28.6.09

My Summer Adventure on the South Side Hills; or, Was That Trail There the Whole Time?

I've checked off one more thing from my list of things I want to do this summer. Today Morgan and I hiked up to the top of the South Side Hills where the Republic of Newfoundland flag is flying. This year they've erected the flag of Labrador on the pole as well, which is pretty cool, as the Pink, White and Green is generally thought of just representing the island portion of the province. I never really thought about hiking up there until recently. The question of how the flag got up there never entered my head. Now I know that you can find your way up there via the East Coast Trail starting point at Fort Amherst.

It was amazing to see St. John's from a different viewpoint (above the fog instead of below it, lol). I kept an eye on Signal Hill across the harbour, to try to keep track of the progress we were making. The view is absolutely stunning. The fog came and completely blanketed Signal Hill at one point, and even that looked amazing. There were little wisps of fog on our hill too. We would be baking in the hot sun one minute, and then the chilly mini-fog-wisps would roll over us the next. From sweating to goosebumps in 1.5 seconds. The wind wasn't very strong, and that made the climb that much more awesome. There was enough to keep the flag flying proudly, but not enough to make me uncomfortable. When I'm uncomfortable, I whine. Keeping me comfortable keeps everyone happy.

It doesn't take as long to get up to the top as I thought it would. I think it took us about an hour to make it up there, and that included having to double back because we missed the turnoff. It's a good thing Morgan noticed that the flag was suddenly behind us, or we'd probably still be trudging through the woods. We came across a dam when we were doubling back to the flag, and Morgan had the brilliant idea to walk along the edge of it like a tightrope. He walked the edge, and I crawled along on all fours like a crab, shrieking like a moron every time I touched the water.

We rested for a bit on the top, drank some water, took in the view, made some lame jokes. I could have stayed there for hours. The next time I go, I'm going to be better prepared. I'll bring a picnic lunch, my camera, a notebook, lip gloss, maybe some Sherpas. Sherpas always come in handy. The way down was fun too. There were a couple times we'd cut across a bog or through some thick shrubs, and discovered afterwards that we were walking beside an actual trail the whole way. Eventually we found our way back onto the main trail, coming out on the path that we should have taken on the way up. There was no marker, no sign saying "Hey! Big flag this way! Over here jerks!" That might have been helpful. Rude, but helpful.

P.S. I think a zip line between the two sides of The Narrows would be loads of fun. Someone should build that. They could have it set up between Cabot Tower and the lighthouse at Fort Amherst. Awesome.

And here's the video of our adventure!

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