Pioneer Road

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Aki and I are taking the new pioneer road on Douglas Island. To its advocates, it is valued because it may eventually provide access to housing developments and a hoped for golf course. Detractors see it as a yet-to-heal wound that cuts over two miles of forested hills. They have the stronger argument. When less than a quarter-mile in we pass the gravel borrow pit where the road builders blasted the side of hill into useable rubble. On Surviving hemlock tree still clings to the pit’s edge.

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The big spruce and hemlock trees, some that were at least 200 years old, that were cut down to make way for the road lay neatly stacked like the corpses of disaster victims along the roadside.

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Wind can still make music in the remaining forest as can the rivulets channeled through metal culverts. So, I do something I have never before tried on one of our walks. I turn on my phone and let stored music accompany the sounds of wind and water. First comes a lute playing a piece by Dowling. Then Sting sings the words to the song, bringing harmony, for a moment, to the scarred forest.

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