Posted by: Dave Neads | March 16, 2008

A “Quick” Trip to the Dentist.

A “Quick” Trip to the Dentist

*Rosemary wrote this description about our excursion the other day…*

We awoke at 6 and peered anxiously at the sky–clear, thank heavens.  The clouds the night before, with the promise of warm weather, had been a worry, as   our ailing snow machine wouldn’t be happy running in above-zero temperatures.  But this morning it is -5 C (about 22F) and running should be fine.

We hurriedly dress in warm clothing and eat, the cats tearing around the house and fighting each other, knowing our changed routine was bad news for them.  Chilko had breakfast, looked gloomily at us, and climbed up on the couch with a big sigh.  He knows that at this time of year, he must stay home.

Dave goes out to start up the skidoo, hoisting up the rear end with a chain hoist  so that the track could break free on the slide rails without being frozen to the ground, and then hooked up the skimmer, a dog-sled looking trailer we pull behind the skidoo.  He checks that the axe, shovel, and chainsaw are all in place, and ties down a cooler we’ve already packed with outgoing mail and library books (we have a mail library service), and which we need for bringing back the treat of fresh vegetables.

Meanwhile, I’m doing a final check list–heater stoked up, trail mix and water packed, a few necessities in case we don’t make it home today, dog-run in place, his water bucket filled, cat dishes full.  Bedroom door closed to foil the unwelcome gifts the cats like to leave on the bedroom carpet; carnivorous offerings to the gods that might otherwise keep us away too long.

We climb into our outer wear–this is worse than gearing up for a Scuba dive!  Dress too warmly, because you never know when you might be stranded.  Cover it all with rain gear, because the inch of  fresh snow on the track will blow up and cover us–and melt.  Take extra gloves.  Take the radio phone.  Driver’s licence, money.

Call Chilko to the door.  He slouches out onto the front porch and climbs up on his bed, submitting resignedly to the lead connecting him to the run.  The cats sit in the hall window and glare.  And finally, we get onto the skidoo to make a quick trip to Bella Coola, to the dentist.

It’s an easy run out to the ploughed logging road, under an hour.  The trail hasn’t started to break down yet and aside from a few impressive moguls it’s smoother than traveling our summer road.  We reach our vehicle and it starts–another relief.  We peel off the layers of clothing and put on unlined boots–after all, it’s March!

Another half hour and we’re in our nearest town, Anahim Lake.  Too early for mail, but we stop at Mort’s to drop off a few things he requested–a dish for Charlie-the-Goat and a plant hanging bracket.  And then the drive down to Bella Coola, down the Big Hill (known for its 12%-18% grades,  single lanes, and 2,000′ drop-offs).  A lovely drive through the Bella Coola Valley and finally we arrive at the dentist, just 5 hours after we started our day.

It’s a quick, easy-solution visit and we celebrate by Going Out for Lunch.  Wow!  Food we didn’t have to prepare ourselves!  And then stops at the hardware store (for Klaus), the Co-Op (for Chris), and the Mercantile (for Mort and us).

Spring is coming to the Bella Coola Valley, although there are still patches of snow.  But the sun is shining–a rarity here in this wet, narrow valley–and the views are wonderful.  We enjoy our drive back up the Hill to Anahim Lake, where we leave the goods purchased for other people at Mort’s, have a quick cuppa, and then drive back to the skidoo to reverse the whole process.

We get home at 6, just 12 hours later.  Not bad!  One of our faster trips, and no problems.  And we have fresh greens, to supplement the buckwheat, peppercress and spinach I’ve been growing, and the sprouts we’re getting very tired of, after 5 months.  (Note that “fresh” is a relative term, given how far they traveled to get to Bella Coola.)

Houdini Chilko has magically unhooked his lead, and rushes joyously down the driveway to meet us.  The cats are relieved that our absence was so short, and there’s only one dead creature in the hallway.

So it was a good trip to the dentist.  Now if only my teeth would stop hurting!



  1. I enjoyed reading this very much, and send good wishes for your teeth, Rosemary!

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