed home to pick up Michael, Trystan and Owen to head to skating lessons.  From there we attended the penultimate Farmers’ Market for the season.  We bought a basket of pears, some sausages and samosas.  We also had lunch and tea at Tea by Daniel.  Then we left Michael to make his own way home on foot and headed to Heart Lake Conservation Area for Treetop Trekking.

I won two passes in the Region of Peel’s Let Your Green Show contest.  Trystan and Owen both wanted to trek and Lara, Jason and Ryan also joined us.

In summer 2010, Megan, Alun, Trystan and I went to Quebec to go whitewater rafting and to ziplining at Chutes Coulonge.  We had a terrific time and when we returned I looked for courses in our area.  I found one in Bracebridge, so in the autumn Megan, Alun and I along with our friends Gary and Jacob went trekking at the Eaglecrest Aereal Park  adjacent to Santa’s village. It was fun, but tiring.  The trekking is more effort and less exciting than the zipping, but still fun.

We arrived, as instructed, at 1pm, half an hour before our scheduled climb time, to allow for the signing of releases and fitting of equipment.  It was raining lightly and cool at just 12 degrees, however the rain soon stopped.  Unfortunately, a large group scheduled at the same time, did not arrive until almost 1:30 and staff allowed them to hold everyone back.  Once everyone was ready we were taken to a practice area and shown how to use the equipment before demonstrating that we could do so.

 

 

 

 

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Here is Lara practicing.

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When climbing one must be attached to a safely wire by one carabiner at all times.  There is only one person allowed on a ladder at a time, two (or two plus a guide) on a platform, one on a zip line, or two on a bridge.

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Then we were sent to the Great Blue Heron twin 300 metre zip lines over Heart Lake and back.  There were about ten people waiting to climb up to the platform to access the zip line.  None seemed very dextrous at the task of climbing the ladder and moving their carabiners in a leapfrog fashion from one safety loop to the next as they climbed.  That, combined with one climber who froze on the ladder for several minutes before having to climb back down, made for a long wait to get started.

Owen went first across the lake and screamed all the way.  He claimed it was with excitement.  I followed, then Trystan, then the others.

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Then we had to climb up a few bridges to gain elevation for the return trip.

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After finishing the Great Blue Heron, we headed back to the treetop trekking area to begin trekking through the various courses:  Chickadee, Sandpiper, Screech Owl, Osprey and Kingfisher.  Owen and I completed the first three.  Many of the bridges had a wire to clip onto and one wire for each hand to hold.  We were slowed down a bit by Owen becoming scared on the first bridge we encountered without the side wires, which was more difficult to navigate.  He did later navigate the same type of bridge on the third course without getting scared.  Lara, Jason, Ryan and Trystan got through the first four courses.  We ran out of time and none of us got to Kingfisher.  The ten years old would not have been allowed on that course anyway.

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It was a fun afternoon, but I was quite cold by the time we left.  We dropped Trystan off at a birthday party at Trinity Commons on the way home.  I had a hot bath to warm up and soothe my wrist which had become a bit achy over the course of the afternoon.

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About Lisa Stokes

I am a stay-at-home mother of four whose hobbies include photography, quilting and cycling. I have recently started to advocate for better cycling infrastructure in my community. I am the photographer at the Brampton Quilters' Guild.
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