A Trip To Town

Williams Lake

Williams Lake, population somewhere around 12,000 I think, is the nearest town big enough to have traffic lights, bank machines, and supermarkets.  It takes me about 3 and a quarter hours to get there.  Sometimes I drive both ways and shop all in the same day.  But this time I had a 6-hour repair job to do on my vehicle and I arranged to stay a couple of nights with a friend south of Williams Lake in 100 Mile House.

It was the first time I have been to town since I drove through on my way home from the 2010 book tour in mid December.  I was desperate for fresh vegetables!  At this time of year, of course, nothing is really fresh; it takes a week to arrive from California or Mexico, but they are still better than the awful stuff available to me on the Chilcotin; I can also find a few organics.

After a ridiculously mild winter, we are now getting the payback.  The forecast was for a low of around -20C with close to thawing temperatures during the day.  My house is very unfinished and I have no good storage place for food.  (My small solar power system cannot run a fridge or freezer.) I was worried that the jars of home-canned fruit, cases of apples, and sacks of potatoes would freeze.  Some stuff I put in coolers with blankets over them, the rest I placed in my bed, sandwiched between the sheets and the feather duvet.  If the sun shone during the day, the room would warm up well.  The new living area in the house is well insulated. With luck, everything should survive.

Because there was no rush, it was daylight when I left home.  Highway 20 runs parallel to the Coast Range.  You cannot see it most of the time, but here is a good view east of Tatla Lake.

Highway 20 near Tatla lake.  The Niuts are behind.
Highway 20 near Tatla Lake

Not far from Williams Lake, the highway crosses the Frazer River.

Highway 20 crossing the Frazer River at the bottom of Sheep Creek Hill near Williams Lake
Highway 20 crossing the Frazer River

On the way, I encountered a couple of moose.  Only one hung around to get his picture taken.

Moose seen along Highway 20 on the Chilcotin.What strange-looking creatures moose are!  The feeling, it would appear, is mutual.

Moose seen along Hwy 20 on the Chilcotin

 

This year, the weather forecasts have been particularly inaccurate.  While in town we had much colder weather than was promised, -27C at night and -18C during the day.  It was accompanied by a very strong north wind and extremely high wind-chill factor.  I worried about my produce, especially the apples and potatoes in the bed!  But although there was a thin skin of ice on the water in the kettle when I got home, none of the food  was frozen!

 

2 thoughts on “A Trip To Town”

  1. Thank-you for your blog. I enjoyed reading a little of your wilderness living experience. It brought back fond memories seeing the pics you have posted. I grew up in Williams Lake and lived for a short time in Bella Coola. I also started a career in truck driving operating logging trucks in and out of the bush from Highway 20 out of Williams Lake. The country is awesome and filled with unimaginable beauty. The land and the people are quiet and peaceful but yet, rugged and forged with a roughness that only hard work and a never give up attitude seem to be a prerequisite for survival. The Cariboo-Chilcotin will forever be my peace. Now I live in Ontario and I frequently dream of the country and wildlife surrounding my hometown, Williams Lake.

  2. I’ve been through those neck of the woods though it was the end of July zig zagging my way to Alaska in my old motorhome. BEEUTIFUL country.

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