Commemorating 25 Years Since My West Coast Trail Hike
I’ve produced a dearth of writing (other than my serial novel) for the past few months. I have mused often though, on how best to ease my way back into it, now that the tumult of travelling, house purchase, more travelling and moving is dying down.
This past week marked the 25th anniversary of my completing the West Coast Trail hike on Vancouver Island. I wrote the essence of this post five years ago for an old blog — the result of a creative writing assignment — a shoo-in to re-publish in commemoration. Update and edit for an easy post — done!
Then, as we were in the throes of planning our move, I got some sad news. One of the six of us, all friends who did the hike together, had passed away. So this post is also to honour my friend Linda.
She is the lovely lady front and centre in this picture. Time and distance effectively meant we lost touch, but while we lived in Alberta, we shared some incredible memories. High days and holidays at house parties. International dinners and Name That Tune. Our respective weddings.
And few memories rank higher than hiking the West Coast Trail (weddings notwithstanding, of course!). To quote her words, when this photo was posted on Facebook a few years ago, “That was awesome, wasn’t it?” Yes, Linda, it absolutely was.
Now, about the original post. I tried several times over the years to capture a sense of my experience as I hiked. However, the sheer scope of the trail, and what was involved in completing it, overwhelmed me. I would start, only to lose myself in the minutiae. The creative writing exercise focused me in on one particular photograph, taken at the end of the hike. It’s a favourite, and the following explains why.
Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like having my picture taken. Photographs always seem to catch me at an odd angle or pulling a strange face. I am quite critical of most of them, which leads me to the conclusion that I am also quite vain. So it would surprise people to know that one of my favourite photos of myself is also one of the least flattering.