Why I live here

Yesterday Peter and I went on a hike to Fern Canyon to see the waterfall, both located in Russian Gulch State Park. It was a perfect day, sunny and warm and luxurious. Alas for us, the park has started charging for parking now, as it is season, but it was well worth the six dollars I didn’t spend, in my humble opinion. We hiked the long loop to the waterfall–the image below is of a set of carved stone stairs and the top of the waterfall is just out of the frame. The stairs, both of us agreed, are totally awesome, almost magical. The sound of the waterfall roars in your ears and then suddenly you round a corner of the well kept trail and there it is. When I am rich and have my own trophy house, my stairs will look just like this.

stone stairs at Fern Canyon
I’ve done a great deal of hiking here–this is probably my favourite trail. I’ve seen Fern Canyon at all sorts of seasons and in all sorts of weather. It is also, of course, the site of the infamous Banana Slug Project.

second growth treesMost of the park is second growth forest, which looks a lot like this. I also got some photographs of more recently harvested areas but they aren’t so pretty so I’m not posting them. As you can see in this image, the trees are slender and distributed loosely across the landscape. The undergrowth is not at all dense, presumably because the park doesn’t let it get out of control. But it was a beautiful day and it was awesome to see the blue sky peeping through here and there through the trees. Sad, though, to think that they should have been so much taller.

waterfall at Fern CanyonThis is the foot of the waterfall. There is also a beautiful rainbow, although it may be hard to see in this sized-down image. But it was beautiful. Trust me. That big log you can see at the top of the frame is a massive fallen tree which stretches into the waterfall. When I’m feeling confident I will stride out across it and stand in the water, but that’s rare. The waterfall is quite large, actually.

waterfall at Fern CanyonWhen I was a little girl my dad and I used to hike out to the waterfall on Sundays and we would pack a picnic lunch. Without fail, it would include a can of beets so that we could pour the juice off and turn the waterfall bright pink for a few moments. It was a splendid sight.

foamy riverThe water is very high right now because of all the rain–this image is of another part of the river but I think it captures the foamy fury of the water very well. Because it’s foamy. And furious. This section of the river actually undercut a large portion of the trail and caused it to collapse. There was intimidating orange netting, but I ignored it, which is more or less par for the course with me I suppose.

Dicentra eximiaDicentra eximia were in full bloom all along the trail–this is a particularly fine shot, if I may say so myself. The bleeding heart is one of my favourite flowers. And it should be one of yours too. Not just for the name, which is enchantingly gothic, but because they are rather lovely as well.

[Fern Canyon]