In the last narrative from the Clayquot trip in Summer 2006, the water ban is lifted and Uncle Weed discuses the economic costs caused by the shutdown as well as the tensions about tourist based economy and village lifestyle, considers ingredients for positive development, and tries to resolve some conundrums by evoking Henry David Thoreau while stepping on barnacle encrusted shells on a muddy beach.
Sometimes all the bits which don’t fit make the tastiest morsels. With this in mind, Uncle Weed dishes up a smorgasbord of leftover spiels, intros, set-ups, and observations from the Clayoquot trip including narrative about camptime beverages, glass pipe cleaning tips, local sticky nuggets, eagles flying amongst the Broken Islands, historic Pacific lighthouse, skateboard contests at Tough City Skatepark, Florencia Beach driftwood hut, foiled visits to municipal office and chamber of commerce, and full version of Bex‘s Lonesome (Lost) Traveler song.
Visiting again with friend Kevin, Uncle Weed discusses the negative impact salmon fish farms impart on the local aquaculture. Specifically, Atlantic salmon living in pens attract hazardous sea lice, are unable to spawn, are fed with small fish imported from South America, and are dyed to appear more attractive in the supermarket. Further the politically controversial fish farms add little benefit to the local economy.
At the headquarters of Friends of Clayoqout Sound advocacy organization, Uncle Weed talks with Kevin Bruce, a concerned citizen newly arrived in Tofino to work as the office coordinator for the FOCS.
With the sound of passing cars and buses, they discuss the economics of logging, stumpage fees, value of wilderness, conundrums of interconnectedness and property lines, the memorandum of understanding, logging on First Nations land and ways to help attain the Friends’ goal of ending all old-growth clearcuts on public lands.
After a few days of frustration and confusion, Uncle Weed sits down on the trail and digs into a variety of essays from Beloved of the Sky by Gary Snyder, Howie Wolk, and Michael Frome plus riffs on painter Emily Carr, love/hate with the commercialized Wild Pacific trail, shore pines, lighthouses, volcanic outcroppings, leaning trees, branches covered in lichen, and sub-division developments.
Topics include the US Forest Service’s traditional commitment to conservation and subsequent effects of policy after cozying up to industry, a plea for less waste and sustainable forestry, public expectations and costs of lost wilderness, and ponderings about whether recreation and wildlife matter.
While watching fishing boats ply the inlet, Uncle Weed checks in from Ucluelet to describe the cultural and municipal differences between neighboring villages of Tofino and Ucluelet after a thwarted drive towards Kennedy Lake bridge – the scene of the blockades – and examines Ucluelet’s ballyhooed reaction to Tofino’s shortage through the eyes of locals at the hardware store.
With Tofino out of water, the news media have arrived and the tourists are kicked out, so from Whiskey Dock, UW riffs about RV rentals, housing developments, mountains ringed with roads and clearcuts, park fees, logging trucks warnings, jurisdictional confusion about UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and park concessionaires, plus a tip on a head shop in town.
After recalling beach camp-outs, rainy days and salmon feasts, Uncle Weed finds out commercial water usage is banned in Tofino and closing down for the tourist operations for the busy weekend ~ thusly he sets out on the trail from Half Moon Bay to Wickaninnish Bay to discover what’s up.
Includes riffs and spiels about local geography, traveler accommodations like zimmers, campgrounds, resorts, park concessionaires, permits, beach access, war memorial plaques, low impact tourism, priorities, RVs, parking tickets, municipal investment, float planes, coffee shops, boat docks and surf breaks, roaming bears, and shipwrecks in Florencia Bay.
Out on a trail, Uncle Weed shares a few lessons learned bearing witness to the blockade lines including thoughts about non-violence and pacifism, importance of respecting others, and the common desire for trees which the ecologists and workers unwittingly share.
Plus discourse on ways to replace economic gains from industrial logging with value-added finished products and alternative sources of pulp and fiber including hemp.
Arriving at a campground between the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet, Uncle Weed sets out to explore the west coast’s unique environment and offer discourse on natural resource-based and tourism-based economies starting with recollections from the noted logging protests in the early 1990s with comments about blockade logistics from early morning pick-up trucks rides to posting bail to jangling guitars.
Introducing a series of explorations and soliloquies from the Clayoquot Sound area on the west coast of Vancouver Island during a summertime water outage in the midst of a temperate rainforest. While figuring out what happened, Uncle Weed recollects the tense logging blockades in early 1990s and compares current conditions through lens of deep ecology and sustainable development practices.
Throughout this 9 part series, he wanders the region and examines the tension between fishing, logging and tourism industries then adds ideas on promoting the economy while protecting the environment along with spiels on clearcuts, salmon, camping espresso, user fees and flak jackets.
A great bar with their own house beers (though they were out of the Porter and a few others ;-( and fine guest taps too. I mixed it up a bit but mostly enjoyed their Dry Stout (on Nitro), the Red Spot – tried Death and taxes but fond it a bit hoppy for my taste. Also enjoyed a few New Belgian 1554s which is an all time fave.
Three levels of seating, a dumb waiter upstairs, friendly wait staff, a stage and an outdoor terrace with trees, the inky sky, the moon, smell of limes – playing the first night was a jazzy/proggy rock quartet (guitar, bass, drums, sax) and the second night was a mellow Latin conga, vocals, guitar act (i recorded asnippet around here somewhere).
Best part though is i came home with a heavy duty Jupiter beer glass – they don’t sell them (or serve in them so you can’t steal one) – instead they sit as decor in a locked glass case. I offered bribes but managed to score one on kind words alone.
I made an oath to never drink schwag beer from this vessel so i am quaffing Howe Sound Hefeweizen (made in Squamish) with lemon while listening to Elvis in Paradise and Joe Jackson’s 3-sided LP Big World on scratchy vinyl and listening to the rain fall on the skylight.