The joys of hiking returned to me at Gros Morne. Sure, beautiful vistas and just being in nature are always joyful and worthwhile, but I am talking more about the body’s feeling of hiking—the sweep of fresh air entering the lungs with every other step, and that satisfying ache in the legs after an especially vigorous hike, an ache that reminds one of those wonderful miles covered.
After my warm-up, we started with a trek on the Trout River Pond Trail, a relatively easy hike of about nine miles through forests, along the Trout River, skirting some ponds, through a bit of tablelands and then through a valley. While not by any means vigorous, it served as a good warm up for the group, and gave me faith in my new boots.
We did the Green Gardens trail after taking a day off to go salmon fishing. This nine-mile hike offered far more steep climbs and our mildly aching legs that night reminded us of the beautiful miles traversed. Due to some damp spots and the need to ford a brook, this trail also showed me that my boots were not the best for wet surfaces. Nevertheless, no aching feet nor signs of blisters, so I was still happy with them.
We saved the best, and most difficult, for last. This being the steep climb of Gros Morne Mountain, the park’s highest point, at about 2,500 feet, with roughly 10 miles of hiking needed ascend and then return. Now this proved to be a hike, but given the incredible views well worth it. Our legs did some serious aching that night to remind us of the miles traversed, with my feet providing additional reminders in the form of several burst blisters.
No pain, no gain, I had had to repeatedly remind myself during the climb back down.