Nicodemus "Nick" Hudemka
A life in the Wilderness of Powell Lake / Thah Yetl
Information from "Mysterious Powell Lake" by Carla Mobley.
One of Powell Lake's hermits, was a man named, Nicodemus "Nick" Hudemka. His story is perhaps less known than Billy Goat Smith's but just as colorful.
Nick came to Powell River in 1940 and was issued the last hand logger license in BC. Sometimes it could take him up to two weeks to get a single log down the mountain to the lake. The logs measured up to 138 ft. long.
The work was dangerous; once Nick was pinned under a log for 26 hours before he got himself free. There was also many bears but Nick didn't believe in hunting them, They were his friends and he wasn't afraid of bears - although it is said that he had a fear of hummingbirds!
Over the years, Nick built several cabins around Powell Lake; the most well known, was the cabin at the head of Powell Lake where he built a large root garden and root cellar.
Nick came down to Powell River around once a month. Sometimes he also went to Vancouver to see football games; he called Powell Air and they would land at his shack up the lake, with Nick waiting all dressed. He lived the hermit life in style. It is also said that he often bought chocolates for women.
In his later years, Nick was unable to keep hand logging. However, he loved the wilderness so much, he also could not part with it. In 1976, he was recovered from Powell Lake, after a massive heart attack. He is remembered by friends as "part of Powell Lake."