Monday, 29 October 2012

Fort St. John

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

Driving north in British Columbia our Canadian friends told us that we better curb our enthusiasm for Fort St. John. 

"Most of the town has sprung up the last decades. It's more or less a provisional centre for the surrounding oil industry. In fact, you'll see it's downright ugly. There's also a terrible wind blowing dust all through the damn summer. This time of year it's wet though. Mud will cake to your shoes. Forget everything you've ever known about mud. This is mud like you would not believe it. Cars stop dead in their tracks. Venture out on these dirt roads and you'll be stuck for good."

I've always felt sympathetic with people who can tell the truth about their home town. If we wanted Disneyland, we would have gone to Disneyland.

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

Anger in its nature

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

I'm wondering why people living close to wildlife often develop anger towards certain animals. During our prolonged stay in Canada I've heard people bad-mouthing wolves, coyotes, foxes, snakes, gray jays, crows, ravens, rabbits, mice, pack rats, squirrels, porcupines, skunks, bears and eagles.

Sometimes the anger spills over to nature itself, as some kind of evil that has to be beaten down. It's a constant battle. There's too much of everything.

I know this attitude from Norway - and it's still going on, even though the wilderness is long gone.

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Going south

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

One of the things I love about photography is the way it turns around a boring situation, like waiting for the bus in the early morning.

It was 6.30 in Fort St. John, and people were still in a state of slumber. But maybe they didn't see any point in waking up, since most of them were heading south on a very long bus ride.

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

In the middle of nowhere

photo: Henrik Nor-Hansen

The Greyhound bus stops in the middle of nowhere. Or so it seems. The passengers have become kind of careless about all these places. Canada is a vast country, and the distances involved can wear your interest down. So on this stop I see only a few heads turning, like 'how can anybody live here?'

Most of the passengers go out to stretch their legs or have a smoke. I'm eavesdropping quite a bit. We've been on the bus for hours and I'm bored. But then I feel slightly uneasy when a couple of guys starts talking about the beheading some years back. That was also on a Greyhound bus, leaving people in a state of shock on the darkening Trans-Canada Highway.

I'm puzzled when my fellow passengers somehow find it likely that the victim must have pissed off the guy. I guess they have a need to think away the randomness, but does it make the beheading more likely?

The bus continues through vast areas of dead pines. It's the brown beetle infested woods that's been around us for hours.