big mama of hoodoo trails

instead of skipping up tunnel mountain, i have decided that i am going to try to go around flat trails, to northeast of banff center- which will get you to either bow falls or hoodoo trail. this was monkey resolution of two days ago. however, ive been foiled yesterday as i found some new tracks going up up up. so had to take it. needed to be done, or i would be left wondering the whole time. anyways. it turned out to be a light scramble up to the tunnel. so with a little surprise, i ended up doing tunnel yesterday. still not a bad thing. it was a nice find.

you see, the trails i know are learned during mostly in winter time. snow and ice covered. barely visible path unless- well unless it is the path that everyone takes. not boring, however, predictable. so finding these little capillaries of trails in this autumnal sliver of time have been rather interesting. hence, i am determined or rather, undetermined to stick to a path, but to go wherever it ends up being. the mountains are so big and strong, i never worry about getting lost. comfort. as one gets to learn about the surroundings without artificial means (arrows markers that kinds of things), it becomes incredibly familiar to learn the little clues of these so-called-tracks. especially the lightly tread ones. genius.

today however, i did try my best to stick to the main path, because i wanted to get to big mama and take a photo. mr salamander in his brief stint in banff centre has seen the bow falls and have been rather surprised by the quarks of involuntary memories (ie. storing of visual images without personal intention to do so) turning into an almost fictional recreation (ie. by painting what may have occurred as 'fictional' scene, with no previous recognition about the initial image), then a surprise reconnaissance (ie. running into the initial image with zero expectation, then finding it before his own very eyes). amazing. however, in quest for the grail-ish image (he knew that the scene 'may' exist somewhere in the rockies. so he was seeking, if passably i suppose), he never made the turn to the north and hence have not seen big mama.

big mama is a tree. a big tree. and you say what is the deal? there are enough trees in forest. in fact, that is what makes a forest a forest. surely, you dont think it's a surprise? well, there are trees. then there are 'trees.' the idea of what we see visually in its immediate presentation often is deceiving as one may miss a whole-a-lot at a glance. that's why a glance is a glance. but as one learns to finetune, i think one may start to see a lot more things, not hidden, but subtle.

big mama is not a fat tree or really tall tree but she is definitely big. not in the sense you want to weigh her or measure her. in fact i couldnt really get a good picture of her. she was big where she was planted, solid on the ground and you can literally feel her roots engrossing the earth around you- as you get near by. it just made no sense to to squeeze her into a small frame of a camera. that's not what she's about, i dont think.

she is deep probably much more so than she is tall, because the weather in the rockies can be quite hard (in fact im quite frozen at the moment). and when you are on the hoodoo trail and not just looking at the map or the end of your toes, there is no mistake once you get near her. by the way, if you are ever curious, she is after the two little curvy turns downward by the river flow (though strangely it's quite dried up at the moment), standing on the eastside of the trail. if you look straight at the eye level (not down, not up), she'll be right there, looking back at you and acknowledging your presence.

today i got to near her around 8amish. with loon calls. and i wanted to tell her hello. but with bit of snow falling and the wind caressing the trees, getting ready to hibernate, i dared to break the silence. silly you may say, but unless one has experienced it, it is impossible to explain that feeling i think. and i thought of my friend DO who once made a statement (he's a very gentle being and rarely suggest 'what to do' to others)- we were out there in last residency during winter. and the flock of girls immediately do what little girls do: to touch, give physical affection, to hug the tree, take pictures etc etc.

and he said: no. no. she may not want to be touched. she's...

and that was that. the girls were sort of stunned but decided to follow DO's suggestion. and i remember thinking- hey you also felt it. you also know. and big mama also recognizes you, as a returned gesture. of her grandeur. of her history and presence. and of your sensitivity and respect.

nature if a funny thing at times. we take it as if we have figured out the world and we know how things roll. but more and more i try to let go of the connotations of such things, i am more and more amazed about the way things are webbed. and i feel as if im just getting awakened from somewhat crappy sleep induced by all the industrialization. i like technology and such, however, as much as i dig it, i think it is another phase. an important phase. to be synced. with my surroundings and things that are not for me, but things that coexists with me. things that are generous enough to let me be at their proximity.

as well as the new wave of personalities i am finding. and the ones who i keep coming back to with rolling tides of affection. it's always rolling in. more and more. funny that is- the more you let it flow from you to another, even more rolls in.

aah sorry mr salamander, i wasnt able to do a justice. perhaps i may find an okay representation of big mama in my camera (it's also out of energy at the moment bleh) and monkey's frozen solid. but it'll be coming. as i sense that we'll be back. and visit big mama properly. in her element. with all respects.

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