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 - August, Week 1/2008
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
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'Lake Monsters' about the
go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.
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Check out the Picture
of the Day.
some bad air quality today and apparently it is
the smoke from California's fires that we're seeing. I
actually had a call from a couple of people last night
wondering where the fire was. The Cariboo Fire Center
couldn't pinpoint anything even though they were looking,
but given how heavy the haze becomes the later in the
day it gets, it's no surprise. I sympathize with
their people in their bird dogs and lookout stations.
It probably seems as though they're looking down on a
fog layer and unless you had a smoke plume or some really
big flames penetrate that layer, I don't think they've
a snowball's chance in hell of seeing a small fire. Or
a large one for that matter.
My favorite weatherman commented this morning that
the haze everyone was seeing in Vancouver was high altitude
smoke from the California wildfires. Since Vancouver
is at sea level, I suppose it might be high altitude for
them. But for us at over 3600 feet, it's
right on the deck, and we can see the smoke between us
and the island or far shore and the mountains are all
but obscured again this evening. Other than the difficulty
it's causing the Fire Center, it's okay with me. It
just amazes me that we can be so affected by a fire two
and a half States and half a province away. It
just goes to show you that countries that don't clean
up their act regarding air pollution in the next half
century are capable of affecting every corner of the world
with their poor air quality.
Speaking of which...it would seem that China has
failed their air quality test. While their testers
claimed an 88 today, an independent Canadian air test
put it at 100. So not only did they not keep their promise
when they made a bid for the Olympics regarding cleaning
up their air pollution (not to mention improving on their
human rights record, which they have not) but they are
lying about the air quality results. Is anyone surprised?
No, I didn't think so. I just feel really bad for the
poor athletes that have to breathe that stuff. And I'm
sorry Mr. and Mrs. Media, but I don't figure our Prime
Minister has to go the Olympics any more than I do. So
get off his back! Tthere may be things I don't like about
Stephen Harper, but to give him credit, he doesn't
pander to China like so many of the gutless puddles of
gel that lead other countries that not only pander
to China but would end up with broken noses if the leader
of that country ever stopped too quickly.
There were two bears shot in two days in the same
general area of Coquitlam down on the Lower Mainland.
For anyone that didn't see the news item, a woman was
mauled in her back yard while gardening and is in serious
condition. The bear was shot. Today a golfer watched a
large cinnamon colored bear climb through a window into
a basement suite and then back out a little later. He
climbed up a tree and when shot, charged officers so they
finally killed him. Apparently he had been a menace in
that neighbourhood for some time, so no loss there.
According to conservation officers, there just isn't
a lot of food in the bush for the bears this year and
so they're coming into town where there is garbage,
bird feeders and in the case of the renter in the basement
suite, groceries newly bought and sitting on his counter.
With an open window and the smell of food, why wouldn't
the bear help himself? Well actually, most wouldn't. Most
fear people but this one had been around for some time
and no longer had a fear of man.
One thing that PO'd me about the news item about
the woman that was mauled was that the commentator
stated there was no such thing as a predator bear that
eats humans, and so that was not the reason it was in
her garden. I have no idea why the bear was in her garden
other than she had peanuts and seeds out for birds which
is a draw, but there is no doubt in my mind that
there is such a thing as a predator bear. Too
many studies of too many predatory bear attacks show that
there are indeed bears that deliberately hunt and eat
humans for food. Not to mention people that I have known
personally that have had their encounters of bears stalking
them. Check out Encounter
with Bears where I did a series on
what I consider to be the three types of bear and the
danger that each brings with it. Most of that third week
of September is about the bears and then if you go on
to the fourth week, you'll find the next two articles.
Today we got lucky with our weather. While it was supposed
to change, and we did get some clouds, it was still in
the 70's today and there was a warm wind. There have been
a few big, puffy thunderheads building in the direction
of Prince George and Williams Lake and I suspect they'll
get the worst of the dry lightning storms. There is a
system moving in from the south, and another low moving
in from the west due to hit the coast tonight or tomorrow.
Those two fronts colliding could definitely cause
It was too hot to go for a long walk with the dogs today
so we went fishing all afternoon instead. We didn't get
so much as a hint of a bite until we entered our little
back bay. Then I had a big one shake himself loose, we
each scored some bites, a couple little ones that we threw
back, and we each brought in a nice one. I would
have liked more than two fish because we were going to
be doing some experimenting, but two worked. We
both wanted to learn how to fillet trout and since we
knew our inexperience would probably create waste, we
figured we just might need more than two fish to get a
meal, but it actually worked out quite well. There was
some meat left on the bones that we cooked up for the
cats, but our fillets did turn out to be
quite respectable looking. I expect we'll get better with
practice. One great thing about being out on the lake
is the different perspective. And you can get some
really great shots of floatplanes taking off,
of which there were actually quite a few today.
I went for a walk tonight and scared up three baby grouse
but no sign of our local bear. I think he might be around
though the way the dogs were sniffing in places. I did
meet a young couple with a baby in one of those open topped
Rangers on the back trail that looked surprised to see
us. I suppose they thought they were on Safari and might
see wild animals. Perhaps in the interest of tourism,
the dogs and I should be dressed up as three bears and
a moose or something. Wouldn't our wildlife get
a kick out of that! The squirrels would laugh themselves
Four Day Run
everyone. Sorry about not writing yesterday but I was
outside all day. Four days in a row now that we've
had clear skies and scorching weather. And I'm
still loving it! It's getting a little harder to keep
the house cool but fortunately last night it dropped down
to 6C or about 41F degrees so it was cool enough in the
house this morning that the furnace kicked in. As long
as it keeps cooling down quite a bit at night, hot weather
can go on forever and it never gets that uncomfortable
in the house. It's when it stays warm through the night
and it's windless that the house can get pretty hot after
a week or two of warm weather. But we haven't seen weather
like that since the summer of the Lonesome Lake Fire in
It got up to 27.5C or well over 80F yesterday out
here, but it was a whole lot warmer in town! Andy
had to go into Williams Lake yesterday and it ranged from
34C or 90F to 37C or over 95F. Since he had the pup with
him for a vet appointment, he actually had to ask them
to keep her for the afternoon while he went for an appointment
of his own. It was just too hot to leave her in the back
of the truck, even if it does have a canopy.
Today a breeze came up and a lot of smoke moved
in over the mountains and even between us and
the shore on the other side of the lake. Even though this
was supposed to be the hottest day, I think that the haze
was the reason it wasn't for us. I'm not sure where the
smoke came from but I do know our weather is coming in
from the south right now. My Mom in Hood River, Oregon
was commenting that they couldn't see a thing because
of the smoke coming in from the forest fires in California.
The last time she said that, we were blanketed in smoke
as well. I don't know if it's coincidence, or if it's
actually possible that we would get California smoke.
More likely that it's a fire somewhere within 300
miles or so of us. However, Andy was talking to
my sister yesterday who works up at the Caribou Fire Center
and they had nothing for fires in the region up until
that point, anyway. That may not last for long since they're
predicting lightening storms in a couple of days. In any
case, wherever the smoke is coming from, it's moving fast.
We've gone from only a light haze in front of the
mountains this morning to where you can barely make out
their outline this evening.
The smoke must be keeping the temperature up as well.
It's nine o'clock, the sun has just gone down, there's
still a breeze, and it's still 21C or about 70F degrees.
That's pretty darn warm for this time of night. We've
been visiting our neighbours out on the deck this evening
and it's been quite warm and pleasant. Oh, and not a mosquito
in sight but then we're only a few feet away from the
mosquito magnet. However, in the shade today, especially
on the trail in the woods in damp areas, the mozzies
were definitely still alive and well. Judging
from the way water levels are dropping in all of the meadows
and just as they are drying up, I suspect the last larvae
on the ground is hatching out and that's where this last
blast of mosquitoes is coming from. Unless it turns rainy,
this should be the last of any numbers of them.
We saw a strange sight this evening. Having
returned from the other end of the lake we were nearly
home on our road when we passed a female, presumably tourist,
walking at a good rate along our road outfitted in the
standard exercise gear, including spandex type leggings.
But what got us was the earphones in her ears and Ipod
or some sort of player in her hand. We both had to kind
of wonder at that.
I always thought that if you went into nature, even
for exercise, you might want to hear nature. I
guess we're kind of weird. When we take the dogs for a
walk on the road and in the woods, it's not just for their
benefit, it's for our exercise as well. But while doing
so, we like to listen to the birds, the loons, watch for
hawks, their kills, and tracks and other sign of all our
local creatures. And whether there is a bear around
or not, I definitely don't have music plugging my ears.
At the gym, yes. Here, no. Since this particular visitor
probably came from the resort on our road, I'm surprised
the owner wouldn't have warned her that there is a bear
around as there often is. He has a pit in which he disposes
of fish skins and such and to which the bears have beat
a regular path over the years. In fact, one of our neighbours
that has been around for years has always called it the
bear path. I'm cautious when I go by it and our dogs have
strayed down there for the odd piece of skin of their
own, but that's often the spot where they get most excited
over scent on the trail. So walking just a few hundred
yards from there without the ability to hear doesn't make
sense to me. But then, I've probably done foolish
things in other people's territory that they know well,
and about which I have no clue. So I guess I have to give
the visitor the benefit of the doubt. Still.....
Just one last thing. We got a chance to check out a new
little eatery in Anahim Lake tonight. It's Donna's Place
across from Mclean's Trading and with seating for only
16 people it's not large, but you can always do take out
as we did. We took our burgers down to the North
end of Nimpo Lake and had them on the ramp while watching
a loon fish. They were homemade and excellent
as were the onion rings. Since those were pretty good
we'll check out something else next time. So if you're
in the neighbourhood and wanting a short order meal, we
can certainly recommend what we've eaten so far. Besides,
it's always nice to see some more variety in the area.
Whee! We had one heck of a hot day today and it's
supposed to be hotter yet tomorrow and Wednesday.
Blue, blue sky with nary a cloud today and just enough
breeze to keep it from being miserable. I don't know what
it got up to today but even at 8:00 tonight it's still
over 22C or about 75F degrees. The one weather man that
I like that's sometimes on TV when the regular dip is
away is an actual meteorologist and seems to be bang on
when it comes to the weather most of the time. He indicated
that some hot spots in BC might hit 40C or 105 degrees
Fahrenheit by Wednesday. That's pretty high for
anywhere in this province. But that's okay. Bring it on!
I love it! Even if I did end up with a bit of a headache
from being out in the sun too much today. I'll take the
sun and the heat over anything else any
day. It must come from being born in Arizona.
At least everything around here has perked right up and
started growing. Between that little mini heat wave from
over a week ago, and this one, we might actually be able
to claim we're having a summer. My veggies finally woke
up and it looks like I might actually have a cucumber
big enough to eat sometime in the next week or two, and
I've been speaking encouraging words to my zucchini every
day. We had a nice feed of Swiss Chard last night cooked
up with side pork similar to the way my Dad used to make
it......mmmm. Dietary too!
Andy looked up some search terms for this site on two
main search engines tonight and it looks like the
thief that stole my site (last week's blog) is starting
to drop in the search results. Thank heavens.
Maybe there's some justice after all. It would seem that
those two engines have responded to the copyright complaints
faxed to them. Hopefully he'll continue to drop right
out of sight. I'll give it another few days and then do
checks on all the search engines I sent letters to for
my test keywords. Even if I do get rid of him completely,
it will still have cost me time and made him money in
the past year. But the upside is that I've learned a very
valuable lesson. Stay more alert and do more regular checks
on the 'Net to see if anyone has duplicated my content.
It sounds like the Charlotte Lake Days have gone
really well and it turns out that our Richard
from up at the store is an eagle eyed sharp shooter when
it comes to the clay shoot. Even though he's never shot
'pigeons' before. I think we're going to have to take
that boy hunting this fall! He sure is amazing. He'd only
ever been on a snowmachine once before buying one last
winter, and he was already a better rider than most of
us by the first trip up Trumpeter, and his girlfriend
is very nearly as good.
It must be nice to be young with a good sense of balance,
fast reflexes, and muscles that still work the way they're
supposed to. I wouldn't know about the first because
I can trip over the pattern in the rug, and my
muscles stopped working the way they're supposed to a
long, long time ago. They complain bitterly to me every
day, especially on a day like today where I'm working
outside the whole time.
I had to laugh reading an article last night where a doctor
indicated that the best way to avoid arthritis is to avoid
injuring your joints when young. Yeah, right. We're all
invincible when we're young, remember? Even if I had
believed a doctor that said that, it still would not have
stopped me from beating up my body throughout my youth,
nor would it any other person under 30. Beating up your
body is what you do when you're young. Have fun
now, pay later. Jeez, that's kind of like the
North American consumer philosophy of the past decade
and look where that got us!
long weekend to those of you still celebrating British
Columbia's 150th birthday. I can't imagine anyone
complaining about today at all. It was absolutely breathtaking
with blue skies and warm temperatures. A big high pressure
system has moved in and parked off the coast bringing
really nice weather for the next few days.
We were supposed to clear out yesterday but it was a pretty
iffy day until around supper time when the weather actually
smartened right up. Which was kind of nice because we
were having friends over for barbecue and planned on eating
outside. It worked out really nicely, actually.
That bit of rain I talked about on Thursday evening
turned into an all night drizzle that amounted to 2 1/2
cm (25mm) or a full inch of rain. And man, did
we need it! It just perked things right up and aside from
clearing the air, it just cleaned up everything. All the
vegetation looks bright, fresh, and green again instead
of just plain dusty. It was pretty cool that night and
since I didn't know it was going to rain all night, I
covered my veggies, that's how cold it was. As a result
that same rain dropped fresh snow on the mountains. Of
course it had melted by afternoon, but still....Snow
on the mountains on the first of August!
In any case, the rain was a blessing because it looks
like we're going to heat up for a few days so at least
now the chances of a forest fire have been reduced.
Our neighbours went out fishing today and caught a whole
mess of huge fish, so we've got to get our
butts out there! I wouldn't have thought the fishing would
be as good as it was in today's heat, but on this lake,
sometimes I think you can get fish just about anytime.
Has anyone noticed that the Canadian Time Magazine
has become extremely weenie? Or is it just me?
My Mom happened to have one in her truck that she gave
me before heading south again. It felt awfully light but
I thought maybe they had gone to a thinner paper. Of course
it went into our favorite reading room and I was really
enjoying it because politically, it's current and I like
keeping up on stuff. It's pretty hard to keep up on anything
about the rest of the world on our BC news stations because
of the drivel they consider to be news. I couldn't
believe it when I reached the end of the magazine. It
was like....hey?? Where did the rest of the magazine go?
When did Time become less than a third as thick as it
used to be?
My parents always subscribed to Time, Newsweek, National
Geographic and USA Today. So in my school years, whenever
I had an essay or report to write, I could pretty much
cover any subject between those four magazines. Since
I used them so much for research right from the time I
was in elementary school, none were ever thrown out and
so I had years and years of valuable material to
draw from. We had both Encyclopedia Britannia
and an American Encyclopedia set of course, but the magazines
couldn't be beat for current events. Besides, they had
pictures that I could cut out. Trust me, once my
father found one small square cut out of an encyclopedia,
that was the end of that!
I'm sure my teachers would have been heartily glad if
my parents had never subscribed to anything more than
TV Guide. Sometimes the look of horror on their faces
would be priceless as I turned in yet another 5000 word
essay for marking. Often they asked for only 500 words
but if they asked for 2500 words or more....yee haw!!
I could really get rolling on that!
Every new teacher I ever got always asked me to bring
in my research material listed at the back of each essay,
but they only ever did it once. The
day after the request I would lug in my encyclopedias
if used, and all the magazines with pages carefully marked.
I know that each and every one was certain I had copied
my report directly from a source, but plagiarism was a
no no in my family. You read all of the research material,
absorbed it, closed up the books unless quoting statistical
information, and then you wrote your report,
presumably with a full understanding of what you wrote.
I assume the new teacher had to wade through all of the
research material and then my essay, and
there is no question that they would have realized exactly
where I got my material from, but they wouldn't have been
able to find a single copied sentence. So as I said, the
teachers only ever made that mistake once. After
that, I'm not sure that many of them even read my essays.
Especially after I would come back with a dictionary and
correct their corrections of my spelling because I spelled
better than most of them as well. I think I just got an
automatic A for effort. With the exception of one teacher.
He was my teacher for several subjects in high school
including History, English, Earth sciences, Geography,
Geology and Economics. I know he read them because we
always got into discussions or debates over the subject
in the report. He was the best teacher I ever had.
And yes, I can see you guys sniggering into the
palm of your hands going "Geeeez....She still writes
too much but at least now we know where all of the long
winded verbiage comes from." It's true, I
know. However, the difference between you folks and my
teachers in the past is that you can skip over the boring
parts. You have to feel kinda sorry for my past teachers.....
Anyway, back to the question at hand. When the heck
did Time Magazine go on a diet? Actually, that's not a
diet, that's anorexic! I couldn't have written
a one liner for a school report much less an essay based
on the Time that I just read. Most of the information
comes in the form of a paragraph, or short article only
a page long. Man, I remember wading through pages and
pages of heavy prose, trying as a twelve year old to understand
what the journalist was talking about. Now, it seems as
though the journalists are writing for simple minded twelve
year olds. Not that I mind that part at all. If there's
another poor nerd out there dragging 5000 word essays
into their teacher in this day and age, then by all means,
at least let the research material be easy to understand.
Boy, all I can say is how the mighty have fallen.
I used to really look up to that magazine. You know? It
was kind of like the New York Times. It had clout! Now?
I'm pretty sure I can find more, and possibly better information
in the National Enquirer. I wonder if that's how the editors
of the newspapers of a 100 years ago felt when the public
fell head over heels in love with the trashy Western dime
novels of the day. And I wonder if this is a sign of things
to come. There's so much news and information on the Internet,
perhaps printing anything in a magazine is just a formality
now. Tsk. Tsk.
You'll find last week's articles are at July
Week Three .
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!