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Wilderness Adventures - August, Week 2/2011

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 some great contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

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17/08/2011 8:15 PM

Continuing Saga of the Dump Grizzly

A week or so ago I stopped up at the Post Office in Nimpo on my way to Anahim Lake with some of Tracey's terrific coffees when I saw the glaring poster on her door. Since Tracey doesn't put signs up where it impedes the vision of people going in or out I figured it must be pretty important and stopped to read it.
Lo and behold, someone decided to take a pot shot at the grizzly at the dump and wounded it. Apparently one of the natives claimed the bear charged him and he shot at it. Now I think we could all poke holes in that story. Bears are really, really fast and the chances of a person having time to reach into their vehicle, pull out a gun and put shells in it, and have time to shoot the bear before it ate one's sorry little butt, is extremely slim. In fact, probably next to impossible. But it's his story and he can tell it whatever way he wants. Since the same bear has been seen around the school at Two Mile, it's hard to blame someone for shooting a bear thinking that they're protecting their family. Even though shooting a grizzly is highly illegal and protecting the family was probably not the primary concernin this case. More likely it was bragging rights, but I could be wrong and I'm willing to give some wiggle room here. But if you are going to take a shot at a grizzly, for cripes sake, kill it!!!!
Having a grizzly bear inside the electric fence at the dump where he's going to be constantly exposed to people was bad enough. Having a wounded bear is a whole different story and dangerous as hell!
So here I am on my way to Anahim Lake with a truck load of household garbage bags, scrap wood and prunings, metal, and a couple of tires, and now I'm confronted with this warning poster. This load requires, not a quick plunge out of the truck to throw three garbage bags into the dump and back into the truck again, but a stop at three different parts of the dump because of the different types of garbage.
Geoff up at the Post Office was kind enough to offer to come with me, but since I had a lunch date to make I refused, trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do. I knew I had to stop to dump the household garbage for sure because otherwise, every raven in the vicinity of Anahim would be in the back of my truck ripping open garbage bags. I've never had that happen at home or in Nimpo but I certainly have in Anahim and didn't want a repeat.
Tracey had just told me that the RCMP were hanging around at the dump warning people so I decided to take a drive in to see. If they, or someone else was there, I would stop. I got there and the only ones there were two native ladies, one poking around the metal section outside the electric fence, so I stopped and called her over. I let her know about the bear for which she thanked me and then I drove on inside the fence thinking if a bear was gonna get anyone, it would already have gotten her. Although, the next time I looked around those ladies were long gone and there was only dust in their wake, so they didn't waste any time getting out of there!
There were no ravens which is never a good sign, so I pulled up as close to the dump site as I could, took a cautious look into the hole and around it, jumped out of my truck, left it running and door open and threw the three bags of household garbage into the hole and jumped back into the truck quicker than you could say BOO! On I went to Anahim where I met a Conservation Office on the highway heading toward the dump. So I figured he had probably just gone to get a quick bite to eat and was headed back to the dump.
I still had my load of non-perishables in the back of the truck but I figured they could stay back there for a long, long time. While having lunch we see an RCMP vehicle and a CO's truck headed to the east and guessed that perhaps they were going to the dump too. So I figured what the heck, if there was going to be all kinds of people there, I would off load the rest of the stuff on my way back home after lunch. I pulled into the dump and there wasn't a soul to be seen, so I don't know where all those guys were going. Not to the dump, that's for sure!
I took a long look around and pulled ahead so that my tailgate was right where I needed to dump the two tires, and away they went with my truck door open, the truck running and the little ding ding from inside going steady. I figured if it drives me crazy it's bound to keep a bear away as long as it's going. I did the same for the metal and then I skedaddled out of there. I had already decided that the most time consuming stuff to dump, the wood and prunings, could go back home with me and just go on the neighbour's burn pile. It all sounds pretty chicken I guess, especially if you weren't there, but I never got to this age by not having a little bit of built in caution, and I'm no fool when it comes to the possibility of a wounded bear. If someone else wants to go chest thumping around the dump with a wounded animal hanging around, why they can just go right ahead.
I haven't heard anything since as to whether the bear has been found dead or not. Since the warning poster is still up and the big sign in the dump is still there warning of a bear, then I'm assuming not. But I haven't heard that it's eaten anyone yet either so that's a good sign.
For the past week up until just a couple of days ago, our weather has been magnificent. Morning after morning we would get up to a sky so clear it would make you cry and a couple of days, not a single cloud moved in for the whole day. And it was warm! Not hot, mind you, but a whole lot warmer than we've seen all summer.
The high pressure system that kept everything so nice collapsed over the weekend but even so, our weather has been good until today. Today was overcast, a little rain spit off and on, and it was decidedly cool. While we've been down to freezing for the last couple of nights, today was the first time you could feel that fall chill in the air. There's a cold front coming down from the north and boy, can you tell. Here we finally started to get used to warm weather after a cold spring and summer, and boom! We're back into jacket weather.
My garden sure perked up with the sunshine and warmth. It did more growing in the past week than it has in two months. I've got some beautiful big tomatoes coming on in the greenhouses finally, but it's gonna take a whole lot more sun and heat to turn them red, so I'm crossing my fingers.....
We're supposed to see another high pressure system build in that's going to bring warmer temperatures over the weekend. Barring that, I may have to start the electric heater up in the greenhouse.
We're really on the edge for growing stuff in this country but with the last two summers being so hot, it was all doable. One cool summer just shows you though that it really is a close call for trying to grow hothouse type veggies.
At least the close to freezing nights have kicked butt on the mosquitoes! Hallelujah! They aren't bad at all and we've set by a campfire on three different occasions in the past nine days without it being too nasty and it's getting better all the time. I haven't even had to put bug spray on in the last three days and I've been outside all day for two out of the three. So hopefully, they're just about done with. That should have happened exactly a month ago but what the heck, I've got rockery plants in full bloom that should have been done at the end of June, so everything is at least a month behind. I hope that means we're going to have a long, glorious fall! Mother Nature owes us one.
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last week's blog at August Week One..

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!
Orange sunset over Nimpo Lake.
Flowers from June are still blooming.
Fire pit on gravel surrounded by rockery.
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