We loaded up in the truck with our snowshoes, Dueter backpacks, and a saw, with hopes of finding the perfect Christmas tree. The girls are always excited when they see us packing the kid carriers, knowing an adventure lies ahead.
The weather has been pretty mild so we decided to venture up King Edward FSR with fingers crossed that it wouldn’t be too icy to make the climb up to the plateau. Two years previous we tried this route and stumbled upon a few vehicles in the ditch and some very slippery sections. Although our tree hunt was successful then, the following year we chose to go a different area to avoid a similar incident.
With no snow in town we hoped to cross paths with the white stuff so we could put our snowshoes to work and enjoy a bit of exploring, and of course the perfect tree.
After 12kms we came across King Edward Lake. It was frozen over and had a layer of insulating snow on top. We continued further down the narrowing road that come winter was mainly used for snow mobiles and side by side ATVs. We passed a couple more lakes until after the 15km marker we came across a clearing in the trees. As the shoulders are soft we slightly pulled over to park and from here set out on foot. With the girls bundled up and strapped in the packs we aimlessly wandered from miniature tree to miniature tree as we examined its branches and envisioned the completed results.
Looking for the perfect tree is not a real science at all. We came across a number of variety but our gut feeling makes the real decision. After brushing the snow off a handful of future prospects we both narrowed in on a perfect little spruce. We packed down the powder in the area and off loaded our human cargo for the time being. Lidija was not overly impress with having to stand on the uneven surface and Bexley didn’t even get out of the pack. Within a couple of minutes our new Christmas focal point was on the ground and the snacks and hot chocolate were being served.
After a short tree drag later we were back in the truck and ready to head home. Casually back tracked past the lakes and started our way down. We came across another group of tree hunters just beginning their search. At this point the road was still narrow, you can imagine what was about to happen here. We both slightly pulled over to squeeze by each other and within 5 meters of passing we were now both stuck in the soft shoulder of snow. Everybody out! Shovels in hand and a little brute strength we got the trucks out one by one. As we descended, the snow thinned out and blades of dry grass began to show. We passed through the cloud cover and now under the grey canopy of clouds that often settles for winter in the Okanagan Valley.
Before we left home that morning we accessed the BC forestry web site and printed of a PDF permit that states the rules to harvesting your own Christmas tree in the bush. The free permit allows you to remove up to three trees within certain guidelines. We actually had two trees loaded up as Tyson’s parents were in need of one as well. Back at the house now we left the tree in the backyard for the night with hopes that the remaining snow and ice would melt off before bringing it inside. The following day our gem of a spruce was resting in the corner of our living room and the four of us were stringing lights, placing ornaments and listening to Christmas music. The girls being 2.5 years old now are staring to understand the meaning of things a bit better now and are showing loads more excitement with decorating. They were not to pleased with how prickly the spruce was, and once they were in bed we had relocated a number of ornaments to higher ground as the bottom branches were heavily loaded. All in all, a great family outing that will make for the perfect family tradition.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!