When a queen or king, or another important person, goes on a walkabout, he or she walks through crowds in a public place in order to meet people in an informal way. It was the same for Wendy and her crew of ladies as they headed off on the Rail Trail, part of Greenways Loop Trail in Campbell River. I joined the group at the trail head for the five-kilometre round trip with my camera, water bottle, a peeled orange in a sandwich bag and my comfortable sun hat.
I like that the City is filled with a network of nature trails. This one is very wide and can handle three walkers abreast until a dog walker, or cyclist or horseback rider or a cluster of children with their guardian comes up from behind or approaches from the other direction. I dropped behind my new found friends and walked a slower pace. Some hikers take on a very jubilant stride, while others, like myself, saunter along the path and stop to take photographs of the landscape, or kneel to admire a large spotted slug or squint to determine the source of an animal’s footprint.
The scents that wafted through the trees carried the distinct fragrance of decaying logs, mud filled creeks, tree bark and exposed roots interspersed with the droppings from dogs and horses. The gravel path provided a unique crackle sound as we marched along the corridor. All the ramblers sported comfortable flexible footwear.
We arrived at the end of the trail and while some sipped on their water I offered up orange pieces. I slid the thirst-quenching segments into my mouth and enjoyed the sweet taste. On the trek back, Wendy and I met a stranger who after only a few words and steps on the footpath become a friend. We invited her to join us the following week on our next excursion and she accepted.
The next time you are on a walkabout whether in a crowded place or on a trail, keep in mind the royal purpose is to meet people in an informal way.
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|Sights, Scents and Sounds|