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Dana Warren Solo Hike 2015

Mount Moriah or Bust

The Outfitters - Friday, July 10, 2015

Three days ago I walked 33km to land in Mount Moriah. That morning as I set off I knew the walk ahead would be a challenge and in fact the plan was to spend a night in the middle of nowhere and split up the 49 km from Spruce Brook to Corner Brook. I felt trepidatious but I didn't want to make a mountain out of a molehill (haha). I was attempting to bring myself back to the now and look out through my eyes, instead of getting lost in my head. So I walked, talking to the birds and the frogs.

Little did I know I'd have the wind up my arse. I had lightened the load in St. George's. I abandoned the water filter, the extra power bars, the speaker, the gidgets and doodads. I did not pack heavy for this trip but soon realized that heavy takes on a whole new meaning when its on your back. I had even started burning the map section as I completed it. 

The landscape transformed. Trees grew bigger, rivers wider. Moving through this beauty took my breath in a different way. Awe. Reverence. I finally felt a part of something. My feet felt good, my heart felt full. I had finally hit my stride. At kilometre 23 it was only 12:30pm. I had a good three hours of walking in me and Mount Moriah was 10 or 12 km away. I don't want to stop. I consult Randy, text my cousin to see if they can pick me up and I head off hard up hill.

About an hour and a half later a guy passes me in a pickup truck. He stops to say "wtf?" He suggests I'm about five km away from the Mount. I stop at a fishing river to break. Silence. My bear bell is no longer keeping a rhythm. I'm just here in it all feeling the quiet of a place such as this. I'm pooped.

I put my pack on and continue. I'm pretty tired now and second guessing my decision to push it. Not 20 minutes later the same guy comes by in his pick up and hands me a coke. I guzzle it down. Sweet elixir, coke. It was like the Gods gave me the zing i needed to continue. After a confusing rendezvous I am picked up and head to Curling for the night to stay at my cousin's.

Tuesday, July 7
Next morning, Sharon drops me back to Mount Moriah. I am entering the corridor that leads me to the Gaff Topsails. This new territory calls for a switching of gears. It becomes a city in mere moments. Barking dogs, construction, cars, litter, pavement, and sketchy twists. The serenity of the raid bed all but gone. Thank God, the whole experience is counterbalanced on the other end by family and another night in their company. 

Wednesday, July 8
I choose not to walk the 7 km highway section of the T'Railway and start the day in Steady Brook. I follow the Humber River until I join Deer Lake. Unfortunately the walk is pavement but for one kilometre near strawberry Hill. At one point I even have to cross the highway to find my way to the back roads. I find myself missing the railed, and the pebbles I cursed only a few days previous. 

The route will continue as pavement until Deer Lake where I will resupply and prep for the walk to Howley, the entrance to The Gaff Topsails. My best friend Sheilagh is meeting me there to join me for those 101km to Badger. This should take us about four days if all goes well. I feel solace in the company to come. We are sure to encounter beasties there…I am actually excited about seeing caribou. How I have changed in 12 days and 250km. 
Dave Fujiwara commented on 11-Jul-2015 08:29 PM
Hi Dana,
Enjoying reading your exploits. I'm trying to follow along using Google maps. The idea of crossing Newfoundland on the old rail bed just gets the imagination going. The landscape you are experiencing must be just wonderful. The physical effort must be hugely tiring. Hope you've got stamina to keep it going. Please keep posting.
As an old runner I am just thrilled by the thought of a long-distance challenge.
Dave in Toronto
Gary McDermid commented on 15-Jul-2015 11:58 AM
Hi Dana,

I'm very interested to learn of your trek on the T'railway.

I've been walking along ahead of you but going at a much slower pace.
I do an average of about 17 km a day when walking and I take lots of days off!
I'm in Badger now on Wednesday July 15th taking today off.
I started out in Gallants over 2 weeks ago.

Took me 6 days from Howley to here, and that country up there
is really something special. The people along the way are also something
really special -- can't thank them enough for all the kindness, generosity
and friendliness!

I was also amazed to meet Ed from Florida, who I thought was a moose!
coming at me from the east just as I was coming down from the Gaff Topsail,
in the hazy drizzling rain.

I hope you two ran into each other!

I don't get many chances to go on the internet, since I usually need to wait until
larger towns where I can get access, but I'm very interested in following your

Looking forward to reading more from you in the coming weeks.
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