Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JAN-FEB 2019

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Page 52 of 135

e adventure begins with the arrival. Although it is possible to get to Chilko Lake by driving eight hours along mountainous roads from Vancouver, I'd advise opting for the 90-minute charter flight in a prop plane. While in flight you can spy verdant mountaintops peeking out from thin blankets of white clouds roiling about like the froth on a witches' brew, as well as taller naked peaks wearing tiaras of snow that sparkle like diamonds in the sunlight. Awestruck as I soared above the creeping glacier fields, I felt intoxicated by the thought of what laid in store in the coming days, and wondered how anything as luxurious at the Chilko Experience could come to be in this remoteness. Phil Huston, founder and jack-of-all-trades at the Chilko Experience, met us at the grass runway strip, located a short and bumpy ride away from the resort (stretches of unpaved roads are a given in the wilderness). A native of Kansas who now lives in Omaha (his next-door neighbor is Warren Buffett), Phil first heard of the Chilko region in the 1970s, when a hitchhiker he picked up on the way back from a car camping expedition in Alaska told him the area was worth checking out. He heeded the advice and was instantly smitten. The romance was rekindled in the late 1990s when Phil returned to Chilko Lake for a fishing trip, prompting him to purchase a derelict guest ranch for what was intended to be just a vacation home for his family. Some things, Phil soon decided, are simply too special to keep all to yourself. Referring to an endeavor as a labor of love is done so often that the sentiment is often lost, but at the Chilko Experience, I can think of no better way to describe Phil and his wife Anne's level of involvement and enduring passion for what they have created. Phil makes no bones about the monumental effort it took to build and then operate a property of this scope in such a remote area. "You have to be resourceful and self-sufficient," he said. For emphasis, he pointed out that five tons of gravel were crushed on site for the roads, and the nearest grocery store is three hours away by car. e property, which can accommodate a maximum of 22 guests at a time, derives ninety-five percent of its energy from the sun. 51 e Tower House Carl's House e Main House

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