Even though Hugh Graffunder’s family has lived in the Clearwater area since the early 1930s, when his grandparents moved to the area to farm, he feels he’s only just scratched the surface of how much there is to explore.
“It’s a secret spot–but a big one,” said Graffunder. “I’ve been exploring the smaller fishing lakes over the last eight years and recently took up mountain biking, but there’s also so much amazing hiking in the area.”
Growing up in the Vavenby area meant Graffunder visited Clearwater to swim in Dutch Lake and attend school. Now, as an owner and operator of a cattle ranch, he enjoys coming to town to see people he’s known all his life.
“It doesn’t feel like doing business, it feels like day-to-day activities,” he said. Graffunder took over his family’s ranch after working as a welder and millwright for 15 years. He’s since sat as a director of the BC Simmental Association and treasurer for the Clearwater District Woodlot Association for 18 years.
When he’s not exploring locally, Graffunder travels the world racing dirt bikes. This passion has taken him to a number of countries including France and Mexico. He’s also visited Belize and highly recommends everyone visit India once in their life.
But no matter where he travels, the Clearwater area will always be home.
“It’s a breath of fresh air. Nothing compares to going out to see newborn calves on a spring morning–even if it’s 10 degrees outside.”