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 2/2008
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read stories like
'Lake Monsters' about the
go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.
Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture
of the Day.
Ghosts from the Past
had the unique pleasure of meeting a couple of fellows
from Rimarko's past today. I actually posted a
story from John Wilson a little while back when he described
how he and his friend Blair Gough looked after Rimarko
Ranch in the summer of 1977. It sounds like they had a
lot of fun playing around with machinery, horses, etc.
until Chalmers Morris came up and actually put them to
work for their wages. If you didn't get a chance to read
the article you'll find it halfway down the page on the
July 11 posting at July
John and Blair arrived in our yard today with photo album
in hand and kindly loaned me the old pictures for scanning
while they went to visit Rimarko Ranch on Charlotte Lake
for the afternoon. I loaned them my digital camera and
promised to put the pictures on CD for them in return
for using them here. I look forward to posting both
the old pictures, some of which have quite a story behind
them, and the new. Which unfortunately show the
slow deterioration of the once great lodge and ranch.
Both men have promised to send me stories about their
stay there in 1977 when they get home. I look forward
to it. I especially appreciate meeting people that read
the blog and that have a story to tell about the Chilcotin.
They've also indicated that they are going to contact
their old boss and show him the pictures of the place.
It would be fun to hear what transpires. Thanks guys!
Today was a beautiful day, although it got a little toasty.
I got stuck inside for part of the day but I hope to be
outside all day tomorrow. However, once the weather turns,
posts may be few and far between. I just got handed a
pile of work to do for the local tourism association but
I'll let you know when it happens.
Last night's meteor shower was a bit of a disappointment.
I got very comfortable with my warmed towel and hot drink
on a lounger, but haze in the east blocked that horizon.
I did see a few, one a bright pink one, but they were
faint, and short-lived. Nothing like the spectacle
of the night before. The moon is pretty high and
bright now too, so the light no doubt interfered a bit.
Still, I'm sure it was better than if one lived in the
city and anytime you can be outside on a beautiful night
here doing a little stargazing, you've been blessed with
It's pretty late so I'll keep this short but I will
try to get a picture of the day up.
managed to get outside last night after ten to see if
we could see any meteors. Like any female, cold just automatically
graduates to my bottom end so I grabbed a bath towel just
warm out of the dryer and got comfy on a lawn chair with
a hot drink. We hadn't been outside for but moments
when this spectacular multi-tailed meteor went streaking
right overhead. Man, was it fast! Which is why
I can only say it was multi-tailed tailed rather than
say for certainty that it had at least three tails on
it. It was neat!
Unfortunately, that was the only humdinger during our
stay outside, which admittedly, wasn't long. It gets cold
at night in the Chilcotin and while the clear air makes
for fantastic star watching, the cold air does not! We
did see several small meteors streaking quickly across
the eastern horizon, but most were small and dim.
Nothing like that first one. Still, that first one made
it all worthwhile!
I'm not sure if we'll be doing any star gazing tonight.
There's some heavy cloud out there but some clear spots
too. If it follows the usual pattern around here, it will
clear off tonight. It's just a matter of when. It wasn't
much of a day today. Pretty cloudy and a little breezy.
It got nice enough to take the dogs for a walk later this
afternoon and was a pleasant temperature for working outside.
Andy dug out some more stumps with the Bobcat so we had
a pickup load of roots to clean up.
Naturally, when you have a root hogging pup around,
that job takes a lot longer. I don't know why
she has such a thing for tree roots, and the longer the
better, but I had to fight her for every root that I pulled
out of the soil. If I didn't get it out and up in the
air out of the reach of those teeth quick enough, she'd
grab it out of my hands and take off with it to stow at
her dog house with the rest of the roots she had won.
I literally had to dive on roots to keep them from her,
and if I beat her to one and threw it up into the back
of my pickup, it better be out of reach. Pup or not, she
would stand on the bumper and reach up to snag the root
over the tailgate and take off with it. So whenever she
wasn't looking, I would sneak over to her stash,
grab the roots and toss them into the back of the truck.
She would just start building it up all over again but
I figured if I had to do the same job twice, she did too.
Surprisingly, once Andy got down to about two feet below
the surface of the soil, the clay underneath was not wet.
Some of it was barely damp but a lot was dust. Amazing
when you consider that it just absorbed three inches of
rain. It just goes to show you how dry we actually were
there for a while, even though we had a cool spring and
Just found out that a bunch of the guys are quading
up onto Perkin's Peak tomorrow. That's a little
trip I would love to make some day but we definitely need
to get another fourwheeler first. Unless Andy and I camped
at the foot on our own and just took our time going up
riding double, or I could get off and walk in the steep
spots. But keeping up with big machines riding single
wouldn't work for us and would hold the other guys back.
will be just a quick note since I'm running so late tonight.
The rain finally stopped and it cleared right off
yesterday evening. In fact, it got so cold that
we covered my veggies because we figured we would get
frost. I think that the only reason that we didn't is
because there was heavy fog this morning.
This morning dawned bright and beautiful with clear blue
skies. That didn't last long as some cloud moved in but
that was just as well because, boy oh boy, was it humid!
I swear, it felt like Tyler, Texas in the middle
of July! We don't normally get that kind of humidity
here and it was hard to get motivated. Still, we puttered
around and got a few things done today.
We couldn't resist going fishing this evening. We
were sitting eating our dinner and watching numerous fish
jump out on the lake and decided we didn't have anything
more important to do than go fishing. Apparently
other people had the same idea because a few of our neighbours
were out there as well.
The water was dead still, the evening magnificent and
the only thing that can make that better is catching trout.
It was a little slow at first, even though we were
surrounded by fish plopping back into the water all around
us, but we still got three fish in a little over
an hour. Two were real beauties and one was really deep
bodied. We might have to do the fillet experiment on that
one tomorrow, fix another on the barbecue and freeze the
last for a smoker.
There was fresh snow on the mountains this morning.
Kappan Mountain had a dusting right on top but it's not
a real high mountain. In contrast, the Itcha Ilgatchuz
were gleaming pure white so whoever was trail riding up
there the last couple of days will have had a surprise
in camp this morning. That's not too bad. It normally
snows in the mountains anytime after July and this year
is no exception.
Right now, there's a beautiful, soft, yellow moon shining
on the water and I'm hoping it will stay clear for a few
hours. I'm hoping we can see the Perseid Meteor shower
tonight and Andy's hoping to stay up late enough to see
would have to go back over past blogs to check for sure,
but I think this is just about the most rain I've
ever seen at one time in this country. The exception
might be back in 1992 from December 12 to the 14th. it
never stopped for three days. And no, my memory is not
normally that good but my Dad died and I was hotfooting
it into town, except I didn't even get started down Nimpo
Creek road before I was doing 360's with my pickup down
the middle of the road. We had gotten quite a bit of snow
that year and there was compact ice on the road. It had
rained steadily for three days and there was a tremendous
amount of water laying on top of that ice, except that
I didn't see it. At least until I unintentionally decided
to make like an amateur race car driver and saw the spray
my truck was throwing up as I went around and around on
the impromptu merry-go-round. Scared the heck out
of myself. It was a good lesson though because
it made me slow down for the rest of the 200 mile drive
which was a good thing. The road was in nasty condition.
Anyway, other than that occasion, and possibly in 2005,
I've never seen this country this waterlogged. Right
now at about 36 hours, we're at 75mm or three inches of
rain. That's normally our total for a summer!
Or, it used to be. With the way our weather is changing
now with progressively wetter summers, that seems to have
All of my tall perennials like the delphiniums and many
of the shorter ones are leaning pretty badly from the
weight of the rain. Our poor fence is sitting under a
wide variation of soggy plastic strips and I'm afraid
to see what's happened to it under there. Our yard is
so soggy you can't walk anywhere without being soaked
in seconds and the only thing probably loving the rain
is our new lawn. Or it would if it wasn't so bloody
cold. It's been hanging around 8C or just above
40F all day and we've had to keep a fire going in the
wood stove. So this is what it feels like to live in Vancouver!
Or it would if they haven't been getting better weather
than we have all summer.
It would seem most of Canada is under a thunderstorm watch
or rain warning as one massive low after another crosses
the country and the jet stream continues to dip to the
south. It looks like we might catch a piece of that high
pressure system out in the Pacific and moving up from
the south that is supposed to bring Vancouver good weather
this week. I sure hope so anyway. We've only had four
consecutive days of summer so far and I would really like
to see more.
I'll tell you one thing. There's some visitors out
on that lake that definitely have bigger cajones and a
stronger constitution than I! Folks went out fishing
this morning bundled up in their slickers and have spent
at least a couple of hours out there before coming back
in, probably for lunch. You've got to give them credit
for determination. I'm not sure I would want a fish that
badly if I were a tourist.
Our neighbour's family was up visiting this past week
and they got very lucky with the weather. They left this
morning so other than yesterday's rain, they were in sunshine
the whole time they were here and did a lot of fishing.
They did very well with catching trout as well
as picking up some salmon down in Bella Coola on the Pink
run on just a day trip. It's nice when visitors
get the kind of holiday we all want when we go on vacation.
I was just going through the past blogs to see if I could
find any rain records to beat what we've just gotten.
Back in 2005 in the first week of June we got two inches
of rain overnight and another two inches about the middle
of the month. I remember that year was the wettest I had
ever seen out here. I think between May and October we
accumulated a phenomenal 27 inches of rain. Unheard of
for the West Chilcotin!
I also decided to count the number of articles or blogs
that I have posted on this site since starting in the
spring of 2005. Boy, talk about prolific! 810
blogs not counting this one. That's a lot of talking!
I can only thank the folks that have had the patience
to wade through them over the years. Man....talk about
talk too much!!! I
didn't realize I was that long winded...sheesh...
Misjudging The Weather
rained last night and has rained off and on all day and
that has made a bit of a mess of our new fence.
Yesterday we painted it with a glossy clear coat intended
to protect the logs and it looked really awesome. It would
take 8 to 12 hours to dry to the touch and you weren't
supposed to put it on if it was going to rain in the next
24 hours. I know.... I read the directions. It's just
that when we were doing it, the temperature was hot and
there was mixed sun and clouds with increasing cloud buildup.
We had heard the weather for the last couple of days and
there was a small 30% chance of rain in our general area.
(We actually don't get weather for our area. You have
to piece a forecast together from several areas salted
down with some guesswork.)
A prediction for 30% chance of rain usually means
we won't get anything at all. Last night we joined
our neighbours at their campfire until well after dark
and although there was a cloud band on the horizon, we
watched the moon go down and it sure didn't look like
it was going to rain. I should have covered our logs anyway,
but when we had checked them, they seemed nearly dry.
And they were, on the side the sun had been shining on
all day. It turned out the other side was not
dry. Unfortunately, this morning the logs had milky
white rivulets of the finish and rain mixed together running
down the sides of the logs, and the stuff had
gummed up in places. Talk about bad judgment regarding
weather on my part! I have no idea what it's going to
look like when it dries. Hopefully it improves or we're
going to have to sand the logs down and start all over.
Make my day.
It's been really cool all day at less than 47 degrees
Fahrenheit and just a gungy day in general with low hanging
cloud. Just a little while ago the grey finally
lifted enough to where you can see the mountains now but
it still looks like more rain yet. We've already gotten
about an inch of rain, which we really could use. I would
just have preferred we got it one day later. I should
have known something was up because the mosquitoes around
the camp fire last night were ferocious, and they haven't
been bad at all in the evenings lately.
We got a good breeze yesterday evening that served to
clear some of the California wildfire smoke out and this
rain will do wonders for clearing the air. I know that
dry lightning storms were predicted for most of the Cariboo
Chilcotin region which would definitely have started some
fires as dry as it has been. We heard thunder to the east
of us this morning but right now it's so damp out
there you couldn't start a fire with a propane torch!
Somehow, I don't think I'll be going for a walk with the
dogs today unless it clears up before dark.
Did everyone see Beijing's opening ceremonies? I only
got to see bits and pieces here and there but it was unquestionably
spectacular. I hope our Premier doesn't decide to try
to match it at our Olympics in 2010 because as taxpayers,
we can't afford to come close much less duplicate
that display. Although I sincerely hope our bunch
does a little better than that abomination they had representing
us at Turin. An old skidoo and ice fishing.
Now that's representative of Canada. Not.
It's bad enough that an Inukshuk is not in any way representative
of British Columbia. And those horrid mascots that don't
look anything at all like what you would find in BC, but
are entirely Asian influenced. It's sad that nothing I
have seen so far describes the fantastic mountain scenery
and natural resources we have, pristine rivers and lakes,
boundless wildlife, bird life, tremendous four season
recreational opportunities, parks, technical innovation,
and other than on the Lower Mainland, some of the
cleanest, clearest air you'll find anywhere in the world
where the colors are vivid and you can see for miles.
Everything that the Olympic organizers have done so far
is hokey and makes us look like a bunch of hillbillies.
The province is hitting all of the taxpayers
up to pay for this party claiming that it will bring world
recognition to BC and draw people and investment here.
I really think that they need to work a lot harder on
image and marketing to do that.
Last week's articles are at August
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!