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Wilderness Adventures - April, Week 1/2006

This 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 the smog!
If 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 Picture of the Day.

06/04/2006 5:33 PM

Quick Thursday

At least I think that's what day it is. This is going to be a very short article today. I've had my bottom glued to this office chair all day trying to change some of the html coding on these pages, most particularly the property for sale pages, of which there will now be two. Unfortunately, hand coding pages always reminds me of math in school. Think algebra and you'll have a pretty good idea of what I mean. It's a good thing I'm slightly better at this than I ever was at algebra. I remember my father trying to drill into my head...what you do unto the one side, you must do unto the other...Anyone remember that drill? I never did learn it but it actually does apply in an abstract way to hand coding a web site.
In the meanwhile, me and my poor back would really have rather gone for a walk in the woods than be compressed in a chair all day. The morning was absolutely glorious. The kind that makes you want to be out gardening or raking or something. The day deteriorated though and it's back to a blustery spring afternoon. The red-winged blackbirds have started to show up at the bird feeder and are sharing it with the Chickadees. It's about time. I was beginning to think my neighbour had lured them all away with something really delicious!
I need to make a correction for the lot listed down below that overlooks Nimpo Lake. It is not a 10 acre parcel, but a 7 acre one. That means that there are about 4 to 5 acres on the lake side and 2 to 3 on the other side of the highway. Both new properties will be listed on the properties for sale page, as soon as I have the format changed. Hopefully, that will all be done tonite. Tomorrow or Saturday, I'll try to start a new week. That way I can put some new pictures on the right. But for now, enjoy the
Picture of the Day .
Oh glory! Now I can't upload this to the server. Isn't that nice? And here I was just telling a fellow yesterday how super my web hosting people were. I'll try it another way I guess. Wish me luck.

05/04/2006 12:16 PM

Commercial Property Nimpo Lake

There are two other properties that we walked yesterday. Neither is officially for sale yet but as soon as the owners come up with a price, it will give people something to work from.
One is a about a 10 acre parcel high on a bench above Nimpo Lake with waterfront on the west side and Highway frontage on the east side. Actually, about 2 to 3 acres is on the other side of Highway 20 and may be subdividable from the larger part. It may also be possible to have that smaller parcel rezoned to commercial. This could be of benefit down the road should one want to set up a business right on the highway.
The acreage has a beautiful view of lake and mountains, but the best building spots are quite a way above the lake and access to the lake is steep. There is a cabin on the property, but while the exterior seems to be in good shape, the interior would have to be cleaned up and it wouldn't hurt to put a tin roof on the place. Or just tear it down and build a house. The property is quite private with only a small cabin on the next property over. There is no well and no electricity into the property. There is electricity at the highway.
The second property is approximately a 3 acre lot fronting right on Highway 20 in Nimpo Lake zoned commercial and has an excellent building spot for a business. There is only one business establishment before it from the south so there's lots of potential.
Access off and onto the highway would be safe with a clear line of vision, and of course your business would be in a pretty high profile position, especially since it is located directly across from the Nimpo Lake public beach access and boat launch.
Today is another sunny, bright day with warm temperatures and the snow is melting fast! We're starting to see more aquatic bird life move in. I noticed that the ducks like to stay pretty close to the Trumpeter Swans. They're a very large bird and probably provide some element of protection, particularly from bald eagles.
I've gotten to thinking that since I have so many great pictures from Bill and Anita of the area, as well as a quite a few of my own, that I might set up a separate 'picture of the day' page. Page load is such a severe limitation, especially for dial up access to the Internet, that I hesitate to overload this blog page. And many of the pictures are beautiful in their entirety, but I usually have to cut them down so that their subject is recognizable in the space I have to the right for pictures. My only concern of course, is copyright protection. Although I can protect the images somewhat from being copied, it's difficult to protect them completely. For my own pictures, it isn't really that important if someone somewhere in the world wants to make use of them. I just worry about someone else's contribution being snapped up. But we'll try it out on a trial basis and see what happens.
So here goes. The new
Picture of the Day page. One word of warning, the page might be a bit slow loading on dial up because I wanted to keep the images larger. Any feedback would be appreciated and of course any image contributions would be great!
04/04/2006 4:02 PM

More Property For Sale

We spent a good part of the day walking some properties on Nimpo Lake that are or will be for sale. We again walked the twelve acre parcel on the south end of the lake to find all the property lines and try to determine a price for the owner. It's definitely a beautiful piece of property, with several benches and lots of private building sites which is a real plus if it's subdivided. The one thing that really sets this piece apart from most in the area is that the majority of trees are spruce, so the property will be affected very little by the Mountain Pine Beetle. There is quite a nice little chunk of meadow on the other side of the road still attached to this piece that would make for a great horse pasture and since the BC Hydro and phone lines go the length of the property, it wouldn't be any problem at all to get electricity into any new building spot.
The house is about 32' X 32' with full electrical service, two bedrooms and two three piece bathrooms downstairs with finished kitchen and living area. The upstairs is not yet finished but it too has a bathroom and the wiring is in place for a full kitchen and washer and dryer should someone decide to put a fully rentable suite upstairs. If not, then you would have a very large master bedroom with sitting area and a smaller, second bedroom. So in all, there are four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
Electric heat, wood stove, side by side fridge, heated pantry, electric stove, double sink and large island. There are a lot of building materials included, including T-1 siding that hasn't been put on the house. There is also a very large, secure storage shed and an excellent artisian well.
Nearby is a 20'X24' log cabin with wall to wall front sliding glass doors, two bedroom and one bathroom plus sleeping loft. Kitchen, sitting area and wood stove.
Perk tests, etc. have already been done on the property and should a new owner wish to subdivide, it divides into five lots with all lots having substantial and accessible lake frontage since the property levels off down to the lake shore. For a map of the property you can go to the Properties for Sale page.
I think that this would be an ideal property for a group of friends, possibly for recreational purposes, and then eventually for each member of the group to subdivide out and build. Between the two houses, you could easily sleep six couples and more, and buying as a group or corporation would make it a more attractive and affordable proposition.
We were actually supposed to walk this site a while back to help determine a price to be put on it. The market in Nimpo Lake was not only strong but one of the few places in British Columbia where land prices were going up when throughout the province nothing was selling and land prices had been stagnant for some time.
For the last couple of years the province has seen a real boom in its economy and real estate prices have been climbing steadily and are finally catching up to pricing here while property here has not been selling recently. This is because several factors caused boom prices on Nimpo Lake that no longer exist. The American dollar was worth almost twice as much as the Canadian dollar and so land was quite cheap for Americans to buy. And buy they did, paying top dollar and building some pretty spectacular places on them. This in turn drove up tax assessment values which in turn made everyone with property think their chunk of real estate was worth a lot more than the market would bear. The other problem of course is that no one is ever in a hurry to sell around here and so they slap a high price on if it is sells, great, if not, good. Let's go fishing!
I firmly believe that if you have a reasonable price on your property, and market it, you will sell it. Both my partner and I were in real estate and that's pretty much the rule of thumb. The stickler is determining price. Normally, that isn't all that hard to do when there are properties that have sold recently that you might use for market comparison. There are certain formulas you use to add and subtract values depending on what a property does, or does not have. Unfortunately, it's pretty tough to do a market comparison when nothing in the area has sold for some time.
So, no price yet, but coming soon hopefully!
Since I took up so much time on this one property, I'll have to touch on the other two tomorrow.
Oh yeah, and one more picture on the top right just to show you that snowmobiling can be fun. It isn't all about being stuck!

03/04/2006 5:41 PM

It's Christmas In April!

I opened up Bill and Anita's package to us today and I feel like a kid in a candy store! Wow.
These are the folks from Quesnel that we went snowmobiling with a couple of weeks ago up on Trumpeter Mountain. They were kind enough to send down a great set of snowmobiling gloves for me (you guys are just way too observant), and a cd of pictures that we had admired in their photo album as well as new ones taken on their trip down to Nimpo Lake.
About all I can say is that many of the photos are absolutely stunning! The big problem now is selecting the ones to use on this blog because of course, I want to use them all. Unfortunately, the vagaries of the Internet being what it is, I don't want to slow the page load time down too much, so I'll have to be patient. I've already taken out two pics from the bottom to make room for these today.
Bill & Anita sent down pictures of our ride up on Trumpeter as well as their rides in the Rainbows with their friends. There are some 'stuck' pictures and since those are always my favorite (especially if it wasn't me!) expect to see a few of those posted here starting today. There are some beautiful pictures of Bella Coola, Chilko Lake, Atnarko and Chilcotin River, breathtaking photos of Odegard Falls and some super pics of the top of Perkins Peak in summer, as well as fantastic Nimpo Lake pictures from this last Christmas. So expect to see some really great pictures for the rest of this year because not only do these sharpshooters have a super camera, they both apparently have an excellent eye for subject arrangement and definitely get closer to the local wildlife than I do!
My top favorite right now is of the snow lady on the right. Bill and Anita told us they had left us a gift on the way to Trumpeter Mountain but for the last couple of weeks we've been unable to get back up there. Logan told us the other night that their group came across this 'anatomically' correct snowperson (his discreet description of the lady in question) on the way to the mountain and wondered how it had 'grown' there. Isn't she great? I sincerely hope no one takes offense at this picture as it's all in fun, but if you do, let me know!
The two guys on the front of the stuck snowmobile are using the 'Snowbunje' on the front of the machine to pull it out of the snow. There's a great deal of flex or stretch in the cords of this pulling rope so it helps to 'snap' a machine loose. Bill demonstrated the use of one to us while we were up riding one day. It convinced us to purchase two of them.
Another set of Bill and Anita's pictures are of Trumpeter Swans floating in what looks to be a half frozen river surrounded by hoarfrosted bushes. The full pictures are just beautiful, with every shade of white. Unfortunately, allowable space of only 175 pixels wide on the right means many of the pictures have to be cut down in order to see any detail or even recognize what's in a pic.
Anyway, hope you enjoy these pics of the Chilcotin as much as I for the next year or so. And thanks again to Bill and Anita from Quesnel!

02/04/2006 4:57 PM

Why Not Take A Plane To Lunch?

Other people drive cars for a lunch out. Why not drive a plane to Sunday lunch? Only in Nimpo you say?
Well, maybe.
A pretty little plane that I haven't seen before landed over in front of the The Dean on Nimpo and the Waterfront just on our side of the ice road. A couple of people got out and walked over in the direction of one of the two resorts. Presumably to go for lunch at Pilots. Kind of neat when you think about it. When they left they flew south so I don't know where they came from or where they were headed to. Williams Lake or Vancouver maybe.
Terry flew over a little while later to take a look at it and probably at its registration. Flying conditions seem to have been pretty nice the last few days with a high ceiling and good visibility because there have been a few pilots with planes on skiis out playing around.
A large work party of local people and business owners got together today to do some brushing and cleanup along the highway into Nimpo Lake. This is the second Sunday in a row and the turn-out just gets better and better. It's an excellent time of year for this because with lots of snow on the ground, small brush piles can be burned with little danger.
The first Robins have arrived, so in their opinion, it must be spring. Except that I don't know what they plan on eating. It's gotta be pretty tough to pull a worm out of frozen ground. And although the pictures might not show it, there's a a nice, bright white, fresh layer of snow on all the surrounding mountains.
Picked up the pictures from our friends in Quesnel this afternoon, but haven't had a chance to take a look at them yet. I look forward to seeing what they sent us. I might have to separate these articles by the day rather than the week if it's too hard to choose between pictures!
I'm still trying to find out the dates for some of the events that will be going on this spring. We should have the waterskipping races sometime in the next month or two. (For anyone that doesn't know what that is about, it's racing snowmobiles on open water! Check out the Events page) The canoe races happen shortly after that. That involves canoeing down the Dean River from the outlet at Nimpo Lake to the Stampede grounds in Anahim Lake, and it ain't as easy as it sounds!!
01/04/2006 5:14 PM

April Fool's!

Happy first day of April and welcome to a new week!
This is going to be very short and sweet because we're having dinner guests tonite.
It must have been a great day for flying because both Duke and Terry were up with their ski planes today.
The owner of The Country Inn in Nimpo Lake sent me a picture of his Dodge Stealth parked out on the ice road on Nimpo Lake. He thought, correctly, that we really do have a unique situation here for this far south with our ice road. Ice roads are far more common further north and some communities depend entirely on them for hauling all their materials, fuel, and freight for the entire year in the few short months that their ice roads are viable.
Our ice road exists largely in thanks to Terry B. who tests, then plows the ice roads on Nimpo Lake as soon as the ice is thick enough. Sometimes I think he pushes the limit a little there, but...
He usually is also responsible for maintaining the roads through snow fall and drifting. He does this entirely free of charge without thanks from any of us. I really think we need to rectify that.
From the main ice roads Terry or the owner of properties will then plow ice rinks and 'driveways' to the ice road so that the whole lake ends up being this network of 'suburbia' all winter. Well, not really but with a little imagination....
Because of the ice road, especially this year when there was quite a bit more snow and it was hard to negotiate, more areas on the lake are accessible, both to people ice fishing as well as walking and for bikers and cross country skiers. And of course, how many people get to drive a high performance sports car over a large lake to go home every night from work, or maybe just for a little ice fishing!
Our ice road from here to the Nimpo boat ramp has deteriorated mightily and we're about done driving on it, although it didn't stop our company who were coming down from the other end of the lake at all. I like driving the gravel road this time of year though. The bird life is really starting to pick up now and today the ice sheets on the Dean River, the outlet of Nimpo Lake, were loaded with Canada Geese and ducks. Unusual as it is for this late in the year, the water off the point is not yet opened up, so the birds are very limited on where they can go. I sure wish I'd had my camera with me, because it would have made a delightful picture.
Explain to me how two totally different species, ducks and geese, can be so crowded in together you would hardly know they weren't all the same if there wasn't such a vast size difference, and getting along just fine.
Then explain to me how the same species, Americans and Iraqis, can't get along, much less share the same chunk of ice. Oh well, enough philosophy for the day. Gotta Go.
Last week's stories, including the excellent 'stuck' Randy are at March Week Three Wilderness Adventures and I understand that there are some great pics from Bill and Anita sitting over at the restaurant that I want to get tomorrow and post here.

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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!

Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
Snowmobiles lined up
Three men getting a snowmobile unstuck.
Trumpeter swans.
Parked plane.
Super Cub flies over plane on Nimpo Lake.
Plane flying over mountains.
Car parked on ice.
Blue and white plane on skiis.
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