Crimson Lake: On Broken Trees and Galavanting Youth

In mid-July our family went camping at Crimson Lake Provincial Park. I invited Blaise to join me on a morning hike around the lake, a 10 km walk with zero elevation change. He was eager and I let him carry the compass and I carried the snacks, water, extra clothes, bug repellent, sun screen, and camera.

We did not know that a massive wind storm had passed over this region only 3 days previous knocking down hundreds of trees. It seems all the trees that were knocked over fell over the path causing major obstructions. Blaise and I ambled up and over and under and around the massive fresh log jams. The fir trees were the most difficult, but also the least frequent.

The obstacle course added a couple hours to our trek, but they also presented some of the most interesting features to our journey. The lake was lovely and brightly reflected the sky, when we were beside it (only 10% of the trip). Dragonflies and damselflies hummed across our path. The path was devoid of other travellers. A light breeze blew threw the new leaves above us.

But the most striking thing was the wine red colour of the exposed wood underneath the broken bark of the collapsed trees. It made the tree seem more human with its flesh exposed. Their smooth surface was still moist and the leaves on the branches were still living. The trees seemed to be begging to be straightened out, have splints fastened and salve applied to the wounds.

The other noteworthy part of the trip was Blaise, my son recently turned seven years old. The fact that he talked almost non-stop for five hours is not unremarkable. The fact that he walked the entire 10 kms without complaining impressed me - especially since we were delayed so much by the windfall.

When Blaise turns 13 (or 14 or 15, we'll see what works), I want to be hiking the Appalachian Trail with him: his rite of passage into manhood. I have little doubt that he will rise to the expectation and I am certain that at the end of the 6 month trail he will have achieved manhood.

My little man.

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