Sandra Patricia Hunter's Diary

April 14, 2001
Many things have happened in the past months that leave me with multiply mixed emotions. On February 14 (happy valentine's days?) I was in a bad cycling accident that left me with a lot of bruises and fractures and missing parts and stitched up places and a badly wounded spirit. Some friends were wonderfully supportive, others painfully aloof. The healing and repair process continues and maybe one day I'll be able to eat properly again and maybe even turn my head. One remains hopeful. Imagine a whole week without any doctors patching bits of me back together?? Someday that will be my reality.

I went to the world premiere of Mort's film and cried, laughed and raged with
the crowd: it is a brilliant piece of cinematography. Mostly I was thrilled that Jonathan finally got credit for his works of genius.

I spent that weekend camped alone, no Amy but still Bela, on the old spirit campsite. It was a soul touching nostalgia to be where it all really began for many of us and see horrific clearcuts. Some of the worst is seen as you drive up the Pat Bay highway and can see the west side of the island. I was woken every morning, still, by the sound of chainsaws.

I drove to the top of Mount Maxwell and had another weep at what destruction I could see from the mountain. I lived in the very last house on Mount Maxwell when I first moved to Saltspring so long ago and I feel like my body has been ripped apart when I see the wounds on the mountain: since my accident I am too intimately familiar with that feeling. Everytime I come back to Saltspring it is like twenty new wounds are opened up.

Last weekend I attended a workshop with Starhawk and many of the strong people of Saltspring. Still we keep fighting. We grieved together: I grieved for my body that is taking so long to heal and for the children and for the trees. I fondly imagine that one day I will stop weeping but it doesn't seem like it will happen any time soon. But as Alice Walker says: "The only way forward is with a broken heart."

October 1, 2000
Last week on September 22 my dearly beloved dog, Amy, was put to sleep when we discovered an inoperable cancer on her spleen. It was a deep loss for me and leaves me feeling utterly bereft. She had a long and very rich life. Today I returned to Saltspring and Amy's favourite walk: I climbed up Mount Erskine with fellow Amy lovers, Wendi, Keith, Halley, Ezra, Lulu, Trixie, Iris, Bela and Shiyana. At the top we lit a candle and some incense, said a poem and recounted Amy memories (like her utter determination to save drowning swimmers, and her inability to distinguish between drowning and playing) and tossed her ashes to the wind.

Amy was a very vital part of the peace camp and helped keep me warm in those cold first few weeks of winter camping.

I understand a feller buncher has now arrived on Mount Maxwell and it fills me with rage.

The drive through the valley to the mountain gets more tragic every time I take it: the view from the ferry gets worse. I feel futile and frustrated. I am somewhat relieved to read Adrien's note that Texada has been fined for destroying one creek, but disgusted at the small fine and the lack of recognition of the other damages.

July 19

Sitting in my physiotherapist's office (remember the sprained ankle that won't heal?) I found an ad in a magazine from a company that makes windows and was loudly proclaiming that their windows were made only from "Western Douglas Fir" as it was the best wood for windows and had the tightest grain. My heart stopped: where were they getting their wood and how was it being harvested?

I assumed I knew the answers: more clearcutting. So I got up on my high horse and snarled a letter to them suggesting that they rethink things.

Well I got back a most amazing letter from the owner of the company, which is based in Manitoba, telling me that he owns land on Mount Tuam that he is committed to preserving, and has contributed vigorously to the campaign, and that he is determined to buy only "certified" wood for his business. I reminded him that Texada is promoting their tree corpses as selectively logged and to please be careful when accepting the word "certified". He was a lovely man and if I ever need to buy windows I will go to Loewen in Manitoba because I received a strong sense of global concern in their business practices.

And I will try to remember to assume nothing.

Sandra wishing I could be there on Saturday but am committed to Rootsfest and hanging out with musicians in airports.

July 15

I just came back from a camping trip around Vancouver Island with my most beloved daughter, and we saw some beautiful things, but also some to distress us.

We camped on Denman Island with a beautiful view of clearcutting on Hornby blighting the scenery. Then we drove through Cathedral Grove to see all the trees, some as old as eight hundred years, that have been blown down after MacBlo cut too close to the Grove.

Then onwards to Port Alberni where you are surrounded on all sides by beautiful mountains covered with patches of clear cut: some look very old and give no sign of regrowing. The static on the radio sounded like chainsaws: very spooky.

I toured what is called a "co-operatively managed" tree farm thinking I would really see something encouraging, but all I saw were more clearcuts that had just been left for years with rubble everywhere and nothing growing except some lupines (echoes of Monty Python) and ferns. It quickly became clear that the co-operation was not about community involvement but simply meant that both Weyerhauser and MacBlo were demolishing this particular piece of paradise together. There was no apparent "farming" that I could see.

On the way home I was passed by more Dorman trucks than I could count and one had on it only one tree: so enormous that there was no room on the truck for any others. Imagine how old that tree must have been before it was cut. We also watched horses gallop along the beach, and swam at dawn with the dogs, and made new friends, and ate more than anyone could imagine, but I worried the whole time about how much longer such treats would be available to us.

I keep hoping that the corporate powers will see the light but I fear I am hopelessly naive.


July 4

I went to my first big city social activity on the weekend: a housewarming for old friends, and there met a fellow with strong ties to Saltspring and deep concerns about the Texada Land Destruction. It seems I can't move without hearing that people are horrified and worried. I hope they vocalize their horror as much as possible: this, too, must stop.

I wake up in the morning looking thorugh tall Victorian windows at trees and sky now, so city life isn't too bad so far. And Shiyana have planted some more flowers and herbs in the garden and our pots on the porch. I can't wait to get back on the rock, though.

I did however sprain my ankle this morning and will have to remain in a vertical position for a few days so no visits this week.

June 14

I went up to the camp very briefly this evening to deliver some leftover chilli and other odds and sods from my cupboard. What an exciting few minutes it was. The camp looks really great with outhouses and bathtub and everything neat and clean. It is not easy keeping a camp clean and orderly when there are so many people coming through, and so much dirt around, but the current residents are doing a fabulous job.

While I was admiring the tidiness, we could hear yelling in the woods. I put it down to youthful exuberance, but it was in fact, as I got closer, someone calling for help. One of the campers in search of sawdust for the outhouses had fallen through a hole in the clearcut ,and his foot was caught, and he couldn’t get out. Well several of us rushed over and helped him out with much encouragement from my dogs. He was fortunately not hurt, but I wish he had been wearing socks. Perhaps a clothing influx of things like that might be helpful.

The site of the camp like always is breathtakingly beautiful and the air is brisk with scents of tree and woodsmoke. There is even, now, a cooking fire in the kitchen area as well as a communal keeping warm fire in the circle. The sleeping dragon has become a large and beautiful altar. All is wonderful and my day has been enriched immeasurably by my visit.

June 11

I feel very sorry for anyone stuck at the camp in this rain: I know from experience that when it starts raining up there it is very difficult to maintain any kind of positive outlook. I hope that there have been some supportive visitors to the camp over the long wet weekend.
I have been working outside all day and am drenched, tired and crabby. I have had several interesting conversations this week with unexpected supporters like my neighbour who has worked in pulp towns in northern Ontario and is foursquare against what Texada is doing and wondered why if clearcutting is as non-destructive as the clearcutters tell us then why are old growth forests still being logged?, and the nurse from France who is upset that so many campers are not from BC (???) and their protests are loud and visible.
She thinks we should comport ourselves much more quietly and with courtesy towards Texada, as if this is a problem that should be pushed under a rug kinda like child abuse. You know: doing it isn't taboo, talking about it is! "We are screwing up here but lets not tell anybody."
In another conversation I was reminded that in protesting we are protecting the jobs of the loggers in the future: sustainable logging can be sustained but clearcutting cannot. We are out there fighting as much for the future of the loggers as for the future of the planet as a whole. We have already learnt that fishing is not an infinite activity if carried out disrespectfully: what will it take to learn that about the forests, too?
Anyway my yard sale and chilli dinner went well and I'm looking forward to the move.

June 8

It seems like I miss all the fun these days so involved with moving as I am. This Saturday is my yard sale and chilli party afterwards. Anyone who reads this is welcome.
I missed what sounded like a great rally yesterday when I was off signing leases and such. I hear the wonderful Marimba band was present. I am sad to miss that but look forward to more in the future. I will be commuting back and forth over the summer so expect to get lots of rebellion in through the summer.

Sandra packing

June 3

I have spent the last few weeks running back and forth between here and Victoria trying to find a house. Finally I did, and I am very happy about it: Househunting is a ridiculously stressful activity. I hope this one doesn't fall through like the last one.
I ran down to Drummond Park to participate in a blockade on Thursday but got there after everything was over: I seem to be running behind the times a lot these days.
I went to visit my friend, Andrew, at his office in Victoria on Wednesday, and on the elevator I met a young man who was very concerned about the clearcutting and was planning to visit the camp this weekend: I welcome anyone who is in favour of finding ways to heal our ailing planet. It amazes me how many people are concerned about, and discussing, this issue: even with strangers on elevators.
When I got off the ferry last night I saw Tex and Alan walking along the road together and burst into tears at the familiarity of that (anyone I saw I knew) and the quaintness of such a meeting. I could see beauty all around me and I am so afraid that MacDonald and Trethewy will not realize what they are destroying.

Sandra very sad to be leaving

May 23

As I sailed around the island in the race this weekend (no we didn't win...) I was struck again and again by the beauty and wildness of the shoreline. It is only in a very few spots that houses appear close to the water. The rest of the island, particularly the southend where Texada owns too much, is wild and free and stunning. We saw eagles and herons and seals and porpoises (or were they whales?: They were certainly very big porpoises) and green and blue and grey. It impressed all of us over and over again that this is truly a magical and special place and that logging it to the extent that Texada is doing is horrific and deeply deeply wrong. I hope the monster of Sansum Narrows really will rise up and protect the island.

May 16

I was working to day but many protesters happened by to keep me informed of the latest blockade, lockdown and arrest: Another one today! It is gratifying to see the number of people willing to lay down their lives for the ecosystems that make this island unique. It is gratifying to see the number of people who recognize that it is vital that we stop abusing the entire planet and change our behaviour. Every day we make our point again. Oh... and we didn't even finish the race on the weekend. Oh well... Sandra

May 13

I'm off to sail in the Bas Cobanli memorial race with my buddy Donovan on his boat soon to be named the Red Dog: Peterboroughites will know why. Yesterday was spectacular as we ran to stop a logging truck on Burgoyne road and the most wonderful xxxx, aged sixteen, locked on. The police came and pushed people around and words were exchanged but soon we all calmed down and sang and hollered messages to xxxx. Eventually the fire fighters came and slowly cut xxxx off the truck with various saws and safety equipment draped over him and off we all went to the police station. Dorman promised to quit for the day and when I drove by later there was no evidence of continued logging for this week. That makes two arrests now: Rod McGuckin was arrested on Thursday after locking down to a logging truck all day (I was at work and missed everything but I was there in the morning). I keep hoping that Trethewy and MacDonald will get the message that clearcutting cannot continue and that they must find a sustainable way of using the land.

Sandra the Salty Dog
ps Happy Mother's Day to the Mother of us All

Webmaster's note: The young arrestee's name can't be published, he's a minor.

May 4

On May Day, after a long time working in other areas, I wandered down to Musgrave Road with my dogs. I had dropped off the stiltwalkers from the Wild Wood Walk (which was a great woohoo in celebration of the woods) at the ferry, and walked up the beach to Isabella Point Road. My friend stopped by in her van and we stood at the side of the road just below Musgrave and chatted. As a heavily loaded logging truck dashed down the road I said to her,"I'm glad the loggers have got the message and are stopping at the stop signs now." I spoke too soon: as we stood and watched the truck rolled right through the stop sign at the corner of Musgrave and Isabella Point Road, at 10:25 in the morning with lots of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. I wonder when Texada will learn what keeping your word means. I wonder when I will stop being afraid. New supplies and equipment will be arriving at the camp shortly thanks to a very generous donor.

April 14, 56 days, 8 weeks

It was a very busy day for me: running around working on the publicity for the play "A Guide to Mourning", and all THAT entails, then getting ready for my race tomorrow, then, of course, the highlight of the day: the Barbecue!! The most entertaining part of this was Derek Trethewy's arrival in a float plane that couldn't get to the shore and watching him wade into shore carrying his gal pal over his shoulder. Many of us discussed the situation at length with Derek, and I hope he will honour some of the commitments and hints he made. The best smelling part was Linda from Soapworks showing me the new soap that Soapworks has introduced to help raise money. It is fabulous and what a great way to put your money where your mouth is (and smell good doing it). And lets not forget the good food: to paraphrase "If I can't eat well I don't want to be part of your revolution". I'm finding myself pulling away emotionally as I prepare to move: it will be easier to leave if the ties here are not so tight. It also means I am feeling a bit disconnected and obscure.

Sandra wondering who am I again?

April 13

The rally yesterday was great fun. I am frustrated, though, that no politicians like the Minster of Forests or the Environment, had the courage to come out and deal with us. Maybe we need to be louder and more aggressive to make ourselves heard (?). With today's rain I am perfectly happy to be working at home and not up at the camp: these are the days when cheerful visitors are needed, especially if they can overlook the depression of the campers. Looking forward to tomorrow's barbecue.
I'll be sorry to miss camping on the weekend: there is a big regatta in Victoria and I am determined not to miss this one.

April 11

I awoke, or continued to be awake, this morning feeling very disgruntled. The bulk of campers went off to Rose's to perform in the open mike night. That was fine, but then they came back in the wee hours and celebrated at great volume for another three hours. And then the dog needed to pee. And then I needed to pee. And then the birds got up, and the ferry started up, and Dorman's trucks started rumbling by, and that was that: it was time to get up and go to school and work and I have had no sleep. I have a deeply seated fear of night noise, especially boisterous human noise, and could not get up and ask for quiet because of that fear: it has kept me paralyzed many nights throughout my life. Now I'm wondering if I can continue to camp if I am sacrificing my sleep. I was fully prepared to pack up in the middle of the night if my companions had not been sleeping so soundly: arghh

Am I even needed here?
Is our work at the camp appreciated?
I don't know.
Sandra too tired to know any answers only questions

April 9

We had a wonderful tour of the clearcuts today led by Foresters Sally John and Jean Brouard. It was well co-ordinated and very informative. The extent of the cutting was even worse than I had feared. Afterwards most people gathered at the camp for conversation and fun. The drums came out and some were dancing, others talking and singing. Bannock was baked over the fire by our expert baker. Water is in extremely short supply: I took two big jugs up on Friday night and they are empty already so I urge anyone who visits to bring water with them. My beloved first born actually came on the tour today and enjoyed herself: she requested more camping and plans to move in if things continue into the summer. I have no idea what the puppy found to roll in at the clearcut by the monastery but it sure is pungent: must be time for her first bath.

April 8

Yesterday afternoon a pair of antagonistic employees of Dorman drove up to the camp and engaged in verbal fisticuffs with the campers. One woman reported being spoken to in an extremely vile and offensive way. They also threatened to come back: last time we heard that, people got hurt, so we ensured that the camp was well staffed and rich in communication and documentation devices. However, no hostile visitors came by .

This morning of course it was heavenly: I piled my spare foamy on top of the others and I swear I have never been more comfortable. Except for the draft: just a little breeze that kept blowing down my back from the vent in the roof. Oh, some people will complain about anything. Lovely warm morning sun and woodpeckers and cheery good morning faces.

March 30

I missed the photo op of the whole campaign yesterday: Brent Kapler arriving at Spirit Camp carrying a sleeping bag and a drum! I wish that one moment could have been captured on film more than any other: Brent joins the protest at Spirit Camp. Turns out he was jsut helping some campers haul in their gear but it still conjures up all kinds of ideas in my creative mind. Just like always the sunrise this morning was spectacular. I wish however that the dogs didn't like it so much: they are getting up at about five am these days to admire the sun, and disturb the other more well resting campers thereby winning me no popularity points. Oh well: they are good protection should we ever need it. I don't dare look at my foot but it is feeling better. I think. See you all at the Town Meeting: maybe Brent will come and do a drum solo. Sandra tickled pink

March 28

I am still at home nursing my wounded foot, and doing some paper work, but sut got off the phone with a friend back in Ontario who told me that her riend Vern Harper, the Cree elder and actor and activist, is doing a ceremony tonight to honour the recently slaughtered sacred white buffalo, and he will be mentioning and including our struggle here on Saltspring Island. Thank you Vern. Our words connect and spread. Blessings for us all and for the land.

March 27

Well let this be a lesson to me, or anyone else who has the wisdom to learn from others' errors: I awoke this morning with a case of blood poisoning. Last week I frolicked bare foot in the warm sun on the rocks around my tent and slashed my foot. Well I should have taken better care of it I guess. So I won't be camping for a day or two but the happy travelling daughter will be going skiing later in the week and I think I'll take advantage of that time to get some wilderness experience.

Sandra hobbling a bit

March 26

Day 37 or so...

We had a wonderful visit with Wiz Bryant, actor, musician, songsmith, activist extraordinaire, yesterday. Wiz sang us some wonderful songs, and chatted about the support that is out there, unseen, for our cause. It is so important for us to hear, especially up at the camp, that we are not alone and that support is out there. We work so hard, and are often so exhausted and ill from the stress, that we wonder if our work is worthwhile, or if we are all alone in our fight. Thank you Wiz.

I, as usual, awoke to a spectacular sunrise this morning. And on the drive home I listened to Beaver Chief on the radio speaking about native beliefs, and the need for respect for the land. He said that clean air and water should be a basic human right, and yet we continue to allow the land to be harmed. The water supply is always negatively affected by clearcutting: our local brewery is immediately in jeopardy at Furness Road where clearcutting is happening only steps away. How many wells have run dry or been contaminated since the cutting began? The burning of the slash has already affected the health of many southenders.

We talked, yesterday around the fire, about how First Nations people have lived on this land for twenty thousand years and left no marks. And in the past few hundred years the land has been wounded and pillaged and marked to such a degree that the injury is visible from the moon. There is a lot yet for us to learn.

Another thing Beaver Chief said was that in the fifth world, in the near future, all will come together but we must remember to take only what is for us and to let everything else be, that we can't have everything, to take only what we need. I wonder if Texada really needs all the trees they are cutting?

I am still amazed at how few people are joining us in our camping experience: we are in the most beautiful spot in the world looking out over ocean, with old growth trees surrounding us. It is legal and free and we are in paradise. Who would knowingly miss this? I doubt I will have this opportunity again in a very long while.

Sandra filled with gratitude

March 25

Could this be day 36?? I've lost count.

Well when activists let off steam and party boy oh boy do they do it well. We had a party last night at my house and it was GREAT!! We had the marimba band in the living room and dancing on the deck and dust painting on the old car and food food food and birthday cake and presents and so much fun!!

This morning we had a very useful stress management and therapeutic session with a talented therapist. Both activities proved to be very beneficial and helpful. We are one another's family on many levels and I think we recognize that. We are solidly united to save our family home and are learning many fabulous skills that will serve us well.

March 23

I'm off to market day and then up to the camp for some sun and sleep. I awoke this morning in heaven. The sun was shining and I had had a wonderful sleep: I was, at one point, too hot! I lay in bed for hours while the sun poured in through my tent door and warmed the tent. I could see the islands, and the ocean, and the trees, and the mountains, and I was profoundly reminded that this is why we are doing all that we are doing to stop the clearcutting. This is as close to paradise as we are going to get, and we are damn fools to let it slip away without an enormous fight.

As Alice Walker says, "Anything we love can be saved". Well this morning in the sun and wind I knew that I love this island with a deep elemental passion that is essential to my whole beingness, and I'll be damned if I will allow it to go.

I've travelled all over the world and done some amazing things like tobogganing in the Himalayas, and swimming in every ocean, but there is no place in the world as beautiful as here, and we forget that too often when we have the privilege of living here day after day.

I have been reading Thomas King's Green Grass, Running Water and I recognize the parallels between the elderly native man's refusal to allow the log home his mother built to be swallowed up by the dam, in Tom's book, and our collective refusal to allow Saltspring to be turned into a rock pile. I hope it doesn't take an earthquake to settle this matter as it does in Tom's book, but I also hope we remember the wisdom of our ancestors and walk as gently as we can.

I've driven to the end of Dubois road (at one of our logger's insistence) to see what a clearcut looks like years later, and it is shocking: gravel, rubble, erosion, stumps and only a very small number of extremely unhealthy replanted "trees". There is a better way.

So this is where being at the camp takes my mind. I urge any one who reads this to come to the camp and see what I have seen, and remember that nothing here can be taken for granted.

March 22

What a beautiful morning it is in the mountains: all foggy and overcast down here by the ocean, but when I left the camp this morning the sun was burning down and I was overdressed for the heat!

My new tent is glorious and I sincerely hope it remains so: I was so comfy cozy last night that even getting up to let the dogs out for a pee was not a hardship. I have a window!

We had an influx of food yesterday: thank you all! It was much needed: we were down to rice and oats, and in the woods we burn up so much energy just keeping warm that we need LOTS of protein. The bacon and eggs for this morning's breakfast would sit heavy in civilization but seemed to be jsut barely enough in the bush. I love how much I'm learning about my body, and my levels of endurance, and my ever changing needs thorugh all of this activity.

We are in desperate need of dry firewood if any wants to send some: help help.

Back up again in a little while if I can find my wandering offspring.

Sandra looking forward to that shower

March 21

It may be materialistic of me but we need stuff to do these actions and the fairy godparent has smiled upon me!! Yahoo. My car cost considerably less to repair than I had expected, (ask me privately what was wrong: it is too embarrassing to discuss in public) and so there was some cash left in my meagre pocket to buy a tent and foamies. So now the enfant terrible and I can spend spring break camping in the woods and maybe even stay dry! I"m off to set up as soon as my very busy day of work ends: I started at 6 this morning. I'll sleep well.
See you up there

Sandra much encouraged
"A woman who is proud of her strengths and doesn't apologize for who she is."

March 18
Day 29

I'm feeling hopeless today: my tent is in tatters and the poles broken (I hope it was only the wind that caused this and not...), my foamy disappeared during the assault on Monday and early Tuesday, my sleeping bags are wet, my rake that we use to keep the camp orderly disappeared after the assault, too.

My daughter wants to come camping next week during spring break, but I'm feeling very pessimistic about my ability to camp anymore without the equipment. I have been taking time away from my work and school to be at the camp and parenting, and I'm questioning the value of such sacrifices.

I put a full tank of gas in my car every Friday but it was all used up by Tuesday last week, and I can't afford to fill up even once a week. I've already had to repair one tire and my shocks are gone. Several others from the camp have had problems with their tires.

It seems like I'm putting my family's welfare on the line for the trees and I wonder if it is worth it.

I didn't know there would be so many losses and hard ships when I took this on.


March 17, A Green Day

28 Days in Camp
And what a day. I headed up to camp after a couple of days home to heal from the emotional trauma of the assault on Monday night, and found a few people still blockading Hamilton Horne Road. A friend and I rested in the car trying to keep warm and get dry: I didn't bring my trusty rain gear today, and I was soaked through very quickly.

Supporters brought a whallop of goodies to eat, and we snacked on Hershey's kisses and jujubes (who knew these are my absolute favourites?!), and smoked cigarettes, and told dirty jokes (have you heard the one about the southern belle who went to the city and...)

At about three the police came to enforce the order to stop blocking the road, and were very polite and pleasant. Since there were very few of us, and I had a car full of dogs that couldn't be abandoned, I elected to return to camp and regroup. None of us were arrested.

I got to camp later to find that my tent had been demolished (I hope by the wind...) and everything was soaking wet. I decided to take it all home to dry out and be repaired, and maybe get back to my hideaway in the woods tomorrow. Anybody have a spare fly? Mine is a wreck.


March 14

Day 24

I went to camp early this morning to do my stint as support for the lockdown protesters after a night of being mom and found all the gear from the second blockade thrown in the ditch and the loggers happily working away with their machines and no sign of protesters. It was not even light yet.

I rushed to the camp and found it apparently deserted as well. I tried to make a phonecall but the time on the cell phone had run out. The radios were all in camp so there was no one to call on the radio.

Eventually one of the night shift of lockdown support emerged shaking from her tent and told me a horrific story of drunken loggers attacking the protesters: dragging one woman around in her tent and pulling the hair, spraying the eyes, and pushing the body of the one locked down: the extent of the injury to his arm is not known by me now. She told me the police were called twice and their response was apathetic and supportive of the loggers. I am furious and exhausted and appalled at the lack of community support for these people who are working so hard to try and slow the logging so that the land will still be intact when we are able to purchase it.

Quickly word got out and many supporters did eventually rally around to blockade Hamilton Horne road again and prevent any more logging trucks from leaving the clear-cut area, but I am still very saddened by the assaults.

I sure hope that our supporters will recognize the need for more people to get out there, bear witness and be present.

The camp continues.

Sandra grieving and shocked

March 13

What an amazing day as Spirit Camp expanded. Today we locked onto a piece of machinery and installed a treesit in the clearcut areas surrounding the camp. The loggers were unable to do any work with us in blockade position.

We were wet and cold and sometimes frightened as employees of Texada arrived and filmed us without speaking a word. We were hugged warm and fed hot food by our many supporters and look forward to more. We intend to stay locked down and tree born for a long time: slowing the clearcutting until an alternative is found.

The view remains spectacular and the community support breathtaking.

Singing in the rain and doing the hoochiecoochie for the helicopters. I wish we hadn't eaten up the oreos so fast: they're my favourite in such circumstances.

It was a long exhausting day for me and even longer for those who stayed overnight: I sure hope we can awaken them with hot drinks and lots more community hugs in the morning (I'll be back by 6am).

March 12

Day 23, Believe it or not!

We had quite a few new campers last night: some from off island. It is exciting to know that word of our struggle is growing and the support base is expanding.

The weather is very soothing and I had the best sleep yet: I turned my tent around and now the lumps are perfectly placed to make a little nest in the middle, very cozy.

Our woohoo with rumoured band didn't really materialize but a few visitors dropped by to strum guitars and make animal noises. And the moon was bright enough to light our path through the woods. I can't wait to get back up after I finish my work today, and have another restful night in my cozy nest.

March 8

International Women's Day!

Well Mother Nature sure does love us: we all barrelled up to the camp today to talk to CBC TV and lo and behold mom had taken it upon herself to cause one of the logging trucks to break down full of logs right in front of the camp: what a photo opportunity.

Yvonne Adalian kindly brought a table up to add to our kitchen and for a place to hold pamphlets and brochures and postcards and so on. This gives all an activity in addition to checking on the progress of the clearcutting.

CHEK TV also visited the camp today so be sure to "chek" the news tonight.

Here's to the power of the feminine

March 6

Day 16 Spirit Camp

Ahh there is nothing like waking in the morning to the sound of birds singing and the sun rising from the islands across the harbour. My new tent site is spectacular.

We campers were fortunate to receive a gift of blankets that kept me and some others warm all night.

I'm glad I remembered to buy some cough syrup.

Several visitors joined us, and helped with the water shortage, and brought wonderful goodies like brownies and pumpkin pie and some herbs for cooking.

We need some help with sign painting so that new visitors can find the camp: apparently many people are getting lost, and our signs mysteriously go missing.

I hope more will join us for these wonderful, warm, sunny days: it is indeed heavenly.

March 4

Spirit Camp Day 15

Ahhhh what a beautiful day: the sun is shining, the tents are drying out and I have a full tank of gas in my car to get to camp just in time for breakfast. We had pancakes with apples and raisins and cider cooked over the fire: ymmmm.

I've moved my tent into a drier, sunnier spot, and I am looking forward to camping again tonight now that my cold or flu or whatever is abating.

We have new camper over from Victoria for the weekend who is well rested and keen to help with some organization and tidying up, what a welcome guest. Another new camper stayed last night and was a pleasing sight this morning.

We appreciated all the support and recognition we received at the town hall meeting and hope that people will heed our pleas for more campers. Sometimes up there alone in the woods it is hard to remember that we do have support down below, so, please, come on up and let us know that you appreciate what we are doing.

A kind donor brought us some sand and gravel for the bottom of the road where the mud was getting pretty deep so now we can walk in without boots.

We are totally out of water and low on gas. And we need dishes and tarps.

Here's to another day in the woods


March 1

Day 12

Well hmmm. I woke in my feverish state this morning to a phone call saying that we are in urgent need of more campers at the camp: a logger went through last night and was very aggressive and threatening. When there are enough bodies in the camp this doesn't occur. So please please please lets get some more happy campers up there: in our numbers there is safety and strength.

Sandra in delirium?......

.....So I have just come back from a very brief visit to the camp as healthallows. The encounter with the loggers this morning left the campers ever more determined to maintain this camp. It seems that Texada really wants to use the trail through the Park Reserve with or without a permit. If they can't, we hope it will limit the extent of the clearcut in this area.

There is an urgent need at the camp for firewood, REALLY big tarps, hearty food and people. I mean we all sleep at night why not do it in a beautiful natural environment?

Sally Sunshine dropped in and was a very welcome sight: I was sorry that my recurring fever made it necessary for me to leave before having a real good visit but....I know she will be back. Yea Sally!

And as I was leaving, another logging truck chock full of small trees (one wonders if they have any commercial value) came roaring down narrow, switchback ridden Musgrave Road with its horn blaring and the driver yelling obscenities out the window. I wonder if he realizes that aggressive behaviour only irritates us and makes us more committed to our work?

I hope to see more visitors soon.

February 29

Day 11 and still going

Oh oh oh

I am very sick with flu and lying on my deathbed at home worrying about the state of the camp: call me a control freak if you want but I hope everybody is well up there. Our numbers have been very low with the rain and I would really urge anyone who can spare an evening to go and spend it camping in the woods: it is an unique experience not to be missed. Food stocks are low as well.

Otherwise things continue to move forward: we were unsuccessful in halting the blasting of the new road yesterday. Legal or not, and this is open to debate, the gentlemen carried their blasting materials through the blockade on Hamilton Horne road and got on with their day's work.

I think the camp, however, remains a vital and important force as it blocks a preferable route for the logging trucks: lets keep it strong!

Here's to good health

February 28

A very enthusiastic thank-you to all who participated in Woodstop! last night: organizers, performers, participants, cooks! It was an amazing evening for us campers, and I danced till long after I thought my feet would all off. We have been feeling a bit isolated and forgotten up on our mountain sometimes, and we sure felt appreciated last night. I wonder how we can get the Burgoyne Blues Band up to the camp? Hint...hint... Even the dogs had a good time lying down in a warm dry place (the car).

I'm off today to meetings meetings meetings at the camp. I'm not so sure about the weather today,though: I think it will be a long cold day. Anybody want to bring up some cocoa? I'll definitely wear two layers of long underwear in this damp and fog.

Just a reminder, too, that we have a community circle every evening at 7.

Sandra much encouraged

February 26

Sprit Camp, Day 8

Things have reached an all time low today: everything is wet and cold and our numbers have dwindled as moral takes a nosedive. We have set up a daily schedule in the red binder (just ask) that people can fill out to let us know if they can commit to be in camp for a few hours or overnight. There are a variety of jobs that need to be done ongoing like kitchen, maintenance, and media spokesperson.

It would help immensely if visitors could make a small time commitment to be on site and be prepared to act if media shows up or food needs to be cooked or a tarp rehung. All our visitors have been so helpful and supportive: we just need more bodies.

This is really a glorious place to be with world class views and good company and food: what a luxury to be camping in paradise in February!

See you all at Woodstop!

February 25

Spirit Camp Day 7 evening

Tonight the rain was depressing, cold and wet. Even the dogs weren't enjoying it and they went, all muddy and wet, into my tent to get warm and dry. Well, they were warm and dry but ALL my bedding and the whole tent weren't anymore. So I came home to have a hot bath. We had some wonderful visitors bringing yummy food today: the highlight for me was a card from young Emily Forbes telling us how much she appreciated our work. I cried.

We had an amiable visit from Mr. Dorman and later one of the fallers, both of whom told us they would not be coming through the land reserve anymore as they have built a new road. They also told us they were cutting no old growth and that they weren't clearcutting. We have a difference of opinion.

Veggie stew for dinner. Last night we had organic Saltspring beef burgers: woowee they were good.

So back up again in the morning and try and dry things out.

We are all looking forward to Woodstop.

Sandra warmer now

February 24

Spirit Camp Update: Day 6

All quiet these days at our peaceful camp.

We have successfully blocked access through the Park Reserve and Texada has moved its work elsewhere. I'm missing our morning visitors with their chainsaws and friendly smiles.

Our numbers are increasing with families joining us - last night we sang and roasted marshmallows around the fire, marvelling at our good fortune: imagine camping in February!

Please come on up and join us: our numbers strengthen our voice.

All are welcome.


February 22

I have just come down off the mountain after four days in the wilderness dealing with hostile and aggressive clearcutters. Some off these gentlemen seem to be kind-hearted and open to discussion, others jeer and hoot and threaten. The threats have us concerned and there is a desperate need for more personnel up at our very peaceful and friendly camp. We are receiving much help in the way of food and supplies, appreciate it immensely and hope it will continue.

Now we need bodies: for strength in numbers, and to reduce the stress load on those of us who have been there a long time. Come prepared to camp or just to visit for a few hours, and yes, we are warm enough. It is beautiful up here and it is well worth while to witness how Texada is treating our land and our Park Reserve. The situation is particularly volatile at 7:00 am when the loggers come in to work and it would be great if other bodies could join us at that time. All are welcome!

Please heed our Code of Conduct:
No violence in Word or Deed
No alcohol or drugs of any kind
No tampering/vandalizing/touching any of Texada's equipment
No littering: butts, TP etc. Clean up after yourself
Stick together and be safe.

I'll be going back up tomorrow for first light and hope to see you all there!

(Take Musgrave Road about 150 yards in from the road, the first driveway on the right after DuBois).


"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in time of moral crisis, maintain neutrality"

--Thomas Aquinas

"Just living is not enough," said the Butterfly.
"One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."

-- Hans christian Andersen

"We are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold
ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."

From Abigail Adams to John Adams, 31 March, 1776

Progress in every age results only from the fact that there are some men and women who refuse to believe that what they know to be right cannot be done.

Russell W. Davenport

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before

Joseph Campbell

"The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life
which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately
or in the long run"

Henry David Thoreau

"When we refuse to accept that people
can walk a path different from ours,
or when we attempt to drag them onto ours,
we dishonour them, as well as ourselves"

Iyanla Vanzant

I don't actually mind breaking the law

Carol O'Connell

"That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way."

Doris Lessing

Nobody can be in good health if he does not have all the time fresh air, sunshine, and good water.

Chief Flying Hawk

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.

Abraham Lincoln

On the day that we love ourselves, and believe that we deserve our own love, we become as free as any earth beings can ever be.

Alice Walker

The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

Walter Babehot

I celebrate myself, and sing myself, and what I assume, you shall assume.

Walt Whitman

There is no such thing as a long piece of work, except one that you dare not start.

Charles Baudelaire

A woman who is proud of her strengths and doesn't apologize for who she is.

Be Brave, Stay Calm, Watch For the Signs

Thomas King

Every conquered temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.

James Buckham