Archive for

January, 2014

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Dog Sled Mail Run…

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We went to the dog sled mail run again this year. It was a beautiful day! Warm and sunny, they had a really good turn out. We sent a few letters out by dog sled so it was fun to go watch the activities.

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A Different Type of Power Outage!!!

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While taking the dogs for a walk, Barry noticed something VERY different about the studio today!! The snow slid and took out the power pole! Yikes!!! We are patiently waiting for BCHydro so we can go assess the damage.

Stay tuned…

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update – the day after
Today BCHydro came and disconnected the power completely, took the meter and coiled the line up on the pole on the highway, the account has been cancelled. We were in town all day and got the call late that it was safe to go over there so we still haven’t gone to assess the damage. We can’t do anything until the snow melts so it sits as a big storage container… No water, no power but we do have a fireplace. We will pack it up and empty it out then torch it next winter when there is a lot of snow. We will rebuild with a one story building to take its place, gallery and studio under one roof. The plan has been for some time now to build a bath house by the shop, it would house the pump for the well, hot water tank, washer, dryer, a bathroom with big deep tub and some storage. It can be hooked into the power from the shop. We have a big generator we can take over there so we have some power, it is now our “off the grid” studio. These are the thoughts for today but we can’t do anything until the snow melts so we have a few months to sort it all out. We figure we can light the gallery with oil lamps if needed… Or add some more windows. We will figure it all out as we go along. Some fun, huh Bambi!

Stay tuned…

Is it Spring?

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It was 7 above today and so beautiful! We tried going for a snow shoe but it was so soft it wasn’t very dog friendly so we ran them around down at the shop instead. It sure feels like spring but we still have 2 months of winter! We got a few inches of really sticky snow over night and the trees were caked in it. As the day warmed up the cottonwood tree started to drip and it actually looked like it was raining! It was crazy! It was so blue and then this fog rolled in down the valley… So beautiful!

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Walking at Stanley…

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Whenever we go to Wells for the mail we stop and let the dogs go for a run on Stanley road… They certainly can’t get into any trouble!

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Pretty Sunrises!

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My morning commutes to work have been so pretty lately… Very pink.

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And AGAIN!

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Another day without power… Went out at 6 am… Supposed to be back on at noon. This is crazy! I have decided I do not want to live off the grid… This is as off the grid as this girl wants to be! And just so much snow!

7 pm and still in the dark!

UPDATE… The day after… the power came on last night at about 11 so it was out for 17 hours, the longest stretch we’ve had. Today it warmed up a little, plus 2 so the trees have started to shed the snow. It’s dangerous out there! There is a lot of ice chunks falling, I got hit with one on my way to work this morning… Ouch? Happy to say we have had power all day (so far) and I think the worst of it is over… Yay!

Stay tuned!

Another Powerless Day!

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It is 10 am Sunday. We have been without power for almost 12 hours! We knew this one was coming…There were a bunch of trees laying on the power lines when we went to Wells on Friday for the mail and then yesterday there were 2 trees on the lines between here and the ski hill. We went for lunch to drop off an order, we asked how Friday went with no power from 7 am until 2:30! Their bunny hill lift is electric so it doesn’t run in a power outage and they can’t cook! They had 25 little kids that had never been on skis before so using the big lift was not supposed to be part of their day. Hildur and Len and a bunch of their staff spent the day taking the little kids up the big lift and down the face… They got some extra special attention and probably learned a lot more than they would have had the power been on! Lucky kids!

So here we sit again with the little generator chugging away outside… Good thing we got more gas!

Oh and… We got a lot more snow over night and it’s still coming down pretty hard! Yahoo!

Stay tuned…

Art Studio in the House…

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So a quick update on the studio… The toilet hasn’t worked for a couple of years… No problem, the outhouse works. Now the pump on the well has given up the ghost … Crap! There isn’t much we can do over there so all of our art supplies have slowly been migrating over here. We have a heater in the bathroom so things don’t freeze up but otherwise we only light a fire if it’s really cold… It stays above zero most days. Every time we go over there we end up grabbing something else. Today we decided to bring a book shelf from over there so we can tidy up the house… It’s getting kinda out of hand! So… We haven’t ploughed all the way over there all year, we decided we can snow shoe and use the sled. We can get the truck to about 100 metres from the studio so the rest of the way is really deep (see photos below, they are all taken at the studio). So we get our snowshoes on and bring the big sled we use for firewood with us. Load the shelves into the sled with Barry pulling and me pushing, we almost ran (I was running, he was walking) that 100 m. with this bookshelf. I think I should be getting into shape!!! So now the studio is just a big storage locker. The foundation is rotting and 2 of the walls are sinking… Barry and Chris shored them up in the summer but it won’t last too long. The plan is to rebuild something smaller, one story and torch this building … It’s not worth trying to salvage. Well have a big marshmallow roast that day and invite everyone. I made reference to snow drifts inside a few blogs back… I was talking about the back door, since they lifted the wall, there is about a 4″ gap at the bottom and there are snow drifts inside… Hahaha… Oh so much fun! We will replace the water pump because that is our laundry facility… We did it in town the other day and it was $32.00! Oh! My! Gawd! How can people afford that! We might bite the bullet for a few months and wait until there isn’t quite so much snow! We are thinking of building a bathhouse /laundry facility / pump house together so it might be worth waiting… Ugh! Well see how long we last.

Stay tuned….

So Much Snow!!!

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We have a lot of snow! I can’t believe how much snow we have it’s only the middle of January. We would be in trouble if we didn’t have the plough! We talked about getting a snow blower before winter but decided it was an luxury we can do without… We now think the snow blower as more of a back up to the plough… We could have used it! And there is so much snow! Hahahaha, did is say that yet? Darren said one year there was so much you could walk off the roof onto the snow! I have wanted to be snowed in since I got here! Might happen this year.

Before Christmas I was in the waiting room at the doctors and this kinda crazy looking woman started telling that we are going to have a warm winter with a lot of snow. She said there were ants on the ground right up to the first snow fall… A Sign of warm winter. Also something about the butterflies were larger. She said the bees nests were up higher in the trees which means there will be a lot of snow… 22′ up in the tree to be exact! She was obviously a mountain woman her entire life. She was from somewhere near Kersley and lives in the middle of now where (it was a little bit of a wait to see the doc). Anyways, she did look crazy, she had the scariest looking finger nails I’ve ever seen! But I’m starting to think she might be right… Very interesting!

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The Broken Down Plough Blues….

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A few weeks ago Barry was ploughing and a belt broke… Crap! He is not a mechanic but he does have his ’75 jeep cj that he tinkers with… Pretty basic mechanics. The plough is from the 60’s so it is even more basic. The problem isn’t figuring out what broke, where to get replacement parts or how to put it back together. The biggest problem is everything is so heavy and poor Barry has only me for extra muscle. But we managed! Got it apart, Barry went to town and met ALL the guys who sell parts for this type of equipment and came home with the correct belts (we replaced them all while we were at it). By this time a lot more snow has fallen and it’s getting really deep! It was getting really hard to work on… It was a chore and a half just to get down to it. So on Sunday Barry gave Hildur at the ski hill a visit and asked if there was any way they could plough for us…They were so awesome about it! Len got off the hill from skiing all day, went and ploughed Cinderella Road for those guys and then came all the way over and did our driveway and parking lot and dug out the loader. The next day we were able to get back down there and get it put back together! We fired it up and it ran like a charm… Thank you SO MUCH Len and Hildur! It would have been a nightmare without their help. Kinda proud of us, I actually got grease on me! I was strictly muscle though (Hahahahahahahahaha) Barry figured it all out! His second successful repair!

Stay tuned…

Great Snow Shoe Weather!

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So pretty these days!

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Power outage… Again!

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We have had more power outages this year than any other year and winter had just begun. I’ve never seen the forest hold the snow like this before though. There are many trees of all sizes bent right over and a lot of them are snapping. Each time we go on a hike, there are more trees across our path. On this picture below… First you have to play “where’s Shooter” then if you look in the top left corner, there is a tree starting to lean into the photo… That tree is bent right over and the tip is touching the ground…we call it the golden arch. Haha. I’ll try to get a photo tomorrow.

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So with all the snow, we have been having a lot of outages. Today it was out for 7 hours. We are pretty well organized. I can be back to work in about 10 minutes, I have my own little generator in the office, I just pop it outside, super easy to start, plug one power bar under my desk into one extension cord and I’m back in business. Then another extension cord goes to the house if it’s dark so we can have light.

After the power came on today we took a ride to Wells to get the mail. If there is a break in the line anywhere between Quesnel and the end of the road (Barkerville) then everyone is out, 382 customers so we know if we are out, they are out. On the way back we pulled onto Stanley road as usual to take the dogs for a run. They hadn’t ploughed it for a couple of days and it was really deep light powder. It was like marshmallow land… All white and fluffy. We floated along with the snow drifting over the hood of the truck… So much fun! We stopped to let the dogs go for a run and it was too deep for them! We don’t know why they wouldn’t have ploughed it, it’s the first time we have seen it not ploughed. There is still someone living in the Stanley hotel, there was smoke coming from the chimney… They are totally off the grid so the power outage means nothing to them.

In the mail we got a package of homemade moose and deer jerky from Nick and Stacey! My Oh my is that stuff awesome! Thanks guys!

Stay tuned…

Powerless!

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We spent almost all day yesterday without power. It was supposed to be a cleaning day but instead it was a painting day… Yay! The worst part was I couldn’t have tea! It’s super warm out so the fire wasn’t going enough to boil water… Not bad if that is my only complaint! There is a lot of really heavy snow on the branches and trees, a lot is coming down. Outside in the dark was super creepy… SO dark and you could hear branches breaking … a different sound from when it’s -30 and the trees crack. The snow was slowly sliding off the roof so the dogs needed to be escorted outside to be sure they stayed clear and I couldn’t wait to get back in each time… Scared!

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I took this photo in the morning and the branch came down later… There is also a huge branch laying by the deck that fell from the cottonwood tree. Today we will go for a snow shoe around the property and see what damage has been done.

Just got back from our daily snow shoe and we found 5 trees down blocking our trail and we didn’t go all the way to the top. We managed to go either under or over all of them but tomorrow will be a clean up hike, we will take saws with us. Most of them were alive so it’s not just the beetle kill that is falling with this heavy snow! We also did a quick hike up to the well, the first time this season, the snow is about 7′ deep with the top few feet powder… Now that was a workout breaking trail in that! I sure feel how strong I have become in the time I have been living here.

The loader is broken down with a blown belt so Barry has gone down to work on that for the rest of the day… I think I will paint… Stay tuned!