Hello from a very cold Dome Creek. As per usual, our life here in the wilds, is proving to test our resolve once again. After five months of having no real work, I received a call last week informing me I had a job starting on Friday at the local ski hill. Excellent, just in time. I was beginning to think Christmas dinner would consist of whatever I could forage off the land. However, fate would intervene and throw a spanner in the works. Here before you, is the Hunter luck in full force. I spent my Wednesday chopping firewood and bringing logs into the house for Kaitlyn, knowing full well I would be out all of Friday, and she would need to keep the log burner going on her own. I had to do this on Wednesday as on Thursday I was due to take Kaitlyn to McBride, and I was going to be given a tour of the local brewery, Three Ranges Brewing, in the local town of Valemount by the owner. This was going to be the topic of my blog this week. Sadly, this wasn’t to be. On the way to McBride my truck decided to shut itself down and go into limp mode whilst driving at 100km along the highway. I shut the engine off, then restarted it. It fired into life and off we went again. 15 minutes later it did the same thing again. I restarted the truck, and we made it into McBride with my truck showing the engine management light. At this point I didn’t want to risk driving to the brewery, so called to explain my situation and rearrange the visit. Once we had finished our business in McBride we set off in the direction of home. Three times the truck shut down, but we did eventually hit the access road to Dome Creek, at this point the truck really began to hate us, and what would normally take 15 – 20 minutes of driving turned into an hour, as we repeatedly had to stop start the truck, probably in the region of 20-30 times. I got in the house and made the dreaded call to my future employer. All I could think in my head was, if I employed someone, and on what was meant to be their first day they called me saying they couldn’t come in because they had car troubles, I would think well don’t bother coming at all then. Lucky for me, the new employer had a heart and told me not to worry. Thank God. I told them I would attempt to come in after my truck was sorted. This takes us to Friday morning. I awoke in a panic, as my alarm had failed to go off. I had wanted an early start to drive the 150km to Prince George, knowing I would be cutting in and out all the way. I made it to the main highway and after cutting out 4 times before reaching less than a mile, I decided it was too dangerous to drive the whole way, and conceded to the fact I would have to call a tow truck. I slowly started to make my way home. I got as far as our neighbour’s house before getting so angry with the truck that I gave up driving it all together. I knocked on their door and was greeted by two smiling faces which instantly warmed the spirits. Within a matter of seconds, I was sat in their front room, coffee in hand and Dave calling a tow truck for me. I have said it before, but living in a small community really shows you the meaning of being neighbourly. Without question they were going to help me. When I thanked them they simply said, you would do the same for us if you could. They are exactly right. I would. Anyway, with the tow truck called and being told it would be 3 hours before it showed up, I sat back in their front room enjoying my coffee and taking in the wonderful smells of Christmas that were coming from the kitchen. Dave was cooking a giant ham, which was to be enjoyed by the local residents as a bit of a Christmas party. The delicious aroma was making my mouth water and all I could think of was food. Luckily one of the other neighbours showed up with a tray of Christmas treats and I manged to sample a couple of chocolate bites. Chef Dave also managed to kerb my hunger by providing me with a peanut butter and jam sandwich. Which tasted great, but was a sad reminder that I was going to miss out on a ham dinner. 3 hours came and went and eventually after 5 hours and having put the world to right with Dave, the tow truck driver showed up, loaded my vehicle up and I was on my merry way to Prince George. We arrived at the garage just before it closed and after explaining the issues they informed me they would have it all done for me tomorrow, and they would sort a rental car so I could get home. I was picked up by the rental company and driven to their offices by a truly wonderful guy. A credit to Enterprise. Bill was a retired school teacher and we chatted the whole way. He told me he was off to Peru soon, so I of course attempted to sell him some Water-to-Go bottles. I gave him details to contact me, and think I have actually made a new friend. We wished each other a Merry Christmas as we parted company and I was soon off on my way home in my rental. Thanks to Dave cooking a ham, I went home via the superstore and picked myself one up and by a touch of luck it was even on offer. It’s as if it was meant to be. With all the afore mentioned issues, and being unsure if I would have to pick my car up on Saturday, I reluctantly informed work I would be unable to start until at least Sunday. Again, they were understanding, so with a bit of luck my next update will be filled with stories of working at the ski hill.
So that is that. We are ending the year in Dome Creek much as the adventure here started, with yet another breakage to repair. Which leads me on to say that, even with all the twists and turns we have experienced since being here, I wouldn’t change a thing. We have experienced the real meaning of Christmas almost on a daily basis, by our fantastic neighbours. Which is exactly how life should be. If everyone treated each other like the community of Dome Creek looks after one another then the world would be a better place. There is a lot you can learn by putting yourself in a place like this. As a side note to Dave: if you’re reading this, you can rest assured that even in the event of an apocalypse my door will be open to you and yours, without fear of me shooting you. (Yes, that’s right, whilst putting the world to right, this did come up in conversation.)
All that leaves, is for me to say, I wish you all a very happy Christmas. Make sure you over indulge in food and alcohol, but most importantly, try to spend it with the ones you love. No amount of gifts will replace the memories you can create over a glass of wine with good company. I will also say thank you for your continued support of my little blog and I look forward to carrying this on into the new year. Have a good one people, from us three here in Parts Unknown.