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

Fire takes Quadra house despite efforts of residents, neighbours

‘It’s not that the fire department doesn’t want to go out there…it’s that they’re not allowed to’

Campbell River Head Injury Support Society scaling up housing offerings

Linda’s Place, a 27-unit apartment complex, will have half set aside for clients, half for the market

Proposed public art installation sparks debate in Victoria

$250,000 sculpture compliments an interactive sound element of First Nations drumming and singing

Helping out with Helping Hampers

Knights of Columbus Christmas Hamper delivery day

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

B.C. concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

Most Read