Chapter 2, in which we learn as much as possible at CHESS 2013

During CHESS 2013 on Vancouver Island, we enjoyed three days PACKED with awesome field excursions, fascinating lectures, delicious food, and great conversations.

Accommodations

We learned some of the history of VIU on our tour!

We learned some of the history of VIU on our tour!

We stayed in the lovely dorms of Vancouver Island University, surrounded by bunnies which seemed to have escaped or been freed from the science labs. (These weren’t your skittish brown woodland bunnies – these were black and white pet store bunnies who feared no humans.)

Friday Field Trippery

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I took lots of pictures of trees for KB and since we were learning a lot about the logging industry in the area.

IMG_3256Our first stop was Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park to enjoy some nature (including eagles, trees, sand dollars, and tiny crabs!).

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We stopped in Cumberland for a brief visit. We saw the museum, the local coffee shop, and the Chinese and Japanese cemeteries outside of town (link via KB). We also learned saw the hills where Ginger Goodwin was murdered (link via KB).

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Next, we had lunch and a tour of a super-awesome, completely full of shelves, we were all so jealous library at the former home of Roderick Haig-Brown.

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While in his fantastic library (literature was organized by his librarian wife by the author’s date of birth), we read an excerpt from one of his books, Measure of the Year, a section called “Let them eat sawdust:”

trees

(Further reading, for those following along at home: W. J. Keith, “Roderick Haig-Brown,” Canadian Literature, 71(Winter 1976), 7-20; Craig Orr, “Paradise Lost;” Arn Keeling, “Crying in the Wilderness: Roderick Haig-Brown, Conservation, and Environmental Justice.”)

Next, we went to an amazing local museum in Campbell River.

"Our towns and villages were made poor by disease and pestilence. Nine out of ten children... lost to foreign diseases along with nine out of ten of their parents; nine out of ten doctors, composers, artists, elders, leaders, warriors... gone... How could any community cope in the face of such a loss... if 90% of the mothers, teachers, doctors and police were to perish?"

“Our towns and villages were made poor by disease and pestilence. Nine out of ten children… lost to foreign diseases along with nine out of ten of their parents; nine out of ten doctors, composers, artists, elders, leaders, warriors… gone… How could any community cope in the face of such a loss… if 90% of the mothers, teachers, doctors and police were to perish?”

We also watched a film about the destruction of Ripple Rock.

Richard Mackie tells it like it is.

Richard Mackie tells it like it is.

We learned about trees surrounded by the last stand of old grown Douglas firs in Miracle Beach Provincial Park.

IMG_3328This reminded me of quite a few cartoons, but I’ll leave you with just the one:

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Cartoon by George Fisher of the Arkansas Gazette, via “Target: The Political Cartoon Quarterly.”

Then, we pretended to be salmon at the Comox estuary amongst recently recovered Indigenous fish weirs with Nancy Greene* before dinner at Asteras Greek Tavern.

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* This was an AWESOME part of the trip, but the findings are not published yet, so the researchers asked us not to elaborate too much on their efforts.

All in all, a fun, educational, and busy day! Here is a map of our travels, courtesy of Josh MacFadyen (@joshmacfadyen):

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