Well, I gotta start somewhere …

What seems like decades ago (probably ’cause it was) 2 young fellows enjoyed hiking together.  They’d mark trails for local hiking clubs, joined local wildlife societies, and explored the local wilderness (as it was).  They created fanciful nicknames for each other like “Ranger” and “Bushwhacker”. Then, the Corporate world reared it’s ugly head, and our heroes drifted apart as work constraints left no time for Life’s simpler pleasures.  Our story might have ended on that tragic  note were it not for the miracle of good planning, and early Retirement.  On Feb 23rd 2012 our intrepid (and rather older) fellows met up and started wandering again.  No joining societies or clubs for us, as we were both tired of commitments, schedules, deadlines, whining subordinates, whining superiors, and just general corporate Bullshit (I didn’t capitalize the word “corporate” … d’ja notice that ? Yeah ! I’m a rebel now).  We started innocently enough by wandering a nearby well established trail at the bottom of town.  Then we graduated to local Conservation Areas and Parks.  Hungry for more “explorable” stuff the Ranger offered up a few trails he knew through his earlier affiliations with hiking clubs, and we liked those … alot !  Then, it got hot.  Real Hot.  Summer does that.  We found ourselves cruising around in air conditioned comfort in search of good places to hike once the Summer heat let up.  One fateful day, I asked the Ranger “What’s up that road?”.  He says “OH !  Never mind, it’s a No Exit”.  So I says “Yeah, like I care” and off we went.  Well … though slow even with 4 wheel drive, it was gorgeous.  We discussed how the only way to improve the experience would be to leave the truck at the road and wander in on foot.   And that’s exactly what we started doing.  We began deliberately searching for No Exit signs.  Then we noticed a lot of other types of signs that would’ve deterred us from further exploration in the past.  Danger unmaintained road, Use at own risk, Summer maintained only, No winter maintenance, Dead End, Seasonal Passage, Bridge Out, Broken Road, and many many more ( I’m still flabbergasted at the number of different signs available to simply say “Stay Outa Here Ya Moron !”).  Private Property & No Trespassing were the only signs we’d heed (well, those and the red dots painted on trees which mean the same thing).  Funny thing was, we found that 50 % of these No Exit roads, indeed had an exit, and would’ve been passable in my Wife’s Honda.  Further, a good 80 % were passable in my 4X4 Tacoma, but 100 % were walkable.  We began looking for these road allowances as the Ranger explained them to be, and found many more than we’d expected.  We went to County and Township offices to  gather up maps, and struck-up conversations  to find more of them.  We found some were so unused that they weren’t signed nor even established, just a slight disturbance in the bush on the side of the road, or a hint of a trail winding into the trees.  Searching for virtually unknown trail opportunities  in our own backyard became an obsession for us.   And that’s our History.

Bushwhacker

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