I LIKE THAT my sister-in-law, Rose, joined us for a short excursion on a rainy day in Port Alberni. Frank packed our grandson, Grayson, on his shoulders for part of the trek while Rose and I trudged down the well-packed trail sidestepping water puddles and hopping over slugs.
The most exciting thing about hiking with our five-year-old grandson is that he refreshes our sense of wonderment with nature. He opens up our fascination with sticks and stones and ignites our amazement with plants. Glistening water droplets on a spider web catch his attention and we all stop to gaze at the complexity and intricacy of its construction.
Further down the trail, a rusted-out vehicle draws our attention. Frank and Grayson stand as close as the surrounding prickly bushes will allow. Grandpa takes the time to identify the various car parts while Grayson listens with keen interest.
Rose pays special attention to the Scotch Broom close enough that we can admire their neon yellow flowers. I tell her that the invasive species seems to be taking over the Island. They are such bullies that other plants are taken over by them. I’ve also read that the leaves, buds and pods of broom contain toxic chemicals and substances that can affect the nervous system and the heart.
Our trek continues through the raindrops to the hole in the wall. What used to be a pipeline has since been disassembled but has left a gaping hole in the layers of sediment large enough to travel through. Grayson tosses rocks into the fast flowing stream while Rose takes cover under a large broad leaf tree and Frank attempts a river crossing. The slippery rocks discourage him and so we turn back toward the trail and make our way out of the forest.
|Hikers on Hole in the Wall Trail|
|Hole in the Wall|