December 11th, 2005: Rain, wind, and temperatures much above normal. On Friday, I took Doreen to Bertwell to meet Marg. It started raining, though very lightly, while we were at Bertwell. After Marg and Doreen left, I drove to Tisdale, then home, and it never did quit raining. Very heavily overcast; I had the lights on about 4:30. The temperature dropped to a degree or two below freezing, and once north of Bjorkdale I felt the car drift a little. I immediately cut off the speed control and slowed down.
I went back to Hudson Bay today to get Doreen. Things were terribly icy in the core area, and all the way to the north end of the Park the highway was slushy and icy. From there to Weekes it was okay, just wet as it was raining again. East of Weekes, where the highway is gravel, it was snow-packed and very icy. Highway No. 9 was slushy and icy north to the Clemenceau road but just wet from there on. It quit raining then, and coming home seven hours later the road was much better, though still icy east of Weekes.
The only snow left is here in the core area, in Hudson Bay, and on the highway east of Weekes. Otherwise, the fields are bare. Between Carragana and Somme there was a lot of water in the ditches, and even in the fields.
We told Marg we would phone as soon as we got home. Since we have our cell phone with us, I said we would phone if we hit the ditch, but there is an area east of Weekes with no cell coverage. Marg said in such a case, one climbs on top of the car; holding the phone in the left hand, one raises the left foot and holds it up, but lets the right arm hang down. It may not improve reception but it will sure stop any traffic that comes along!
Surprisingly, the Red Deer River was running with a pretty good stream west of Chelan. There is a beaver dam a hundred yards south of the bridge and the water was coming over it in one spot. After all the cold weather, I thought it would be frozen over solid. I went back Saturday with my camera and took a photo of it.
Bill Drobot has been out and drilled some fishing holes in the ice. He tells me the ice is over a foot thick but we haven’t seen any vehicles driving around on it. There was one lone fishing shack north-west of the Marina; they must have used some kind of a vehicle to get it out there. Jim thinks it would be great fun to take a vehicle out onto the ice and do some spins; he suggests I take our car, as it is lighter than any of his vehicles. I’m thinking about it, but not very hard.
Albert Beaumont topped my story about Maurice and his hunting exploits. A Hudson Bay farmer of Albert’s acquaintance was driving his tractor in a field and saw a moose at the far end of the field. He stopped the tractor, took his rifle, which he always carried with him, and walked into the bush to stalk the moose. He walked and walked and finally spotted the moose through the bush. He aimed and shot, but the moose just stood there. He walked a little closer and found he was right back at his tractor, which had a bullet hole through the radiator. Albert says he took the tractor to his son-in-law to fix, but threatened to take his daughter back if the son-in-law ever breathed a word!
Terrible conditions in the Park! This is the time of year we should be getting out for some exercise, but it’s just too icy. It’s too icy to drive, too, but we don’t need any broken bones. Now we are hoping for enough warm weather and sunshine to get rid of the ice before the snow comes. Usually by this time of year there is a very well-used snowmobile trail past our place. Now it’s too slick to walk, too rough to skate, too dry to snowmobile! We need snow – and lots of it!