Monday, Sept. 16, 2002 @ 10:40 pm
The Heather Trail
We scampered out of the city at 3:30pm on Friday. One last pit stop at Wendy's and then up into the woods, away from the city, away from the streetlights.. out out.
I snapped photos of Miss S and Mr S as we went over the Port Mann. The sun was reflecting an amazing orange off of the Fraser. We were all laughing, excited about our adventure. Miss S and I were wearing our usual camping bandanas. Radiohead was the theme music.
Mount Baker shone purple out into the valley. Smells grew and changed from cow to pig to chicken, then back to cow. The sun fell lower, and we drove into the shadows of the foothills.
We ascended up the switchbacked road. The sun had set. The mountains rolled out forever, blue and grey, shrouded in layers of clouds. It could have been Africa. Or the Amazon.
The moon was bright at the top parking lot. Miss S wanted to camp in the parking lot. I wanted to hike to the first camp in the dark. He agreed. Then eventually she did too. So we set off, three candle lanterns bobbing though the moonlit sub-alpine meadows.
We sang very, very loud. Cougars lurked in every bush. Grizzlies could smell our food and were following us. That is, according to him. (!)
Camp was set up at Buckhorn. Vodka and Gatorade were mixed. Electrolytes, you see, electrolytes.
The morning sun cooked us in the tent, and we emerged into a glistening dew-damp meadow. The smell... oh god the smell... was amazing.
We trekked 6 hours through the meadows, past pockets of snowpack, along cliffs created from rockslides, through snag-ridden forests marked with fire. Finally, as the sun hung low on the mountains, we reached Kicking Horse Camp. It was a delicious pasta supper and then early to bed, watching stars, talking about everything.
There were lupines. They were wilting in the late summer heat, but they still smelled perfect. Phlox, hellebore, cinq foil, anemones... the shaggy grey heads of the anemones moved with the mountain breezes. The whole meadow, actually, moved, like the ocean, and the sound of millions of grasses rubbing together...
The 14 kms back to the parking lot flew by. Meadow upon meadow, deer footprints, whiskey jacks, fruit leather, snapshots of the panorama, ascend, descend, breathing hard in the thin air.
Too soon we were coming back over the bridges into the city. It was all red tail lights as we came towards the city. Rain drizzled down, so typical, Vancouver, so typical. Grey skyscrapers. Red lights. Grey concrete. Smog. Everything is moving so fast, and everything is so loud.
I close my eyes, and I can hear the sound of that ocean of meadow moving with the wind.