Dick Hunt's Blog

November 8, 2012

Frozen Mud At Midnight, On A Bush Road.

Filed under: Current — Tags: , , — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 2:56 pm

Frozen Mud At Midnight, On A Bush Road.
by Dick Hunt, November 8th, 2012.

During my nine years of Ministry in Williams Lake and the large area surrounding on all sides, I was often called upon to travel long distances. My longest trips to the west took me quite close to salt water, in the shadow of the Coast Mountains. The roads in the early 60’s were gravel, or mud, or snow, depending on the time of year. On one such trip, in the spring I was on my way back to Williams Lake from a Ranch on what was called “The West Branch”, south of Canim Lake where I had conducted a funeral for a Prospector / Trapper called Pat Braid. He was a bubbly Irishman, very well read and self educated, everybodies friend – and owned practically nothing. He lived in a “Tar Papered Shack” which was owned by the Rancher and did some baby sitting for the family. He belonged to two traveling libraries and read voraciously. The whole West Chilcotin turned out for his funeral, in the shadow of Mount Waddington.

It was nearly sundown when I was able to leave and while still 90 miles from home, I was trying to negotiate a stretch of road which in the daytime was mud but by midnight was frozen mud, stirred up by trucks of all descriptions. I high centered and my tail pipe tore loose at the exhaust manifold. It was lonely out there in the pitch darkness. I finally got the jack in place to enable me to take off the left rear wheel and finally remove the tail pipe and muffler, which were still intact. But how to get them home was beyond my ability as they didn’t fit in the car or trunk and I didn’t have a car top carrier. Just as I had decided to throw them in the ditch, a high clearance pick up stopped beside me, the driver took them to Williams Lake for me.

Ruth certainly heard me turn into the Car Port. The car sounded like a Battle Tank. On Monday I managed to get to a garage without getting stopped by the Police and phoned my friend of the night before to bring around the salvaged parts. I had them installed before noon, and was back in business. There was something special about the Chilcotin country. The citizens did make it a point to look after the security and needs of each other.

One of the men I met at that funeral was a Heart Specialist from New York. He was a very friendly man and told me that he worked hard at his clinic for six months of each year and then came back to the Caribou for six months to become human again. He was well liked. It was very rare to find a funeral director out in that country. The Minister was the funeral director and the pick up truck that took the deceased out there in the Casket was a local Friend with his Pick Up. After the service, he stayed in the Community.

My areas of service took me north, half way to Quesnel, up to 70 miles east, sixty miles south and from there another 60 miles east. And of course many miles to the west. I served Sundays at Alexis Creek, 70 miles west; at Redstone 100 miles out at a Ranch house once a month. I had part time help from a well trained Lay Reader named Dick Spalton, a B.C. Land Surveyor, to step into the breach for occasional non Sacramental services. Eventually, I received colleagues who served mostly east at Horsefly, north at McLeese Lake, West at Alexis Creek and occassionally at Redstone.

On one occasion, the Minister at 100 Mile House and east in 3 missions suddenly decided to become a politician and left me to look after his 4 point work, without any notice. That was on top of my other work.

I was finally invited to move to Campbell River on Vancouver Island where I had three places to serve.

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