Bethany Trails - AprilMartellPhotography

Did you know this place existed? I was not born and raised in Antigonish. I'm a Cape Bretoner who sort of ended up here, and now we call Antigonish home. We moved to this area in 2007, and then moved to town in 2015, and we love it. It was only last year, however, that I found out about this gem of a spot. If you're like me, you knew of the pond at Bethany, but it was only when a co-worker mentioned the trail that I found out about it. Today was my second visit here, the first being back in the fall, and they were two completely different adventures.

What does one do on another mild February day when your child is invited to a friend's house? You drop her off and head outside!

I'm somewhat of a solo adventurer. Back when I was first getting into photography, when we lived in Sydney, I'd often jump in the ol' Sunfire with my binder of MP3 cds  and head off alone, with no particular destination in mind. I found places, new places I hadn't known about, and took  a lot of bad photos. That was back when I shot with film, and believe me, no one wants to shoot bad photos on film. 

Thinking back, there were probably a lot of places I should not have ventured alone. This was before good cell service, and most times, my boyfriend-now-husband was off at work, so no one even knew I was gone. 

I don't do this nearly as often as I should, but lately, I've been getting back to it when the opportunity comes up, and have been loving it. Surprisingly, it's way more fun than doing the dishes. 

Today, a good portion of the trail was pure ice, so much that I almost turned back. Instead, I decided to just take my time and soldier on. I was in contact with someone via text who knew where I was in case of a fall, or worse,  a hungry bear or coyote. There are warnings at the head of the trail that there has been a bear sighting there. I wouldn't suggest going on your own, or at least without someone knowing where you are.

It was a beauty of a day. By the end of it, I was ready to peel my coat off. I'd brought a nice hot coffee, and let me tell you, it tastes way better when you're out in the woods. Way better than when you're stuck in a cubicle on a Monday afternoon. 

It's quiet up there. If you need to get away, but aren't able to go too far, it's the perfect spot. The trail isn't difficult, offers some great views, and is so peaceful that you'll almost forget that you're just a couple of minutes from the nearest Tim Horton's.

Being as treacherous as it was, no one else was silly enough to be out there, so I'm pretty sure only the squirrels saw me when I did a slide-tumble down the hill that probably would have gotten an 8.7 from the judges. Thankfully I'd set my camera down, because I was almost positive I wasn't going to make it down the icy incline that looked like a luge run. Turned out I was right, and after I swore and dusted the snow off myself, I decided it was best to go in another direction. 

I think now, the only thing that was missing from my little venture was a bologna sandwich. On our family vacations, my mom used to pack a cooler full of sandwiches and drinks, so that instead of eating at restaurants, we could stop somewhere and eat outside. Nothing tastes better than a bologna sandwich and Pepsi in a Styrofoam cup when you're eating it somewhere on the side of the road at a picnic table.

Though I haven't tested wine out there. 

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