Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Stanley Park, canoeing as philosophical understanding

Checked out Stanley Park the other day, fucking cool. Lots of gigantic trees that must be hundreds of years old. Ferns, mushrooms, and green moss cover most of the floor and tree trunks. Black squirrels that have become so tame they don't fear you scamper about the path looking food. Though they call them squirrels, they look more like a cross between a rat and a squirrel. Or rat with a fluffy tail. I liked it so much I'm gonna go back today. I think I should live in the forest. Leave this place and hide away. The only thing is that even deep in the 5km square thicket, you can still here the traffic no matter where you are, giving the whole view a sort of superficial quality that makes me crave northern saskatchewan even more.

To all those interested, I have picked up some books on BC, and it has a great river and lake system. Mountains, forest, lakes, salmon runs, you name it. Would make for a beautiful canoe trip. Bowen lake I think one name is. I'm reading a book that puts canoeing rivers parallel with living life to the fullest, let me type an excerpt:

"We unfold our map for the trip. It's not new. It is tattered with cracks in the folds and obscured worn areas at its corners. Yet it all looks new to us, alive. The blue is the key. Fingers trace out a route of blue--of water--and do a subconcious hop at overland green intrusions. Details are examined with wide eyes. Then the eye looks still further outward. There are not many linear patterns--roads, settlements. It all looks sort of the same, green and blue, with occasional pencil lines and adjacent notes such as "watch for trail to the left at the marsh, do not go straight into marsh, must be winter route." There are some lakes with no names. We like that. It's both unsettling and exciting. We're in the bush and can travel in many directions. The bush is still largely a new map with unknown indentations.

The real adventure here is, can we belong? The unknown indentations are both geographical and cultural. Technically it has all been discovered, but discovery remains. The question is, what is that we seek? Is it to be over or against or with or of? What is to be "of" a place?"

Don't know many outdoorsy types, but those I have met or read all are extremely protective. There's something about the wilderness that drags that primal instinct out. How can you not be pumping adrenaline when canoeing through rapids? I hope next year's canoe trip is bigger, I'd love to share it's experience with everyone.
posted by rob at 1:18 AM


Man I'm itching to get into the woods again.
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