• Lara

When Everything Goes Wrong at Wickenden Park (North Vancouver).

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

I pulled into the parking lot at Deep Cove with my wipers going at full speed. I realized I probably should have double checked the weather before I headed out in shorts and a tank top with 3 kids hoping to climb the Quarry Rock for the first time this year-A small mountain hike you can read about by clicking here.

Not only did I pass two signs saying the hike I wanted to go on was closed, but the rain combined with Ocean breeze made me regret not throwing a pair pants in the car for just in case events like this. To make matters even worse, I had invited another family to come with us and they just drove 45 mins to get to this soggy disaster. I confess I was feeling a bit frazzled. I took a deep breath and did what I'm learning to do more of- put my faith in this experience. There is a lesson to be learned here I told myself. Even if I couldn't see it right at the moment. I knew I would find out soon enough.

I pulled out my GPS, took a look at where I was on the map, and then I scanned the area for green. There were many options, and just by chance I chose Wickenden Park. This was place I had never heard about, but hoped it wouldn't disappoint the 5 children and 3 adults that were about to stomp through. I started the car again and drove to the park.

The rain stopped almost as soon as I had parked the car In front of the forest. It seemed to be a quiet nod of approval from the universe that had clearly been guiding me here all along. We began what could likely be considered the greatest adventure of our year.

Hours later we all emerged completely covered head to tow in mud and smiles. Our bellies full of the Salmon Berries we had found along the way. Our hearts full with the friendships that had deepened as we hiked.

The walk was aimless, which was perhaps what brought it to life. It was purely to explore and pass the time of the day together. No other objective or plan. We roamed, back and forth sometimes over the same path as we tried to navigate our way deeper into the forest without a map. The older 3 children ran ahead, yelping and leaping discovering wood peckers and large mushrooms growing on the side of even larger trees. The younger two equally enchanted, collected leaves as they stompedd in muddy puddles with glee.

We climbed over boulders, made a grave for a dead bird found along the way, set up the hammock for a brief reprieve from standing upright for so many hours. We ate lunch by a stream that looked unreal in its rustic, rugged and perfect beauty. What a gift this walk had been. No one wanted to leave at the end, but looking at my youngest two dripping in mud, I knew it was time to pull out the extra set of clothing I always had in the vehicle for the kids. I made a mental note to throw in some pants for myself.

I began to understand how having faith had led to this. I could have called off the whole outing because a few seemingly important details were not going my way. I would have missed all of this.

This was a hike much more beautiful than I could have designed by going up the Quarry Rock trail I had planned. I would likely never have found this place if Covid-19 hadn't shut down so many places.

With only a few people passing by, it felt like we had the entire forest to ourselves. This allowed for the sarcasm to be bumped to the side and authentic conversations to erupt.

The day ended with a return to Deep Cove. The kids spent the last of their day climbing the play structure, and snacking on the most delectable take out of Yam and Truffle French Fries from the Deep Water Micro Eatery on the corner. I made a note to bring Mark here for a date.

Although it was not at all what I had planned, I realized sometimes the greatest adventures grow from the biggest disasters.

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