Written by the Wind: British Columbia Wilderness Adventures


96 pages
Contains Photos, Maps
ISBN 1-55143-003-7
DDC 917.11'3




Reviewed by Patrick Colgan

Patrick Colgan is associate director of programs at the Canadian Museum
of Nature in Ottawa.


Ruing the disappearance of wilderness, this book reports five hikes in
southwestern British Columbia: the lofty mountains of Garibaldi
Provincial Park, including Ubyssey Creek; from sea level to treeline up
the Megin River; high-ridge rambling along the Stein River, with its
biogeoclimatic diversity, dramatic topography, and aboriginal
pictographs; the rain forest of the Kyoquot, with its sea otters, elk,
arboreal majesty, and totem poles; and the Southern Chilcotin Mountains,
with their overlogging, settlers’ remains, and hunters. The accounts
of the hikes (mosquitoes and all) are interspersed with deeply held
views on conservation, Native respect for nature, and exploitation of
natural resources. The effective writing ranks well in the tradition of
naturalist narrative, with its graphic descriptions of such dimensions
of the hiking experiences as physical effort, natural enjoyment, and
spiritual fulfilment. The small but spectacular photographs are
excellent illustrations, and there are maps and an index. The global
environmental cancer makes the book’s longing for wilderness all the
more eloquent.


Stoltmann, Randy., “Written by the Wind: British Columbia Wilderness Adventures,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/14000.