tree planting in British Colombia – the common people
the dark and exciting sides of a job below the radar of society – introducing the people of a tree planting camp out in the bush
everybody can try planting. that’s why a camp always consists of a very colorful and unpredictable crowd – I put them into categories:
the labour-class: rolls in with trucks and trailers and often stays away from the ‘free spirited’ night life (the day life is pretty much life on the block). you could totally find these guys forest fire fighting, which is not as romantic and wild as it sounds (more later), or in the oil sands in Alberta.
the addict-class: well the drug addicts are seriously addicted to drugs funding their cravings with planting a lot of trees. some of the strongest planters have severe drug problems, which sometimes even turns them into highballers (highballing = planting a lot lot). how ironic, that the (negative) power of drugs can boost you up – going through withdrawal – slamming trees into the ground, that eventually leads to more consumption.
the party-chicks-and-roosters-class: mostly college kids, realising within the first two weeks that they’re awful planters, because they’re not willing or not used to hard work or the out of doors. their mood changes like weather. in consequence they stay away from any kind of work-related competition and rather chase each other through their tents, trying to highball in getting laid and fucked up (these kids might of course turn into drug addicts and hence into great workers).
the-metal-and-punker-class: (mostly) guys, who drink pretty much every night. they work even harder on the last day of the shift knowing that between $200-400 are going into the local pub and beer store business on the day off. bush-Monday is usually tough and stuffed with puking and death-wishes. but Manowar and Iron Maiden push these warriors to better heights towards the afternoon, knowing that beer in camp is waiting.
the artistas: always bring glitter to the block and/or the party night. they paint (the camp), entertain with instruments and take photos etc. they’re usually the best dressed people around (artistas can absolutely be members of other classes like the drug-addicts, or the drunks etc.)
the athletes: are in great shape on day one. (geared up-underarmor, gators, camelbak, sportsbras, ipod nano)
the m-v-p’s: are the ‘most valuable planters’ and they manage to make sad people happy and happy people happier. they have a golden heart and even when the shit comes down, they share their positive energy or pizza with the entire camp.
the-mdma-and-blow-club: opens its gates on bush-friday welcoming everybody from any class. a warm place even through rain and wind, a collective fusion of (sometimes agressive) love and first shaking than spreading legs, dancing -> sex in the tent. (all members of all classes usually (try) to participate.
the highballers-club: consists of members of all classes. it’s an exclusive club of those, who manage to plant more trees (during a day, a contract, a season) than anybody else on their crew or their camp. they eventually join the
one-million-tree-club and … become legends –
next week we’re going to look into the hierarchies of a planting operation – let’s go lumber!
some parts of the story told here could be made up, nothing is meant to be serious and fully true, but everything is the truth and it actually happened. we respect the integrity and privacy of everyone mentioned in the following posts, so names of people and places are changed, the rest is history.
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