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Meet these trailblazers (one is the winner of our draw)

October 10, 2018

Scott Jeffrey, chief geologist, MTS, Mines Geology Central Services at our Ontario Operations, is pictured in Newfoundland and Labrador with his son Adam (on left). Behind father and son are “10 Mile Pond” and the Atlantic Ocean, and to their left is the edge of Gros Morne Mountain. Photo: Scott Jeffrey

Vale News thanks Scott, Amanda and Robby for answering our request for your favourite hiking trails and photos. Their names were entered into a random draw for one $10 Tim Horton’s gift card. Read on to be inspired by their tales from the trails, and to find out who won the prize.

Twenty-year-old Adam Jeffrey takes time out for a photo on the trail. His father, Scott, chief geologist at our operations in Ontario, is thankful for the one-on-one time he had with his son while hiking together this past summer. Photo: Scott Jeffrey.

By Scott Jeffrey, Chief Geologist – MTS, Mines Geology Central Services

My son Adam, who is 20, and I enjoyed a few hikes in our incredibly beautiful Canadian outdoors this summer, and what a summer it was!

After updating and lightening our backpacking equipment last winter, we spent two days in July, and five days at the beginning of August, hiking one of our local gems, the 78km La Cloche Silhouette Trail loop in Killarney Provincial Park. The trail was challenging and beautiful, and the clear blue lakes were a pleasure to jump into after a hot day of trekking.

 At the end of August, we visited western Newfoundland where we hiked the incredibly majestic 35km Long Range Mountain Traverse in Gros Morne National Park over four days with six of our brave Sudbury friends. This trail was unmarked and fun to navigate, and while we all had some wet, cold and sore feet at times, it was an incredible experience. The lakes were definitely colder than in Killarney and the scale and grandeur of this part of Canada has to be seen to be believed!

While the fresh air and physical activity was great, the chance to spend this time with my son is what made me most happy. Together, we tested ourselves on the rugged trails and had conversations that could only happen when you’re walking together for hours a day. We talked about how we were each carrying all that we needed to thrive and survive for up to five days, and have fun too.  All the other “comfort stuff we carry” in life is extra, and maybe not really needed, including some of the equipment in our packs. We talked about not being able to quit on a bad day, especially during the long hikes, to accept the distances – and most of all, to be be patient and persistent. At times, we absolutely depended on each other to finish safely. Our food and water supply couldn’t be taken for granted, and each step we took were “controlled risks,” particularly the rocky ascents and descents. Overall, hiking together helped us reflect on the rewards of effort and resolve, and that the simplicity of long walks in the woods is a great way to see the majestic beauty of life. We can’t wait to hike a lot more, hopefully together. Hike On!

This is the location where Amanda Drisdelle, protection services at our operations in Ontario, “felt the presence of the Sleeping Giant.” Photo: Amanda Drisdelle

By Amanda Drisdelle, protection services personnel

I hike a lot!  If I had to guess, I’d say I cover approximately 500 km a year — as much of Ontario as I can. This year I went as far south as Niagara and the Bruce Peninsula, and as far north as Kakabeka Falls near Thunder Bay. We have some beautiful hiking trails all over the province. But some of my favourites are in Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, in Thunder Bay. I love it so much that I went three times this year. It’s 1000 km from my house (approximately 13.5 hour drive) and I do it in two days. My most recent trip was at the end of August, which is when I took the above photo. This photo is important to me because it’s where I felt the presence of the Sleeping Giant (as per the Ojibway legends), and it marked the moment I knew I would have to return. Next time, I’d like to conquer the entire internal trail system, which could take up to seven days, and I’d like to do it solo.

Riley and Cassandra Ouellette, the children of Robby Ouellette, protection services at our Ontario Operations, are pictured hiking around Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Photo: Robby Ouellette

The Ouellette kids take a well-deserved break during a hiking holiday around Manitoulin Island this past summer. Photo: Robby Ouellette

By Robby Ouellette, protection services professional (PSP), and the winner of the random draw for a $10 Tim Horton’s gift card. Congrats Robby! 

Our favorite hiking trail is the “Cup and Saucer” on Manitoulin Island in Ontario. The first picture shows my children, Cassandra and Riley, emerging from a wooden ladder “crack in the rock wall” on the adventure trail, and the next pic is of the spectacular reward of the summit cliffs. Gotta be extra careful – no fancy railings or safeguards there!

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