The Green Gardens of Trout Trap
After yesterday momentous hike and for Alfred, a fretful long night, it’s a late beginning to the day. This is not a bad thing as the sun doesn’t crest the mountain ridges until mid morning. Stretch stiff limbs, we stroll to an overlook and inspect the route ahead. A lake gleams gold with the reflecting sun light. In the far distance, the plains of Trout Trap entice us onward. But the distance is deceiving. After skirting two small lakes, an easy stream crossing, it still takes several hours before the valley really widens and hiking becomes more carefree.
Stiff and sore from yesterdays fall, I’m happy when we finally broach the rim and look out. The lush greenness of the fertile plain is startling contrast to the rocky void we have just traversed. I scan expectantly for caribou, knowing they might be grazing on these productive lands compared to the barren rock valleys which are used more as roadways. But none are to be seen, at least with my naked eye. Far far in the distance are the lands of Seven Island Bay – much closer is the north side of Komaktorvik and our immediate destination, a camp site somewhere below.
The change in terrain is a shock to my feet, they stumble in the giving grass, seeking the hardness of rock. How ironic, after only a few days, they have forgotten the easy life! My nose awakens to the rich scent of vegetation, a welcome perfume after the sterility of rock. I feel like a kid in the candy store, rediscovering all kinds of basic elements, previously taken for granted. However, the return of lushness also brings the unwelcome return of pesky mosquitos and black flies. Crossing a few more small rivulettes and the river outflow from Torngak’s Lair we set up camp by 3pm.
With camp established and blue sky overhead, our energy levels are high. We decide the ocean 3 km away needs a closer inspection. Colourful slopes glow yellow – orange – green. The crystal clear creek sparkles like diamonds, teal blue greens reflecting sky. Fat char, their backs black apparent, wave their tails slowly to maintain place in the current.
A cool breeze from the ocean keeps the bugs away. I stop many times to pick juicy August blue berries, hanging from low bushes. Alfred inspects the fish in the creek, filming as the mood strikes him. Somehow, the need to make the ocean destination evaporates, and we simply explore the creek wherever fancy strikes. The hours pass and eventually hunger turns us back to camp. Dark clouds gather over Torngak’s lair, rain drops fall by 8pm. Fall asleep to the squawk squawk of duck flying far overhead, and very faint, perhaps even imagined, howl of wolf pack.