Monday, September 1, 2014

Trail of Cedars

Just off the Going to the Sun road in Glacier National Park, a fantastic hiking opportunity awaits you. The Trail of Cedars is quick, flat, and worth every heartbeat of your time. Follow me down the boardwalk on a journey into a damp, green world. 

Much of Glacier is arid, more brown than green, but this little crevice in the mountains was different. Western cedar is a rarity this far east, but pockets still thrive, and this is one of them. 

Forests reveal themselves in layers. Standing trees reach for the sun while younger trees await their turn. Lower still are the ferns, lush and green and nestled among the mosses that coat the rocky soil. 

 I love forests like this. And the roar of Avalanche falls pulled me deeper into the experience.

I wasn't alone in this place, but the the sounds of the humans melted away while the rush of a swift, jade river transported me to an earlier time.another world.

Excerpt from Cairn: A Dragon Memoir
The twisted, burbling stream threaded through the lush forest, pooling here and tumbling over stones there. The air was scented with the richness of the earth, and the trees were alive with sleeping birds and singing frogs. As they approached a plum tree, Leaf’s belly rumbled, again. The peach had set things in motion inside her atrophied digestive tract. As she walked beneath the heavy limbs, a plum dropped to the ground, bounced once, and spun in half circle. 

I always find the words in the woods.

Look at that tree. It might have been alive when Lewis and Clark turned south just east of Glacier to find a way through the Rocky mountains. Think of everything this tree has seen. Although rooted in place, people have been passing by for hundreds of years. Native Americans, Buffalo hunters, white settlers, trappers, nineteenth century women in elegant high collared dresses, twentieth century flower children in colorful bell bottom blue jeans, tree-huggers, bored teenagers, bawling babies, elderly couples holding hands, and finally me. My head spins. 

Finally I find it: Avalanche Falls. Deep within a narrow crack in the stone, and gushing over toppled car-size boulders. I didn't want to leave, but when I turned, I saw this. 
The mountain called me back to the car and my little ragtag family. We had more adventures waiting for us.

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