Heading south on Highway 97, we neared the town of Williams Lake, in the heart of Cariboo Country, a district of rolling rangeland, evergreen hills, and lakes between the Coast Mountains and the Rockies. The Cariboo Gold Rush of the 1850s and '60s spawned tales of claim jumping and hanging judges, with fresh stories in the making: There are still men here who live on their gold claims, with only a woodstove and a dog for company. We overnighted at Tyee Lake Resort, a restful 15-room lodge on a four-mile-long lake. Guests arrive to fly-fish for kokanee and trout, to honeymoon, to swim in the lake, to uncoil. Our hostess, Kim Burgoyne, regaled us with some half-mad stories of her own, including one about the lodge's ill-fated first attempt to offer dogsled rides in the winter, in which a local musher named Guy (who had once extracted all of his own teeth with a pair of pliers) brought a team consisting of a bitch in heat and several highly agitated males. Not a good idea.
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