Wednesday is one of the three mail days. Tuesday the veggies get to the stores so Wednesdays are good times to make the trip to Nimpo and Anahim Lakes.
There were already 6 more inches of snow on my roadway and it was still snowing but I managed to slither out to the highway; it wasn’t ploughed either, but a couple of cars had been ahead of me so driving was easy enough.
Nimpo Lake is half an hour from the end of my road. (I met one vehicle en route). There are three buildings visible from the highway but the bakery was too far away to be included in this picture. The closest building is a combination Post Office, Internet Coffee Shop (Bean Out West) and a Christian school. The brown building further away is the store. There used to be a motel in between – the sign is still up – but it burned down several years ago. The rest of Nimpo Lake comprises a half dozen resorts, about 35 year-round households and at least twice that many summer residents that range from small shacks to multi-million dollar mansions.
I had not picked up mail for a couple of weeks; the owners also kindly let me get my drinking water from there so I spent some time filling my containers. (I am melting snow for some use, but one cannot live off snow indefinitely as it has no minerals in it.)
Anahim Lake is 20 minutes further west.
It has three stores if the one on the reserve is open, and also a school (kindergarden to grade 9: I believe there are less than 50 students at the moment); an RCMP station – the only one for two and a half hours in either direction; two gas stations; two restaurants, and a clinic. It is our main business centre. It is surrounded by Indian Reserves, several resorts and a number of cattle ranchers in the swampy grasslands to the north.
McLeans Trading has a great mural on the front. It was painted years ago and is so kitchy I love it! The store has a slightly better selection of vegetables than the others but all the stores and restaurants get their food from Outfitters in Edmonton; produce comes from Mexico to Edmonton then to us. It is the cheapest produce available – the stores cannot afford to stock anything better – and it is pretty ancient by the time we get it. The broccoli I bought was already rubbery.
It has been snowing non-stop for the last two days and I am well and truly snowed in again.