The Ya’Xaik TrailI am walking alone in the rain on the Ya’Xaik Trail, just east of the Overleaf Lodge & Spa and the Fireside Motel. In winter, when the leaves of the deciduous trees are nourishing the floor of the forest, I can see the forest-scape with fewer obstructions. The moss growing on the tree trunks and hanging from the branches pull me in to see their texture and detect their smell.

The towering trees have stood here for years, some for hundreds of years. As I walk through them, I absorb their certitude. On the side of a stump farthest from the trail, I spy artist conk mushrooms. I walk around to get a better look. I stand on my toes to see the dark tops of these huge fungi, their white undersides burgeoning like a frog’s throat mid-croak.

Walking this trail in early spring is always a source of wonder and delight, as leaves emerge on dormant trees and plants begin to bloom. The yellow tip of a skunk cabbage is peeking out from the tall green fronds. A salmonberry’s pink bloom hopes for the pollination of a bee, and I see petals from other buds have already fallen to the forest floor.

Today’s walk feels particularly therapeutic, perhaps from the calm-yet-persistent rain, the predictability of the familiar path, or maybe the regenerating plant life of early spring. I feel the welcoming embrace and reassurance of the forest.

The Ya’Xaik Trail
The Ya’Xaik Trail
The Ya’Xaik Trail
The Ya’Xaik Trail