Brief No. 66
Bushwhacking in British Columbia
Words and photographs by Daniel Wakefield Pasley
The first day of my summer vacation, in the Skeenas.
We are fanned-out and bushwhacking through a square mile or so of riparian bramble—otherwise known as Grizzly Bear Habitat—in an attempt to locate a yellow and blue bundle, the contents of which are an inflatable raft and a foot locker-sized plastic box in which there are many large golden blocks of discount cheese, Crystal Light packets and cardboard cartons of off-brand/generic/discount Power-type bars. The bramble is thick and sharp, the ground is uneven and hummocky, the mosquitos are Hitchcock-thick, it’s 97 degrees fahrenheit. We beat the ground at our feet with our boots, walking sticks, shotgun barrels, rifle butts, hoping for the sound of an inanimate thunk. The gnarliest sections of bush, the sections through which we’re forced to crawl, tunnel, climb, burrow and fist, are dense like a wall. A hairy/tangled/brushy/bushy wall, but a wall all the same. In regards to height, density and penetrability; the thicker sections of bush are more closely related to the object into which the Crash Test Dummies in the Volvo Safety Centre drive, than say for example a trail on which humans walk. (more…)