Little White Walks: Capilano River

Here begins a series of jaunts in the key of white. This week, I follow the Capilano River in North Vancouver.

It’s December 26 and the terrain is unexpectedly wintery, the weather too cool for a prairie boy looking for a reprieve from the chill back home.

I start high up in the posh residential neighbourhoods of North Vancouver. Quiet streets and hidden trails take me west to Cleveland Dam. To one side is Capilano Lake, huddled beneath mountain slopes. To the other side, Capilano River tumbles wildly, half frozen down the dam’s steep chase to the chasm far below. My walk parallels its flow southward, following the Upper Shinglebolt and Capilano Pacific trails.

Snow has a tenuous hold in this temperate climate. It clings to the shoulders of slouched trees and low bushes. Stark lines of white cut across dark fields of dense forest, like the sharp contrasty edges of an etching or woodcut print. Gone are summer’s soft watercolour tones of deep greens and browns. Escher has arrived.

The woods eventually open onto the wide Capilano River, now leisurely making its way down to Vancouver Harbour. Harsh concrete bridges cross above me. The low rumble of its traffic underscores treble-pitched river water as it cascades over boulders. Apartment towers peek through the diminishing rows of trees. And eventually I find myself in the parking lot at Park Royal Shopping Centre, another posh development. The end of this little white walk.

If you are a follower of WalkClickMake, you may recognize this walk from an earlier post, “Walking The Water in North Vancouver: Capilano”, written on April 7, 2016 but walked just before Christmas, 2015. Then, the weather was, I would guess, more typical for Vancouver: warmer and wetter. That walk was also included in my small book, “Walking The Water”, which is still available in my Blurb Bookstore.

 

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