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Full Circle

Day 237: Vancouver

Squamish, British Columbia, Canada 
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Man on edge. Squamish Loggers Sports.
Michael Palin - Full CircleThe experts make it look like a Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly routine. The high point, in every sense of the word, is a race up to the top of a tree and down again. Denis Butler from Washington state in the USA is the winner, negotiating a 100-foot tree-trunk, ringing a bell at the top and getting down again, in less than thirty seconds.

I am persuaded to take part in a chokermans race. Each contestant must run across waterborne logs carrying a choker (not a close-fitting necklace as worn by Jane Austen heroines, but a twenty-five-foot collar weighing seventy-five pounds), which they must attach to a pole. Even without the choker I only managed to get halfway across the log before making the fatal mistake of looking down.

Later, wearing a dry shirt and trousers supplied by the master of ceremonies, I watch the grand finale: Powersaw Tree Felling. The mountains are alive with the sound of twenty-one powersaws grinding into twenty-one tree trunks, as each lumberjack (sorry, logger) fights to drop his or her tree onto a target. Funnily enough, no one asked me to enter this one.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 237
  • Country/sea: Canada
  • Place: Squamish - BC
  • Book page no: 312

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