December 1, 2018
Merry Christmas from Spindrift Lodge. The weather is warm. Grass is still showing in most places around the yard. We had the first official sign of the upcoming holiday season last night, the Fort St James Santa parade. The floats were festive and bright.
Our trip to Australia this past February was amazing. Another world and yet many things were familiar. Had a chance to spend time with Kim and Richard, our daughter and son-in-law. Nice to be with your family. Especially in a place where everyone is driving on the wrong side of the road. We stayed just outside of Melbourne. Travelled north to Sydney and South to Tasmania by plane. From horse racing to car racing, we took in a lot of different sights. A very friendly and hospitable culture. Spectacular food. A place where graffiti rocks.
Our season at the lodge started with 5 extra feet of water in the lake. For May that’s a big deal. While our U.S. guests were able to enjoy very good fishing and a bit of weather stability in June, July brought sunshine, dry weather and fire. Evacuation alerts were announced daily. We had fires north, south and east of us. Despite all of this chaos, the sockeye came back in August in full force. Over 1 million fish at the hatchery down the lake from us. Excellent local fishing all throughout the month. A big thank you to the local fellows that were able to replace the last roof on our boat shed. An extraordinary effort.
We left for our little cabin up the lake later in September. Couldn’t travel into this area until the evacuation order was lifted. We spent our time there enjoying the spectacular fall colors and rebuilding the dock. The high water won the battle. Took out everything from 100 feet out into the lake. On the plus side, the dock was getting pretty old so a rebuild was definitely in order. Finally attached ourselves to the rest of the world. Setup a satellite Internet system. Made our first phone call in 30 years.
October had us doing a number of projects back in in Fort St James. For some reason, we decided to seal coat the driveway. We needed something better than rock and dirt. What we got was something quite amazing; 5 guys, an oil truck, one roller, a lot of pea sized gravel and 6 hours of manual and mechanical effort. Excellent end result. Kind of messy but worth it.
In November we went back to the lodge to burn. We were pretty handy with our new battery-operated chain saw over the summer. Lots to burn; in the bush, on the beach. Unfortunately, some not very nice people got into our sheds and stole quite a lot of our stuff. First time ever, things went missing. So after 20 years, we have a surveillance system with cameras all around the property. For the things that really matter; we still have our memories and each other.
As everyone gets ready to spend Christmas with their families, we wanted to pass along our best wishes to all of you. Please be safe. Be kind and have some fun.
John and Lynda and of course big Ben. OXOX.
Bowen - PastRyley - Past
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