Post-Purim River Walk

Yesterday Dan and I, and some other new friends, took advantage of the sunny spring day and headed down to the Koksilah River with the kids. The Trans-Canada Trail runs through our property and it’s about a half-hour walk to the Kinsol Trestle, depending on how distracted you get along the way.  As we started out, Dan commented that it had been half a year since he’d even been down to our lower property! We have some lower fields and another fenced garden closer to the trail, and at the bottom is a large beaver pond. The beavers have stripped the alders from the edges of the pond to create their masterpiece, and in winter, it looks rather bleak and bare, but we like knowing they’re down there. I realized it had also been many months since I’d been down as well; we become so focused we get on our homesteading project we forget to walk around and absorb the rhythms of the natural world around us.

But March often lures us out, with the promise of nettles and new life and we were happy to stretch out. It had also been a while for the kids, and they bounded ahead of us with much enthusiasm. Along the way, we noticed that the beavers had been busy further down the trail- many trees were down- some so enormous it was hard to fathom that these creatures chewed these down with their teeth!

Soon we were at the grand trestle which is undergoing a major restoration. Called the largest timber-framed trestle in the British Commonwealth, the train bridge had major fire damage some years ago and has been closed. Since we’ve moved here, the debate over its restoration, and the fundraising to do that, have been prominent (  Last year the 4 million or so needed to begin restoration was secured and building began in earnest last fall. We expect to be able to cross over to Shawnigan this summer.

My views on this are mixed: it seems an awful lot of money spent on a bridge, even one as historic as this, and the sheer amount of wood needed for it is staggering. But I do love the look of it, and we will be pleased to be able to cross, especially as Dan has employment prospects right across the bridge. A 5 minute bike ride beats a 45 minute drive anyday!

After observing the trestle progress from the observation platform, we scrambled down to the Koksilah where we had a quick snack. The river was heavy with spring rains and snow melt and around us bright green growth signaled newness. The kids clambered over the rocks, playing imaginative games and soaking in the atmosphere of the rushing river. At one point Zylo turned to us, his eyes alight, and said “It’s so funny….it’s like the wildest place….but also the calmest!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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