After a month on the West Coast it’s time to get back into my routine of walking… and training for my next Camino. This afternoon the temperature was a little cooler than what I experienced on Vancouver Island. The angle of the sun was lower and it was clear that we are in full- on fall mode. The colors are spectacular and I am sincerely grateful to live one hundred paces from this spectacular park. However, I miss the “ wild” feel of the semi-rural community where my daughter lives. I miss the rooster crowing every waking hour and the baa of the sheep next door. From certain spots on my walk I don’t see just this beautiful pond, but a six -lane boulevard, its roar mercifully muffled by the trees in the park. There’s no mistaking the city vibe here.
I took this picture a few days ago. That bank of stones on the far side of the river would normally be submerged. The big adult salmon working their way upstream are barely covered with water. Already in other parts of BC there have been huge die-offs of salmon that never made it to the spawning sites. Will the salmon I saw this week make it? After a 40-day drought with no rain in the forecast, I doubt it. Vancouver Island is a designated Pacific rain forest area. During the first two weeks of my stay there, my daughter and I enjoyed the sun and high temperatures. As time passed, we became more and more uneasy.
After unpacking my suitcase and after a good night’s sleep, I made a decision. I’m going to fight for this beautiful world and the creatures that live here. I owe myself and my grandchildren that. I have already written my MP ( the Federal one anyway) and Extinction Revolution to see what I can do. Next on my list … Greenpeace and, how do you buy carbon credits anyway? Even though I don’t drive a car I’m flying around quite a bit lately. Why am I putting this idea out on my blog? Accountability, folks! Nag me about this, ok?
Elizabeth says if you wait for the sun around here, you’ll never go out. Yes, the rain forest isn’t just the Amazon. It’s the cool green giant trees reaching up, falling, rotting, feeding other life. The mosses and lichens play out their seasons as the cool soft rain and the sea winds keep everything slow cooking.
I walked about ten kilometres in the rain, something I would never have done in the noisy city. The rain didn’t seem like an enemy, just part of the day.
Not often I glimpse a view of the Rockies when out for my walk. My daughter’s home on Vancouver Island offers this treat. I walk down beside the swift-flowing Oyster river until it joins the Straight of Georgia. It was quite muddy in spots as it rained heavily in the night but the high winds forecast did not appear.
Some of the path runs very close to the river and I’ve always been leery of the footing there. Turns out my instinct was right as a whole section had sheared off complete with some trees.
There is something so Canadian about this notice. As I prepared for an awe-inspiring hike on the East coast of Vancouver Island this provided a chuckle. Also very Canadian but not so whimsical was the note on the trail-head notice board that zero days had elapsed since the last bear siting in the park. Since I have a visceral fear of bears it was only my even stronger stubborn streak that drove me on. A trail fringed with immensely tall and straight coniferous trees finally delivered me to aptly named Miracle Beach. The vista of snow capped mountains sitting across the Straight of Georgia on the BC mainland was literally jaw-dropping and I had to sit on a fallen titan to recover. My country, ’tis more than little me.
On Vancouver Island what strikes me as so different from my home in Montreal are the trees, the shrubs in gardens, the whole green vibe of the place. “Vibe” huh? Into this West Coast thing already! I am here visiting my daughter who has just got in under the barbed wire fence that is current Canadian real estate. If she had not bought this modest home on a little over half an acre of land when she did early this year, we agree that her chance would have been gone. The West Coast is different. The local grocery store is full of “spelt” and “kamut”, obscure cereals and organic coffee. When I bring home popcorn I am reminded that Liz does not own a microwave. I’ve only been here three days and already I’ve been introduced to a Pilates instructor and a flooring guy who showed up on a pristine vintage Harley Davidson.
I went on a hike in a coastal park the other day and came back with this picture. This is what I feel like sometimes – the old mother tree hosting younger growth. I just love the coolness and shade of this place. Off to a beach scene today where I expect to see snow-covered mountains – from the beach!