Like many Canadians, some of the outdoorsier members of K&K occasionally enjoy trading the comforts of urban life for sleeping on the ground, getting bitten by insects and answering the call of nature in foul-smelling outhouses at one our country’s many treasured national parks.
Sadly, Parks Canada has fallen on hard times recently after the Harper government announced it’s axing $29-million from the department’s next budget, meaning some parks will be open for shorter seasons and more than 600 staff — many of them troublesome scientists — will soon be out of work. While some taxpayers might prefer to see our century-old parks system to continue to thrive, it’s not as if those fancy new prisons, fighter jets, War of 1812 reenactments or Bev Oda’s retirement party are simply going to pay for themselves.
Even still, we were surprised to discover how desperate some park workers have seemingly become when, after returning to our campsite in the Kootenays after a relaxing day of not catching any fish, we discovered a ranger stealing our firewood.
The log larcenist explained that pieces of wood longer than 18 inches aren’t permitted inside park firepits and she naturally assumed we wouldn’t be in possession of, say, an axe with which to chop up any of the longer pieces. We were, however, offered some primo wood for the low, low price of just eight bucks a bundle.
While it all smelled more than a little sketchy, we were assured the wood totally hadn’t been chopped down within park boundaries or taken from someone else’s campsite and that instead they have a guy who hooks them up with it.
In retrospect, we probably should’ve asked if they had any fish for sale, too.
(This post was first published in Kudos & Kvetches © Copyright (c) Vancouver Courier)