On a cold day before ski season, Jackson and I wandered deep into the Squamish Valley. Our drive led us to a beautiful view of Mount Cayley and Pyroclastic.

On our venture, we wandered onto a dirt road used by loggers two hours of out Squamish, BC. We only passed two cars coming down the rugged road. One couple we met on the road told us about their off-road experiences and warned us about falling trees as it was an old logging territory. Without thinking twice, we didn’t hesitate and decided to drive further up the steep and bumpy road. Our gas gauge started to blink red, so we decided to walk the rest of the way up the hill and into an empty forest. The pictures were taken from a scenic point we reached after hiking. During lunch, Jackson and I discussed the possible ages of trees being cut down trying to justify society’s need for these trees and purpose of them being sacrificed. We also dreamed of climbing the mountain in front of us, but later found out no one has ever summited them due to loose sliding rock. Once the sun started to set around 5:00 p.m., we decided it was time to get home. After hiking down and then driving about two turns down the rugged road, we found ourselves in trouble and disbelief. A large two hundred foot Western Hemlock tree had fallen right into the path of the road and there was no way we could go any further. Jackson and I stood awestruck. It seemed unreal for this tree to fall and especially right after the couple earlier warned us of such unfortunate situations. We weren’t going to worry or waste energy and time, so we put a solution together and headed back on the road.

Jackson and I had figured out that there still was an active logging site above and that we could access it by car. When we arrived, there were about ten men operating large equipment able to pull trees out of the ground and haul them down the valley. Our stomachs twisted and turned nervous about the situation and our perceived perceptions of the people that destroy perfectly good forests. Jackson and I walked up and waited for one of the men to leave his position and come talk us. He was a very friendly guy who offered to nicely remove the tree from the road for us so that we could continue on our way. An hour later down the road he chopped the tree into bits and led us down the mountain. We thanked him and asked for advice on what we could’ve done. His only remark was that we would have been stranded if the loggers weren’t there and we would have to have a SAT phone to call for help. That day, we were so thankful that they were so kind to us. This experience came with valuable lessons. Jackson and I learned not to judge people based on their job and always appreciate what we have and all of the kind people in this world. We now carry a saw whenever we are around those roads again, in case we run into more similar situations. We figure we had some good karma that day saved up. 

-Petra Zeiler