I was looking at some tips on “how to increase your blog traffic”. Not that I want fame and fortune from this blog. I had my 15 minutes of fame decades ago. I created this blog because I hoped there were other old fellows out there who appreciated the benefits of just walking with a friend. Not in a municipal, county, provincial, nor National park. Not with ulterior motives, nor an agenda. Not with goals, nor expectations. Not with schedules, nor promises to keep.
We once saw a group of a dozen or so hikers walking toward us. We were on a back road, headed for a section of forested trail to complete a loop back to the car. The only one who acknowledged our presence was the hike leader. She nodded with a grim, pained, and yet determined expression. Kinda like the look Hollywood tough guys give each other just before they jump from the plane, or burst into the bad guys’ hideout with guns ablazin’. Sadly, the herd of lemmings behind her were oblivious to anything but their cell phones and ipods. As she passed us we heard her shout “OK people, just another hour to go, and we’re all done”. Half of them groaned in pain while the other half cheered and broke into a synchronized dancercise routine. Then, forming a human pyramid, they sang the complete score from “Glee” season 2, episode 5.
OK those last 2 lines were bullsh!t. I was just funnin’ ya. They were all so engrossed in their phones and pods that I doubt they even knew where they were, much less cared if the leader said or did anything. As I think back at it now, we shoulda nonchalantly power walked up to the leader, beaned her and tossed her in the ditch. Then the lemmings would imprint on us and we could try to see if we could get’em to walk off the bridge into the river. Yeah, I know lemmings don’t really do that, but it woulda been fun to try.
Well Jeez, there ya go. I can’t stay serious past one lousy opening paragraph, before I go and A-hole it up with a silly story. Man! I must be annoying to hang around with. So my point to the whole story is the attitude expressed by the leader concerning the hike. “Just another hour to go, and we’re all done” ? Are you serious ? That’s the reason Ranger quit the clubs, and the hike leading. It’s also the reason I’ve never been on an organized group hike myself, much less ever led one. I’m not saying they’re attitude is wrong. I am saying their attitude is wrong for me. But then, I realize I’m rapidly becoming a fossil myself (as I called old guys when I was a kid).
Anyway, what I originally wanted to do with this blog was provide people like the ones I described at the beginning of this, with a series of maps. A series of maps that show every No Exit road and trail that is walkable within Northumberland County. Now, by “walkable” I mean you could push an ATV down them, and Ranger and I have managed to run the Tacoma through a few. But you’ll never have to dodge vehicles of any kind because :
1 ) Most aren’t long enough to be any fun for ATVers.
2 ) They don’t go anywhere that other, easily drivable roads nearby don’t go anyway.
3 ) Some of them actually go nowhere. I mean they just stop.
4 ) Some look like they just stop, but there are narrow, overgrown trails to follow that will lead somewhere.
5 ) Not many people imagine there might be a trail at the end of a No Exit road. So they don’t even bother looking.
Well, I can tell you there are plenty of them. Some are marked as part of the Trans Canada Trail, but most are simply rough old dirt backroads that’ll frighten sensible drivers away. They change character rapidly too. All it takes is one Hydro maintenance truck to go through one on April 17th to make the road useless to any other vehicle ‘til September 11th. That makes it a “walking only” road. I learned the Hydro trick from Ranger. He showed me how to determine if the No Exit trail goes anywhere, by looking for the power lines. Often all they’ll be is a faint string-like line running through the trees, but if you see one, there’s something somewhere ahead.
Even one heavy rain will bring about changes that will render a road impassable for months. As shown in the posting “How Many Ways Can You Say” these roads are roads, only by the widest definition of the term. However, all the locals know about them, as they walk them daily/weekly themselves.
Anyway, this brings me back to the reason I started writing this in the first place. The original intent of this blog was to share the maps of where these No Exits and unmarked trails are, and where they go. The wife suggested that if I were to post the maps, then everybody and their brother would descend upon the trails and ruin them for us. I gotta love the woman for her support and belief in my endeavors, but somehow, I don’t think this blog is gonna flood the World, so the trails are probably pretty safe. Besides, I’d rather enjoy meeting someone on a trail we posted. It would be kinda fun.
Anyway, so when I looked up how to increase traffic, the reoccurring theme was “trail reviews”. They’re real big on trail reviews. Well, having searched the I’Net alot myself, I’ve seen plenty of trail reviews. The only review they seemed to be short on was location. WHERE THE HELL is the damned trail ? I got all kinds of details on the trail except how to get to it, and where it goes. Some of them are a real challenge to find, such a challenge that I became a tad suspicious. That’s when I noticed how some of those reviews read exactly like another, and another etc etc. I’d be willing to bet good money that over half those “reviewers” had never even seen a trail, much less that particular one.
Though I suppose there’s some merit to trail reviewing. How does one know what to expect otherwise ? I just have no desire to review the same trail at least a dozen other guys have (and 26 others have copied from). If I’m gonna review a trail, it’s gonna be a real trail, an original trail, a trail you won’t find in a Gov’t issued guide, nor on a slick web site (which this isn’t … really didn’t need to say that did I?).
UPDATE September 1st 2017 – OK, so I did start (and will continue to) review well known trails. But at least I really walk them, and I give a very precise “take” on them.
So, I won’t be posting the maps (not yet anyway). But we will review the trails individually. I suppose I’ve already started with the posting “Sometimes a Path is Just a Path”. However, the difference will be that the path in that piece might’ve been on unposted private property. There was no way to be sure. When we review trails, they will be known road allowances or forested sections of official trails, and we’ll give you precise locations. ‘Course, this will only benefit people from the Northumberland County area of Southern Ontario. But it still might be a fun &/or interesting read for folks who aren’t able to walk the trails. That’s also part of our intention with this blog. We wanted to provide those who haven’t walked a trail, a reason to consider doing so. We wanted to kindle a memory for those who might not be able to walk trails anymore. To provoke a desire to return to the trails in those who’ve forgotten what it was like. And of course, poke a bit of fun at those around us, and at ourselves.