In 1910 a highly unlikely party of politicians, poets, social butterflies and an overweight cook, all led by a Shakespeare-quoting bushrat named Hughie Horatio Nelson Baron Bacon, set out from the Willows Hotel in Campbell River to explore the wild interior of Vancouver Island. They were launched on a noble, and for its time, highly imaginative mission: to assess the fitness of the region to become a wilderness park, the first in BC history. They survived with only minor injuries and produced such a glowing report that Strathcona Park, BC's first provincial park, was duly created on March 19, 1911. In 2011, BC will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of that brave start on what has grown into one of the world's most magnificent park systems. It has not been an easy or even process. The fate of that first park was also the worst, having been riddled with mines, logging and hydro projects. Defending it against further industrial incursion gave birth to an aggressive environmental protection movement that has become one of BC's greatest contributions to the modern world.This highly authoritative book looks at the giddyup/whoa progress of the BC park system through the eyes of a career park administrator who was part of a team of patient, dedicated visionaries who built the BC Parks Branch and the vast park system it oversees against an unstable backdrop of wildly vacillating public and political support. It is a truly epic story of which every British Columbian can be proud.