There are secret spots in Stanley Park. I found one today.
Monty and I walked west along the road from Prospect Point and took the first right onto Merilees trail. It dipped down through the west side of the park and into the sloped area that was destroyed by a wind storm five years ago. As soon as the park re-opened, I had walked through this area with tears in my eyes. I didn’t recognize it. The views across Burrard Inlet to West Vancouver were wide open. Although beautiful, it was only possible because more than 10,000 trees had been knocked down. I cried. The trees sounded like they cried too due to the wind that now so easily whistled between them.
The area has improved but the old trees left standing are scarred. Chunks of bark are missing like wounds from a midnight rumble between the hemlocks and the cedars.
We continued along the trail and instead of taking my normal left, we took a right into an unnamed trail. After fifteen minutes of more dips and turns and hills and curves, we arrived at a look-out, high above Siwash Rock. This sea stack has long been a marker to signal the ten minutes left in my circular seawall run. But I had never seen Siwash Rock from this high angle before. How long had this look-out been here? I gotta start looking up more.
As we stood at the edge of the lookout, the two trees in front had been sliced off to preserve the view of Burrard Inlet. I glanced straight down and saw pennies and dimes and quarters resting on one of the flat-cut trunks. A little secret discovery, like when you travel and stumble upon a funky café that’s not in any guidebook.
I knew we were alone, but I glanced back anyways, just in case I could share my excitement. Hey, d'ya see this?
Was it a wishing tree? Or the group of lucky coins from a game of toss?
"Monty, ya dare me?" I immediately tossed a penny and ting! it hit another penny and both jumped off the tree, like when you scare somebody and then from their reaction, you get scared too.
I grabbed another penny from my pocket and tossed it. It fell short. Next, a dime. Argh!
I wasn’t willing to sacrifice a loonie and had only one penny left.
Stop! Breathe. Breathe again. Focus.
“This penny. Is going on. That tree,” I said.
Photo by Kimba