THE CANYONS ARE CALLING: WINTER
A series of short stories about the Fraser Canyon Region in British Columbia, Canada by Adele Hinkley.
Mornings chopping wood, a tolerable -14 degrees with the perfect skiff of snow. My morning routine is one of my favorite memories of living at Kumsheen Rafting Resort in Lytton one winter.
Each morning after finishing the daily chore of loading up on firewood, I’d take a little break by walking on the nearby nature trail. I’d make my way peacefully, snow crunching underfoot through the pine trees to my first stop: a viewpoint to see the Thompson’s color that day. When the weather was cold enough I’d see ice chunks circling about in the eddies far below.
Breathing in the crisp air my eyes would scan the mountains to see who might be there, what wildlife was going to make an appearance? Would a white chested osprey with spotted tan and black feathers swoop down to catch a fish or glide on the wind in anticipation of its next meal? Would a herd of mountain goats be hiding in the rock walls with nothing but white rumps with black tails to indicate their whereabouts? Would they venture to the water’s edge to drink? With each creature perfectly designed to camouflage itself within the natural environment, I needed to take my time and scan the scenery with care to find them.
Then my mood would change to excitement as I’d hear a train coming! I‘d become hypnotized as it wound along the tracks, through tunnels, and down the canyon.
Eventually, all is calm again and as the train moves on, so did I, walking along the trail that follows along the edge, high above the dark emerald-coloured Thompson. I’d stop again for a moment on my sitting stump to take in the rock face as it transitioned from white to cream and then to red; adorned with green pine trees.
Another train would often come from the opposite side of the river, only slightly noticeable. By now my senses have grown accustomed to this sound as it blends in with the greater ebb-and-flow.
Off I’d head up a slight incline to the lookout where I could view more of the Thompson as it flowed down along the Highway 1, past Jade Springs Restaurant to the Village of Lytton where it would meet up with the Fraser.
The sights and sounds were easy to enjoy no matter the temperature. The coldest days reminded me of my humanness the most; cold breaths, tingling extremities, and a wind-kissed face of rosy red cheeks and bright blue eyes.
These days made my earlier work of chopping firewood all the more satisfying. Especially when I returned home to warm by the wood-burning stove.
My cherished daily routine left me feeling – alive and connected to nature.
The nature trail is a loop around Kumsheen Resort property that opens in Mid-May for the season.
Location: Fraser Canyon – Lytton, British Columbia Canada
Written & Photos contributed by: Adele Hinkley
Sponsored by: Lytton Chamber of Commerce
Disclaimer: Everyone is encouraged to travel within the current regulations set out by the Province of British Columbia. Plan before you go – do your research and choose the right experience for you. Stories are based on personal experience.
READ MORE STORIES BY ADELE HINKLEY:
The Canyons Are Calling: An Introduction
The Canyons Are Calling: Winter in the Fraser Canyon
The Canyons Are Calling: Fishing in the Fraser Canyon
The Canyons Are Calling: Trails of the Fraser Canyon