bobby and I have never been an outdoorsy couple. Even though he makes yearly fishing/camping trips with friends and I love photographing nature, we generally opt for dinner & a movie over hiking when faced with a date night dilemma.
But hike we did yesterday afternoon at Forks of the Credit Provincial Park, and thank goodness we decided to do that rather than stay home and watch Indiana Jones on TBS for the 40th time. It was the perfect opportunity for us to spend quality time together as a family and really drink in Canada's natural beauty.
The park is nearly 700 acres of woodland, lakes and meadows situated along the Credit River. It's part of the legendary Bruce Trail, Canada's oldest and longest footpath.
We opted to take the Meadow Trail, as it seemed the kindest to novices while still offering beautiful views of various lakes (not to mention the gorgeous labrador retrievers wading in them, which I couldn't resist snapping a few photos of).
We began down the Meadow Trail with our trusty guide dog in tow. She was brave, carefully stepping around the rocks and pebbles along the dirt path, but we feared the rugged road would wreak havoc on her paws so we carried her until we reached the meadow where she could run free.
We set up camp in the middle of the meadow trail, which was probably completely inconsiderate to other hikers, but all the picnic tables down near the water were taken and we needed to sit somewhere. A few travellers passing by made jokes about the fact that we laid a blanket in the dead center of the trail but it was in good nature and they just walked around us.
We had a homemade lunch of ham & cheese hoagies and potato chips while taking in the breathtaking views of the park.
After lunch we rolled up the blanket and quietly wandered along the trail. It was thrilling to watch Maple run alongside Bobby, completely free and far away from the basement cage she was living in just a few months ago.
We walked along, carefully watching Maple for signs of heat exhaustion. Although the weather was only in the high 70s, Maple isn't used to being outdoors for so long and we didn't want to take any chances.
When we feared that her brain might explode from over excitement, we headed back. Bobby fed her water from his hands and then I slung her over my shoulder and carried her back down the bumpy path to the car.
Within moments of being in the car, Maple crawled into Bobby's lap and passed out. It was a heartwarming and rewarding trip, one that we're eager to make again, but not before buying Maple some all-terrain booties. With a name like Maple, she should exemplify Canadian tradition! And for our family, that now includes afternoons spent taking in the beautiful outdoors.