A retirement first: I have agreed to organize and lead tomorrow’s hike for the ladies in my Canadian Federation of University Women's hiking group.
Up until now I have been reluctant to do this because there is a lot to keep in mind. First you must choose a hiking spot, and there are many things to consider:
- The hike shouldn’t be too long.
- Or too difficult.
- It should be interesting.
- And easy to get to.
The leader also has responsibilities before, during and after the hike. She should:
- Provide a map so that no-one gets lost en route.
- Account for everyone in the group. (I wouldn’t want to lose someone on the track.)
- Take a first aid kit.
- Be knowledgeable about the location.
- Be able to recognize and point out native flowers. (I am somewhat botany challenged, but I can recognize trillium.)
- Recommend a place for tea afterwards.
I have made two reconnoitering trips to check the lay of the land at Scotsdale Farms so I think I have everything covered. Now I will just cross my fingers for decent weather.
But I can’t help thinking about Jane Christmas' travel memoir, What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim, and the ladies who accompanied her on the Camino de Santiago de Compostello. She encountered a host of problems all because she went hiking with a group of women.
Fortunately, there are no one legged hikers in my group, no chatty Cathys and no cliquey back- stabbers. There will likely be no sexual shenanigans.
Past experience leads me to believe that our group will be very well-behaved. All those guidelines will keep us on The Path.