When I hiked down into the valley at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, I had to stop and look at my surroundings in wonder.
The sun was shining. The beauty was all around me in the rolling hills, the lush vegetation and the path leading further down the trail. It was gorgeous. I couldn’t believe I’d never seen it before.
I drove out there to cover the cleanup of the White Track Ski Hill area on Saturday for the paper. The ski area has been closed for 10 years and until I heard about the cleanup, I didn’t even know there ever was a skiing area at Buffalo Pound. I certainly didn’t know about all of those trails.
I’ve always liked being outside when the weather is agreeable. My favourite season is summer, especially when the sun is out. Whether it’s relaxing outside reading, walking, biking, swimming, golfing or campfires, I’m a very happy person when I have the chance to be outside.
Exploration has always been something that interests me. I have too many memories to count of exploring the hills when my grandparents owned a cabin out at Lac Pelletier. When I was younger, it was a common activity for us cousins to go out and explore the hill. I’ve even been pricked by cactus (which is quite painful, by the way).
I remember this one time that, along with my sister and our cousin, we were tasked with raking leaves in our aunt and uncle’s yard. I suppose it was a way to entertain us kids and to get us helping out. We raked all of the leaves into huge piles. Our next task was intended to put those leaves in black bags.
We were in the backyard. All of the adults were in the front. We looked at each other and concocted a diabolical plan. Each taking on a character from Lord of the Rings (I was Samwise Gamgee, who gallantly took a cactus for Mr. Frodo on our adventure), we sneaked away and ran off into the hills and explored what we could find. It was great.
That’s only one of many stories I have. One time a bunch of us cousins climbed up the Big Hill, codenamed Grandpa Hill, to find a secret hideout. We also trekked through Grandma Hill, a neighbour to Grandpa Hill, to see what we could discover.
As I wandered through some of the trails at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park, I was amazed at how I’d never discovered it. It reminded me of Lac Pelletier and it didn’t. Either way, it was beautiful.
Anyone who hasn’t been down there should seriously consider checking it out. I ended up hiking around covering the cleanup for about an hour and yet, I feel I barely scratched the surface.
It’s definitely intrigued me to come back when I’m not working. I would love to hike around, armed with sunscreen, bug spray and water, and take in the beauty to be found.
I’m also curious to go back to see the difference in the trails since last week’s cleanup. Volunteers and organizers said the difference would be noticeable. I was impressed by the trails when the cleanup was taking place and I’m sure I’ll be even more impressed after the work’s been done.
We have a great feature in our neck of the woods out at Buffalo Pound. It’d be even more wonderful if more people knew about it and used it.
Lisa Goudy can be reached at 306-691-1289 or follow her on Twitter @lisagoudy