Canyon Hike


(photo credit: Graeme Pole. Johnston Canyon)

We stepped with purpose, a marching band of old and young.
We dodge other hikers as we ascend the canyon.

Water rushes in bubbling, white torrents, foaming and splashing
as it forces its way through narrow gorge walls that squeeze
and open and narrow again.

Glacier blue liquid leaps and spins, pole vaulting over boulders,
hurdling fallen trees, and diving into swirling eddy pools.

The sun’s rays find their way into the canyon beaming heat onto
our backs and shoulders and the tops of our heads. Faces redden
and our pace slows.

A surge from the river skips over wooden boards, flying above the
rocky path. It startles flesh with a icy smack, then drops to thirsty ground.

We mount staircases built into cliff sides. We zigzag upward along wire
mesh catwalks that cling to the canyon walls.

At last we bask in the mist and spray of water cascading down the deep ravine.
We admire moonholes and caves, and smooth sensuous, curving stonework
sculpted by water

doing exactly what it is supposed to do.

We descend into hordes of people all wanting to see what we just saw. It feels
like we are on a broken escalator. Elbows and shoulders bump as we jostle and
scramble past each other.

At last we sit and lick soft ice cream in gentle circular strokes from
crunchy cones, as we savour the thrill of completing our hike.