Waterfalls And Rain Forests: Hiking The Shuswap
This past Labour day weekend, I returned to the forests of my youth. I’m addicted to BC’s rain forests (most likely) because I grew up in them. When I was 1 month old, my family moved to Vancouver and I spent the first two years of my life on the coast amongst giant cedar trees and humid air. We returned to BC a decade later to live on an acerage near Salmon Arm. Everyday, after school, I disappeared into the dense cedar forests that surrounded our tall, cedar home. I literally spent every free moment of my time in the forest with my sisters, dog, cat and horse. If you surprised my family by a visit, after trekking down our long, forest-lined drive (and if you braved the giant black, bear-of-a-dog that would bound up to greet you) you’d usually find my sisters and I deep in the woods dressed in long flannel nightgowns (we often pretended we lived in pioneer times and the nightgowns were the closest thing to long dresses that we could find).
Fifteen years ago, I returned to BC with my husband to raise our daughters. We live in the Okanagan, which has spectacular forest too but (for the most part) they are dry forests of ponderosa and pine trees.
I am at home in the forests of BC. The wondrously rich smells of cedar and pine are my favourite scents on earth. I moved so often in my youth that I cannot pinpoint where my home town truly is. However, though I may not have a home town, I do have a home space and it is deep in the forests of BC.
As a child, I climbed inside the cave beneath Margret Falls. However, on this trip, only Peter managed it. Though, we’ll come back, in the early summer, and bring bathing suits and towels so we can all attempt to step through the falls.
Reuniting with the rain forests in the Shuswap made my childhood flood back to me. It was magical returning to the woods I grew up in. I felt as though I’d never left. My emotions fluctuated between weeping tears of both joy and loss on the hike: joy, at feeling that I’d come home and sadness that the little girls in their night dresses, with their big dog McDuff and their cat (with attitude) Spunky, would not be spotted at a make-shift camp down by the banks of the creek.
I hope you enjoy a few photographs from our hikes both above and below Margret Falls, BC.