Bay Roberts trail wins praise from au­thor

The Compass - - OPINION -

What does the Bay Roberts Her­itage Trail have in com­mon with the Bruce, Fall­ing Wa­ter, Oak Ridges, Grand Val­ley and Nanabush trails (On­tario), the Canol Her­itage Trail (Western Canada), the Sk­er­wink Trail (Eastern Canada), the Panorama Trail (United States), and the Inca Trail (South Amer­ica)? How about Hadrian’s Wall (North­ern Eng­land), Mount Kil­i­man­jaro (Tan­za­nia), and the Queen Char­lotte Wilder­ness Park (New Zealand)?

The link may be some­what ten­u­ous, but these 12 sites are fea­tured in a new book, “100 Hik­ers 100 Hikes from Tober­mory to Kil­i­man­jaro,” edited by An­drew Ca­mani.

Ac­cord­ing to the pub­lisher’s blurb, “Hik­ers have al­ways been in­spired by the won­ders of na­ture’s di­verse land­scapes.

“Equally com­pelling are these … sto­ries writ­ten by … hik­ers from var­i­ous backgrounds, pro­fes­sions and life­styles, who present their own in­ter­pre­ta­tions of their in­di­vid­ual ex­pe­ri­ences.”

Ca­mani in­vites read­ers to “lace up a pair of vir­tual hik­ing boots and jour­ney with us across moun­tains, sa­van­nahs, canyons and deserts.

“En­joy try­ing on 100 dif­fer­ent hats and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing 100 great ad­ven­tures through a kalei­do­scope of coloured lenses.”

Ca­mani him­self is no stranger to hikes. An avid hiker, he is a mem­ber of the Bruce Trail Con­ser­vancy. The fa­ther of three daugh­ters, he lives in Hamil­ton, On­tario, and teaches with the Grand Erie Dis­trict School Board.

Bon­nie Zinn, who tells about her ad­ven­ture on the Bay Roberts Her­itage Trail, is one of the 100 hik­ers who, in Ca­mani’s words, “share their most mem­o­rable hikes.”

In 2008, she made her trip to New­found­land which, she says, “sur­passed all my ex­pec­ta­tions.” Land­ing at Deer Lake, she left the is­land from St. John’s.

“Each day,” she rem­i­nisces, “was an ad­ven­ture and a new hik­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.”

On the west coast, she did the Gros Morne climb, which she found “ex­hil­a­rat­ing.” On the East Coast Trail, she rev­eled in what she calls the “mag­nif­i­cent ocean vis­tas.” Both trails, about which she “had heard so much and long an­tic­i­pated … lived up to their rep­u­ta­tions.”

In ad­di­tion, she serendip­i­tously came upon what she dubs “the un­ex­pected,” trails pre­vi­ously un­known to her. The Alexan­der Mur­ray hik­ing trail at King’s Point was un­beat­able for “a car­dio work­out.” She was re­warded with “a beau­ti­ful wa­ter­fall en route and a great view once you reached the top.” The walk­ing trails at Long Point light­house brought her face-to-face with a black fox. On the Badger’s Park Trail, she “man­aged to trap a bee in my pants” — evok­ing var­i­ous sce­nar­ios — but she “came through the or­deal un­scathed.”

Then she reached Con­cep­tion Bay.

“One hike I re­mem­ber with par­tic­u­lar fond­ness,” she says, “is the Bay Roberts Her­itage Trail.”

She made a de­tour to visit Dildo, orig­i­nally in­tend­ing to set­tle for pic­tures taken by the town’s well-pho­tographed sign. She dis­cov­ered the Bay Roberts Her­itage Trail at French’s Cove.

Though it warms the cock­les of the heart of a Bay Roberts res­i­dent to know that Bon­nie am­bled the Bay Roberts Her­itage Trail, less com­fort­ing is a rather de­mean­ing story she re­lates.

Not far in, af­ter leav­ing the trail­head, she “met a man re­turn­ing from his daily walk. It was a very pleas­ant ex­change, though at times I had trou­ble un­der­stand­ing him, as his ac­cent was very strong. His part­ing words were ‘ Tankde l ard­fer­eltanstringt.’ I de­tained him long enough to get him to re­peat it, and when I de­ci­phered his words, I heartily agreed.”

Let’s move on to her thoughts about the trail it­self: “The well-worn trail me­an­ders through mead­ows and blue­berry patches, past root cel­lars and be­side an old gravesite over­look­ing the ocean. It takes you out on the edge of high cliffs and then leads to rugged rocks where you can care- fully clam­ber close to the crash­ing waves.” Mad Rock never ceases to amaze.

The af­ter­noon com­bined many pos­i­tive as­pects of life, in­clud­ing what Bon­nie re­mem­bers as “fel­low­ship with a friend, per­fect weather, Mother Na­ture in all her power and spl e n d o u r — a n d a c h a n c e en­counter.”

By the way, in case read­ers haven’t yet de­ci­phered the words spo­ken by the man Bon­nie met re­turn­ing from his walk on the Bay Roberts Her­itage Trail, here’s the in­ter­pre­ta­tion: “Thank the Lord for health and strength.”

In ad­di­tion to Bon­nie Zinn, seven other hik­ers write about their New­found­land hikes.

The text of Ca­mani’s book is sup­ple­mented by more than 30 stun­ning full-colour pho­tos.

“100 Hik­ers 100 Hikes from Tober­mory to Kil­i­man­jaro” is pub­lished by Camtrek Books of Hamil­ton. Bur­ton K. Janes lives in Bay Roberts. His col­umn ap­pears in The Com­pass ev­ery week. He can be reached at


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