words from a cool, old hippie roadtrip book

i’m reading a book called ‘backroads of british columbia.’ it’s from 1975. i borrowed it from mark after he showed me a picture in it of the bedsprings suspension bridge which used to be part of the logging roads between shawnigan and port renfrew. here’s said bridge.

fuck yeah

i never got to see the bedsprings suspension bridge in the flesh. it was torn down by the logging company that owned the land because they thought it was a hazard. fucking jackoffs.

anyway, this book mark loaned me is full of other cool stuff, like abandoned mines and ghost towns and the history behind them, that sort of thing. it was pretty much tailor written for jenn and i, it’s all shit we love to check out on road trips. plus the photos are unreal. they all have that classic sun-faded 70’s look that is so hip on instagram these days. only difference is these are legit. i usually suck at reading but i’m so into all this stuff that i’ve been reading it bit by bit in bed each night, learning about more places i want to check out on future road trips.

even the introduction of the book is cool. i just read it and was surprised at how honest and deep it was without getting too hippie dippy. here’s my fave portion.

few areas have so much wild land so easy of access as british columbia. purists may argue that once a road has been put through, even a winding cart track, then the land is wild no longer. and perhaps they are right. but we could take you to places where man has been settled for over 100 years. he has built roads and cabins, worked the land with his plough, diverted little creeks to water his scrimping patches of hay, suffered the cold of winters and the heat of summer. he has put his mark indelibly on the land. and yet we know you will find these places, as we do, perhaps among the loneliest and wildest places on earth. man is not an intruder here; his life has meshed with the wilderness; he suffers its pain and its joy, and his cycle of birth and death and renewal is seen, after all, as only part of the greater rhythms of the universe.

for a fucking backroads adventure book, i think that’s pretty sublime. it’s nice to think of people as part of nature, instead of something separate that simply exists amongst nature. i know the author is talking about more natural, homesteading folks but i think the idea can be extended to all people. i mean, when we build homes and go to work and have kids, it looks different from a bird making a nest, going out to gather food, and bring it back for its squawking progeny but that is essentially what we’re doing—we and all our gadgets and shit are as much an intrinsic part of nature as a bird flying south for the winter, a bear hibernating in a den, whatever. we make and rely on lots of tools but animals do the same thing, on much simpler levels. we and all the other animals are all just doing what comes natural to us, even if our natural human thing is to consume and destroy everything we see.

that started out as a wildly different take from my usual “humans are a ravenous swarm of aphids devouring everything in our path, leaving nothing but a trail of smog, plastic bags, nuclear waste, styrofoam, and batteries” view of humanity, but it just came full circle back to it. this self-loathing and depression is really something else, wowee. it really clings to you.

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