Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Cosmic Christ and Jesus

Jesus was the man who was God born incarnate.
The zen master asks, "Does the butterfly think the philosopher or the philosopher think the butterfly?
The relationship between God and man is a covenanted one.  Grace is the action of God.  God freely gives of his love and we receive.  God is the prime doer.
But the God of Biblical proportion is Omnisicient, Omnipotent, and Omnipotential and absolute,  alpha and omega. So that means that there is divine reality.  God created the heavens and earth. God is the heaven's and earth. All is God stuff. God is imminent and emimnent and all such words and transcendent and elsewhere and present, all and beyond.  It's God.  God is.
Life is matter and energy and as we mature spiritually we move from seeing the solids to the energy and the web of light that is life. We experience the Godness of stuff and existence and ourselves and our love.
The question of existence is 'do we exist?" What is reality? Are we imagining this or dreaming this? Are we the dreamer or the dream?
The Jesus story. Jesus is the baby then Jesus is the man. Jesus lives.
 It's the most incredible idea that God came down. A key story in the Bible is Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. On earth prior to Jesus ,leadership was only top down.
In the normal conventional earth social reality, shit falls down on the little people and the littlest gets the greatest shit. It was the reality of the Christian world before Jesus.  It's military rule.  It's Herod and Caesar and the Chinese Emperor.
By contrast in the Jesus story God humbles himself to be a baby.
In all the other God is either separate or if man becomes God he raises himself to be a God and transcends this world.
But Jesus said the Good News was with his death ,reality, which had been rather and sordid, became immensely different. The death of Jesus was the enlightenment of creation.  There was darkness then there was light. The light is in all creation now. A switch was thrown and never thrown back.
The death of Jesus, the sacrifice of Jesus, was the God becoming God moment of light throughout the universe.  The experience of Christ Consciousness is like Samadhi or Nirvana or mystical rejuvenation or enlightenment or rapture or transcendent bliss. It's pure Joy. It's in effable . Christians have collectively described this with all manner of miraculous experiences  and real behaviours with extraordinary otherworldly gifts. Not only is it something personally experienced, it's also been well documented and evidenced so much so that it's just another everyday event to anyone but the rulers of this world.  There is love and fear.  The rulers of this world are so afraid, so terrified, so inhuman that they killed god and to this day continue to kill God in denial of God, love and light. Straw men.
There's fear and love.  Jesus is love. Fear is absence of love and absence of Jesus.  A dark hole.
Jesus and his followers are in a spiritual war on earth individually and collectively. Evil and Good.  Right and Left.  Wrong and Right.  Up and down. Odd and even.  It's an intrinsic dilemna for the individual, a moral and ethical dilemna and a community and world spiritual war..
Choose Jesus or don't choose Jesus.  Choose God or don't choose God.
That said Christ Consciousness is like a state one comes and goes with, that second sense of feeling alone and not alone.   I can reach for God but God must reach down to me.  It's a dance. It's a love match.  I hug God . God hugs me.  It's the song of song.
In the Sistine chapel God and Adam touch.   Christ is the light in between. Jesus Christ is the Word.  
The Holy Spirit is the interface.
When Jesus was baptized by John,  the Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon him. Jesus said, 'the advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything"   The Name of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ the Word.
The spiritual is the lightness of being.
There's a 'gravity' here, a 'graveness', we are weighted down in this world by the deathness of this place  But "Yea though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death, thou aren't with me."  
 Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life."
We are reborn in Jesus. As Christians we become intimately aware of our immortality. Reborn we  do not die at death.  We pass through death to new life.  That is the God news of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Why is the Bible Important to Christians?

It’s Sunday morning. I woke with a sore back. That’s better than yesterday. Yesterday I woke at 4 am with a sore mind.  My sore back is from lifting good stuff and doing good work.  I guess my sore mind comes from that too.  No good deed goes unpunished by this government. My job is to focus on the blessings not the curses.  Only my back hurt this morning.  All my other body parts were in good working order.  I slept in till 830 am and Gilbert let me.  and what a blessing that was.
Now I’ve not been to church in weeks. I say I’m a winter Christian because summer and fall I’m usually at sea sailing,  or camping in the woods.  This year I was on my lawn chair out back lot enjoying the sun and  reading a lot.  I read the Holy Bible most days.  I talk with Christian friends and do Christian service.  I’m praying all the time and meditating some.
The Holy Bible is a source of comfort and wisdom for me.  I began reading it as a child and studied it seriously in various theological institutes and courses. It’s a part of all church services no matter how “liberal”.  I learned in theology that one should not ‘cherry pick’ the Bible for phrases to support one’s own position but rather see it as a gestalt.
There’s an ‘old testament’. It includes the Torah or Jewish Bible and prophets.  Jesus was Jewish. His first disciples were Jewish. The writers of the Bible were Jewish.  The translators, not necessarily.  Neither were the interpreters.  Christianity is a ‘universal religion’.  It’s open to all. It’s inclusive and not exclusive.  According to the Pew Report, as of 2010 Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents, nearly a third (31 percent) of all 6.9 billion people on earth.”
Once a ‘word of mouth’ religion with many writings over time the Holy Bible became the collection of writings of the church. The Bible was a collection of the ‘books’ or ‘writings’ of the Christian church with some ‘books’ such as St. Thomas being considered questionable as the orthodox Christian religions have rejected the ‘gnostic gospels’ as being ‘outside’ the mainstream that continues till today.  The Councils of the Church through the years have addressed these ideas and come to a consensus of truth, or orthodoxy.
Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Mathew 5:17.
To me that means that the Torah and the writings of the prophets are still important.  I love the Psalms which are the Songs of David and quoted by Jesus. The Holy Bible of Christians is divided into an Old and a New Testament.  Testament simply means ’tale’ or ’telling’.  The Old Testament comes before Jesus and the New Testament comes after Jesus. It begins with the four Gospels: Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.  These give witness to the life and death and teaching of Jesus.  The latter parts of the New Testament are the stories of the Apostles, the leaders Jesus surrounded himself with  while he was alive, and the writings of St. Paul, the Rabbi who converted to Christianity and along with the apostles started the first churches. Paul, as well as being a Jew, was a Roman citizen and a tent maker. Only the rich could afford tents and travel so Paul was part of the then ‘tent-setter’ group and travelled all around the Mediterranean of the Roman Empire of the day.
The Old Testament is preempted by the teaching of Jesus.  It is  an older version of the truth.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  John 14. 6.
I loved the matter of fact way a Theologian said, “The Jews were wrong then and they remain wrong today.”  What he was referring to was the fundamental rift between the Old Testament and New Testament. Christians see Jesus as the Messiah or God/Man  which the Old Testament speaks of but the Jewish authorities rejected him and with the Romans, the ruling world empire of the day, killed ‘Son of God.’  Today the Jews continue to believe that Jesus was a prophet and his teachings were summarized in the ‘teachings of Q’, a source of wisdom sayings which appear to overlap with the words attributed to Jesus in the Gospels, especially Mark.
The fact is, much of what Jesus said, is common sense and spiritually un original, except in it’s godliness.  Prophets and religious leaders including Zarathustra and Moses and others have said similar things. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, the law of divine retribution or karma, is in one of it’s various form central to all great religions.   Ecumenicalism is about finding the ‘similarities’ in various religions and focusing on these rather than the differences, yet the differences count, since to name a thing one must scientifically speaking have ‘sensitivity’ and ‘selectivity’.  Fraud is best maintained in generalities.  In the 60’s it was called ‘drug talk’ or ‘tarot talk’ because as long as anyone didn’t refer to money, drugs, sex or action everyone could be ‘free and love’.  As long as someone else is paying the bills, it’s easy to ‘love one another’.  This is the difference between adolescence and adulthood and was for a long time the difference between men and women as until recently the female and children of society were cared for and protected by the men. The Devil is said to be ‘in the detail.’
So each division in the history of religion and specifically in the church revolve around one key factor.  Jewish men were ‘circumcised’ as children. a tribal genital mutilation of boys.  St. Peter and St. Paul in the early days of the church when Christianity was seen not as a new ‘religion’ but as the ‘new’ Judaism, a ‘universal’ religion versus the ‘local’ Old Testament, tribal Judaism, debated circumcism.  The decision was that Christians did not need to have their male genitalia tampered with to be spiritual.  Jews to this day believe otherwise.
Muslims like Jews believed that Jesus was a prophet,  Muslims, Islam, believe in the genital mutilation of men, called ‘Khitan” or circumcision.  It is not mentioned in the Qur’an but in the Hadith. The Muslims in contrast to Jews and Christians also believe and practice genital mutilation or circumcision of female children.  However it is less widely held as a requirement of Islam than male circumcision.
Catholics and Christians don’t disagree on children genitalia but Catholics insist the Pope is the direct descendant of St. Peter.  When Emperor Constantine of the Roman Empire made Christianity the State Religion he became the head of the church as well.  Later the role of Spiritual Emperor for the World Catholics remained even though the Pope’s earthly territory had been shrunk to only the tiny state of the Vatican by various wars and invasions.  In Anglicanism or the Church of England the Queen is the head of the Church since King Henry VIII rejected the authority of the Pope and made himself head of the Anglican world Church.
The Catholic Church has the most centralized contro,l even more so than the Orthodox church.  When Constantine moved his seat of power to Constantinopolis, today’s Istanbul, the first major political division of the Church took place, with Roman Catholicism headed by the Pope in the Vatican. The Eastern Orthodox Church is headed by a Holy Synod.  It is the second largest Christian church. Both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have Bishops as leaders but whereas leading Bishops are chosen to ’select’ the Pope in the Catholic church,  in the Orthodox church government is by the Holy Synod (council) and each Bishop is considered equal though a head bishop or patriarch is somewhat equivalent to the ‘arch bishops’ of the regional Catholic churches.  This first ‘East West” split of Christianity occurred in 1054 ad.
In the Anglican or Church of England begun by King Henry VIII there is a Synod but the Archbishop of Canterbury, is representative of the Queen and akin to the patriarchs.
The first division of the Christian churches in the West or Roman Catholicism were political and territorial with Germany separating from Papist Vatican rule.  Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation of the church given rise to the division today called ‘Christian’ and ‘Catholic’ , the first principle of reformation being ’the proper source of authority in the church.’  Protestantism rejected the notion of Papal Supremacy.
Protestantism is now one of the three major divisions of Christendom after Roman Catholicism and Othodox.  They do not have a central human authority or structural unity. The Holy Bible and the local Church tend to have primacy in Protestantism which accounts for 900 million adherents and nearly 40 % of Christians worldwide.  Since the initial ‘territorial or political separations’ from Rome, the subsequent Protestant divisions have been more to do with biblical interpretation and theological divisions.
A major division between Martin Luther and the Pope in his day was the belief in ’transubstantiation’.  These divisions are really deep and superficially they look like any family argument to an outsider  over time.  Organizations and religions and countries and all human endeavour beginning with family and divorces contains the humanity of emotions and especially anxiety.  Jesus said over and over again. “Do not be afraid”.  Yet obviously even the leaders of the churches had their share of humanity.  It’s been said that Anxiety is ‘measure of your distance from God but equally a measure of your humanity’.
Transubstantiation refers to the ‘conversion of the substance of the Eucharistic elements into the body and blood of Christ.”  Eucharist is the central rite or ritual of Christianity.
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat, this is my body.”  Matthew 26:26
This occurred a couple of thousand years before quantum physicis and modern interpretations of ‘reality’. Dualism, the idea of the separation of matter and spirit was central to Plato and much philosophy and thought prior to Jesus.  Even today ‘blood’ is powerful and in medical science divisions like ‘genetics’ compete with the influence behaviour or of ‘environmentalism’.
The questions comes down to the crux of whether one believes we are ‘material beings living in a spiritual realm’ or ‘spiritual beings living in a material realm.’
The power of the priest and Pope was central to the ‘transubstantiation’ process given that the ‘bread’ became the body of Jesus with his touching and saying so but later Christians felt that there did not need to be an intermediary between Jesus and oneself.  Hindus have little difficulty with the notion of transubstantiation because of their and subsequent Buddhist concepts of the nature of creation are fundamentally different from the west philosophically.  They perceived reality as dualistic, but not so much as matter and energy or matter and spirit, but as ‘true or false’.  Moksha is the ‘false reality’.
When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment in the Law, he said.
“'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40.
Another area of debate in the church has been surrounding the idea of the ‘prime mover’.  This is expressed in the ‘faith’ and ‘work’s and ‘grace’ debate.  If God is first and first mover then ‘GRACE” the love of God saves us. Salvation in Christianity is the saving of the soul from sin and death.  Sin was the description of the world as not perfect.  St. Paul said in this life, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Today’s ideas of ‘addiction’ and ‘habits, good and bad’ all focus on this central premise of ‘imperfection’.  The word to ‘sin’ came from archery where the archer wanted to hit the bullseye every time but simply didn’t for a variety of reasons.   Newton and other physicists and ultimately Quantum Physics looked at these relationships just as Einstein and St. Augustine both considered ‘time’. With Grace we are saved because of God’s love whereas with ‘works’ we are saved because of human’s work.
The disciples asked Jesus “‘ Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:25-26.
Since Luther in the 16th century Protestantism has grown and divided while maintaining a lose association under the heading of “Christian".  Some are local or community churches while others are world wide. Some of the main Protestant Christian churches are Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Mennonite, Adventist, Reformed, Evangelical, Non denominational and more. All Christian churches refer to the Holy Bible, most importantly the 4 Gospels, or ‘good news’, the stories of Jesus, by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
An area of debate in the church and religion in general is the ‘divinity of Christ’.  The Christian God is said to be a Trinity, ‘three in one’ God, best taught to my mind by St. Patrick.  It’s not specifically a teaching of Jesus in the Bible though it’s implied as he says “I and the Father are one” and promises the “Holy Spirit”.
Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever - the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”
Dr. James Houston of Regent College talked of this as the Personhood of God, three persons in one.  My friend Bernie while alive loved to pray, “Holy Spirit Come”.
To become a Christian as with all religions, one can be born in a Christian family or raised Christian. Christians baptise or christen their babies with sprinkling of water or immersion in water as John the Baptist first Baptised Jesus.  Once christened or baptized a Christian remains a Christian for life unless they renounce their relationship. It’s a bit like being a member of a Country.  Unless you renounce your ‘citizenship’ you can always return. It is not uncommon in all religions for the youth to leave the family and family religion only to return to the religion with having their own family or matuation.
For a person who has not been born and christened or baptized as a child the way to become a Christian is to walk into a church and observe. I call this being a ‘church tourist’.  Christians invite others to attend their church like they do inviting people to go to the movies with them. Christianity is not a ’secret society’ but a welcoming religion.  Christian services are great entertainment and everyone is welcome to attend and observe. They are the source of the greatest music with the likes of Bach and Elvis and countless others getting their first experience of music in the church.  The ’sermons’ are often great lectures, like those of Dr. Peter Elliott  or Dr. Carl Ridd when he was alive or Dr. James Houston.    The key to understanding a sermon is that you don’t have to agree with it but rather it, like any ‘lecture’ forms the basis of discussion and is by nature ‘thought provoking’.
I often tell people to explore churches and other religious organizations much as you would when picking a cafe or night club. For young men I say ‘hang out’ at the church with the highest density of beautiful women. For young women I say choose to return to the church with the highest density of handsome young men. For those with small children perhaps return to a church with lots of small children.  These people are principally neighbours and it’s a spiritual club no different than the local gym is a ‘physical club’.  Spirituality is however much more comprehensive than a mere gym. It’s also relatively ‘free’ at first, as everyone is invited to attend and the old church adage was to ‘put a buck ‘ or even 25 cents or a penny in the basket when it was passed around. Ultimately when one chooses and becomes a member of a church they voluntarily contribute and are encouraged to by the board who pay the rent at the church and physical taxes and tuitions and salaries. Some churches remain small and poor while other churches become ‘mega church’ major corporations of great wealth.  Neither is ‘better’ in a spiritual sense anymore than a martial art sensie with a few students is less than a major dojo with many franchises.  Such discussions of size refer more to quantity than quality. Personally I’ve liked little and large churches.
To participate more specifically in churches there are classes and ultimately baptism or formal joining with the church membership in some ceremony.  Historically this often meant simply saying “I believe in Jesus Christ” as the name of Jesus Christ which is derived from the words “God within and God Will Come Again” is itself considered holy and transformative. Yahveh the name of the Jewish , God the Father, meant “I am, that is who I am”.  Hence, the beingness of God, the creator.  The third person is the Holy Spirit.
Various councils over the 2000 years of Church history and the individual churches have come up with a legalistic formulation much like the ‘articles of faith’ which one signs whenever one gets new software from Apple or Microsoft.  I don’t read the whole agreement and sign ‘i agree’ without consulting a lawyer. There is the possibility that Apple or Microsoft have slipped in a line ‘you will give your left kidney and testicle if you agree’. I have faith at this time and joining a church have considered overall the ‘details’ but even while I’ve not ‘agreed fully’ with some details I’ve ‘agreed in principle’ as I do with Microsoft and Apple, a couple of human companies not even known for their holiness.
When I join a church or any club or even accept software I am today making such decisions.  But ‘joining’ comes after being a ‘tourist’ and people join churches because they like the people. Churches are the ‘people’ especially the more local, community and independent churches which are commonly formed today around someone with a Bible who says let’s get together and talk about this Holy Book.  Then because they want a place to meet as they grow in numbers they get into renting then owning spaces and developing schools and more. Ultimately in the past groups of Christians created hospitals, universities and whole nationstate and even continued world empire. Some might say we’re seeing the third Christian empire today.
Being a Christian then comes with study and association. It’s about community and consideration.
“I believe.”  It’s a joy for me to say this today.
Thank you Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord God. Holy Spirit Come!

Friday, September 15, 2017

"The Christians" by Lucas Hnath, Pacific Theatre

We all loved “The Christians” by Lucas Hnath at Pacific Theatre.  Sarah Rodgers directions were so very good I didn’t once think the show was even choreographed. It was that smooth.  I loved the choir and the songs and Lonnie Delisle the choir director.  The costumes by Sydney Savannah were priceless, some of the choir members truly reminding me of classic ‘church ladies’ of my childhood. The hats could well have been from my mother and aunt’s closet. It was that real.  The play was such a romp, like a televangical mega church experience in the small Pacific Theatre.  Sound designer Rick Colhoun can take a bow for that. His surround experience had me thinking of the recent U2 concert we’d attended.
Tre Cotton played Associate Pastor Joshua while Ron Reed played mature Pastor Paul.  They were perfect. The younger and older man and all the dynamics of leadership.  Always there was a mirroring of what was being said of God and Jesus and Biblical teaching and the behaviour of those in dialogue.  Macrocosm and microcosm.  The intellectual and emotional, flawlessly juxtaposed. Brilliant writing and acting.  Erin Ormond played Pastor Paul’s wife Elizabeth.  She and Paul were truly deep with the bedroom discussion of relations and agreement and disagreement, truly over the top.  Unbelievable intimacy and  theatre.  Yes I felt like the very fault in society today was being plumbed, the challenge of conservatives and liberals, whigs and tories, republican and democrat, change or no change, truth or untruth.  The whole dance of the present was happening there before us in the words and acting on stage.  I loved Lucas Hnath’s writing as it touched the soul of church and society today.
The idea revolved around ‘hell’.  Did it exist? What was it? Really a question of carrot and whip.  Funny too. The images that played out in words.  Punishment and guilt. Redemption. All the while the big words were reduced to little behaviours, questions and expressions.  Congregant Jenny played by Mariam Barry reduced it all to how to pay for food for her son and clothing and costs and what was true.  She was so real.  Lofty theology met honest social work.  All happening in an amazing play that was broken up in bits with music and song then deeply spiritual questions. I loved it.  Allan Morgan playing Elder Jay really questioned the cost to the church and the attendance issues, marketing, building, debts and sales, politics.  Funny considerations in the midst of deciphering what God is saying.  Central to all was the  "urge to communicate but the distance was insurmountable."
Our friend Lorne had driven in from Chilliwack for it. We’d gone for a great meal and super service at Cafe Barney before the play discussing taxation of the poor by the elite and the ungodly corruption of our present. government. Then we were at this play with it’s whole other higher set of challenging ideas.   Anna and Kevin met up with us after having just returned from  their monumental cross country expedition with the god kids.  Laura and I love going to church with them all and having a White Spot or Earl’s after church lunch.  This was  opening night and a really fine full house night indeed.  After we all talked  of art and ideas and culure and travel.  Lucia Frangrione, my favourite playwright, was there and we even got to say hi.  Other friends of Pacific Theatre we’ve come to know because they, like us, love this theatre so very much were there too, all of us happy with a truly great production and performance.
Thank you all for a  great night of theatre and some very loving challenges to heartfelt thought.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Opening Rifle Hunting Season, Pemberton, BC and Bear Scare.

The wildfires have really affected this year’s hunting season. All the areas where I normally liked to hunt these days were closed to ATV’s.  Pemberton had a ‘senior hunter’ tease saying we could hunt doe but as it turned out in the fine print only on a postage stamp owned by the local government officials. Still I could save my new truck and use my Honda Pioneer 500 ATV in the Coastal Hunting region.
I wanted to camp one last time while the weather was still good. I had this Napier truck tent which we’d used in the spring.
The trouble is the rains we all wanted arrived Friday.  I just couldn’t bring myself after clinic to load the truck in the downpour.  I had so much organizing to do with the recent move too so Laura, Gilbert and I planned to leave first thing Saturday morning. Friday turned out to be a marvellous day of rest with bits of tidying and a whole lot of cozy cough reading.  We also watched the incredibly fun Robin Williams “RV” movie on DVD. When the rains let up we walked Gilbert meeting up with Dave and Emory doing the same rounds.  Great night of soft cozy king size bed with room for Laura and Gilbert.
Morning came. More rain.  I made coffee and enjoyed my new built in radiant fire heater.  The idea from yesterday had been to leave early so we wouldn’t be setting up in the dark and wet.  As the day progressed with more rain and more cozy book reading I felt increasingly guilty about not making Recovery Day in New Westminster. I was following it on Facebook but also packing for hunting and not really wanting to go outside or see anyone because I was on vacation. Vacation for me is getting away from work and people and even friends.  I tolerate Laura and the dog.  I just loved being on the couch reading.  I always think others get to do this but I never get enough of it.  So many I know are retired so ‘time’ is their’s.   Laura and I are constantly on the clock at the beck and call of beurocrats, colleagues, patients, lawyers, taxmen and countless ‘officious’ and increasingly angry people.  It was so sweet to be in the safety of my oh so comfortable and enjoyable home.  Why not stay home?
It was still too ugly outside to hunt, though of course when it’s ugly and raining is when the game are moving about and the fish are biting.  I loved another night in my own comfortable bed with Laura and Gilbert.
Sunday, we loaded the truck. It was thinking about Gilbert and that tipped the scale. Hunting is a dog’s dream.  He’s free to run and pee and poop anywhere. There’s so much to sniff. He’s with his favourite pack. And we’re doing a dog thing.  Hunting.
Having stopped at the gun storage locker I was armed but then all that was needed was the ATV.
Well that was a surprise. When I drove up on the ramp the ramp simply exploded out from under me leaving the rear wheels hanging. I’d done nothing different than I had a hundred times before. While others often don’t attach their ramps I had mine tied below to the chain hooks.  In future I am anchoring the ramps above and below with two straps.  If I’d been in the woods I’d have just backed the truck to a hill and drove the ATV off but in Vancouver I called BCAA.  BCAA is truly one of the greatest organizations in the world. I love their roadside assistance.
“I’m just learning to use the lift. This is great,” the young man said when he arrived and saw my dilemma. The older more senior guy guided the young one in the delicate lifting of the back end of my ATV till it was free with not damage to tailgate. I drove the ATV forward the rest of the way into the box, thanking the BCAA guys profusely.
I’d already loaded the camping gear before loading ATV Charles so with Charles tied down we headed north.
Squamish is our now favourite stop with the Canadian Tire, Starbucks, Escape North, Independent Grocers, Burger King all in one place with several gas stations to choose from.  Outfitted with dog food, and more mosquito repellant from from Canadian Tire, a new outdoor camping dress from Escape North for Laura, ground espresso coffee and Americano for me, and a thermos full of groceries and Whopper burgers for us all we headed north.   It was a beautiful day to be driving up the Sea to Sky Highway.  Lovely views of snow capped mountains and deep blue ocean. Traffic was better too, it being Sunday.
At Pemberton we filled up one last time with fuel. I believe in going backwoods with my fuel tanks full.  One never knows.  Then a final quick stop at Spud Valley Hunting and Sports Store right in town where the brothers supply all the very best in back country camping fishing and hunting gear.  I just needed more 20 gauge grouse load having remembered the shot gun but forgot to bring the box with ammo. I had my stainless steel Ruger break down 22 long rifle, Ruger Mini 14 .223 caliber back up deer gun and my all time favourite, Ruger Stainless Steel 30:06 rifle, “Sexcaliber”.
When I’m on the ATV I just have a grouse gun and the main big game hunting rifle. I love my 30;06 which I load with the 180 grain Federal Nosler Partition bullet. My old friend Bill Mewhort introduced me to the Nosler partition.  With the 180 grain it’s a good load for deer, moose, elk and bear.  I’ve shot 30:06 in 150 to 220 grain loads but have settled in the 180 grain because it’s sufficiently powerful enough for bear which can always interrupt a hunt but good for all other game as well. I don’t have to change the sites which I would have to do if I was changing the loads from 180.  Whenever I think of powerful calibers and the bigger and better rifles I remember the story of grandad shooting a bear up close in the head with a 22 LR.
I love Pemberton. It’s a great little town I’ve been coming to for 30 year.  I remember staying in the horrid little old rooms in the Pemberton Hote. The bar back then  was just full of drunks like something out of a cowboy dime novel. It’s always been a farming and  rodeo town and a railway town.  It remains those. The last decade though has seen it make the transformation to tourist town.  Now it’s the ultimate  hiking, white water canoeing, cyclist,  river and lake fishing, destination. It’s always full of beautiful young people dressed in the latest outdoor gear.  Duffy Lake Road since being paved is one of the great motorcycle routes.  Then there are hunters like me.  The valley still produces the potatoes the remain the best on the planet, outside of Ireland.  Hence the name Spud Valley.
It was another half hour of driving on a main logging road gravel with hardly a pot hole, to get to the wilderness campsite. I remembered picnic tables but there weren’t any, just one outhouse and a dozen or more sites by the river, but a ways back, because of flooding concerns.  With all the inland hunting closures I’d worried that this campsite would be full but when we arrived there was only a couple of  other hunters with a couple of ATV’s.  I’d come across a half dozen other hunters at another site the next day but really the place was empty compared to other times I’ve been there. Pemberton has always been a late season hunt because at this time of the year only the local resident deer population are bout. When the snow comes hundreds more deer migrate through. The heat this year and the flies have pushed the deer high up by the glaciers.  In the past I've climbed the mountains up to the glaciers.  Also I’ve horseback hunted  high up there all years ago.
I’m the lowest of hunters now. A road hunter. It’s not because I can’t climb. I’m not as sure footed and really do worry about twisting an ankle or breaking a leg these days.  I don’t have the balance for leaping from rock to rock and have learned this by painful falls. That’s humbling.  I used to run up and down mountainsides and carry deer out of the woods on my back.  I’ve carried  quarters of moose out of the woods a mile or so on my back.  I now have to hunt close to road only so I can get the game out. Ever since I quartered that last elk I shot early morning and had to spend all day hauling the thousand pounds up out of the valley, I’ve been very much aware that I’m not the world class athlete I once was. That dead elk almost killed me. It doesn’t help that I’m more a desk jockey these days and love my couch, Netflix and Hagen daz ice cream.
“The sign said there were grizzly bears,” Laura said as we drove along.
“Mostly black bear, grizzly bear are rare.”  I said, having learned from past experience that Laura’s not a big fan of bears.
“The sign said the bears are ‘aggressive’. “ she continued.
“That’s only because vegetarians have been feeding them.It’s only by the hot springs.” I countered. ‘They shouldn’t let vegetarians out in the wilderness because they don’t know how to behave around wild animals.” I joked.
She wasn’t looking happy.
She wasn’t happy either when there was only one other site at the campground with a couple of hunters.
“I’m scared of bears,” she said.  I didn’t think it needed repeating.
“That’s why I have the truck tent. “  I said.
“ On Facebook, I saw where a grizzly bear went through the side of an RV and where bears broke into a truck.” she said. “Catherine and her husband don’t tent anymore in the north because of bears.”
“That’s because people left open food in their camp or their vehicle.  They shouldn’t let people like that out in the woods. Around here there are only black bear. The grizzly bear are further north. I’ve got a whole lot of fire power and a bear tag as well. If a bear comes to the camp I’ll shoot it. It will save me hunting for it.  Besides bears hate dogs and Gilbert’s a vicious bear dog. You should have seen him chase the big bear we came across last year. ” I told her. The truth is I’d seen grizzly about a few miles north of here up by the hot springs.  I’d only seen black bear scat in the region. I’d expected other hunters around or I”d not have planned on this place. I leave Laura alone when I go off hunting and like to know she has others to call on if she needed help.
Having campers around is a mixed blessing. Vegetarians and other city folk who aren’t aware of animals or their behaviour are a real hazard in the country where their stupid behaviours  attract animal violence.  They don’t know carnivores from herbivores.   Undersocialized and  being leftists they ‘blame’ the animals which then get the animals killed by forest rangers. Then because these immature adults can’t take care of themselves we get all manner of funding for more and more police to protect them from the wilderness.  It’s never their fault or their behaviour that needs to change.  The next thing we’re not only living in a police state without freedom in the city but the wilderness is full of police to protect campers from the wilderness.   I loved when Sarah Palin said ‘We consider it child abuse to take children camping in Alaska without a gun.’  The fact is that animals are almost always scared of humans and almost always run from loud noises, except those bears that have been fantasized as potential lovers by Canadian feminists. Canadian feminists having regulated all  real men to the point of castration then write novels about sex with bears.  These folk ruin the outdoors as much as the young people who bring the ghetto blasters and drugs and turn bits of God’s country into the DTES.
I don’t want to shoot a grizzly.  I don’t have a tag. As my friend Dianne says, “No one is concerned about an endangered reptile and snake , but they sure get excited about creatures that have furry cute babies.” I’m just out hunting in hope of shooting a deer so I can add to the barbecue and  eat venison stew through the cold winter. I like my own cooking and I love coming home to frozen stews and curries I just need to microwave for a nutritious meal at the end of a long hard day of work.
I also like camping, the outdoors, that my dog can run free in wilderness campgrounds. I love my truck. I love quadding. I love shooting.  This weekend I shot a lovely three shot pattern with a bull’s eye with Sexcaliber, my Ruger 30:06.  I didn’t need to shoot more. Last weekend I’d shot off a whole lot of cheaper 22 LR rounds and .223 target practicing.  This weekend Laura did some target practicing with the 22 Rifle.
At the campsite I unloaded the Honda Pioneer Side by Side  with some trepidation hoping the extra tie down strap would stabilize the ramp.  Backing up is always scarier than riding up onto the truck.  Laura is helpful as a second set of eyes.
Once ATV Charles was off the truck I could settle into setting up the Napier truck tent. I was a little concerned as I’d only done it a couple of times in the spring and found I’d lost the instructions.  There was some colour coding to the poles so it really wasn’t that difficult.  In no time I had it up and only had trouble getting the fly over the top which I did with the help of the broom. It was evening by the time we had the tent up and Cabelas air mattresses and MEC Sleeping bags in. There’d been a moment of drizzle but it let up. I considered going out on an evening hunt but thought Laura would appreciate the company since it was rather ominous.  Increasingly I don’t like evening hunts which have never been as productive as morning hunts.I really don’t like gutting and cleaning game by flashlight, especially if I’m in grizzly bear country.  When I’ve had to it’s been a race against time with a flashlight in my mouth, ears open and a loaded rifle close at hand. I’ve loved having my dog with me when I’ve shot game in the evening.
So instead I got the Coleman stove set up and boiled some white potatoes with the water I’d brought in in the 5 gallon blue container.  We have got into using paper plates on the the aluminum camp plates to reduce clean up.  I fried up pork chops I’d had in the cooler with ice in it.  Virgin olive oil works wonders for cooking.  I’d brought the Honda 2000 generator and had a safety lamp hung from a tree on a screw driver to use as hook. I’d pounded it into the tree with my hatchet to use as a hook. I’d have preferred a nail if I had one.   A lovely halo of light and happy sound of the generator in the background kept Grizzly Bear thoughts  away.  While Laura had been sitting in the Orange Canadian tire lawn chairs worrying about bears Gilbert and I had systematically been marking our territory around the outskirts of the camp.  Men do that.
“Why wouldn’t the other hunters come this weekend? Do you think the Grizzly Bears are that bad that they’d scare away the hunters?” she asked as we were enjoying pork chops and potatoes with butter and little fat cherry tomatoes.
“No. I thought there’d be a lot of hunters but it was on Vancouver Island that opening season was the biggest event. Here hunters come out later because the animals are up so high. I don’t think hunters are bothered by grizzly bear.” I said that. It’s a fact, thought, thata lot of hunters don’t like hunting where grizzly bear are common. It’s an unspoken reason why most moose hunts are done as a group, not just because of the size of the game but because there’s comfort in numbers, moose and grizzly sharing the same habitat.  Most hunters aren’t bothered by black bear who many hunt. One fellow I love hunts them annually with bow and arrow but I doubt he’d take on a grizzly so willingly.  He uses a tree stand and wounded grizzly have been known to tear out  trees and  maul the hunter in revenge.  Personally I’d hunt cows if farmers would let me.  Though I’ve shot charging bear and charging moose and been stalked by a wolf pack it’s never been my plan. I’m a comfortable hunter especially as I get older. The fact is, I was glad that Laura was with me and I was saved from the evening hunt.  We were in bed early then, all the garbage and food inside the truck.
I’d bought Laura a new bear banger, showed her how to use it and made sure Gilbert went with her when she made the short trek to the outhouse in the dark.
My principle animal deterrent now is the truck key fob which allows me from bed to flash lights and make loud honking sounds. I sleep with a rifle at my side but no ammunition in the barrel and a hatchet and a knife. I’ve punched a bear in the nose that was trying to get in my tent years past but really prefer not to have company other than Laura and Gilbert. Gilbert is a major source of alarm.  Little dogs are the best alarms even if they do disrupt the sleep, overreacting to squirrels and raccoons and such. The beauty of the tent is it’s high off the ground, and you can stand up in it and it’s dry.  Getting up in the night though to pee is a challenge. I had to lift Gilbert up and down. I couldn’t find my leather mocassins.  So barefoot I’m out with Gilbert enjoying the night. Alone and naked out for a pee,, I’ve often enjoyed the night and moonlight and actually danced.  Not this night.   The sky was cloudy. Great air and sounds and yet, I couldn’t help but consider I didn’t have a key fob, a knife or a rifle and here I was in t shirt and shorts some ways from ‘home’, i.e. the safety of my truck.  Man’s advantage in nature is ‘tools’.  I was glad to get back into the tent with Gilbert and lie down in my Dako sleeping bag beside the beautiful blond.
In the morning the chimes of my iPhone alarm went off at 6 am.  I ignored them and buried the phone hearing the next campers heading out in their ATV’s.  I got up a half hour or so later early dawn, the light just coming up.  I hadn’t slept well. I’m not comfortable on air mattresses. I miss my bed.  I’d been worried about bears.  I had felt the responsibility of Laura and Gilbert upon me. Now I wasn’t keen to leave Laura in the dark.  So I made coffee. I love coffee, especially, Starbuck’s Expresso made in stovetop expresso machine over a Coleman Stove.  I made a press coffee too for the thermos.  Laura got up and joined me as the sun’s light was coming over the top of the snow capped mountain in front of us.  Part of the problem was Fen Shui. I’d allowed my head to face south rather than north.  So now we were aligned right watching the sun come up sitting in lawn chairs in God’s country.
“This is the grizzly bear’s home. We’re only visitor’s”  Laura said,  sipping her coffee with cream and honey.  I had had bacon sliced up at the butcher and was now cooking this up in the frying pan.. The smell was exquisite.  In my mind, I heard the Eagles singing, “sun’s coming up and I’m riding with lady luck’.  Laura really liked the bacon sandwiches on the fresh bakery grain bread.  It was a glorious morning.  Gilbert doesn’t like pork or bacon so just like last night I got him some of the sliced roast beef I had for sandwiches later to day.  He really likes sliced roast beef.  We were all happy campers then.
I loaded the gear on ATV Charles. I’d forgotten the grab bag I usually had for knives and shells so made do with pockets on the ATV and in my clothes.
I left Laura with the bear banger and Ruger 22 LR Rifle. She has a her firearms permit and has been deadly accurate with the 22 rifle.  “Remember my grand father killed a bear with a 22 rifle.”  I said.
“I’m not leaving the truck till you get back.” she said. She had her magazines and a truck full of treats and really, where else in the world is more luxurious than the cowboy cadillac 2017 Ford F350 Lariat edition Truck.  I knew she’d be safe and set out with Gilbert as my side kick.  He stands or sits in the passenger seat taking his duty as a hunting dog very seriously.
We headed up the rocky back woods trails and then along the hydro trails.  Finally I drove 10 km further to the main that heads through the mountains.  This was where two large groups of a half dozen hunters each were located. Normally seeing other hunters isn’t a positive experience for me but seeing these guys tenting was reassuring. There really were very few of us in this huge region though so perhaps it was all the wild fires and the ban through out the province on open fires and various other regulations as a consequence of the wild fires and the hot weather that had put other hunters off.
“It’s too hot to hunter this early this year. I’m waiting till later,” Rick had told me back in the city. They hunt from a cabin up north which the fires almost destroyed.
I did enjoy the quadding. I hoped mostly to see a grouse for Gilbert. I had the 20 gauge shotgun and was ready to make his day. Gilbert stands up beside me and me watches everything on the road ahead with his one remaining eye.  We got up really high, to the very end of where the loggers had gone. Everywhere there was old black bear scat.  One area there was some new day old stuff but only one area high up where old deer droppings were too. I met another young hunter with is very excited chocolate lab.
“My dog flushed a deer and a couple of grouse back in there. I didn’t have a 22 with me.” he said. The dog climbing out of the passenger window to looked over the roof at Gilbert who was sitting upright beside me.  Gilbert looked like  a general waiting for his driver to finishing conversing so we could get back to the hunt.  This was dog world.  Gilbert was in heaven.
“I’ve got a 20 gauge shot gun along just for grouse. In fact, the truth be known I’m grouse hunting for the dog and have the rifle along for bear and deer only if I’m forced to shoot them.”  we laughed and he headed up hill to the area where I’d chosen not to explore further. I headed down hill taking the branch roads and exploring each. This was great country for hunting especially on a quad and many places one could ambush deer going up or down at dawn or dusk. Yet nothing was here.
It was afternoon by the time I got down off the mountain meeting a off road motorcyclist on a big Triumph Tiger. I loved the way he was outfitted. He had a shot gun along and was looking for grouse, out on a day trip from Vancouver.
“I have to work tomorrow or I’d stay. Are there any grouse around here?” he asked.
“I’ve not seen any but I just talked to a guy who flushed a couple with his dog. I’ve not been up here a couple of years but it used to be great grouse country. Last weekend bow hunting  by Duffly Lake I saw a few ptarmigan but missed them with the bow. Nice rig you have.I’ve a Harley but I don’t take it off road. I used to take a Honda 250 backwoods before I got the Pioneer.   Have you read Ted Simon’s travel’s around the world on his Tiger 500? It's an incredible read. “
“No I’ve not but it’s now on my list. Thanks."
A typical back roads brief encounter.  Most hunters are friendly but only socialize at camp.
Gilbert was happy to be back on the road. He’s a serious hunter.  What he didn’t know was I was just heading home.  He actually might have known that too since he just loves Laura and loves getting back to camp to protect her.
Laura was in the truck unmauled when we got back to camp.
“Didn’t see a thing.  Only old black bear scat high up. Nothing fresh. No grizzly sign.  Animals all must be high up. Not even one grouse for Gilbert.”
“Ah, poor Gilbert, “ she said.
I’d drunk the thermos coffee at the top of the mountain where the logging road ended and eaten a chocolate bar but had been thinking about the roast beef after that.
I made up a couple of roast beef sandwiches with mustard and shared a few slices with Gilbert. He doesn’t like the bread or mustard, prefers his roast beef straight up.
Laura and  I sat looking at the river and mountainside.
“The hunters left.  I felt safe when they came back and were packing up. I sat out here and enjoyed the camp but when they left I got in the truck again.”
“I saw them passing on the road leaving.”I told her.
“You know I don’t feel like there’s any deer here. I could shoot a bear but I’m not particularly interested in bear. There don’t seem to be a lot of grouse and frankly I don’t like the dust and dirt and could just pack up and head back. We’re be hunting again Thanksgiving from a motel or resort.  It’s a really dirty dusty dry year even with the recent rain.   I’ve come to like showering or having a swim after hunting.  Gilbert’s had a great time but if you don’t mind I could go back to town and enjoy being in the trailer.'
“I don’t mind at all,” she said, trying to conceal her enthusiasm.
“I really didn’t mind leaving you with other hunters around but I don’t like the idea of going out and leaving you alone in grizzly bear territory. I didn’t tell you before, but I’ve seen grizzly bear just miles north of here when I used to to go up to the hot springs."
“I’d stay.I’m okay in the truck but  I didn’t sleep last night.” she shared.
“It’s settled then.  If I thought there was more chance of seeing game, maybe. I also missed the campfires at night.  Especially in bear country.  I felt safe in the truck tent but don’t like leaving you this far out in the wilderness. Alone I feel safe tenting with Gilbert but worry about you.   If we were back where the other campers were or the guys next door had stayed maybe, but as it is, I’m game for going home.”
Laura didn’t put up a whole lot of resistance to that idea, despite being a regular trooper.
So we packed up.
The tent came down, the gear was loaded. I put out the ramps with double straps and gingerly loaded the ATV. Then everything was tied down, one last check, then we headed back. It was a short drive back to the main road. I felt good returning early.  Having moved with lots of disorganization still I looked forward to a day of puttering.  I also needed to take the truck in to get the plastic gate cover reattached. The truck was due for a check up too and I had to get Burnaby Hitch to install a fifth wheel hitch as well.

The irony was that driving out of the campground we actually saw a 2 year old black bear on the road. Later driving out of Pemberton I saw another young black bear in the ditch.
It was a great drive down the Sea to Sky with beautiful views.  I was thankful the storage lockers were open. Their offices closed but the lockers were there to allow me to unload all the gear and leave the ATV.  Back home we unloaded the food and cooler and dirty dusty clothes.
Then I was in the shower.  I love the shower. It was glorious. Thank you God for hot water soap and  showers.
When I was finished my quick shower Laura moved in for a lifetime of luxurious bathing.   I made us chicken noodle soup and we sat on the couch reading that evening. I fed Gilbert tidbits of left over roast beef.   He was up on the couch between as happy to be home as we were.  It was another great hunt concluded.
I was rather glad to not have to shoot a grizzly bear mauling my girlfriend and risk hitting Gilbert because you know he’d attack anything that threatened Laura.


Thursday, September 7, 2017


I believe dreams are a special reality. Dr. Carl Jung called them the "collective unconscious".  I believe they are this and more, as sometimes my dreams show me what I believe is heaven.  The best of dreams include my former dogs returning to visit and visits from deceased family members.  Those are most comforting. I've always loved Robin Williams movie, "What dreams may come." Our sense of linear time is illusion like so many of our other subjective perceptions.  Working as I have so long with mental processes and the so called mentally ill I've gaine a fine appreciation for the diversity of possibilities or potential of experience.
This morning I woke from the deepest of dreams.  I didn't know what the sound of the alarm clock was.  It took me time to find it and turn it off. I was only slowly coming to my awareness in this present state. it's like that sometimes, like I've cross over into another life or a different dimension.
I was so engaged in my dream.  I remember flying with explorer Anthony in his white experimental plan. He aimed it first for what looked like a round rifle sight. We were literally skimming flat over the surface of this peninsula with me fearing we'd crash only to lifted upwards when we passed this little peak the height of a house and then we were aerobatic.  We shot straight up at incredible speed and the ride was a sensational rush.  I remember trusting Anthony and thinking I'm glad that I do.  There were a couple of others in this incredible machine with me but I don't remember who.
Then in another fragment I was at a conference in Turkey with an old gay friend, all of us researchers and doctors.  I was interested in a pamphlet which disappeared.  I was thankful to be with this old school friend but feeling he'd changed little and glad to meet two friends I suspected were gay though frankly I never knew, only I felt safe in their company and appreciative of their wisdom and life experience. One was Dave. I had that sense of being in a socially awkward moment in a foreign country feeling lll at ease and there was Dave smiling and so trustworthy. I remember relaxing but then going into the scientific conference and seeing that the pamphlets were now no longer in the lobby but under view in the main room.  A rather suspicious little man suddenly thrust a red and black poster in my hand saying this was the one you wanted.
The poster was like those I'd seen from the old Soviet era in Ulyanovsk in the Lenin museum.  Black and red and loud. I'd just been telling someone how Lenin's house was the ultimate in beurgeosie and his family socialized with the czar.  I remember rolling this poster up and fearing that if I were caught with it I'd potentially go to jail. It was some 'radical' , an intellectual I didn't know. But there was so much intrigue and espionage in the air and people about were so thrilled. I was somehow caught up in this fervour.
I remember a girl too, pretty and warm.  We were walking and talking near the water.  I felt safe in her company too.
Then I was in a drawing room and the men were discussing Donald Trump in lowered voices not quite whispers. The gay men were welcoming him as the only force which would still the jihadist forces that would kill them.  We had to remember this was in Turkey where the leadership longed for return of the Ottoman Empire. All over Europe there were these individuals from the upper classes who wanted the 'old days', the French their Napoleonic era, the German's the days of Bismarck, the English , their days of Victorian Empire.  It was a heady place with all the competing elements and these extremely worldly narcissistic fiercely nationalistic voices all threatened and overwhelmed by Trump. America was number one in the world and no one wanted diversity or democracy or any such public consumption idea, they all just wanted to be number one.  They wanted to have their old glory and to take back the position of leadership from Trump. Quite in contrast to the views of opposition forces at home he was considered in this discussion a genius and greatest of leaders, a regular Washington, de Gaulle , or Churchill or Bismarck.  The views were those of leaders who merely admired greatest, like a collection of Martial artists standing about after the world champion has been declared, discussing his attributes.  There was an element of the Hessian Glass Bead Game in that room, something of a library, where men through the ages had discussed kings and queens like one might football or hockey or soccer coaches.  There wasn't any of the partisan stupidity but simply admiration and a lack of speculation about where he was going. The future was unknown just as it had been when Stalin and Monty and Patton had been walking on the face of the earth.
Because this was Turkey and so many old communists were among the jihadists I felt they kept their voices low and I was a listener but just by being there caught up in the intrigue and knowing that outside of America and indeed in fewer places even in the west this conversation that was so original and pragmatic could not go on without risk to the lives of the individuals. I loved these men talking openly among themselves knowing that they so wanted freedom and yet here we were all potentially facing jail for just participating in discussion.
Politics and religion are topics that are taboo in most of the world.
I thought fondly of my friends and found myself walking down corridors in this grand old hotel where the conference was occurring.  I was carrying this poster and didn't even know the man and had been involved in a political discussion and I had openly gay friends and had myself such history and now was in a country where I could be arrested and tortured for my sexuality, my political belief and my Christian faith.
I awoke from this exciting heady dream and felt youthful again, like I had when I'd left home and gone to Europe and encountered so many ideas and later studied at the university.  I laught when I think of the abuse of the word 'diversity' by those who fear anything but their own echo chambers.  White is black and black is white in the midst of change. The adage 'confusion is the harbinger of change' goes right along with 'cloud of unknowing' and 'fog of war'.  The present media favourites speak with a certainty that shows the limits of their exploration. Always there is uncertainty and fear with such uncertainty. The ancients spoke of 'awe' with talk of God and change.  The silly think they want change but mostly they just want dominance and escape.  The Chinese blessing and curse is , "may you live in interesting times'.
I'm in an unsettling move.  Kim Jong sun is shooting nuclear missiles over Japan.  China and Russia seem still allies despite one being Christian and the other aetheist.  The Middle East is ever uncertain with Israel the only sanity in the region and increasingly Canada joining with blood thirsty monarchs over the friendship of Jews increasingly persecuted as Christians are in this new 'progressive' and 'tolerant' society of increasing hate and violence within.
I was comforted by my dream.  I thought of my friend Anthony flying that plane and Dave being at the conference and the sweet girl by the sea. It was all reassuring but fascinating and full of intrigue. I felt was an observer in a James Bond movie though more likely I'd be in a Flashman novel somehow.
Now I'm coming into this world and have to face those in the downtown epidemic, helping and cajoling and begging and selling sobriety and abstinence. I'm invested and present. I want my patients to live. I know it's the de rigor to be detached and cold , just giving out the medication. But I've been through watching my brother sick and dying with his doctors and those I most admired and those he most was enliverned by were terribly human as I am.  I am dominated and ruled by cold Confuscian beurocrats who make rules and stay as far from reality as their desks can place them but they are ego driven and demand we all mirror them.  Some colleagues dress like government beurocrats and lawyers.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I fear I should cut my hair and forego my sandals but take comfort in my colleague who comes to work in shorts and my other colleague who has such a sense of humor having escaped from a country which was like ours is sadly becoming. Her charm and wisdom comfort me.
This world is as exciting as my dream. Yesterday the ride to work on the Harley was exhilarating. Today I've got to drop off the laundry so much take the sports car. Gilbert my dog will enjoy coming along.  Soon he'll have George as company and I'm looking forward to the weekend with Laura.  Both our homes are in dishevelled disarray as we're both moving.  I'm making major headway on the clutter and now just must discard more and more to make my place simpler.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Vancouver Air

I rode the Harley to work today leaving Gilbert at home to guard the place.  He’s a terrifying beast when he goes into ‘protect the home’ mode. I shudder to think of what I’ll find if ever there were an intruder. Gilbert would lick him senseless while blasting him with rapid sonic boom barking.  A terrible attack. I imagine masked intruders would even been subjected to shit and piss. He’d do it right there causing them to slip and slide bringing them down to his level by his diabolical bowel weapon.  The smell would do horrendous olfactory damage. I have great faith in the little guy but feel guilty as he watches me leave.  He guilts me. We ride the motorcycle together. He has his own personal box that sits behind me.
But I was late for work. I didn’t even know I was needed in the morning. I’d planned to go in in the afternoon. But taking the Electroglyde with 1600 cc I was able to cross over to the HOV and pass all the traffic.
The air was bad though.  Thick with haze.  The fire smokes from inland and southern wild fires are concealing the sun.
After a day of clinic and fine staff and people I got back on the bike and rode out on the highway. I’ve the Doobie Brothers playing loud.They were just here at PNE. I was sorely tempted to go having so enjoyed them when I rode all the way to Sturges a few years back.  They were playing up a storm in Buffalo Chip.
But the air is bad. It's a cleansing and purification. The sage grass smudging on a huge scale.  It was surreal riding up Hastings.  The folks in vehicles were crazy.  It’s a Hollywood atmosphere set for zombies or aliens landing.
The news says its the curses American wildfire blowing north.  Some idiot in Ottawa Canada is claiming it’s climate change.  He’s paid by Al Gore to keep his shill going.  The ice caps are still here. I remember writing about the bad air in Vancouver years ago. I remember the haze in September before the rains cleaned it all up. That was decades ago.
But the young voters can be conned by the shenanigans of the shirtless wonder. I can’t wait till the kiss and tell days when we’ll learn he’s had hair implants and uses botox.  Climate change my ass. Just a carbon tax grab for the jet setter lifestyle and the wasteful corrupt nepotism and patronages.  It’s ugly as the air.
I just coughed. It’s making breathing difficult. I’ve had two glasses of water. I’m sitting outside at the picnic table giving Gilbert a little outdoor time after his courageous day job.
I found a CBC channel I could enjoy. CBC 2 music.  They played Blondie. Only one propaganda bit about climate change based on a guy having a banana grow in his backyard.  A comedian couldn’t write this stuff.  The narrative is no different than the one Kim Jong un sells his blighted people on.  Of course we need a nuclear weapon he says, it doesn’t matter that our neighbours have 50, 000 to our one. Each country has it’s own propaganda and each era it’s personal delusions. I watched a documentary on WWI and the family spats of all the medieval offsprings related through marriages and alliance. At the centre of it was hemophilia.  Now we’ve a Muslim fanatics and arms deals upon arms deals. Money and child sex slaves.
I live  a boring life in comparison.  Gilbert and I are sitting here in the back yard.  He’s biting something that’s irritated his butt. I’ve just talked to another Vancouverite about their third bed bug infestation.  Most expensive real estate in north america brought down by creepy crawling things and bad air.  I look forward to the rain. When I think of creepy crawlies I miss Winnipeg where the 40 below winters would Kelvin anything sentient without central heating in their housing.
I’m ornery.
I just wanted to record the air, the haze, the surrealness of today.  I remember last year when the sun was obscured and it was the southern winds then.  Victoria continues to dump raw sewage that lands as lumps of shit on the beaches of Washington. Not surprising they should blow smoke up our ass when they get a chance.  NAFTA talks are going on.
Thank you Jesus for keeping Gilbert safe today. Thanks for protecting me on the rides. Thanks for caring for my patients. Thank you for resurrecting Lazarus. I was reading about Martha and Mary and your friend. Must have been some good times sitting around the rooms talking about God and his being present incarnate.  My friend continues to pray for the dead. He believes in miracles and says he's just testing. If we have faith the size of a mustard seed.  God expand my territory. Thank you for faith.
This weekend is Recovery Day in New Westminster. I feel guilty I’ll not be there. I love the t-shirts with Evidence.  Abstinence is godly. I’m so thankful to be in a spiritual program.  I’d enjoy seeing all my friends I’ve met over the years, a panel of experts, a whole lot of fellow travellers, all the beautiful hilarious ladies with their great senses of humour and amazing insights.
But I’ve a number of days of camping as alternative and the opening of deer hunting is sacrosanct, It’s now primal ritual.  It’s hard to work. I've taken days off and others are watching over my place.  I’m longing to be out camping again. I know I just got back but after a shower and a good rest I was missing the freedom and simplicity.   I’m back in the routines and challenges.  I got my work done. I really completed a lot after the revival that came with disconnecting from the grid.
Now I’m going in to eat and watch tv.  Thank you Lord for television and refrigerators and toasters and sandwich meats. Thanks for Gilbert. Thanks for this summer. Thanks for all the blessings.  Protect me from all falseness and lies and guide me. Thy will be done, not my will.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Pemberton Labour Day Weekend, Camping, Quadding and Opening Bow Season

For those who read stories for the kill factor, I’ll start this one by saying I didn’t see a deer and didn’t shoot one. I didn’t even see bear which were all the rage in the area, though I did see sign. I saw two ptarmigans, a partidge, a rabbit, lots of voles, a couple of gopher, some ground squirrels, a whisky jack and some eagles and hawks.  I had a really great time.  I shot a number of paper targets and cans with my Excaliber bow and with my Ruger semi auto 22 rifle and my Ruger Mini 14 semi auto 223 rifle.  I didn’t eat any paper. I cooked my own great meals on a Coleman camp stove and shared these with my cockapoo hunting dog Gilbert.  He had a really great time and chased and killed tennis balls. He did chase the two ptarmigan too.  He’ll dream of that for weeks.
My old hunting buddy Bill Mewhort, now residing in the truly happy happy hunting grounds,  emphasized the importance of the opening season hunt.  It comes at the end of August or beginning of September, first a week for us bow hunters then the rifle season proper begins with a bang.
It’s now one of the main rituals of my annual seasonal year giving it its unique form and meaning.  There’s the birthdays and anniversaries for some and the official national and regional holidays. I especially like city of Vancouver’s annual 5 k Summer Fun run. The Gay Pride parade  as sex has become mainstream more irrelevant than irreverent has  mired itself in more sordid politics, a much dirtier business indeed.
It’s sad though the atheists don’t have Christmas, Easter, Pentecost or even the days of the Saints to celebrate. No wonder they suffer more from addictions and suicide.   The Communists do continue to fail miserably to celebrate with any fervour their lacklustre godless leaders. Those of other religions other than mine do know the joy of spirituality. Their community celebrations are blessed with laughter and love.  Even the pagans with their wild ribaldry, jumping fires in spring and such,  have so much more to offer than the dead intellectualism of violent socialism.
I’m  blessed as only a Celt can be  having Hogmanny, St. Andrews and Robbie Burns.. Ah, to annually hear and witness the Ode to the Haggis with bag pipes playing and bonnie sweet lasses dancing is to be alive in a way no other can imagine. Were it not for the Highlander Scots who jumped at the tropical and mild Canadian winter offered by the Hudson’s Bay Company, Canada would have taken even longer to be discovered.  The French Festival du Voyageur is an annual delight.  The tribal indigenous people took gladly to the tribal Celts and the French who were intelligent enough to leave France.   I do appreciate my ethnically touched neighbours who break up the year differently with the  traditional Chinese parade of astrological symbolism or the Indian Diwali  festival of lights and other such communal events.
And for all of us who disdain the poor hunter vegetarians who lack the sensitivity to hear the cellular death screams of  vegetables there is  the added creme de la creme of the Opening of Hunting Season.
Each year I gather more ‘stuff’ together for the hunt.  As a boy who hunted with my father and brother I only had to bring my warm clothes, boots, cap , 22 rifle and shells.  My dad had the truck and knowledge, and tools,  having hunted as a boy with his grandfather. My brother was an expert marksman and I the youngest was best at plucking ducks and partridge.
I never did hunt big game with my brother or father. I got my first deer tag as an adult after yoga training, vegetarianism, marriage, overseas travel, study and medical internship took precedence. I had guns in Manitoba but bought my first Browning 30:06 deer rifle from Italian Firearms here.  I moved to Vancouver and began to hunt deer here in the late 1980’s.  My first hunts were in  Pemberton and Princeton. When I moved to Vancouver Island I met Bill Mewhort and we hunted together for decades. I was with him when I shot my first buck.
I’d buy my Stainless Steel Ruger 30:06 from his friend and owner of Granlund Firearms. We’d name it “Sexcalibre” because it was so sexy and shiny.  Because I sailed and often lived on my sailboat I loved the introduction of stainless steel rifles.
I’d begun archery with a long compound bow but switched to a Browning Compound Crossbow because it  required less practice each year. I’d shoot deer and grouse with that.  Bill however  has a video of me missing a deer standing still in a field four times before the deer walked away more bored than bothered.  “See what I told you about getting a rest,” Bill  forever emphasized the need to lean against something when shooting to improve accuracy.
 “Aim for the centre of the centre of the centre,” he’d say time and time again.  He called deer in and taught me stalking to the point where i could sneak up on lying deer and shout ‘boo’ in their ear watching them jump straight up before running off. Bill, himself called deer in, having them come to within feet of him every time.
I now hunt with the Excaliber Bow having been introduced to this amazing cross bow by the amazing hunting men at Reliable Guns in Vancouver. It’s more powerful than my original compound and as accurate with allowing me to hit grouse.  I like the opening bow hunting season mostly because of the last of summer and early autumn weather. Animals, when they’re around, aren’t so spooked as they are after the cacophony of gunfire alerts them to the opening of rifle season. We actually believe the deer get a memo telling them the opening season and any changes to regulations. Those that can't read get the message quick enough once the gun fire begins.
Having all my ‘stuff’ now I’m no better a hunter, worse if anything.  I used to climb mountains and carry deer back on my shoulders through down hills and through streams.  I quartered moose I’d shot to carry them overland through grizzly territory for more than a mile.  Not anymore.  I’ve got older and lazier but still surprise myself getting game. I’ve always thought of myself as a grouse hunter who happens to shoot big game when I’m out with the dog looking for grouse to shoot. Gilbert is ecstatic hunting grouse. It’s the only thing in his life, other than Fifi, that is more exciting to him than chasing tennis balls.
I have a new 2017  Ford F350 4x4 Lariat Edition 6.2 L Gas engine Super Duty Truck with Long box. I replaced my 2009 Ford F350 Harley Davidson Edition Diesel truck because it was off warranty and having troubles. I’d fairly trashed that truck too 4x4ing after my Quad was stolen.  I have my Honda Pioneer 500 cc side by side ATV for backwoods and only plan to use the truck to get to a campground where I can unload Charles. Charles is the name we’ve given the Pioneer.
Each hunting trip is an expedition of sorts.  I have to get my rifles, bows, arrows and ammunition from the gun storage locker. Then I have to get the camping gear and cooking gear and Charles from the North Shore Storage locker. I also have to find radios, gps, satellite phones and electronics. I’ve just moved trailers so finding everything is a trial.  I’d completed a morning clinic and really had hoped leaving in the afternoon to get to Pemberton and set up camp before darkness
It wasn’t meant to be.  I loaded all the gear remembering everything.  There’s the North Face Tent I bought last spring from MEC. Then last week I bought another MEC sleeping bag, this one  -9degree ,wide extra long  Draco . My other sleeping bags are 6 feet but this one is 7 feet.
My first favourite sleeping bag was a down bag I had as a fly in doctor in Northern Manitoba and Northern Ontario.  Then I made myself a sheep skin sleeping bag after doing arctic wilderness survival training making and sleeping in igloos and Quincies. Since then I’ve had a half dozen lighter weight sleeping bags and finally I’m satisfied with this one.
The same has been true for air mattresses over the years.  I’ve finally found ones I like from Cabelas whose own brand bags are the best.  I tend to pass along my old gear when it’s relatively new in my search for the perfect wilderness gear. I’m thankful for nephews and friends who are glad to take my gear so I can move along to something better. I love that some items last for a long time such as the Coleman gas stove and the Coleman Gas Lantern.
My hunting gear is a variation on my ‘car camping’ gear.  I’ve done back packing, bicycling, canoeing, canoe portaging, motorcycling, and yachting expeditions.  Hunting with a truck and ATV leaves a lot of room for the imagination.  I take tables, chairs, lawn chairs, and this week had my lovely Honda 2000 generator. I got by just fine with the Honda 1000 generator which I had on my sailboat as well but with the 2000 I can run water pumps and a heater.  I’m not averse to luxury and comfort when I’m hunting. Most guys leave tenting and move into trailers.
I did get the first  trailers for hunting and took them hunting a couple of times but my present trailer is simply too elegant for the backwoods. Besides it's too big for me to even pull without training and endorsement. As well Burnaby Hitch has to put a Fifth Wheel Hitch in the truck bed before I can even tow it.  It’s a trade off.
I really would like a camper trailer and tow my Honda.  Bill Mewhort's  best hunting system was the truck and camper towing a trailer which we’d do our best to load with moose and deer. My other impressive hunting buddy Victor has a truck and tows an enclosed trailer which he’s made up with sink and cot for hunting but which serves to haul back his abundance of moose and deer as well.
I laugh at the young guys or novices only because I’m an old guy now and can.  There’s simply no way you can get the right gear and right arrangement without experience.  The more experienced the guy the more interesting his gear is to another wilderness connoisseur.  The book learning may help and there’s merit in viewing videos but it all takes time.  And old guys just love to look at other guys gear. It was the same with off shore sailing.  So much individualization and so much consideration of efficiency and durability.
It was sunny and only about 3 pm when I left Vancouver. I love driving the Sea to Sky Highway. It’s truly one of the wonderful rides of all times. My favourite trips have been doing it on the Harley. I used to love riding up in my old Vanagon when I was into black diamond skiing at Whistler and Blackcomb nearly a quarter century ago.  The new F350 Ford with gas engine maneuvered beautifully and handled all the ascent and curves. I loved glancing to the left at the beautiful blue waters of Howe Sound remembering the countless times I sailed those water in my 39ft offshore yacht, SV GIRI.  It's now on land at Loyalist Cove Marina, Ontario planning her next expedition.
I stopped at the Squamish Canadian Tire. Canadian Tire is a necessary last stop for any expedition. I finally got the bolt I’d lost for ATV ramp.  I’d had a little excitement wondering if my jury rig would hold when I drove the Honda up onto the back of the truck.  One shouldn’t push one’s luck.
I got Gilbert’s Little Cesar dog food there.  I got some Fusion 223 ammunition for the Ruger Mini 14 I’d brought along for larget practice and tenting sleep aid.
lmost next door there’s a perfectly situated Starbucks where I bought a silver mug which would fit Charles cup holder. I also bought ground Expresso coffee for the stove top Expresso machine which I’ve taken everywhere with me, including my motorcycle ride to Sturges.  I really do appreciate a good cup of coffee with honey and cream. When I don’t have cream I love canned milk, a taste initially acquired in the far north.
Escape Route is a fabulous outdoor store further along the mall.  I’d noted this year that my hiking boots were really done in and given my injuries and need for a time with orthotics I was overjoyed to find the very best Romanian Salewa Hiking Boots. I know Romanians. They are a magnificent people who love the outdoors.  Since Communism fell they are making high quality european products. I love my goretex lined boots.  I really love these boots. They really proved themselves too.
I did my grocery shopping at the Indepent Grocery Store, finding great steaks, potatoes and pork chops, staples of my hunting along, with all the other dining luxuries like white chocolate I can’t resist. It was many many years ago I thought I should ‘rough’ it when it came to groceries. Back packing and canoe camping impose limits of weight. But I have a cooler that plugs into the cigarette lighter.  Why rough it when you have a truck and a generator. Actually because the truck worked so well as a generator with it’s USB plug in for charging my iPhone and Ipad with kindle books and AC plug ins for cooler,  I don’t think I’ll be taking the Honda generator along next time. The Ford truck is quieter and it's one less thing to lift. If I was using a heater I'd take it though.
Back in the truck with Gilbert, the retracting ceiling roof saving him from the heat, and my trips back and forth to the truck with each purchase didn’t detract from his final sloppy welcome when I started the engine. We were on our way north again.  It was now 5:30 pm.  The traffic had certainly increased but thanks to the improvements on the road made by the Liberal government of BC it really flowed despite the vast numbers heading to Whistler and Pemberton for the long weekend.
It was dark when I got to the MacDonald’s at Pemberton.  I love MacDonald’s. Gilbert loves their plain burger. He almost Jones at the Golden Arches.  It was already getting dark.
I drove the Duffy Lake Road up past the turn off to the St. Agnes Skookumchuck Hotsprings.  I used to love this but last spring Laura and I found it had been taken over by loud partying young people making it obnoxious to us.  Way too loud.  Too much booze and drugs. Too much city unpredictability. Too much like DTES and work.
I was surprised at the number of cars at Joffre Lakes.  Pemberton has just become increasingly popular.  I was planning on going to the campgrounds Laura and I found past Duffy Lake nearer to Lillouet. The only problem was that I saw a sign that said I was entering the Caribou.
The reason’s I chose to hunt Pemberton again this year was that there was a Senior’s Doe Season for guys over 65.  I figure I can use all the help I can get because I’m no longer climbing mountains for hunting like I did up to a decade a go. I can still climb with far less enjoyment and more pain but the issue is I’m not going to be able to get the game back.  Hauling my elk up hill a few years back took all day and nearly killed me when I flipped the ATV.  Even hauling in the buck I shot on the relative flat last year was a struggle. Even lifting the last few game I’ve shot onto the back of the truck has required me to use the winch I've had on the front of the ATV's
This year because of the wild fires in the interior, only the Coastal region is open to back country ATV’s.  You can still drive a truck in the Caribou other back countries.   What hadn’t been devastated by wild fires this year was still restricted to offroad vehicles.  I didn’t want to trash my new truck. And I really love driving around in Charles with my great hunting dog beside me.
Since Gilbert lost his eye to glaucoma this year I really wanted him to have a great year hunting. I don’t know how long he’ll have his remaining eye.  He does love watching the road when we’re driving around hunting.
I would have liked to camp by the river but I was concerned about Gilbert and the highway traffic so headed inland on a logging road near Van Horrick Creek.  I knew I wasn’t able to shoot old guy doe near here but I could hunt with my ATV.  I was still in Coastal Area 2.
I found a place off the main logging road, rather lucky indeed.  It being past 10 pm  and pitch dark, I almost set up my tent alongside the road when I drove in 5 km and couldn’t find any spot. Returning my lights caught this turn off which took me a few truck lengths into the bush, just enough for privacy and away from passing vehicles for Gilbert’s safety.  The down side was no running water at camp and when trucks went by, few though there were, the dust blew over my tent and gear. It was dry and dirty place, but safe and somewhat secluded.
I am thankful to North Face tents for the ease of assembly in the headlights of trucks. I’ve done so many times I can speak with experience. Never am I happy to be doing it, always I’m tired and just wanting to go to bed. It’s always the same. I methodically go through the motions and long ago stopped cursing, preferring prayer instead.  In no time the tend was up and I’d blown up the air mattresses, Gilbert helping as much as he could by sitting on them. I loved laying out my new sleeping bag and opened one for Gilbert which I draped for warmth over his little doggy bed I bring along.  It is one of life’s great joys to be able to strip in the cool night and climb into a sleeping bag with man’s best friend curling up beside you.  Just as I was falling asleep Gilbert, whose been more skittish and vocal since he lost his eye, began barking at the night.
I love my Ford F350 automatic fob. I just pressed the button so the lights went on and off and horn blared a couple of times.  Whatever Gilbert was bothered by was not about to take on a White Ford F350 Super Duty Truck. I had my Ruger Mini 14 with clip in beside me, nothing up the barrel, but really think the truck fob is the best animal deterrent. I had to do it a couple of times in the night because the little guy had a bad dream or smelt something.  I eventually fell asleep despite the air mattress, very aware how I miss my bed everytime I go back to sleeping on the ground.
It was still dark when a couple of trucks passed. I could sense an edge of dawn light and thought how my old friend Bill Mewhort would have had us all out of bed his coffee brewing and wet eggs and greasy bacon waking our senses.  Bill’s dead. I’m sorry. But I remember hunting with him  I wished that when he got us all up before dawn.  It was worse in the cold and snow.  It was worse that he was so cheerful too. His percolated coffee was welcome and good.
Alone I  rolled over and went back to sleep.  Gilbert and I usually wake at 7 am for work so he figured it was okay for him to start licking my face at that time. I often find him awake watching me waiting for me to wake up or finally taking it upon himself to wake me up.  It’s great letting him out of the tent to roam about peeing on everything.  I liked that he could be off leash the whole time.
It’s really hard to get out of a sleeping bag and get dressed. It’s even harder crawling out of a tent and standing.  My knees aren’t what they once were,  That’s not age. That’s being out of shape. I used to dance, do yoga, martial arts and tai chi.  If I did as much of that today as I did a few years back I’d be a hell of a lot more limber.  Rolling the truck and rolling the ATV and not sailing these last two years of grief and anxiety, sloth and gluttony have taken their toll. I was thankful to have the camp chair placed outside the tent subsequent mornings so I could lift myself up with it’s assistance.
Shitting in the woods is over rated.
Wet Ones are further proof that God exists and Jesus Christ was All Man and all God.  Thank you Jesus for "wet ones".
I do like standing and pissing though Marking my territory.  I like to piss in the four corners out from the tent to alert an animal to my presence. I’m scarier than anything out there even the occasional Grizzly bear.  Being alone in the woods I’m far away from the drunk and stoned young people who sometimes are looking for trouble. I’ve stood down guns and knives in the back woods over the year, facing up to some unpleasant  yahoos.
I only remembered this year the night I heard some guy in a provincial camp ground stealing my lantern. He’d stolen my axe too. In the light of my flash light I saw him running off with the long axe and lantern. I was stark naked and barefoot but took off after him armed only with my flashlight.  He had a head start and out ran me. That might have been a reason for the second wife not to want to have children with me and eventually be happy with a divorce.  She said I was a foo to chase naked after some  guy in the night who’d stolen my axe.  She often didn't approve of my nakedness, that night at the party with some hundred folk about when I took off all my clothes and suggested we should all go skinny dipping. Being a party pooper she just had to mention the outdoor pool was frozen in winter.
The fact is I’m pretty certain I’m the most dangerous animal I’ll encounter in the woods. I just don’t know if I’m more dangerous to myself or others.
Dressed I backed Charles down off the truck thankful to have the bolt in the ramp.  I love Charles. I didn’t bother with making coffee. I had a blue energy drink and got my bow and arrows and having shot an arrow off to see it was still hitting the target I headed out on Charles.  What beautiful country! BC is truly God’s country.  The devil seems quite at home to stay in Vancouver.
I love the logging companies who make these logging roads. This one was active with huge machinery left out and fresh cut timber.  I loved the smell of fresh cut fir. The sun was just rising over the snow capped mountain peaks.  The higher it got the warmer it got.  Majestic spruce and fir trees along the sides of the roads and every little while a slash which I looked over with my Bushnell Rangefinder binoculars.  I didn’t see any deer but it’s mostly about the experience. Gilbert and I were having the time of our life.
I’d brought a 5 gallon blue jug which I’d filled up at Pemberton only to have half the water spill out as it fell over on it’s side with the bumps or turns in the road.  The cap leaked.  I found a stream and filled it up and later would add quite a few drops of iodine.  Iodine purifies the water and protects against bacteria but especially ‘beaver fever’. There’s some formula about how little iodine you need for a whole lot of water but I use my own formula of dumping in more than enough but not enough to affect the taste. I figure with North Koreans being ruled by a young nut bar dictator having some iodine on board could help if Kim Jong un shoots a nuclear missile at us.
I got naked too, the ex wife not being around,  and barely survived washing myself off in the freezing cascading mountain stream.  I had Olay soap and a little tube of shampoo I’d brought from some 5 star hotel I stayed in. The sweet smells helped distract me from my feet turning blue and numb and the swivelling experience of my manhood when I sat in the water.
I often think I’d like to be a transexual admiring those who have had the courage to make the transition. It might complement my being born again.  Pain is a discouragement though and I fear that I would rather just have my youth back and not make so many mistakes with regard to marriage and love and idealism in the wicked workplace.  I like Leonard Cohen’s “I want a new face”.  I think that while other transexual’s have gender identity disorder I’ve more of an identity disorder.  The fact is that after the mountain stream experience I had a visual image of what I’d look like without a penis.  I  thought of Seinfeld's George Castandas screaming ‘its’ the cold water’.
It was already hot outside in the morning.  Back on the ATV for more driving about and exploring.  No deer.  No signs of deer. Just great countryside and whole lot of fun 4x 4ing. I just love being with Gilbert out in the woods sharing his obvious enjoyment.
Back at the campsite I made sandwiches and shared the meat with Gilbert. He ate his Little Cesar too. Lots of running about for him too.  I threw the little yellow ball and the bigger orange ball almost continuously all weekend. He’s addicted. And I’m feeling guilty that he lost his eye.  It doesn’t matter it’s genetic.  I work with some extremely hateful and chronically complaining demanding people and I attract all that misery and pain when I refuse to do some thing that the individuals wants, like free drugs, a letter saying they don’t have to work for life, a change of diagnosis from anti social personality disorder, or borderline personality disorder to choir girl or alter boy.  I’m especially disliked by the pedophiles I’ve reported. My life has been threatened repeatedly and my last dog was killed by a pothead after I refused to alter their positive drug screen for so they could continue to smoke pot and get a high paying government job.
The sad irony is that my ‘integrity’ cost my dog his life.  Burying him I cried such tears too despite my belief in Rainbow Bridge. Now I’ve returned to Canada to live and work under a Prime Minister who lied and smoked marijuana and got the highest paid  job in the country.  I’ve had a lot of conversation with God about this.
For a year I’ve looked everywhere all the time because another guy has been threatening to kill my dog because he wanted me to change his diagnosis of drug addiction and alcoholism which I can’t do and it wouldn’t wipe out his DUI”s either. The irony here is that the police who hadn't done anything despite my reporting his ongoing threats called me up because he's now taking to threatening  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I could have said, "Oh no, I was mistaken" but having that awful dinosaur integrity I told them that yes, the reason I reported him to you in the first place was that I thought him dangerous. And yes I've worked extensively with the dangerously insane and psychotic, addicted and personality disordered, in jails and with the police and military and only twice have I reported a patient threatening me. This is despite having been threatened physically with knives and guns and fists and other weapons in the office and simply put that behaviour down to illness.  The police thanked me and perhaps I contributed to saving Justin Trudeau's life. This too will pass. For all I know Kim Jong un has other plans.
A woman is mad about me not giving her a letter saying she never had to work again so she could continue to collect insurance and not work. I was giving her annual letters but she wanted more.  Some people you can never give enough and displeased they lie and hurt. There's a story about a scorpion and a horse I like to remember at such times. It's my nature and oath to help. I don't like being judged by those who tell me that they've given up and their's 'is just a job'.
I met a Serb who hated the UN troops more than the Croats who killed his family.  There is more evil in sins of omission than sins of commission. That's the lesson in Arendt's "banality of evil".
I cry a lot, thinking of my dog. I long for death at times too.  It’s all behind me out in the woods. No CBC news. No patients wanting "free heroin".
I set up targets and shoot nice patterns, near bullseyes. I could adjust the scope a little but I'm satisfied  with free standing and using a rest. It's good enough for the conditions.   It comes with being called a ‘straight shooter’.  Not much room for that today. Only Kellie Leitch speaks of Canadian Values anymore. I'm waiting for Andrew Scheer to weigh in on that but he's playing to a larger audience than the conservative party.  I really hoped that Dr. Leitch would acknowledged.  She's a truly amazing woman.
I didn’t bother with clothes a lot on the weekend.  It’s like being on my yacht with just a wrap or shorts. The weather was so hot it was nudist colony weather.  Not wearing my Apple watch the white band where my watch was has gone. I really did tan a great deal.  Lying on a lawn chair reading all summer and concerned about the spots on my back I was avoiding sun on my back But thanks to the two lesions being removed by the skillful Dr. Waterson I felt great going shirtless. I shot a whole lot of targets and enjoyed the sun.
I don’t know what happens to the day. I drive around the backwoods for hours.  I feel like it must have been like in the golden era of the automobile back in the 30’s.  At most I can do nearly 50 km/hour which is as exciting on rough logging roads with steep fall off cliffs but mostly all I do is 20 km and sometimes 10 km.  It’s an easy speed even if the road is horrid and there are these great rocks and cut outs for run off. It’s a speed I can look around at the scenery.  It's a speed I could see a deer if there were any.
In the afternoon I had a thermos of coffee along and some sausage. I take a tin of herring or sardines along in the morning. Gilbert doesn’t much like the fish treats but really loves sharing the sausage and cheeses.  We picnic on the side of a mountain and I watch clouds like I did as a kid.  The colours of the terrain greens and a touch of early fall are too beautiful too.
There was this relatively major river running through a valley with large blue pools. I climbed down and swam in these. If swimming means diving in then swimming right back out, lathering oneself with soap and shampoo then diving back in and rubbing off the soap and shampoo furiously to get out shivering and blue to dry in the hot midday sun.  Everything was so dry with the road dust incredibly filthy so I took these daily dips and used my big bowl with water back at the camp to wash off. I’ve talked to Afghanistan solders who’ve described the daily horror of heat and dust and feeling the awful wearing sand grit daily. I think I had a wee touch of that in the dry heat of this weekend. Braving the freezing water as I did gave some momentary relief from the constant sense of grimy grit that pervaded the camp and got into the clothes.  The air at times also was thick with the smoke from fires far away.
I never saw any deer or deer sign. I figured with the heat and flies they were high up at the glacier level where it was cool.  I did see bear scat on the road.  I surprised a grouse first thing one morning. Then I saw two ptarmigan and hoping they were in season not seriously took a long shot with my bow for the benefit of Gilbert. The arrow went a ways above their heads and bounced  off a rock, the noise and movement causing them both to burst into flight with a little dog going full tilt after them. He almost became airborne with  sheer speed and determination to catch himself a bird.
After the morning hunt on the Monday Labour Day I could have stayed longer but chose to pack up. I’d had enough. I had a home that was still chaos after a move which badly needed some organization. I had a legal report that was due and I felt like I wanted a shower and a clean bed to sleep in.  I didn’t even think of the traffic coming home a day early and getting caught up in the long weekend return. I should have known when I saw the dozens and dozens of cars all over the Joffe Lake region. Crossing through the Mount Currie Reserve where my old friend rode rodeo I was glad to see a sign saying the rodeo would be the May 20 weekend.  I really would have loved to see Wayne Andrews when he was the World Indain Broncho Riding champion.  Mount Currie reserve and Pemberton Rodeo see a lot of great horses and riders. I’ll forever be thankful for the times I rode with Wayne. the times we fished and the stories we shared late night in his sweat lodge. What a great man he truly was.
I stopped at the Spud Valley Hunting Store to talk to one of the great brothers about the areas for the Senior Doe Hunt as well as buy some ammo for next week.  I’m coming back for the opening of rifle season and more camping, though this time with Lovely Laura.
I also drove a little way up the valley to see if I could get some organic produce from the organic farm stand.  Pemberton potatoes are the finest in the world but it was just a little early for them. I did get some fabulous tomatoes which I ate all the way home.  They went really well with the burgers and paddy I got for myself and Gilbert  at the Macdonalds on the way out of town.
Traffic wasn’t bad till Squamish where I turned off only to be disappointed that the car wash was closed for the long weekend.
Back on the road we were pretty much gridlocked from the Chief to Britannia, moving along at between 5 and 20 km max for an endless time. The water cooled Harleys were riding along the side of the road to save their engines.  I was thankful for the air conditioning and sound system in my Ford Truck.  At Britannia we began on track moving along at a 100 km/hr. I stopped to take a photo of the wild fire haze over the normally pristine view.
In North Vancouver I unloaded the Honda Pioneer and camp gear, then left all my guns, bows and ammunition at the gun locker before driving home to unload food and my filthy clothing.
It was great to see Dave and Rick and Laura. Rick and Laura have lawn chairs outside and a little community has grown around them.  Rick like Dave and Mack is a real hands on down to earth guy with great ideas while Laura is like my Laura warm intelligent and engaging.  As we get older for those of us without a whole lot of attitude there’s a lot of experience that can be collected in one place very quickly with all the ensuing wisdom that goes with it.  Conversations are a whole lot better because of this. These friends sense of humour is what really counts.  There’s a whole lot of wit and the wry comments interspersed.  After three days alone I really have to admit I was glad to see such great people. Later Laura and the two girls were walking by and I was able to show off my new home, despite the mess.
I really am glad to be back.  Sleeping in my own bed without being woken by Gilbert a couple times in the night and having to flash the truck lights and honk the horn at a distance before Gilbert would settle back to sleep was wonderful. I think I missed my CPAP machine too, probably because I really did sleep the sleep of the dead after a long hot shower before bed.
This morning after a cup of expresso coffee I cleaned up the garage to make room for an office and settled down to complete the report.  I’ll be at work tomorrow but will have time to undertake a couple of errands which simply can’t wait.  A trip to the Post Office, a trip to the laundry and seeing an Optometrist to get the glasses I broke repaired.  Of course I’d love to have a deer at the butcher but there is next weekend hunting with Laura, (my Laura, not Rick's Laura.) Laura's always good luck and good fun.
It was great to hear Kevin and Anna and the god kids were back from their amazing summer camping and driving holiday all the way to the east coast and back. Like Kevin I enjoy photography so even when there isn’t game to shoot there are always great sights to be shot. Gilbert of course is my my number one model.