I got to visit Marble Canyon Provincial Park again, after wondering for the last 15 years if I had only dreamt of it.
Marble Canyon Provincial Park in southwestern British Columbia, is now rejuvenating after a forest fire ripped through the area in 2003. I had been there just the year before the fire, when we were driving enroute across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver, with my furniture and possessions.
Tucked in Gorgeous Corner of Wilderness Parks
Marble Canyon is tucked in by Kootenay National Park and near Yoho National Park. Yes, this whole huge area by the British Columbia-Alberta border is a wonderful patchwork-swath of fantastic wilderness parks. Most foreign tourists are probably bedazzled and drawn just north, by the equally deserving splendour of Banff, Lake Louise and the Canadian Rockies.
We were in a hurry to hike through this lovely little gem because it was already late afternoon in October, just after the Canadian Thanksgiving. At this time of year, it felt like less than ten people along the gentle hiking trail that hugged the canyon lip — a good thing.
Baby Trees Sprouting Higgley-Piggley Like Children
Even after over 15 years, there was still a large upper mountain swath of skeleton forest burnt out and denuded.
However, just below the ghostly grey skeleton forest, were brilliant green, jaunty evergreen baby trees jumping up amongst limestone rocks. These trees were like a crowd of happy children tumbling out and scattering gleefully down the rocky mountainside. Their uplifted stubby branches were thick and especially luxuriant after a light rain a few hours before we arrived.
Soaring Mountains, Ghostly Denuded Forest and Living Surge of Nature
While hiking along the canyon perimeter, we marvelled over Nature’s ethereal juxtaposition of life and death in the vistas all around us. Soaring mountains overlooked a thundering turquoise river below that pushed through the canyon rock cut like a linear pulsating heartbeat, a relentless source of life that wore down eternal rocks. Lichen, wildflowers and bushes clung along the canyon lip and walls in a riotous jumble for sunshine, water and soil foothold.
All we could hear, was the breath of Nature—churning glacial waters from the mountains, twittering birds and a light wind caressing the leaves and grass.
It’s a comforting thought this spot of beauty will live forever, with forest fire relics of petrified wood, fallen timber beside surging waters and emerald glistening plant life that will overtake and find home among the broken old trees.