Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Putting the Wild in Wilderness

These days, at the height of summer, it's sometimes hard to keep ones' perspective on this place. The town bustles, there are line-ups at the Co-op and motor homes everywhere (often driven by motor home neophytes, which can make for some interesting parking and traffic "jam" issues). At this time of year I find it's even more important to get out to explore some of the more remote places, which, in reality, aren't all that remote at all. The FH and I did just that a few weeks ago and went for a hike to a local beach. We were having a long discussion about wilderness, particularly in light of the book project I'm working on, which, in part, explores the history of the Long Beach area. Even though we think of places like this as wilderness, it is a very "peopled" place — always has been of course for generations of native people have always called this home. And in the last hundred years there have been a lot of people here — it's been logged, prospected, homesteaded, and, of course, been a tourist hot spot for decades. (Not to mention a couple of very heady years in the late '60s when Wreck Bay was home to hundreds — some say even a couple of thousand at its height — of "hippie freaks" (not my terminology; that's what one of the more famous Wreck Bay residents calls them!) Anyhow, we were mulling over wilderness and wildness when we pushed through the bush and were presented with this:

See those wolves on the far shore? At first it looked like they were playing tug-of-war. They were, sort of, but it was more a "game" of pull-apart-the-prey.

That suitcase-sized black thing is a young black bear. There wasn't much we could do but sit down quietly and watch. They weren't concerned with us, we were a safe distance away, and if the mother bear was around, she had bigger concerns than us.

Amazing, amazing.

There's no time like the present to records one's thoughts.

So how would you define wilderness?

[On a separate, but very related note, if you're on a local beach or trail and you love your dog, keep it on a leash.]

1 comment:

  1. amazing! Yes that is wilderness. Head out anywhere in Tofino on any givin day and the defintion of wilderness will become clear to you at any moment.