A couple of years ago we found ourselves traversing a canyon trail that promised to take us to a place called Margaret Falls.
“Found ourselves” sort of makes it sound like we were abducted and dropped off against our will, or perhaps that we slept walked to the falls, which would be quite a feat considering our bed is located over a thousand kilometers away.
Rest assured that we ended up on the trail-about 15 kilometers west of Salmon Arm, BC-quite deliberately, but nothing prepared us for the insane beauty of the place. From the moment we set foot on the paved path until we reached the falls itself, we felt like we had entered a sacred place.
Or perhaps a theme park or movie set.
It was confusing. And breathtaking.
Here are some pictures of the walk through the canyon, but they really don’t do the place justice.
The paved path, with its knee-high boundary fence to remind people not to trample the unique and fragile ecosystem, made it feel surreal. The waterfall fed creek flowed past moss-covered rocks while perfectly placed trees-both alive and those giving themselves back to the forest floor-made it easy to imagine the scene was birthed by Walt Disney rather than Nature…which is kind of tragic when you think about it.
One tree angled itself onto the pathway and had been clamored on by children until its trunk was polished smooth as resin.
On we went, over bridges and through the shady canyon and then…there it was! It was no Niagara, but it was perfectly proportioned and so worth the hike.
Well, the “hike” was a five-minute stroll along a paved path so pretty much anything would be worth it, but still. It was beautiful. There was a cave right in the waterfall. Apparently locals often climb through the falls and inside the cave, though this is highly discouraged and illegal.
I always imagine what tourist attractions were like before they were attractions. Before the necessary rules and the ropes. What it must have been like for the first humans who stumbled across it. During the hot summers this shady oasis would no doubt have been a popular gathering place for indigenous people and later homesteaders. If only the canyon walls could talk.
In a world where things are always changing there is a comfort in a waterfall’s never ceasing flow. I like to think about how the waterfall I am looking at now, is the very same waterfall someone else stood in front of and admired a hundred years ago…or more. It is hard to fathom so much water always falling year after year after year. And of course what a terrible thing it would be if it were to ever stop.
There is so much beauty in our world and I am so grateful for the snippets I have been able to see first hand. Margaret Falls is definitely one of them. It’s a good slice.