If You Go into the Woods Today …

 

Walk on the Wild Side

Walk on the Wild Side

This morning I went for a long walk around Waskesui Lake in Prince Albert National Park up in northern Saskatchewan. It was windy and cool and moody and beautiful and this is when I realized that solo travellers, especially women, are short changed in the tranquil hiking department. First off, I was paranoid about bears. If there had been two of us then I wouldn’t have been scared as two are twice the size of one. Alone I felt like a walking appetizer.

Strolling down the beach was fine but when I started hiking on a secluded trail I freaked myself out. At every bend I thought I’d turn to find a bear looking for lunch. To warn all bears to scamoosh I started whistling and clapping my hands while walking (yah, that’ll scare him) and really hoped I wouldn’t run into anyone while  doing my solo entertainment act.

Then I started thinking about other predators, namely human, and of all the women who have been killed on trails, like Chandra Levy who disappeared while jogging in a park in Washington DC in 2001 and Mary Pinchot Meyers, the mistress of John F Kennedy, who was shot twice in the head while walking in 1964. This sucks. What are we supposed to do, give up enjoying nature all together unless a bodyguard is involved?

Any bears around here?

Any bears around here?

I’m not sure of the answer. In this case, I backtracked and stuck to the beach. Obviously a deer was thinking the same thing because I followed its tracks all the way back. But I can’t stop living my life and I refuse to give up solo hiking altogether. In Toronto I love walking through the ravines that slice through the city like rough green grooves, but I’ll compromise. I’ll walk on weekends or when other people are getting off work and walking their dogs. In the evening I’ll stick to city streets. Oh, wait. Is that dangerous, too? At least I won’t run into a bear.

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2 Responses

  1. There is obviously a lot to know about this. There are some good points here. 🙂

  2. […] dangerous is it to go off on your own? I wrote about hiking alone a few weeks back after walking in the wilds of northern Saskatchewan. I wrote about being scared of […]

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