I’m not traveling far afield this holiday weekend. Sadly, my mom is in the hospital and I’ve been feeling blue. The best therapy for me when I’m in a funk is to get out in the forest. Despite the gloomy weather, the rainforest just above my house near Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver gives me an instant boost. I love the moisture dripping from the ferns, the fat banana slugs on rotting logs, the squishy ground laden with conifer needles…I’ve been here hundreds of times, but it never fails to make me happy and thankful that I live here. I’m also thankful for all of you: my readers and the amazing blogs I have discovered through you guys. Thank you and happy Thanksgiving (whether you’re Canadian or not)!
I’ve written about my go-to, wet weather hike before. It’s a wonderful place called Cypress Park Falls. Today I started there and walked west to my other favourite local spot, Whyte Lake. I tried to capture some of the majesty of this place. Unfortunately my phone and lack of talent doesn’t do it justice.
Cypress Park Falls is not a big park and lies just steps away from a residential development. But, on many days it feels splendidly isolated and has scenery rivaling spots that take much more effort to get to. Less than a hundred steps from the car park (I counted) a trail leads to the first of several magnificant waterfalls. They are raging now, full from the recent rain.
I usually walk the trails on the more developed west side of the creek. This time I explored the east side, which has a convoluted mess of trails, and I’m never quite sure which one to take. The best thing about this is that there is always something new to discover. I was taken aback when I stumbled upon the skeleton of an old car quite beautifully nestled among the boulders and ferns.
From Cypress Falls it’s about an hours walk to Whyte Lake. In summer, it can be crazy with lots of folks and fury friends enjoying a swim. On gloomy fall days it is peaceful. I’m thankful to my friend, and former West Vanvouver councillor Trish Panz and her team for their tremendous efforts towards designating this area an official park, never to be destroyed by development.
My rainforest therapy has worked its magic again. I feel recharged and ready to tackle life’s stresses. And most importantly, I’m ready for turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce and gravy…