How are we wandering Americans to know it’s Canada’s provincial parks camping weekend?  Of course, all campgrounds from Jasper to Banff are overflowing so we drive on. Sun is setting low over the pass when we find a lonely parking lot near trailhead where we can park our pickup camper for the night. Tired of riding, we decide to check out the trail as dusk settles on forest.

Light fades fast in the high country, exaggerating shapes and shadows.  Full skirts of fir trees appear as dark illustrations straight from the Brothers Grimm.  My apprehension only serves to amplify the crunch of pine needles and sounds of skittering.  We meet last pair of hikers coming back down trail and I note they have walking sticks equipped with bear bells.


night envelops trees

alpine woods bathed in shadow

autumn falls early


Poets at dVerse are writing haibuns and “forest bathing” this week!

24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rosemawrites
    Mar 08, 2017 @ 21:40:51

    ooooh. this is both enchanting and haunting, Lynn! your descriptions are so vivid. ❤


  2. Victoria C. Slotto
    Mar 07, 2017 @ 17:05:41

    That part of the world is on my bucket list. That must of been a bit scary, not exactly knowing where you were and what you might encounter.


  3. Misky
    Mar 07, 2017 @ 15:19:07

    Ah yes, bear bells. And I remember metal boxes with padlocks for storing food so the bears couldn’t get at it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your haibun. It brought back memories of our own trips in that area when we were young.


  4. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Mar 07, 2017 @ 13:01:05

    I was in Glacier many years ago, and remember those bear-bells, but I always enjoyed finding a campground at trailhead or similar… (of course we slept in tent, so bears would be a concern)


  5. Grace
    Mar 07, 2017 @ 11:39:29

    I am actually going to that area this summer and I expect it to be fully packed ~ I hope you enjoyed the trip even though its nighttime. And I love your haiku of alpine woods bathing in shadows Lynn ~ Thanks for joining us ~


  6. writerwannabe763
    Mar 07, 2017 @ 10:13:43

    Sounds a bit ominous… When we travelled to the US a few years ago, we went to Maine via New York and found out it was a US holiday and traffic was so busy as were all the hotels… we drove and drove one night to find some haven to stay the night. When you’re in a different country it’s hard sometimes.. .. Diane


  7. lillian
    Mar 07, 2017 @ 07:53:24

    Okay………you’ve taken me a different direction with this one! I’m nervous, more and more as I read! Which is the sign of a good writer as you’ve taken me right where you are. Those bear bells, dark….skirts of trees….shadows. Not so serene in this scene.


  8. frankhubeny
    Mar 07, 2017 @ 07:29:03

    I get a sense of foreboding on trails at times especially if I don’t see anyone else on the trail or it is getting dark. It is also possible to get lost on trails that wind around and with paths that cross each other taking you on circles without realizing it. I almost always have a phone with GPS with me. We use an app (Life360) that allows other people in my family to know where the phone is. If the phone has problems, I return from the trail.


    • lynn__
      Mar 07, 2017 @ 08:58:39

      You share words of an experienced and wise hiker. Thanks, Frank! My husband had his phone and I had my flashlight along…in pocket.


  9. Beverly Crawford
    Mar 07, 2017 @ 00:47:56

    I hope you turned and followed their bear bells back to the trail head! Beautiful description of the forest at night with shadows looming. Thank you for taking us along!


  10. Victoria Young
    Mar 07, 2017 @ 00:01:26

    love your haiku!


  11. kanzensakura
    Mar 06, 2017 @ 21:39:44

    Excellent! And though it is dark, it fits the prompt perfectly. Being in the forest isn’t always relaxing. The haiku is spot on…autumn falls early adds to the (cant think of the word I want) scary tone of this.


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