We made our way to Gold Creek Falls in Golden Ears Provincial Park. A few customary wrong turns and we arrived in the lush parking lot. While the falls were picturesque, creating rainbows and saturating us with mist, the short jaunt up to them was spectacular. Being from the Midwest, I've observed the adage that moss does indeed usually grow on the dark north side of the tree. To follow that advice here, I would have to be everywhere all at once. The trees in the park were draped with downy green jackets. Arms sprung in every direction searching for the dappled green sunlight. Growth was all around, even within decay. Thin spindly trees reached from stumps of old skyscrapers logged long ago. I learned later that these are called nursery trees. The old nanny stumps raising the baby sprouts up through the towering forest. The forest was soaked with life as mushrooms and ferns led to shrubs led to the green giants reaching to bath their mossy appendages in the now rare sunlight.
Our second hike dazzled in an entire different manner. We drove northeast and up to a sky resort just north of Vancouver. Then we hit a small trail over to the peak of Dog Mountain. It was true to its name as we saw a variety of canines on the hour long walk over and up. The trail was slick with the fall rains. Roots and rocks alike required a watchful eye and careful foot. I slipped three times on one log causing the hikers we passed to remark with a smile, "I guess we won't go on that one." We laughed and moved on to more close calls.
When we reached the summit, dark clouds had rolled in except for the brighter southern sky. The wind was fierce, yet mist clung to the resting mountains to the north of us. A fantastic view no doubt, that was lost loo of the panorama to the southwest. Stretched before us was a vast kingdom of Vancouver and all the surrounding land that trickled into the Pacific. Inlets of briny ocean meshed with outlets starting to light up a city welcoming the night. Airplanes twinkled in the thick clouds over the water and the steady lights of barges glowed bellow. We stayed up on top for over an hour, talking and gazing. I was reminded of how Zack on an earlier hike how his favorite views are when the man-made blends with the natural. Chance in commune with accomplishment. As Zack told me about a blueprint he made back in college of a building on campus that was built into the hill rather than on it, I realized this was the best view I'd ever had of a city. I'd been to higher mountain tops but never above an urban sprawl. I have a temptation to sometimes assume that the natural is innately better than the mechanical. But that day made me realize the beauty in the blending of the two.