The forecast was not great. The trouble with going down The Hill to the Bella Coola Valley is that rain and wet snow can cause avalanches. The Hill has been closed so many times in these last 3 years, what with fires and floods and avalanches, that when you go down you are never quite sure if you are going to get back up again!
The two inches of snow we had the other day had not melted much, but no more was falling when I left home. However, west of Anahim is where the real mountains start, and before long some pretty flakes were drifting down.
The road is generally maintained pretty well. I had the truck in 4 x 4 and low gear, and there was no problem.
Wet snow and rain fell all night. The following morning I drove the remaining 40 minutes to Bella Coola to shop. At my friends’ place, it was still quite snowy.
That afternoon, I started back up The Hill. People in town had told me it had been dumping snow up there: the road services had been working all night. They had 2 graders and 2 plough trucks but only one plough truck was working.
At the lower end of The Hill, it was pouring rain.
However, I drove slowly and there was no problem. The falling snow lasted until just before Anahim Lake. I ran into a few more flurries, but there was little snow on the trees and the road was half sloppy and bare. The temperature was +1C. So I was quite surprised to find 8″ snow on my roadway. My neighbour obviously was not home or he would have ploughed it. A short distance along the road, there was a tree across it.
And I did not have the chain saw in the truck. Because of the weather, the dogs had to ride inside and I did not want to leave the chain saw in the open back of the truck. This was nearly 3 miles from home. I had the axe and figured that if I cut one end of the tree, I could attach a rope and back the truck up and pull it free. But all I did was pull the truck sideways into the pile of snow at the edge that had been created by the plough, and which covered a shallow ditch. I was well and truly stuck.
First I chopped the tree in half and manually dragged it off the road. Then I dug the truck out and fired the motor. I got 2 feet and was bogged even worse. I dug a bit more and tried again. That wasn’t going to work so I dragged out the come-along.
I drove all those hours on the “dangerous” road, then got stuck in my driveway. Interestingly, it was in exactly the same place where we had the big bog hole last spring and where I got stuck before. At least, this time, I had clean snow to lie on while crawling under the truck to fix ropes.
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