Other · Trips

Blakeburn Bottom

Today my Gluteus maximus hurts, cause – numb icy toes, slippery rocks in the stream and my never ending pre-disposition to be caught up in the fantasy land I’m walking through and capturing every moment that I can. Which resulted in not only once, but twice in landing in the water with my backside meeting some rather large pointy rocks, the bruises will heal and simply means I get to spend the next few days recalling how amazing the hike up the stream was.

As I headed up the Blakeburn Road, recalling so many discoveries in these hills the last few years, still utterly amazed at each new hidden relic I find. I quickly made my way off of the Loadstone FSR to Arrastra Creek FSR, then down to the bridge below. As I made my descent, the familiar outline of Lover’s Leap could be seen high above against the mountains side. I parked to the side, surrounded by tantalizing wild raspberries and thimble berries, perfectly ripe and fit for melting on my tongue.

Distance to the intended destination, directly up the creek a bit less than 800 meters. Caught up in the ideas of what may still be there, are the rumors true? Will I find carts still connected to each other hanging precariously on something? What will it be like to stand beneath Lover’s Leap staring up at it from below?

 

WI started up the creek, comfy in hiking boots, until the first pool was discovered. I tried skirting around, holding on to the edges, and that didn’t go over too well; I kept anticipating falling backwards. I stripped off the boots, switching to sandals. Well my first attempt at walking through, the cool icy water reached a certain body part, I then retreated. Instead opting to scamper through along the side and up first, as I threw up my backpack so I could have full use of my arms.

The scenery was breathtaking, sound of the stream relaxing, water so pure and clear and the birds playing in their private baths. I entertained myself by taking 245 pictures and snacking on every berry that we came across. Also keeping a look out up the canyon walls for Cougar, luckily no signs of any the entire hike. The wind coming down the canyon, felt like a Chinook, embracing you and leaving a feeling like having a hot cup of apple cider on a snowy day. Some of the granite boulders I came across were so huge, and perfectly round, made you fear if you’d lean on them you’d set them off rolling down the creek and take out the bridge below.

Then I stumbled across the perfect waterfall, and pool below, a hidden gem that I look forward to returning to on a hot summer day next year and being naughty. How many people have ever seen this? Tranquility is sought by so many, yet so few ever achieve it in their chase for their belief they will be successes in the minds of others. Shortly after that the strange relic of a hockey helmet was caught up in the log jams; made me wonder if I’d find the remains of a body attached to it further up. I was nearing my intended destination; I could see the underneath of Lover’s Leap, the remains of the trestles stretched out and over the embankment.

In front of me were knots and knots of cable, bound up within its self, some of the cables still attached to Lovers’ Leap so high above that crossed the canyon and back up to a tree across. So many things to touch and feel; cables, bolts, abandoned kettles, a rusty flattened bucket hanging on to the side of the mountain, eventually Mother Nature reclaims of all its metals. However, even 80 years later, all of it remains recognizable and strong enough to hold the log jam back. When Mother Nature does push it all forward I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near as it could take down the remains of Lover’s Leap high above.  I believe that there is truth to that story the coal carts did fall down, but they were likely retrieved via a pulley system. This is the only logical reason that the cable is attached from above; they would have lowered men down on the cable to attach them and then pulled the cars back up.

I pulled out the blanket and popped open the bottle of wine and toasted to my new discovery; Grateful to have a backyard that allows me to explore, and live a life full of moments and memories. Sad that I had to leave, but knowing that I can always visit again. Knowing that opening up the portals between the present and the past brings us closer to balance in gaining a true perspective on this world around us.

-Kris