An acquaintance, who is aware of my obsession with firewood, sent me a link to your recent article “How Does Whistler Stack Up?”
You brought attention to the wonderful book Norwegian Wood, a definitive work which is a must-read for anyone who is serious about falling, limbing, bucking, stacking, hauling, splitting, re-stacking, re-hauling and the loading of pieces of wood to build a fire for cooking, warmth or pleasure. Not to mention the cleaning out of ashes, chimneys, etc.
Now folks might think that careful stackers and consumers of firewood are a bit weird, or that we suffer from some form of OCD, so it is reassuring to know that there are about 5 million Norwegians who are quite similar to us, or perhaps even more finicky in this regard!
As a Banff wood person, it is especially comforting to know that our sister resort community of Whistler has many such dedicated individuals who are on a similar path to the spiritual tranquility of wood.
But I have concerns.
The photo of Pete Cronin’s woodpile, while it is nice birch, appears somewhat irregular at its face, and it does not appear to be protected from rain or snow, which you have in abundance.
Ian “one-match” Bunbury (who is also a personal friend) confesses that “he doesn’t have the most artistic pile.”
Are Whistler wood-pilers falling short of the high standards set by Norwegian Wood? Can we Canadians, known around the world as “hewers of wood and drawers of water,” accept anything less than a neat woodpile?
May I propose a challenge: Ask your readers to submit photos of their woodpiles, and let’s see how they “stack up” against some photos from Banff.
Please procure the photos with minimal advance notice, so there is little opportunity to re-stack the pile to better effect. Then let the people decide.
Walter “Square-Corners” Bruns // Banff, AB