SMART 55: Wilderness at the doorstep keeps Williams Lake senior fit

Betty Fletcher enjoys what the lakecity and surroundings have to offer

Betty Fletcher loves getting out into the wilderness in and around Williams Lake.

“I think that’s what attracts people here, easy access to the outdoors,” Fletcher said.

As she paused during a x-country ski one sunny afternoon on frozen Williams Lake in late February, where persisting cold temperatures had resulted in locals enjoying the lake for x-country skiing, ice sailing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and walking, Fletcher said she it was her first x-country ski of the season.

“I had not been out yet this year, but it is beautiful out today. The sun is really warm.”

Fletcher loves the fact there is so much diversity when it comes to what the Cariboo Chilcotin has to offer.

“You don’t have to drive far and there is a desert, or there are big mountains, even dense forests near Quesnel. There is really the chance to see any type of scenery you enjoy.”

Fletcher was born in the old Williams Lake hospital to ranching pioneers Orville and Marie Fletcher.

Read more: Celebration of life Saturday for rancher Marie Fletcher

She left the lakecity when she was 20 years of age and returned after a divorce to be closer to family.

She has a daughter, Rebekah, and a son, Jason.

Before they were born she worked as a licensed practical nurse. Once she was back in Williams Lake she worked mostly as a school bus driver for special needs children.

“They called me Betty Bus,” she said with a chuckle.

“This little guy dubbed me that. At first he called me “the bus.” When I told him I wasn’t big and yellow and my name was Betty, he called me Betty Bus after that and it stuck.”

Fletcher retired from bus driving after 28 years in 2013.

Cross-country skiing, cycling and kayaking are all activities she enjoys, although she said she is afraid of bears and makes sure to carry bear spray when heading out on her bike into the woods alone.

If she isn’t being active she loves having time to read.

The latest book she read was Blind The Eyes, which actually written by her grand niece, Katrina Wiggins.

“It was a science fiction thriller and it really scared me,” Fletcher said.

“I also just finished reading Now They Call Me Infidel. It is a story about a woman who renounced Jihad.”

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