Some of the charm of my new location–Burns Lake, B.C.

September 2018

When I first announced I was contemplating taking a 6 month position at Burns Lake I was asked…Are there banks there? Yes. At least 3. Is there a Tim Hortons? No. But there are 3 amazing organic independent coffee shops. (They also create their own delicious goodies–including gluten free!) Is there a Subway/A&W/Kentucky fried chicken? Yes. to all. There is also a cute movie theatre which is open nearly every night. There is a public library where I go to access wifi. (None in the place I am staying). There is also a college, museum and a nice new hospital here. Is there a swimming pool? No unfortunately. But I’m taking Latin dancing at the community center! You can also play hockey, racquetball, join curling, lift weights, or climb on the climbing wall at the community center. There is a very popular mountain bike rental place with tons of trails to ride or walk on. There are lots of artisans. Is there a ski hill? The closest ones are in Prince George and Smithers. However, I’m told there is a kick butt cross country skiing team here and I can take cross country skiing lessons. There is also lots of music including several fiddle groups, highland dancing, and last weekend I attended an East Coast Kitchen party! The people are super friendly.

There are lots of eateries. My current favorites are: Tandoori Bliss (So yummy–especially the lamb dishes); the Grapevine pub/bistro; and the Office (a new pub/bistro). There are 2 tire shops, a car wash, and for my friends with electric vehicles…a charging station!  There are several hunting/fishing type stores I haven’t looked at yet. A mall with Fields, Save On, etc. At least 3 drugstores. A florist beside the post office. The biggest grocery store is the wholesale club. It’s like a mini Costco! Downtown, you can get a London Fog to go, sit on the benches along side the main street and be entertained watching the logging trucks, semis, and motorhomes passing. There is an endless stream of them!!! No wonder the speed limit is 20 km! Then there is the train which also passes by through downtown about every 2 hours! But…there are no taxis and buses are limited. I’m sure as I continue to explore this community I will discover more of its interesting charms…

My new “digs” for the next 6 months and 9 days! Burns Lake, B.C.

September 1st

It’s official… After staying overnight at my brother, Mark’s house, in Prince George my husband Mark and I then continued driving west past Vanderhoof, Fort Fraser and Fraser Lake  to discover my new “digs” in Burns Lake, B.C.  It is about 2 1/2 hours west (depending on the road conditions).  Did you notice the black bear? There are still tent cities where forest fire fighters are camping in Fraser Lake area. The Mexican contingent were proudly flying their flag.

I accepted a position as District Teacher-Librarian/Learning Commons Specialist in SD91 until March 9th, 2018. I will be based at 2 elementary schools. William Konkin Elementary in Burns Lake (850m uphill) from where I will be staying, is my base for 3 days a week. Decker Lake Elementary (about 10 km) in the direction of Topley/Smithers is my base for the remaining 2 days a week. Whose idea was this anyway? Ooops! Mine?? P.S. The sign about removing ice cleats or cork boots is on the entrance door to the “mall”.

On our way….The Adventure Begins!

August 30–31st.

The Comox Valley VW dealer returned our Jetta to Nanaimo with hours to spare!Brand new Inline engine heater. Check. New snow tires in the boot. check. Performing as per expectations. Check. We loaded up the car with 6 bins of school resources ready for this new position. Nearly every spare inch was filled with clothes, toiletries, memorabilia, food!

We caught the early morning ferry from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay. Then we drove up past Squamish, Lillooet, Lovely Duffey Lake, past Thompson-Nicola country, Quesnel to Prince George. There was much less smoke this trip and we sure enjoyed the changes in landscape in our gorgeous province of B.C.

Final Days on Vancouver Island prior to heading north…

Aug 27–30 To counter the stress about the Jetta being ready on time, and make the most of beautiful mid Vancouver Island, we took time to enjoy friends and the beauty around us during our final days at our Nanaimo home.

Robin checked out the range on her electric car…We visited one of our favorite places–Pipers’s lagoon.

Mark and I explored and even popped down to Cowichan to visit with Starrs. Then the VW Jetta was returned to Nanaimo all set for the adventure August 30th.

Final visits around Nanaimo with special friends & preparing the Jetta for its adventure in Northern B.C. ..

Aug. 26–30, 2018. My brand new VW Jetta 2019 developed an unknown problem and was towed to the dealership days before we planned to drive up to Burns Lake! Plus…There was no block heater available for this vehicle and the dealership had to locate an inline engine heater quickly and install it before I headed north.

Packing was getting accomplished…I had downsized to 6 bins of teaching resources for 6 months up north! There were reno decision to make. Friends to visit. So much to do and so little time.

Accommodation located! Acceptance of position in SD91… But what a start! 1 last trip north to Hardy…

August 23rd… So the sbo in sd91 located accommodation for me in Burns Lake with snowbirds! Meanwhile… the forest fires around the area continued to influence the potential start of the school year… would we start on schedule? Would I have students from one of the evacuated areas working out of one of my libraries for an unknown period of time? A major trait necessary for an effective educator is to be adaptable! I would definitely draw on that this school year! All in the adventure!

I headed north to my beautiful home town of Port Hardy then through Campbell River for one last visit before my 6 month position commenced.

Nanaimo Exhibition–Prep for rural living!

Together, Mark and I made the decision to accept the District Teacher Librarian/Learning Commons Specialist position in Burns Lake for 6 months if they could locate suitable temporary housing for me.

Meanwhile…The Nanaimo Exhibition was here! Time to have fun and get more familiar with rural life 🙂 Aug 18th Here is a taste of the diverse activities we saw…From Belly Dancers to Tractor Pulls; farm animals to crazy logger shows!