#TakeMeBackTuesday

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. – Hal Borland

The snow is melting, the prairie spring is on its way, and I look forward to the honking of geese overhead. No stocknagels will be waiting for me on the completion of any of my planned hikes this season. But as walking culture in Canada evolves with the coast-to-coast-to-coast connection of The Great Trail, one day there just may be prairie trail badges to collect.

HIKING STICKS W/ STOCKNAGELS

Stocknagels, or badges, were souvenirs purchased from European mountain destinations once a hike had been completed. Attached to the hiking stick with small nails, they acted as a great motivator for all ages! This tradition continues today – even in Canada.

Vintage hiking stick points
Antique German hiking sticks w/ points.
Vintage hiking sticks w/ stocknagels
Antique German hiking sticks w/ stocknagel badges.

Photo credit: Hiking sticks by Alexander von Bronewski; Matterhorn by pixe07 via Morguefile.com.

Sleeping Rough

The effect was alchemical. When I stuck my head in the light of dawn… somehow I belonged in a way that I hadn’t before. Sleeping out produced a sense of enhanced connection with the land, a feeling almost akin to ownership: the paradoxical entitlement of the rough sleeper; whose lack of rights somehow grants him a greater right than anyone else.

– by Nick Hunt, describing his first night ‘sleeping rough’ on his long distance walking expedition across Europe in Walking the Woods and the Water: In Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn, 2014.