In as much as I love this city, the energy, colours, and well....conveniences it allows, there is also the nature loving side of me that yearns for trees, lakes, hiking, and wildlife. A couple of weekends ago my partner and I rented a 'cottage' so to speak in Algonquin Park for a long weekend. It really isn't that far away, perhaps 2.5 hours, but once you are out there it is so easy to forget you are only a short drive away. Endless rolling hills, forests, rivers, lakes and spectacular views. The weather was only half on our side, with equal amounts of rain, cool temperatures, and cloudy skies. We were unable to swim, or even go out in a canoe, but we did manage to get 4 hikes of various lengths and difficulties in over the weekend. I had been training for a couple of weeks to make sure I was up to the hike, which although not extreme, was on the difficult side, with little level walking areas. Our favorite hike was the 10 kilometer one that took us up over 1400 feet above sea level on to cliffs formed from the last ice age. Hearing the wind roar through the pines while we looked down onto the lakes and forests was worth all the rain, and hard work.