The Trail

The Trail

It was a surprise from the very beginning as the drive was longer than expected, but as expected, it was a beautiful drive. Once in the parking lot they had to cross the highway on foot, fortunately it was early, so the traffic was light. The other side still left a 100 meter walk along the highway, which, in itself, was a bit disconcerting, but it only served to increase the anticipation of getting there. And then they were there.

HPIM3157The start of the hike was much more auspicious than the drive as it began with an immediate 75 meter gain up a very narrow grade on the side of a sheer rock face. It was climbing in every sense of the word. As they came to the top they were astonished to find a gilded canopy of branches forming the entrance to the actual trail. As they entered the temperature dropped perceptibly and the air carried a soft scent of calm. They had arrived. 

At first it was just a gentle walk as the trail was wide enough for them to walk side by side. Like all the times before on occasions like this they were overwhelmed by the gossamer beauty and carried away by the fanciful magic of the venue. Then, just as quickly the trail became a challenge beginning with a series of up and down climbs over ridges. Even at that it maintained its beauty as the floor of the trail was a broad carpet of brown with bits of green and gray. The brown was made up by the billions of fallen needles from the Douglas Firs, Cedars and Spruce trees that dominate the forests of the west coast. The colour was supported by the all blow down rotting on the floor of the forest. The green and the gray came by and large from the moss growing on the boulders and rocks that fell from the mountain and cascaded down its slopes. All this combined to form the nutrients that fed the forest.

 The magic of a trail is its continuing change and this was no different as soon it became an old boulder strewn logging road. It was uphill all the way. The road, if one could call it that, was more like a creek bed turning and twisting constantly presenting a wide variety and variation in the size of the rocks and boulders one had to navigate. These persistent changes demanded that they constantly watch their feet causing one to miss much of the surrounding scenery. Still they were here as much for the challenges as they were for the beauty.

It had been an hour and half of none stop exertion, when gratefully they found a tree truck that had fallen across the road. It presented an excellent opportunity to sit and take short break for a snack of hard boiled eggs, fruit and water. It also provided a chance to look back down the road and see where they have been. This review enables the joy of the effort to jump out and fill them with the satisfaction of the experience, and even more joyful over what was to come, like those never before seen places they hoped for.

HPIM3156Now refreshed, they began again. Almost immediately they found themselves in another series of ridges and valleys. On one occasion they walk the narrow crest of a ridge from one end to the other. Along the way they see fallen trees exposing gigantic root systems, one appearing like a clamshell exposing a giant boulder underneath as if it were the pearl. The walls of the ridges appear to have been created by parts of mountain collapsing on to itself over and over again. Each one presenting steep faces of gray granite partially hidden by the forest. The floor in between the ridges allows space for almost florescent green bonsai like trees to grow in these protected environments.      

 If ever there was a demonstration of super natural BC this had be it and for the moment it was all theirs. But time was against them and before they could reach the final destination the responsibility of life forced them to turn and return to real world. Still they had a taste of what was to come and they would be back with more time to complete this wondrous trail.

david@davidsnotebook.com