You’ve got to be kidding me.
For all the worries, and the concerns. The hustle. The training. The money that went into things I know I’ll only ever use once – like gaitors, and ice treads, and rear-facing red lights. To the hours I spent on treadmills, and bemoaning my physical shape. To getting an oil change on the car, and fixing a crack in the windshield so that I’d be safe driving to Kitchener. To the blog posts, and smoothies, and plans. And social media posts. And psyching myself up to actually pull on a pair of hiking boots (that I drove an hour to acquire) to make it happen just for the weather to put a stop in my plans. I had accommodations. We were up early. We took the list and checked it twice. OHIP card packed. Waivers signed. Extra wool socks. Second-hand thrifts for new stay dry items of clothing. I even went to work in my tracks, so that I’d be comfy to drive down this afternoon right from the station.
You’re kidding. You’ve got to be kidding.
We knew that the snow was coming in this weekend. Hell, I work in radio. I spent most of the week giving off the weather reports. But I’ve been making this haul up and down the 401 to Kitchener and back since 2017. I know this trip better than I know most other things, including the dimensions of the perfect lemon wedge for a shot of tequila – and lord knows I love tequila.
We looked out this morning, as my mother-in-law didn’t make it up our driveway because of the snow. I followed Jan into the city, and cussed him out in my mind for taking back roads, where I fishtailed. I watched Twitter like a hawk. I watched the weather even closer. I had to leave by 2pm, and by 1pm, I’d conceded and accepted defeat.
As Jan and I traversed the 401 in our pickup, we were met with an accident WB 401 before Odessa. Slowdowns on boths sides of the highway. As we headed the other direction later, we’re confident it was an accident that had the EB lanes at a halt. Either that, or folks were just creeping and taking their time.
I thought about what would have happened had this been my weekend with Kid C back home. I’d never, ever cancelled going down on a Friday in the weather. Why was I backing out on the trip now?
Oh, wait a second. Yes, I have skipped out due to weather and left early Saturday. I have on many occasions in the two winters I’ve spent here in Kingston. Not remembering that was a convenience as I bemoaned not being able to make the trip today.
And yeah, I could go tomorrow! And catch up with the team! Except, the trek kicks off at 7am. And I’d probably not leave till 8am. And try to catch them at noon. But have you ever tried to drive 4 hours, then hop out of a vehicle and hike for the next 20? Not a thing. No amount of training is going to convince me that I’d handle that.
So what’s next, here. Well, for starters, I am so, so sad. I am so disappointed. I worked really hard, and I fought like hell to be physically prepared for tomorrow. I don’t back down from a challenge, and in fairness, I didn’t. The weather made my decision for me. Even if I had left this afternoon, my little red sedan (that’s no bigger than a lawn mower), would have probably got caught in the flow of the delays of the 401 this afternoon. And I wasn’t confident I wanted to be on the road for five, six plus hours it would have taken to Waterloo Region, had I made it successfully at all.
Again. What a bummer.
I’m so disappointed in all of this. And I’m taking it extremely hard. Tomorrow, I’m going to try to make up for it at least a little. Jan and I are taking the girls down Sydenham along the trail right down the road from our village, and we’ll do this hike in solidarity with the Waterloo Region Trekkers who are (hopefully) peacefully asleep, getting ready for the morning.
— c ☆