is about a remote area in west central British Columbia, Canada
called the West Chilcotin. Surrounded by numerous glacial mountain
ranges, alpine lakes teeming with wild Rainbow Trout, and full
of wildlife. Living here goes from no running water or electricity
to spacious log homes with all the conveniences and without
Wilderness Adventures - April, Week 3/2007
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read stories like
'Lake Monsters' - just go into Archives on the lower left side
of this page.
You can search this site for a subject of interest to you
at the bottom of this page. Check out the
of the Day.
Profiling Nature Trails
happy to introduce a new listing on the site under resorts.
Nature Trails Wilderness Lodge offers a true wilderness
getaway providing complete relaxation in peaceful comfort.
As they state on their website, no roads, city noise,
or computers. Just wilderness where you can keep an eye
out for wildlife such as Grizzly bear, black bear, caribou,
moose and bald eagles. Take advantage of the world class
fishing for native Rainbow Trout, Whitefish, and
Kokanee on several nearby lakes and rivers. Explore
North Tweedsmuir Park and the West Coast Mountains with
sea kayaks or canoes or hike the remote alpine lakes and
The lodge offers cozy accommodation in cabins with running
hot and cold water and wood burning stoves or fireplaces.
Relax and enjoy a refreshment while your meals are prepared
by a trained chef at the main lodge. To enjoy this all
inclusive fly in getaway just made for those who love
the outdoors, go to Naturetrailslodge.com
or to the Resorts
page for contact information.
If you would like to have an adventure holiday accessible
by road, then you'll be thrilled with what Terra
Nostra Guest Ranch has to offer you. Located on
Clearwater Lake only a three hour drive from Williams
Lake or by free shuttle bus ride from the Anahim Lake
Airport, this guest ranch offers a choice of accommodation,
a fully licensed dining room and delicious meals served
by their trained cook. The ranch is an excellent
base from which to take unforgettable day trips to Chilko
Lake, Tweedsmuir Park, the Rainbow Mountains and Bella
Coola. Take advantage of the excellent fishing
or hike into remote alpine lakes, meadows or the nearby
Kleena Kleene waterfalls. From the ranch you can enjoy
such activities as hiking, canoeing, mountain biking or
horseback riding or just sit back, relax and watch the
wide variety of wildlife in the area. For contact information
about the Terra Nostra Guest Ranch go to the Resorts
page or go directly to their website at Terranos.ca.
It's been snowing off and on for most of the day and last
night's storm dropped about an inch on the ground that
promptly melted this morning. Andy dropped another old
hairy beetle killed pine today and was burning the limbs
while it snowed big, fat, furry snowflakes. I tried to
get a picture of it snowing furiously while the pile burned
which is posted up on the right, but for some reason the
snowflakes didn't show up, even though me and the camera
ended up soaking wet in a matter of moments. Although
they say a picture is worth a thousand words, I guess
it just goes to show you that what you see in an image
isn't necessarily the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
but the truth.
In any case, it's readily apparent that Old Man
Winter is taking at least one more kick at the cat.
This weather can't make the folks down on the Lower Mainland
very happy. Although it makes little difference to us,
for every inch of snow we get, the mountains
get several, and the people to the south already face
severe danger from flooding. Cooler temperatures have
so far prevented the slow melt and runoff that they were
hoping for and increases the snowpack in the mountains
every day. If we get a sudden rise in temperature things
are going to turn downright nasty for anyone living near
or downstream of our major rivers in British Columbia.
I'm a little up to my neck in work right now and I'm having
a hard time even finding my desk. We have someone we're
supposed to be showing a piece of property to tomorrow,
so I'm not sure that I'll be posting anything before Saturday.
Have a sunny weekend everyone!
got to love the month of April because you have absolutely
no clue as to what's coming next in the way of weather.
Right now it's pouring the snow down yet four days
from now the spring before last Andy and I were going
fishing because the ice was out. Well, not quite
out. I admit we jumped the gun a bit and there were still
some very large ice floes out there, but we were still
fishing! In contrast, there's a few little, tiny spots
opened up along the shoreline but the only fishing a person
is going to be doing right now is ice fishing.
That same spring not two weeks later we were already into
a nasty forest fire season with one fire occurring just
down the road and had not every neighbour in the vicinity
jumped on it right away, it would have really gotten out
This year the fire warden came out to check on a place
to live for the summer and then returned to a temporary
posting in Alexis Creek because there's still too much
snow on the ground here. Gotta love the variety in this
At least we're not in quite as desperate a situation
as the folks down south in the cities. Apparently
their Blackberry service went out for a whole day and
officials were afraid that there might be some serious
consequences for society overall.
What the heck is a Blackberry?!!!
Okay, wait a minute. I know it's a little flat thing that
people do stuff with because I saw a very self important
lady using one in the seat next to me on the plane when
I ventured out into the 'world' in February.
I wasn't referring to her self importance because of the
little flat thing, but rather because of a really
important conversation she was having on her cell phone
with a business associate regarding a presentation she
was putting on when we got to where we were going. I'm
assuming it was important because she continued with it
after a really cheesed off flight attendant had
already asked her for the umpteenth time to turn off her
cell phone for takeoff. I'm only guessing that
the important young lady was the reason we were late getting
off the ground and the reason why I didn't get any little
packets of stale pretzels or offered a drink like all
the other passengers. All because I was sitting next to
this person. I suppose I must have been branded a self
important lady too. Even though my cell phone was older
than Moses and I still hadn't figured out how to dial
out yet. (Andy's phone.) Oh, and I didn't have a Blackberry
to pull out like the self important lady did after she
was told to put her cell phone away. Apparently
you're not supposed to use your Blackberry on takeoff
Drat! Blacklisted again.
After the plane got up off the tarmac my aisle mate got
to turn her Blackberry back on and although I had my face
stuffed in a book so as to not be nosy, I was amazed at
the speed with which she did whatever it was that she
was doing with it.
Which brings me back to the piece we watched on the news
tonight. (It's probably a good thing we have news, eh?
I can see a lot of readers of this article sitting back
and going, "It's a good thing they at least
watch the news or they'd really be backwoods hicks!")
They actually showed someone text messaging with their
thumbs and just going at great speed. Andy's first thought
was wondering how many people in our society are going
to end up with carpal tunnel syndrome because of the way
in which people use these items.
Now, I'm not trying to criticize people who use a Blackberry.
Like any good tool, I'm sure they're very useful. But
these are the things that they were screaming about in
the House of Commons on Parliament Hill a while back.
Apparently the Speaker has had to reprimand several of
our MP's (so called representatives of the people) because
they're too busy playing with their Blackberries (That
doesn't sound right, does it?) rather than listening to
what's going on in the House. It's nice to know
that our taxes that pay their wages are going to such
worthy causes such as grocery lists and checking on sports
I'll be the first to admit that I don't know the Blackberry's
capabilities nor even how it works but I'm assuming they
work on the same principle as a Palm Pilot and I found
the one I owned to be a royal pain in the derriere. I
suppose I could do a search to find out everything a Blackberry
does, but since I suspect it has the same requirements
as a cell phone, then they won't work in the Chilcotin.
That means until I need to know what they
can do, I really don't care how they work.
Whatever they do, though, I can't imagine it being so
important as to actually cause people to have nervous
breakdowns. The service was out for a whole day and people
did not know what to do! A psychologist being interviewed
said that the service being out for a day is a good thing
because people who are attached to their Blackberry learn
that they can make it through the day and that they can
survive without it. Another study showed that people who
are taken away from their Blackberry have the same physical
and emotional reaction as a drug addict does to withdrawal
from drugs. Are you kidding me?
Man, we're going down even faster than the Roman
Holy Cow. Really, how long has the Blackberry been around?
How can a large portion of society become so dependent
on a little piece of equipment like that?
You know, I can see that happening with a washing machine
maybe. There's quite a jump between scrubbing an individual
item of clothing on a washboard to dumping it into a machine
and letting it do the work. You're talking a big savings
in time and labor here. Or let's say the difference between
a horse and an automobile. I can definitely see
the dependency on something that will actually get you
to where you want to go fairly quickly without it balking,
bucking, or gassing you every step of the way.
But a Blackberry? Aren't cell phones bad enough? To me,
those items are all tools. They have a use. If I become
so dependent on them that I don't have a life without
them, then I probably need to rethink my priorities. If
the power goes out and I can't work on the computer, I
light some candles and go read a book.
I wonder if anyone knows how to do that anymore? Speaking
of which... One lady being interviewed said that she didn't
need a man around as long as she had her Blackberry.
There goes procreation....
Yet More Trees Down
down another four beetle killed trees today. Actually,
that's not strictly true. Three were beetle killed and
the fourth was green. Normally, we would really hesitate
to drop a green pine tree with no bug holes in it but
calling this one scraggly would be an understatement.
Although quite a tall tree, you could count the number
of branches on it on one hand, and they were all on one
side. A number of large trees had to be cut out of that
area and once they were down you could see this poor,
pathetic thing standing there all by itself. Normally
we would have wished it luck and moved on but it was in
the way of actually being able to do anything with that
spot. In fact, it would seem we have a number of spots
that we can now do something with.
Where parking was at a premium before, it's now just a
matter of choosing where to put some gravel fill. Prior
to this you had to tuck this trailer into this spot between
trees, the backhoe into another, snowmobiles hid under
trees, the canopy had a stand in the trees, the Bobcat
had its own little hidey hole, and so on. No more trees
so no more hidey holes.
Andy pushed up a stump with the Bobcat today to see how
much it would move and it popped right out, so clearing
stumps won't be too painful, hopefully.
Now we walk around looking at where we want to put stuff
without making it look like a mall parking lot. I think
they call it forced landscaping. Mother Nature always
did that for us before and now we're on our own.
Gonna' have to start watching Home and Garden Television
At least we're starting to see the light at the end of
the tunnel and no train coming yet. Knock on wood. We're
still burning like crazy while we can and as long as we
tidy up limbs and needles after each tree we won't have
a big cleanup job to do before forest fire season. There
are only seven trees left to do on our property and three
can't be done until some items are moved. Once done, that
should be a total of ninety-nine trees down on our property,
plus the six or eight just outside our gate and the many
we took down at the other end of the lake. It would be
nice to think the job's done but the beetles will
continue sweeping through year after year until they starve
themselves out, and although they got most of
our trees, they haven't gotten them all....yet.
We walked on the ice out in front of our place this evening
and came across tracks that had to have been made in the
surface slush from the other day. It's hard to be certain
but from the size we figure them to be lynx or otter tracks.
I think they're otter because the toe is more triangular
and we had that otter on the ice right in front of the
house last year because that was the only place that it
was open. He would have been out of luck two days ago
though, because the ice has only just opened up next to
our shore today.
I don't think we'll be seeing an early ice out this
year. The point where the bald eagle likes to
hang out is open, but not clear across to the island as
it usually is by now and other than a couple of small
holes right next to our shoreline, we don't have anything
open near us. The temperature has been getting down below
freezing the last couple of nights so that slows thawing
considerably. There's still enough of a temp. difference
between night and day for the lake to talk though. I
had just stepped outside last night to get some wood to
bank down the wood stove when there was a crack and explosion
that sounded like dynamite going off! If I had
been inside and upstairs I bet I would have felt the house
We're still getting mixed weather as is usual for April.
The sun was shining, and there was high cloud, some hail,
and sometimes a cool breeze. It rained, snowed and hailed
between us and Anahim today but the squalls missed us
for the most part. Looks like warm temperatures for tomorrow
though. I feel for the folks in the east, both in the
States and Canada. They definitely got slammed by the
spring weather demons.
Happy Monday, Folks!
If that doesn't sound like a contradiction in terms!
I'm happy to introduce a brand new listing to the website
today. Chilcotin's Waterfront Resort and Motel has
been around for some time, previously under the name of
The Waterfront and long used as a base of operations for
an air charter service.
Located right on Nimpo Lake with a wonderful view
of the Coast Mountain Range the Waterfront offers a little
bit of everything for everyone. There are six
ground level motel units including one with full kitchen
facilities, three beautiful Pioneer built log chalets,
and six serviced RV sites. They have an extensive docking
system and are located in a very quiet bay on the South
Arm of Nimpo Lake so you can easily tie up your floatplane
or boat. Open year round, the log chalets are a real treat
to stay in with the largest one sleeping six to eight
people so your whole family can be easily accommodated.
Boats and motors are available if you would like to go
fishing or your hosts can help to arrange a flightseeing
or fly out fishing, hiking or canoeing trip. If
you would just like to relax, you have six acres of treed
property to explore or you can sit on the shore, watch
the loons and just look at the view all day. You'll find
contact information for the Waterfront on the Resorts
I'm also delighted to invite Richard and Leah on board
with the listing for The Nimpo Lake General Store.
Located right on Highway 20 in Nimpo, they can provide
you with pretty much everything you need for your Chilcotin
vacation. They have fuel, groceries, ice, fishing
licenses, tackle, hardware, clothing, gifts, books, some
automotive goods, and propane. They are also a
liquor outlet as well as a lottery outlet so you're pretty
much set for bear. Everyone at the store is friendly,
helpful and would be delighted to answer any questions
you may have. You'll find more information for them at
See, I told you we might need that snow shovel again!
It did a little raining and quite a bit of snowing today,
although nothing stuck on the ground. It wasn't that warm
today because there was a chilly little wind blowing,
but Andy still managed to get a few more trees down. I'm
afraid he did it without me though. I was stuck in front
of the computer all day working on a web site design that
I need to get finished. I was trying to make what I had
in my brain translate to the mouse but it wasn't working
worth a darn. Some days go like that.
It was ironic that yesterday's article was so much
about people being positive about the blog and
yet last night I found out that not all is rosy. I had
the unpleasant experience of having to inform the producer
of the local paper that not only is it not kosher to steal
material from my blog for the paper, it is also illegal.
It would seem strange that a 'journalist' would not know
that there are very strict International and Canadian
Laws governing copyrighted material on the Internet, but
to give the benefit of the doubt, I'm going to assume
that the person in this case is simply ill-informed.
I don't have a problem at all with people calling me and
asking if they can use or reprint my photos and articles
and heaven only knows there have been a remarkable
number of people who have generously permitted me the
use of their photos or stories about their visits to the
area. But I try very hard to make sure that the
authors get credit either written into an article, or
when one rolls over a photo with a mouse and at no time
do I profit from that. So I do resent someone profiting
from my work when not only have I not been given credit
for it, but I wasn't even asked if my material could be
used, even though I'm just down the road and a phone call
away. Although, piracy is more common than it should be
on the Internet, you don't normally expect it from someone
in your hometown. In any case, it's one of the few downsides
that I've found to publishing the blog and I'm going to
assume that this problem will not occur again. Certainly
not locally, anyway.
received a delightful surprise this morning. I woke
up to a gift sitting on our dining room table that had
been given to Andy by a couple that live here part time
and were on their way back south. With it was
a beautiful little card thanking me for, of all things,
the blog. I would like to have had the opportunity to
say, "You shouldn't have." but unfortunately,
since I didn't drag my bottom out of bed this morning
early enough, then this is my only opportunity to say
that. I would also like to say, "Thank you very much,
it's a beautiful gift!"
The gift is a heavy metal cast chime and it has all those
little details that I notice when I walk or go skiing,
like the bear tracks, and about which I bore everyone
to tears nearly every article. I really appreciate the
tremendous amount of thought put into choosing it. Thank
you Bob and Karen. It now graces the eave near
our front door so if you ever come looking for it, that's
where you'll find it. I've also heard that you guys have
been telling people about the website and I would like
to thank you for that as well. The more people that know
about our area, the more it helps out our local tourism
Just to point out to everyone that has been really gracious
and thanked me for writing the blog, (Including the recent
note about couriers from the lovely lady in Saskatchewan.)
I really do appreciate your encouragement, but I honestly
have to tell you that sometimes it's a little embarrassing.
For the most part these are just boring stories or inane
weather updates and when so many people tell me that they
read them, I kind of feel, "Man, I better start
checking my spelling and grammar or find something interesting
to write about because these people are actually reading
I can see why folks that only live here part time might
want to check in every once in awhile, just to find out
the news or check on the weather and it's cheaper than
picking up the phone and calling your neighbours all the
time. But even more embarrassing is to find out that local
people are reading the blog. I've asked, "Why
in Heaven's name would you need to read it when you live
here?" This is the answer I got from one
lady a week or so ago, bless her heart. "Oh, it's
really interesting because there's all kinds of stuff
I didn't know about around here. I didn't even know it
existed and now I never miss reading it! I just love it!"
Really? Okay, one of us needs to get a life. And here
I always thought it was me....
Seriously though, thanks everyone, but no more gifts please.
Pass the word on. That's the best gift you could give
to our area right now because we're facing a lot of serious
challenges, especially to the tourism industry. The
Mountain Pine Beetle has definitely caused a lot of devastation
to our area and although I'm hoping our visitors
can look beyond that to the incredible mountains and pristine
lakes, it is still a factor in the viewscape. We are also
seriously threatened by the forest fire danger this summer
and I can only hope it doesn't ruin our tourism season
as it did in the summer of 2004. Our operators run on
a pretty short season and a very tight line as it is,
so a big fire such as the Lonesome Lake Fire would
not be a welcome one as evidenced by the pictures
up on the right taken by the Millers. On the other hand,
if it was further out and not threatening to any structures,
a big fire would be just the ticket right now to revitalize
Our pine tree stands are said to be born of fire, because
the lodgepole pinecone relies on fire to bring enough
heat to the cone for it to open and spew out the seed.
I believe the ash left behind by burned trees and undergrowth
adds nutrients and helps to neutralize the acidic soil.
So forest fires are good, so long as there
are no people around...
We found out what that white bird was that I mentioned
seeing a few days ago and that we've both seen every day
along the road when going out to Nimpo. As close as we
can tell from pictures in the bird book, it's a Snow Bunting.
Also according to the book, those are its summer colors
and this is its winter range. Its summer range is much
farther north and into Alaska so it doesn't make sense
to me, but I guess it doesn't have to. Pretty little thing
though and very determined to stick to its territory.
The bald eagle has been sitting out at the point this
spring for a while now, even though there isn't much open
water there and no other birds. Usually, there's
a Mexican Standoff between Swans, geese, ducks and the
eagle but he owns that real estate so far this year.
Andy went out on Nimpo Lake with his fourwheeler yesterday,
and although he stuck pretty close to shore, he nearly
got stuck. I guess he went through the top layer of ice
almost right off the bat and had to go hell bent for leather
around our peninsula, not daring to slow down, until he
could get back on solid land. It would seem our ice is
rotting from the top down so it'll be interesting to see
when it breaks up this year. I think the earliest we've
ever recorded ice-out in our bay is the 22nd of April
but I would have to check on that.
All I know is that for a short period last night the lake
sounded like nothing I have ever heard before. Actually,
that's not true. It sounded like firecrackers, gunshots
and dynamite going off. Nor did it sound muffled the way
it does sometimes, like far off mortar shells. These little
explosions were right there and loud! I went out
to listen for a few moments and the dog and two of the
cats were lined up on the lawn listening to these explosions.
It was the funniest thing you ever saw. I went out to
listen a little while later and the sounds were a lot
fewer, and shortly after that, the lake pretty much quit
talking. The only thing that I think could have happened
was that all that slush on top of the ice was suddenly
freezing and cracking because we'd had a fairly sharp
drop in temperature just after midnight. Or some cracks
opened up, draining water on the surface of the lake,
and the remainder was freezing and cracking really rapidly.
It seemed awfully loud to be surface ice, though. But
it's anyone's guess.
I've started a new week so you'll have to go to April,
Week Two for last week's
The purpose of this web site is to draw attention to a
remote area of west central British Columbia. It is a
beautiful area that relies heavily on tourism. The search
engines don't know much about the West Chilcotin, Anahim
Lake, Nimpo Lake or any of the other small communities
in the region and I hope to change that! Even as large
as this site will eventually be, there just isn't enough
room or time in the day to fully describe this incredible
country but I am going to try scraping away at the tip
of the iceberg, so join me!
the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!