My late arriving neighbors, who were charming and entertaining as they arrived and set up after dinner, had these cute orangish lights that they hung on the awning of their pop-up camper. Unfortunately, they forgot to turn them off, so when I woke up in the middle of the night to attend to nature's call, they distracted me and made it hard to fall back asleep. Not that the distraction was real. When I closed my eyes I couldn't actually tell whether or not I could see them glowing; but they bugged me all the same. When I woke later in the night they were out, which made me exceedingly and irrationally satisfied. I have gotten in the habit now of completely striking the campsite so that when I wake in the morning I literally need only slip on my shoes, attend to nature's business, and off I go. I shrewdly purchased a travel size Febreze yesterday, so now I can give things a shot of freshness periodically to keep the car from becoming something of a frightening assortment of mildewy smells. Things may be mildewing, but I won't know it!
|A very determined cedar tree.|
The drive up the west side of the island was a spooky and disturbing affair. The area has been targeted for clear cut harvesting, and the large sections of land where the trees have been ripped out of the ground and the ground itself is torn and ragged appear out of the fog with increasing frequency. The presence of the fog, which rendered these fields of destruction grey and lifeless in a cold morning air heightened the presence of death and the sense of wanton destruction. After a time I realized that while there were extensive areas unharvested and thick with mature forest, and there were increasingly frequent and large sections of blasted and forgotten earth, there was almost no presence of the kind of intermediary sections that would be found, that must be found, if this crazy kind of harvesting is to be sustainable. Where were the fields of five foot trees, of ten foot trees, of twenty foot trees, of young but maturing pines who were creating new forests whose shade created a complex ecosystem of plants and animals? All I could see was death and life waiting for death.
The closer I got to the summit of my drive, the more frequently I began to encounter sections which did, in fact, appear to have been replanted, some as much as ten or more years ago, which was helpful in suppressing my growing sense that the folks with spikes in trees might be more right than I had thought. As I came out of the fog and into the sunshine at the top of the mountain, the mosaic became even more complex, and after passing east of Lake Cowichan (a recreational hub in its own right) the picture finally came into complete view and I realized that this was an area that had not had recent logging for some time, but that its land was covered by parcels at almost every stage of growth. Greatly mollified, I turned north when I hit the highway at the foot of the pass and headed for the ferry station.
The whole experience brought into unexpected focus the enormity of the scale of time that exists within the logging industry. Properly managed, these sections of land need to be replanted and prepared for a harvest that is fifty years or more away. An amazing idea.
The ferry ride back to Tsawwassen was uneventful, though I found myself musing about the rarity and importance of parental consistency as I watched a young man completely ignore his mother, who threatened various things in an effort to get him to put down his electronic device, which he did not do, nor did she execute her carefully articulated consequences. Neither seemed very exercised in this ritual, as if it happens over and over again and it hasn't occurred to the mother that if she never does what she says, he'll never listen to her either.
And so a stop for gas wherein I tried to unload all the remaining Canadian currency I had obtained, moved through customs without incident (and in half the promised 40 minutes it was posted to be delayed) and am now in a lovely Extended Stay hotel room where I can cook my own food, clean my clothes, and take a refreshing showers...all compliments of the Expedia discount option.