“It Was a Boy Thing” Day 5, June 16th

Waffles for breakfast this morning.  The boys woke up from their first hotel stay, and came down room-by-room to the breakfast area.  Aaron, Stewart, and a group of older boys went to get groceries for lunch, while everyone else ate, packed, and loaded onto the bus.  Today was our day for hiking.

We arrived at Pigeon River Provincial Park for our hike.  The staff knew it was going to be moderately difficult before we got there.  Upon arrival Aaron checked out the first part of the trail, and came back and asked the boys to wear long pants and jackets.  There wasn’t a paved path, and the grass was tall and wet from the rain during the week.  The boys put on their hiking clothes, and we set out for our 2 km adventure on the Middle Falls Look Out Trail.  At first it was level ground with tall grass and slightly soggy ground.  Oh, this trail isn’t so bad.  But then the boys started getting deeper into the woods.  They encountered multiple muddy and slippery slopes.  Quickly they learned how NOT to loose their foothold on steep, rain-soaked hills.  Some learned the hard way by climbing up the middle of said hills, and falling with hands and knees coated in mud.  Others learned to find their way up the side of the hills, stepping on leaves and grabbing steadfast saplings.  They encountered fallen trees and man-made bridges over quags and bogs.  Test your footing on those slimy boards lest you slip and loose your shoe in the hungry marsh below.  Yet through it all, they maintained great morale.  You could hear them laughing, chatting, and encouraging each other throughout the whole hike.

 

Still, the trail seemed to go on and on and on.  They went up and down several steep and slippery inclines until they finally reached their destination: the lookout over Lake Superior and the Pigeon River.  With all the panting, sweating, and climbing done, they reached their goal.  It was amazing.  A cool breeze was blowing, and the boys could hear the rush of the falls beneath them.  They were astonished by the view.  One of them said “this is better than a glacier”.  We stayed up there for a good while to enjoy the fresh air and the calm scenery.  The boys took a long moment in silence to take it all in.  After some pictures, we started back down the trail. The descent was just as adventurous but seemed easier for some reason.

Charlie was waiting for us at the bus when we arrived from the trail.  Aaron, Stewart, Camden, and I helped the muddied explorers clean up their shoes and socks before entering the bus.  Still smiling and talking about the view, the boys changed into clean clothing, and headed out for the rest of the day.

Lunch was at the Visitors Center of the park, and we stayed there for rest period as well.  We had planned to hike another trail.  This one was going to be paved and much easier, but time was running out, and we needed to head back to The City of the Poppy for the concert.

We arrived at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian in Thunder Bay right on time. When the boys woke up from rest period, they went straight to their tour jobs: pulling risers, setting up merchandise, bringing in garment bags.  Even after the morning’s hike they still did their jobs well.

Rev. Joyce and her parishioners made a delicious meal of baked chicken and rice, which our hungry boys ate up.  They and Aaron spent some rehearsal time in the sanctuary, and they sang their concert.  This concert was a bit different from the others.  The sanctuary had a great balcony, and Aaron wanted to utilize the space for the boys’ performance.  Three songs in the first half, and one in the second were sung as the boys encircled their audience.  The layout of the sanctuary was similar to previous ones so their sound lived really well within the acoustics.  Tonight, if you didn’t notice, we went LIVE on Facebook for a few of their songs.  Did you see it?  We’ll schedule another one, and will let you know more in advance.

After a standing ovation, all the boys were determined to get their tour jobs done with lightning speed.  With efficiency the boys changed quickly. Risers were stowed away, suitcases were lined up, merchandise table was packed, and the rooms were scoured for remnants.  Near the end of the whirlwind of duties, one boy realized something, “I think being in choir teaches us to change faster”.  So parents, when your boy comes home, you can expect him to no longer lollygag when you ask him to get ready for something.

To top off the evening, the boys were given a special treat specific to Thunder Bay.  Not only is the city known for the “Sleeping Giant”, but they’re also known for their delicious, pink-frosted delights called Persians.  The boys got to taste the doughy cinnamon pastries before they went home with their hosts.  Hopefully they’ll have enough sugar in them to get their muddy clothes laundered and packed for tomorrow’s drive to Sault Ste. Michelle.

 

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