Rob Wood publishes a mountain of a book

The elderly man walked into the office, hunched and limping slightly.

He approached the counter and poked back the edge of his Cowichan cap. I expected he needed his driver’s licence copied or some such thing. Instead he produced two architectural drawings, rolled them out on the counter and muttered something to himself as he traced the lines with his forefinger, deep in thought.

The drawings were overlaid with tracing paper in places. As if he knew my trepidation of putting that through an expensive blue print plotter, he finally looked up, smiling. “What do you think? Will you give it a go?”

There was something familiar in his eyes that I couldn’t identify. I cast off my befuddlement and concentrated on the task at hand. As the drawings were, the tracing paper had a very good chance of catching in the big copier.

Again, he sensed my hesitation.

“Maybe some tape, here,” he said, pointing. “And here?”

There was something mischievous about his smile. No, something challenging.

“I think I can do it,” I said, applying strategic pieces of tape.

And then through the door came a giant of a man. He had a map of Tibet that had been worn and torn over the years. He wanted it laminated. He was going there for a five-week “hike.”

He looked down at the man in the Cowichman cap and said, “Hello Rob! How are you doing?”

The two chatted and Rob looked at the map of Nepal and began a conversation, pointing fingers on the map, as I retreated back into the shop to the big printer.

Rob? Nepal? Mountains? Could it be him?

The big man left, leaving the map of Nepal for pick up later that day. I laid the copies of blue prints on the front desk and just had to ask, “Are you Rob Wood, the mountaineer?”

“Yes, I am,” he said, ingratiatingly.

I blurted out something about being pleased to meet him and that I loved his book and that every time I was in Bute Inlet or Strathcona Park I thought of him as I gazed up into the magnificent draws of the magnificent mountains of the magnificent and how marvelous it would be to be up there, among those magnificent mountains, looking down and out and up at the magnificent views.

“It would be, um, magnificent,” I ended awkwardly.

We shook hands and his grip was as penetratingly solid as his eyes were sparkling.

We chatted for a bit and he told me of his new book published by Rocky Mountains Books Ltd. called At Home With Nature, A Life Of Unknown Mountains And Deep Wilderness.

I asked where I could get a copy and his eyes twinkled again as he took off his backback and pulled out a copy.

I paid him happily and, unfortunately, another customer had come in who respectfully waited for our conversation to come to an abbreviated halt.

We shook hands again and out the door he went.

His book was not what I expected. It is better.

This book is a mountain in and of itself.

It is a mountain of a family’s existence off the grid; it is a mountain of a book that takes you to the personal peaks and valleys of a life well-lived; it is a mountain of a book with clouds of trepidations flowing over tall peaks and sun-shined skies broken only by the massive outcrops of a geography mapped by rock, tears, trees, laughs and smiles.

In his book, I believe Rob is saying goodbye and hello.

He tells of his battle with Parkinsons and other near-death experiences both he and his wife Laurie went through on their wonderful journey.

In some sections you want to read it twice or three times. For some you might want to spend 40 days and 40 nights there. In other sections, one reading is satisfying, compelling and honestly entertaining.

This is not a book about how to climb a mountain.

It is a book about one family’s, one community’s, one man’s ascent to a better being.

 

Just Posted

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Restoration work on destroyed Campbell River wetland expected to be complete next year

Remediation work on sensitive wetlands south of Jubilee Parkway is expected to… Continue reading

Campbell River neighbours spar over shipping container

The owner of a shipping container that has become the subject of… Continue reading

Volunteers needed to keep St. John Ambulance Brigade alive in Campbell River

The St. John Ambulance adult brigade in Campbell River needs at least… Continue reading

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Rogue masseur arrested for sexual assault in Victoria

John Heintzelman, 65, is accused of assaulting a person at his former business, James Bay Massage

Hey Amazon, the bid’s in the mail: Langford mayor

The City of Langford has officially submitted its bid to become the home of Amazon HQ2.

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Campbell River man’s memory lives on through helping others

The legacy of Campbell River’s Lyndon Cross lives on. His family members,… Continue reading

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Most Read