WEEK 7 Trip Report
Bruce Trail Expedition 2009
The 7th week on the Bruce trail was certainly the most challenging for adventurer Wolf Starchild. The week started late due to transportation issues.
Heading out on Tuesday afternoon, Wolfmaan made a trek through the Mulmur area to come across a pleasant surprise – the Mulmer Hut! Not listed on any maps, this hut was a dilapidated version of Appalachian Trail overnight huts. “The Bruce Trail should be full of these small overnight huts” Wolfmaan commented. “It wasn’t in the best of shape, but was better than nothing at all”. Sadly, the Mulmur hut came after only a few hours travel, and not at the end of the first day.
Continuing up the trail past abandoned vehicles, historic churches and more up hills, Wolfmaan came to the Pine River area. “I love abandonments” Wolfmaan commented, “I’m really fascinated by Urbex” he said, better known as Urban Exploration or visiting and photographing abandoned places around the world.
Along Pine River lies another abandonment on the Bruce Trail – part of the Dufferin Light and Power company. Shortly after visiting the abandoned power company, Wolfmaan said he was running low on water and needed to use the creek to get more. “I noticed the area had a slight musty, almost sewage like smell, but I was in an old pine forest and it could have been anything…” Wolfmaan said. Old pine forests are known for low lying swampy areas which often carry a decaying odour.
That’s when everything changed. “I examined the water, it was fast flowing, and clear with evidence of life in it like algae and kelp” he mentioned, “so I threw in my MSR Sweetwater filter and filled up my 3L hydration bladder as well as Luka’s then continued on our way as we always have”. Sadly chemicals in the water won’t filter or boil out.
Later that day Wolfmaan reports feeling a little light-headed and ill “It was a long day, and I was getting tired” he said as he was setting up camp for the night. The next day, Wolfmaan reported feeling a little uneasy but attributed that to the large amount of up hill and heat in the area.
“I ended up drinking about 4L of that water I had filtered, and was starting to feel increasingly ill” he said. “I felt it was in Luka and my best interest to request extraction early in the event either of us needed to goto hospital”.
Shortly after completing the Dufferin Highlands section of the Bruce Trail, Wolfmaan Requested extraction, he had a family member pick him up and return him to his home in Niagara-on-the-Lake for the weekend. “If I’d passed out somewhere I couldn’t have pressed the emergency button on my Satellite tracking unit, and no one would have known.”
With less than 15 days left, Wolfmaan is adamant he’s not giving up, just taking an extra day to recuperate and will be back in action for the final days of his trip.
“If nothing went wrong, it wouldn’t be called adventure, now would it?” Wolfmaan laughed.
Wolfmaan will be the first person in the history of the Bruce Trail to complete it barefoot. His trek ends in August when his Leave of Absence from his employer, Sitel in St. Catharines ends. More details and photos available at http://www.wolfmaan.com