A recent ride with some buddies along the valley bottom trails has prompted me to write. We rode the Mamquam River spawning channel trails, then alongside the Squamish River, to various interconnected Squamish Estuary trails through to Newport Beach, then back along the Mamquam Blind Channel, through the Loggers Creek trails and finally back to the spawning channel trails.
It was a chilly but awesome ride. We saw eagles, salmon, swans, snow-clad peaks, powerful rivers, lichen-draped trees, stunning waterfalls and many other like-minded Squamatons out enjoying our stunning backyard.
These valley trails are a wonderful community asset and for the most part, have been the creation of dedicated and passionate local volunteers. I was blown away at all the recent work that has gone into upgrading many of the trails to accessibility standards. Accordingly, a big shout out to the Squamish Trails Society and those volunteers who take on these labours of love that we all so enjoy!
On another note, something that has been bugging me for a long time has been, what I interpret as, the demise of casual courtesy while out enjoying nature. I suspect it could be a generational phenomenon linked to the ubiquity of social media, our ever-connected world and I realize the ‘OK Boomer’ catchphrase certainly applies to me, nevertheless, it would be nice to see a return to the old- fashioned custom of greeting someone you pass on a trail. I realize that many of the newcomers to Squamish are urbanites but really, it isn’t Burrard and Georgia out there. Far too often, when passing mountain bikers, trail runners, backcountry skiers not a word of greeting is heard, not even eye contact. Maybe it is a lost custom that is an inevitable result of societal change and does not reflect a lack of courtesy. I, for one, would like to see its return and will continue to foster it.
So, don’t be creeped out when an old guy purposefully greets you the next time out enjoying our amazing trail network.