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It may be mans quest to overcome the laws of nature, or the timeless desire to achieve some magical, alchemical transformation, but I suspect its more likely laziness and a total lack of concern for their surroundings that move people to try and burn foil. The paradox of why they drive all the way to a remote lake to conduct this experiment still eludes me but I have spent many zenlike moments ruminating on it as I pick foil out of cold ashes wherever I camp.
While ubiquitous, foil is not the most puzzling thing I find in abandoned fire rings and around camp sites. At a tiny, perfect lake in the B.C. Interior site of an apparent potato massacre someone tried to burn a speaker out of his radio. I assume it was a him because I cant imagine any woman who would ever think sitting around a fire and burning a speaker would be cool, but hey, who knows? Im sure there is a story behind the speaker but I suspect it is a short one.
Moron One: "Whoa dude, the freakin speaker just quit workin."
Moron Two: "Throw it in the fire."
Moron One: "But the foils not all burned up yet, man."
It you have an active imagination, you can almost understand finding a burned-out speaker in a fire pit, you say. Okay, how about a core sample? After spending the day backtracking over miles of logging roads in the forest outside of Quilchena, we found ourselves not exactly lost the accuracy of Forest District maps being a whole different column but unexpectedly on the shore of a stunning lake that turned out to be at about the same elevation as Flute. It was chilly, drizzly, and the sun played peekaboo with way too many clouds... a B.C. kind of day.
Being short on sun and long on altitude, we were well along the path to hypothermia when the sun began to set, a supposition on our part since we only noticed the sky getting darker, not the sun going down. While my numb fingers picked foil out of the fire ring, I uncovered a cylindrical hunk of rock. About eight inches metrically-challenged zone long, blackened, polished, and marbleized, it was a drilling core sample from God knows where. Even I cant make up an interesting story about how in the world it might have found its way into someones campfire. Not surprisingly, it didnt burn either.
If human garbage is a source of endless amusement in the woods, human avarice lacks any semblance of humour. Making a turn in the road and coming into a cutblock, I couldnt shake the feeling of stumbling onto a battleground. Like the site of any massacre, the more recent the battle, the more grisly the carnage. The rubble of a forest lay in a tumbled heap on the ground. Land unaccustomed to direct sunlight seemed to shrivel in the glare of its nakedness. Spirits of the wounded cried out.