Douglas Fir Trail

As a kid growing up on the Saskatchewan prairies with only a few trees and none more than a century old, the trees of the west coast assumed mythic proportions. The Sequoia grew on foreign soil but we had our own ageless monsters, the Douglas Fir. When I moved to Calgary I learned that the extreme eastern limit of the range of the Douglas Fir is the Bow River Valley in western Calgary. There are two stands that I often walk through and the one furthest east has a trail appropriately called the Douglas Fir Trail.
This Trail climbs from the river valley up a hundred feet or more near the crest of a steep wooded embankment on the south side of the river, overlooking northern Calgary about five kilometres from city center. There are two segments to the trail and due to washouts you now have to descend back into the river valley for the adjoining trail between them. I found the eastern portion of the trail last year and did not come upon the western portion until a few weeks ago. It has fascinated me with a beautiful lookout over the valley and north-western Calgary about half way when the trail is high in up the embankment near the crest.
On one of my trips, I tried to find a high trail from this lookout heading west rather than follow the marked trail which winds back down toward the valley floor. The trail I followed took me out of the valley and along housing overlooking the valley before going back into the valley on just the kind of trail I was seeking, a dirt trail that winds its way through the forested embankment. When I re-entered the valley there appeared to be a trail heading back toward the lookout and I made a note to explore that further on another day. Yesterday was the day.
It was a beautiful warm and sunny fall day and I retraced my steps to where the trail headed east toward the lookout. It soon petered out with the remnant heading down a steep embankment. I followed this slipping on fir needles and hanging onto exposed roots to keep from falling. Eventually I crossed a small ravine cutting through the embankment with a small stream at the bottom heading for the Bow River. I crossed the ravine and found another trail that worked its way back up the embankment. It was very steep and again littered with fir needles and fir roots that provided some purchase as I scrambled hand and foot up the slope.
Puffing and panting, I arrived back at the well marked trail with its steps and wooden railings. More scrambling was possible on a dirt trail like the one I had come up and that was my choice. A few minutes later after another time out to catch my breath, I crested the valley embankment and there was a park bench at a lookout over the valley floor and the river far below.
I sat on this bench and a deep calm came over me. In front of me and a little to the right was a mature and healthy Douglas Fir. It was spread out as firs do when they have space and do not have to compete for sunlight and had branches right down to ground level. In the silence, I communed with this tree, saying hello and how much I had enjoyed my little adventure. We were joined by other spirits of the woods, the river and the energies that have visited me over the last few weeks. It was a lovely little party in the quiet of this secluded spot and the vista below.
After a timeless reverie, I heard people approaching on the well marked portion of the trail and roused myself to continue on my way. I know I will seek out this park bench and this old Douglas Fir in future visits.
Freedom for humanity…


About freedom4humanity

Serving Humanity with information about the Divine process of Ascension.
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