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July, 2014


Meeting Karen

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First I will apologize for not having any photos and I promise I will go back one day and get lots of photos, the one posted below is one from Barry’s archives.  I also felt a little presumptuous pulling my camera out in this woman’s home although I think she would have been totally fine with it!


The Stanley Hotel … that actually isn’t called the Stanley hotel it’s the Lightening Hotel, I find out after having it wrong for 4 years!  Last summer I did a post (might have been on my old blog that was lost) about the Stanley hotel going up for sale for $275,000 and selling within a week.  We were so surprised!  Here is a building that was built in 1863 with no amenities and no chance of ever getting any on a road all alone in the middle of no where sells that fast for that much money… Wow!   Big things started to happen.  The land was cleared and a big snow shed went up, we thought miners had bought it because there was a fair amount of mining going on in that area already so it made sense.  We drove by often, about once a week in the winter to take the dogs for a run on the road by the cemetery.  There were huge dogs and we saw men around so never stopped in.  Finally one day a few weeks ago Barry decided to stop and met Karen who insisted he bring me around so first chance we had, we stopped so I could meet Karen…


We pulled into the yard and were greeted by a 130 lb white absolutely gorgeous dog… Clyde.  I don’t remember what breed Clyde is but he is one of a matched set and his better half is at Karen’s 220 acre ranch in Horsefly watching over her heard of sheep.  “Is Clyde friendly?” I ask… “Well he will be okay with you but don’t let your little dogs out, he will eat them”.  Okay… Note to self, give Clyde a wide birth.  She starts showing us something at the side of the house and I immediately get distracted by the make shift pen and rooster she has… Beautiful rooster!  Then 3 crows show up… Her pet crows!  She found one a couple of years that was injured and he became her pet (he was up on the mountain side when were there)and then a few months ago someone dropped off 3 baby crows that had lost their momma.  She nursed them and nurtured them and now they are grown up and they are her pets.  (Didn’t catch their names).  The bugs were thick so she invited us inside.  This building is all original and beautiful!  She has 9 solar panels outside that gives her enough power to have the basics.  She said she could run a frdige and stove if she wanted to but she doesn’t.  She has internet… No phone.  So… Here was Karen living by herself all winter and nobody knew!  She had been admiring this property for over 20 yrs and actually went around telling people it would be hers one day so as soon as it went on the market, she grabbed it.


The hotel is drafty, there is no insulation.  It is built with squared off logs and was never chinked (term for stuffing wadding between the logs for insulation) and she had only one stove so she totally froze all winter (we had a brutal winter).  She has sheep so she is now going around and chinking all the walls with wool.  The house has 4 bedrooms upstairs … Apparently a bit of a brothel in its day.  The windows are situated in the bedrooms so when you lay in bed you look right outside… Very nice!   Poor Karen was so lonely all winter, she said she took to drinking!  She had such a bad experience that she is selling it!  What a drag!  She has been a rider her whole life and wanted to open a trail ride /bed and breakfast business, she has horses and all the gear, it would have been great but she said she can’t do another winter there.  After talking with her for a few hours it became apparent that she had realized over the long, hard, cold winter that she is indeed 68 yrs old and maybe it’s time to slow down a bit!  She is going to sell both properties and she has her eye on a little log cabin on 13 acres that a little old couple has done up nicely and will need little to no work… Time to kick back!  She is a very interesting lady!  I am leaving for almost a month on Wednesday but we have a date when I get back, I’m going to go and spend an afternoon with her and I’ll get some photos.  The house is fascinating, the contents are fascinating (full of antiques), the history is fascinating and Karen is fascinating!  I can’t wait to get back and spend some time with my new friend… I am so sad she is leaving!


Stay tuned…

Lightening Hotel



Little trivia we learned from Karen… A lot of time you will see a door on the second floor of a building that has no balcony… there are a few in Barkerville and the Lightening Hotel has one (you can see it in the photo), I always wondered why. It turns out it is so the stage coach can pull up close to the building and all the luggage on the top can be easily thrown in the doorway and distributed to the rooms from there.  So smart!!!  Makes perfect sense but it never dawned on me.  The things you learn!

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What Dog?

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Mini totally Camo’d in my chair!


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Billy Barker days dinner

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We did some art work for the Billy Barker Days again this year and were Bronze sponsors. The sponsor appreciation dinner is always fun, Barry gets to do the honours… Yay. This year JP Winslow aka Mr Teach from the Waterwheel show in Barkerville was the entertainment, we had never heard him before so that was fun! The festival is this weekend and it looks like they got rained on today… Bummer! Not sure if we will make it into town for it this year, I leave on Wednesday (for my Terry Isaac workshop… Very excited! ) so I have a lot to do to prepare.


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Nick and Stacy

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Always fun to see our friends from Alberta! Stacy made me a hula hoop while she was here, I’ve been hooping faithfully since! We had 2 bear on the property while they were here as you can see from Stacy’s photos.





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Mr. Rippley

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Nick and Stacy came for a visit, we had lots of fun as usual. We met them in Wells and had dinner at the fish and chip place in the parking lot of their hotel and one of the guests caught our eye… Mr. Rippley was most unusual. This couple had a bunch of birds … Birds that you might normally see in a house hold like a cockatoo and rooster…we didn’t those birds but we did hear a rooster crow during our dinner and thought that was odd. These people found Mr. Rippley as a baby and he became part of the family. They were traveling from the Kootneys to Stewart, a trek they take every summer then back again before winter. They also had a little dog that played with him and distracted him to steal his food… So cute!


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Happy Canada Day (a little late)

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As usual we headed into Barkerville for the Dominion Day activities (and cake!). They have a fun little parade with pipers and RCMP in full dress. They always have fun activities for the kids and this year Mr. Grimsby and the boys got to help out which you always know is going to be funny! For the first time they have a Billy Barker wandering around town… He even looks like him! He is the little guy up on the flat deck wagon… Cute! Canada Day is always a lot of fun and it’s our anniversary too… 6 years! Fun date day!



Lots more to come, stay tuned…

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A Lynx Passing Thru!

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The other morning I was at work & I heard Mini all of a sudden get that bark that I know she sees a critter so I go flying out of my office and Barry came flying out of the house at the same time yelling at her to come, we corralled her and got her in the house… All he said was a big cat came up the bank and crossed the driveway and was still in the trees between the driveway and the bat cave. I walked over and spotted him in the trees, he just kept walking calmly like no one was there so I followed him for a bit then Barry came with his camera so I fell back hoping we could get some shots. He was in the trees by then, too bad! He went up the path behind the woodshed and he was gone. He was AWESOME! He had huge paws and was pretty big… His back was at least knee high. So beautiful! A rare thing for him to be so brazen from what I understand and he was right in our yard!

Cool stuff happening, stay tuned…

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The Day the No-See-Ums Invaded!!!

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The day after Barry got home from the Okanagan he weed wacked the whole yard. That night it was obvious he had done a good job because there were many… Many… Many bugs without homes flying around. That night I went to sleep listening to Barry zapping bugs, sounds like a lot of them. In the morning I got up for work, went into the bathroom and there were a lot of no-see-ums so I grabbed the zapper and spent about 20 minutes but I got them all. Went out into the living room and noticed there were millions of them on the living room window. They like it along the bottom and there was a solid black strip of them about an inch deep along the bottom… I didn’t know what to do then I heard Barry from the bedroom “vacuum them up”… Great idea! Grabbed the vacuum and got all them and the kitchen had thousands of them. Went back into the bathroom to have a shower and there were more then there were earlier!!! Holy! What the??? Grabbed the vacuum and got them all sorted out … Again! By this time I’m almost late for work so off I go. About an hour later Barry comes into my office with a dumbfounded look on his face…. “I can’t figure out where they are coming from”. Off he goes again. Another half hour or so passes and he’s back but this time he has a look of defeat on his face. “I just can’t win the battle, they are getting in faster than I can kill then and I don’t know where they are coming from!”. Off he goes again. Third time he showed up he had some glimmer of hope… “I think they are coming in the bathroom fan!” He put a bag over the exit on the side of the house and it filled up with the little buggers so he opened it up and shot hornet killer down it while it was running so it would carry all thru. It worked! We left the fan running for the rest of the day then covered the outside exit, we will uncover it after bug season is over.

So in the end we are both completely covered in bites…. And I mean covered! They ate us while we slept that night and while we were trying to control them they had another feast. This was about a week ago and I’m still scratching… It’s driving me mad! We found some even finer screen then we already have at the fabric store and Barry spent yesterday recovering all the windows. Regular screen will keep out the Mosquitos and flys, we had what the other stores call no-see-um screen but it doesn’t work. Wings with teeth they are referred to by the locals. The worst part about them is they don’t just bite you once like a mosquito, these little guys bite you over and over and over and over…….nasty!

Aside from this infestation we are relatively bug free this year with all the clearing that Barry has done. I leave my office door wide open most days and burn a coil at the doorway, keeps everything but the flys out.

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