May 10, 2014 Day hike on Tamaarack trail

 

On May 10 a group of thirteen winter-weary hikers met in the parking lot of the Petro gas station (Hwy 1 & 10) where we sorted out carpooling arrangements before heading to the trail head. 

The Epinette Creek Trails in Spruce Woods Provincial Park consists of four trail systems that vary in length – the Spruce 3.5 km (Cabin 2), Juniper 2.2, Tamarack 10.5 km (Cabin 3) and Newfoundland 24.3km (Cabin 4).The plan for the day was to hike to Cabin 3 which is primarily the Tamarack Trail. We had some new club members and guests who were not familiar with the trail so it was a good opportunity for them to experience the varying terrain and wooded areas. It was a busy day at Spruce Woods. In addition to the Wilderness Club hikers, there were a number of runners and cyclists who had registered for the Spruce Woods Ultra Race that was underway and there was a group with Scouts Canada who were there as part of a community tree planting program, but we all managed to share and enjoy the Woods.

The day started out a bit cool but it wasn’t long before the sun gave us a taste of those hot Manitoba summer days we are so patiently waiting to enjoy.  I know it`s crazy to say this but at times we were grateful to have the sky cloud over, relieved whenever a cool breeze came upon us. The trail was dry much to the dismay of those who were geared up to face muddy conditions, and in great condition. Considering that we had some new comers and guests on the hike, we offered to take a shorter loop (approx. 6k) but everyone was gung-ho and so we carried on as planned.  The day was easy-going with stops along the way and time for our guests to take a few pictures. With all the activity on the trail there was no hope of seeing any wildlife. Well, we did see a guy from the race who was fairly stripped down but I don’t think that counts J. Once we reached Cabin 3 we took our time having lunch and chatting with fellow hikers. Things took a bit of a turn on the return portion of the hike when one of the hikers experienced some difficulties and thought to be in need of help to get back to the parking lot.  To make a long story short, some hikers stayed with the stalled hiker while others went to get help. Once at the parking lot, two Boy Scout Leaders (Gord Tuluck and Tim Owen) and Dwayne (Ultra Race organizer) heard our situation and immediately offered to help. They jumped into action and headed down the trail to help execute a rescue but in the end, the hiker was able to regain strength and make it out on her own steam and a rescue was no longer necessary.  Nonetheless, we very much thanked the two Scouts Leaders for giving us their time and as I mentioned, not hesitating a moment in offering to help.  It was a long day but the hike ended with everyone making it back to the parking lot safe and sound.  It was very nice to have stopped at the Robin’s Nest to grab a tea for the road, thanks Di!

Thank you everyone for attending the hike, and to those who hung around until I got back!!

Hike participants: Di Ingram & Scottie, Carol Hogg, Debra Tolton, Kelly Robinson (guest), Michael & Nancy Cornish (guests), Arthur & Shirley Au, Sunny (guest), Alf & Janis Stanley, William Savoy, and Brenda Eamer (Lead).

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