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Full Circle

Day 237: Vancouver

Royal Hudson, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 
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Flagging down the Royal Hudson, outside Vancouver.
Michael Palin - Full CircleAt Squamish there is something very Canadian going on. A loggers sports, or, to give it its full title, the Squamish Days Loggers Sports. Now in its thirty-ninth year, this is a sort of Highland Games or Cow Cup of the logging community, a hearty celebration of local skills which has grown from a single day's competition to a long weekend of barbecues and bingo, hoe-downs, parades, decorated bicycle competitions and the crowning of the somewhat lumberingly titled Miss Squamish Youth Ambassador. It all sounds a far cry from the macho world of the forests. Nowhere do I hear the word lumberjack and the talk now is all of integrated logging management, which means more costly operations for the companies for greater environmental benefit. They take great pride that round here eighteen per cent of the forest is protected from any logging at all.

But the sports themselves come as something of a reassurance that men are men and indeed women are men when it comes to logging prowess. Competitors have come here from Britain, New Zealand, Denmark and the Pacific North-West of America for axe-throwing and sawing and chopping, as well as the rather dainty sport of birling. This involves two men running on a 15-inch floating log to keep it turning, each one trying, by changes of pace and speed, to dislodge the other.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 237
  • Country/sea: Canada
  • Place: Squamish - BC
  • Book page no: 311

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