Saturday, August 4, 2007

Water (King Creek Canyon, 2007)

by Darryl Darwent

(originally unpublished)

I was thinking today of that age-old game Rock-Scissors-Paper. Anyone who has played knows that Rock wins over all the others. I think they should include Water as a fourth element. Trekking through King Creek Canyon one only has to see what a force it can be in transforming and beautifying a landscape.

Water is the great equalizer. Without it nothing grows. So it is a life force. It is also energy. In torrents it can sweep away and create anew. And another character of water is its patience. Oh, I guess running water has no time to stop and observe the glint it brings to a rock as it passes over with the Sun high at noon. Who knows. Maybe because of the water cycle that same drop has a chance to go through the same valley again and again until it gets it right.

Does that sound too Eastern for you (and I don't mean Tor-rawna)?

King CreekKing Creek Canyon is such a place where the water flows and transforms all year round. It is probably accurate to say that with each year that passes something changes. But, without repeated visits, and good study, the average hiker would miss what had occurred. Perhaps a new fissure was created due by the expanding pressure of a winter’s ice. Maybe a limestone wall collapsed or a mature tree that was just clinging to the upper rim tumbled down. Now a home for wildlife was created or lost, water is diverted or completely unaffected or it just continues to go on, over, through where it has done the same for thousands of years.

GGEH hiked though King Creek Canyon on Sunday July 29. There were ten of us in the group: the Veenstra family, Dick and Ruby Klumpenhower, Marlene Juss and her dog, Tony, Malcolm and Ginny Juss and myself. We arrived at the trailhead around ten thirty in the morning. We weren’t certain of what we could attempt in the time we had. Some thought about reaching the ridge, while others were just willing to see where we were after several hours. We quite aware that the temperatures forecasted would have a great effect on our outcome. With the range predicted to be from the upper twenties to low thirties Celsius, we had chosen the Canyon for the shelter of its wall in giving merciful shade. Any attempt to the ridge would draw us out of the blessed coolness and drain us of our energy (oh, but the views to be had!).

Leaving the trailhead, which is within hearing distance of Hwy 40, we started moving upstream. No sooner then coming around one bend we were compelled to make a creek crossing using some felled timber. kcc-crossing-2.jpgThis would only be one of many to come.

There was some people who managed to keep their feet dry. We won't name names. But it should be pointed out that there were a few who took it upon themselves to help others stay dry. Malcolm Juss was one who positioned himself at many crossings so that people kept their balance.Malcolm helping Ems across

There are are also some people also like to show off. Yeah, that me on the left. We just had a great day.

Clowning around

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