The night after cutting my road out, the wind got maniacal again.  The thin trees thrashed like cornstalks.  The photo cannot show the drama of it.

1 windI was invited to a solstice dinner at Stuie in the Bella Coola Valley but the forecast was for potential heavy snow on 19th so I asked if the dinner could be brought forward to the night of the 18th.  Once again I drained plumbing etc – I would be away only one night but the temp was supposed to reach -24C.  I set off early but soon arrived at another fallen tree.

1a tree on roadThat’s when I realized I had forgotten to check the gas in the chainsaw and of course I ran out.  With difficulty I turned the van and drove home again – just as well as I needed to cut out 2 more trees.  So it took 45 minutes just to get to the end of my driveway.

But after that, the road was excellent.  Cool, well-sanded, great traction.

2. Highway 20 near Nimpo



3. Barn at TowdystanI ran out of sunshine not far past Nimpo Lake.  Soon I reached the top of The Bella Coola Hill.  This is how Highways translates the road.

3a grade sign



4 grade detailGleams of sun shone through the clouds.

IMG_5349The Hill, too, was well-sanded and dry.  It was better than in summer for there were no washboards.

4a first hairpin


5 hairpinAt the bottom, there was no snow at all.

Stuie, Hilary cabinThis cabin is next door to my friends’ place.  It has been spiffied up but was one of the original lodge buildings at Stuie.  Sir Edmund Hilary stayed in it once, so it is known as the Hilary Cabin.

I continued to Hagensborg to get a bunch of veggies.  The mountains were gorgeous.  But the sun never reaches the valley bottom at this time of year.  People can only look at the sun, and dream of spring.

8. Unknown Mt in Bella Coola ValleyHere is Mt Nusatsum.  The chief at the top is lying on his back.  His head is on the right, his headdress hidden by clouds.

IMG_5358We had a great dinner and I left early the following morning.  Already the sky hung heavily with the promised snow.  But apart from a few flakes nothing fell until after I returned home, and the roads again were excellent.  It was minus 12C.  It was cold inside my house, but the bowls of water I had drawn before I left (in case things froze) had no ice on them.

With me, from Stuie, I brought Ruby.

10. RubyHer previous owner – only a month older than myself – has gone into hospital and will not return home.  He lived alone and had 2 dogs and a cat.  The dogs have found other homes and somehow I was volunteered to take the cat.  Poor little thing is not too happy at the moment.  More about her in a future post.


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9 thoughts on “Ruby”

  1. i miss canada, if only my work is there id love to stay but i have to take care of my business here in Ph… but my sister are permanently working there so ill just going back there when my baby is old enough

  2. So glad that Ruby has joined you, I’m sure she’ll settle in in no time at all and enjoy the company of the dogs and all that wilderness to roam in, cat’s paradise I should think! Happy Xmas, best wishes Sue G.

  3. Always great to see your pics and hear your news. Yes to Ruby! She’ll soon warm to her new home. We’ve been in an arctic-not going anywhere-zone for weeks. (at least its sunny) Makes me miss the Chilcotin where there is respite at times. Best wishes to you. Glad you had a celebratory solstice. Cheerio L

  4. Chris, I just bet Ruby will be one of your best indoor friends, after she gets used to the outdoor dogs. Same problem here, but those cats are tough!

  5. Congratulations on the latest addition to your family! 🙂 I hope Ruby settles in real quick and the dogs like her.
    The mountains in your region are truly breathtaking.
    Happy Solstice – maybe you can rekindle the Packrat Palaces ashes into a celebratory bonfire!
    Nicole recently posted…WaterholeMy Profile

  6. such amazing images of mountains and roads. There were never any signs like that when I was there so many years ago; but I do remember those 11% grades (thankfully unknown at the time). Glad to hear it was a safe trip.
    I suppose Ruby and the dogs are a bit annoyed?
    Barbara recently posted…Beavers Don’t HibernateMy Profile

  7. So resourceful you are Chris! Once again beautiful pictures. That beautiful snow capped mountain – and the kitty – so cute. She will feel at home soon. Poor little animals go through such trauma but she landed herself a good home.. Merry Christmas to you and your furry babies…

  8. Oh Ruby – – you are one very lucky kitty. Love the posts of the Bella Coola Hill. Always glad to know you made it safely home. Happy Winter Solstice !!

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