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Wilderness Adventures - August Week Two

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.
14/08/2005 11:34 AM

Showcasing Nature Trails Wilderness Lodge

I'd like to welcome the newest addition to the Resorts BC web site. A real wilderness resort at the foot of the west coast mountains on Tetachuck Lake, Nature Trails Lodge is a perfect base to explore the great natural beauty of North Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. The lodge features 7 individual cozy lakefront log cabins with shower and toilet as well as hot & cold running water and wood burning stove (no electricity); plus 2 “family” cabins with open fireplace, 3 & 4 bedrooms, living-room and amenities. All cabins have covered porches so guests can sit and watch for wildlife or simply enjoy the sunset. Meals are served in the main lodge by their chef. Guests can relax and enjoy some drinks in front of the fireplace or down by the lake while smells of a wonderful dinner are coming out of the kitchen.
Canoes (on 3 different lakes), sea-kayaks, fishing rods & fly-rods, boats & motors and all the accessories are provided. There are also Fly-out packages to remote outpost cabins amidst alpine lakes, rivers and glaciers, at their Whitesail Outpost. To get there... you can fly from Vancouver to Anahim Lake where a free shuttle bus will drive you to the floatplane base at Nimpo, or drive to Williams Lake, then west on Highway 20 to Nimpo Lake. From Nimpo Lake a charter floatplane flies guests 75 miles over the beautiful Rainbow Mountain Range to the Lodge on Tetachuck Lake. Along the way, how about a scenic flight over Hunlen Falls, Canada's third highest free-falling waterfall, the breathtaking Rainbow Mountain Range, or the Monarch Icefields and glaciers in beautiful and remote Tweedsmuir Park? For a true wilderness experience, check out this destination for your vacation at Nature Trails Wilderness Lodge.
13/08/2005 10:28 PM

The Mountain Pine Beetle Flies Again

Unfortunately the hordes are here for the second time around. I guess I assumed that the pine beetle only flies for a short period of time around the middle of July and once they've landed on a tree, that's it. However, it seems they fly up until the middle of September, so we're still battling them. Only two of our trees on our property had been badly affected by them. Since last night, they've hit pretty much every pine tree on the property. For such a small, innocuous creature, they sure can do a lot of damage in a very short time. A tree you looked at a few hours before that was fine, will suddenly be full of holes and sawdust will be laying at the base of the tree. The amazing thing is to see all this sawdust falling down the length of the trunk as you watch. And you really can hear them! They're just a tiny beetle, no bigger than 1/4 inch across at most, but there are so many of them chewing just inside the outer layer of bark that if you stand still, you can hear them in all the surrounding trees. Thousands of them. The dog's water bucket was under one pine and in a matter of moments, nearly fifty beetles and sawdust had fallen off the trunk and into the 12" to 14" opening. Out came the pesticide and the drill again. I don't know if it will save the trees, but you have to try. I am not a pessimist, but I am a realist and I am already looking at the species of trees that we can transplant into the spots that I think will be vacated by our pines. Maybe some fast growing aspen as cover for slower growing spruce and pine seedlings. We will never see them grow tall in our time, but the next generation will.
12/08/2005 12:37 PM

Hot and Dry

Our summer weather arrived about three weeks ago. I think because it had rained and remained cool for so long throughout the early part of the summer, it took about two weeks of hot, dry weather before the thunderheads started building up. That's when dry lightning and the possiblility of forest fires begin to become a concern. On tuesday, after a particularly hot day, the clouds built up and I expected to start seeing smoke on the horizon at about the same time British Columbia was battling two major blazes at Spence's Bridge and Merritt. Suprisingly, however, we got rain at the same time as the lightning. A real downpour, in fact, which probably put out any fires that may have been started by lighting strikes. That cooled things down enough that it will take a few more days for thunderheads to build up to any danger again. They may not be a problem again this year, because we're in August and the nights are really starting to cool down now. As a result, it's in the middle of the day before things even start heating up. The nights have been unusually clear this past week making it an amateur astronomer's paradise. The stars have been unbelievably bright and I watched a meteor shower coming home from work last night. From the looks of pictures released by Nasa, that would be the annual Perseid meteor shower that I was seeing. Today is bright, sunny and beautiful again with just enough of a breeze to keep the air pleasant and cause a million diamonds to sparkle on the surface of the lake. It doesn't get any better than this folks!
11/08/2005 11:59 AM

Canoes on Floats

You are not limited to lakes that you can drive to here and that's part of what makes the West Chilcotin such a unique area for a summer vacation. I was just watching one of Tweedsmuir Air's Dehavilland Beavers come in with a canoe tied to the floats and I didn't get a picture of it but it only just occurred to me how commonplace that is here. Elsewhere it is not. As a canoeing enthusiast, how often have you heard of the perfect little lake, but it involves a long drive and a grueling pack to get your canoe into it? Although there are numerous lakes in this area that have calm waters for perfect canoeing that you can drive into; if you want to get away to a lake all your own, you can fly into it. Unfortunately, the higher cost of fuel has raised the cost of flying, but if you combine a sightseeing trip and possibly an overnight stay on a lake, you'll find it well worth while. One of the more popular canoe trips in the area is on the Turner Lake Chain. There you can canoe a series of lakes over a period of days in Tweedsmuir Park and enjoy the opportunity to see Hunlen Falls. These falls are the third highest drop in Canada and are truly spectacular. They empty Turner Lake in a breathtaking straight down drop for over a 1000 feet into Lonesome Lake. If you would rather drive than fly in for canoeing, there are many other lakes in the area. Nimpo Lake and Anahim Lake are both beautiful with generally flat, calm water. Although you may get a breeze, the water is rarely rough. There is Kappan, Lassard, Abundtlet, Charlotte, Little Chartlotte and other lakes too numerous to count all within a short driving distance of either Nimpo Lake or Anahim Lake. If you would like to know a little more go to Summer Recreation or to Tweedsmuir Park . Happy canoeing!
10/08/2005 12:01 PM

Trailriding and Pack Trips in The West Chilcotin

Want an exciting adventure? Then a pack trip into the mountains with one of our local outfitters will certainly fit the bill! Trips by horseback can be just for the day or up to two weeks. It's a wonderful way to see the country, enjoy the camaraderie with new friends, and offers endless opportunity to see and photograph wildlife. Your guides will look after the horses, meals and accommodations for you. You'll stay in tentcamps or cabins each evening and enjoy a delicious meal cooked for you over a campfire after a day's ride. Laugh, talk and tell stories around the fire at night and if you're lucky, your host or a guest will have brought a guitar for music and songs. Start out with a hearty breakfast in the morning then grab your camera and have it ready after you mount up. You'll see breathtaking country from the back of your horse. Seeing rolling alpine hills and valleys in bloom with wildflowers, rushing glacial creeks, or the unusual mineral colors of the Rainbow mountains left behind by volcanic activity will be on your agenda for the day. Cross wide meadows where you'll see moose, or valleys where you can see herds of caribou on the move. You may see a grizzly and her cubs in the high alpine or a black bear looking for berries in the lowlands. Share the land with wolves, coyotes and eagles and you'll begin to understand what makes this land great. If you would just like to enjoy a horse pack trip among women friends, some outfitters offer an all woman trailride once a year. Try this adventure for a lifetime of memories.
09/08/2005 1:21 PM

A Twin Otter on Nimpo Lake

It's not every day a Twin Otter comes to Nimpo Lake! Often when around pilots, especially floatplane pilots, someone will mention the Twin Otter and heads begin to nod in breathless awe. Many speak of the plane with reverence and I often wondered why. Until yesterday. I heard a good sized twin engine plane circling overhead yesterday and was awestruck at this huge plane on floats flying around above Nimpo Lake. I assumed it was unfamiliar with the lake and the pilot was looking it over to see if he could land. Well he did and proceeded to taxi over to Vagabond RV Park & Resort. It took some manuevering because the floats were grounding on the lake bottom, but he got turned around at the dock and parked to take on some fuel. Wayne Escott from the Anahim Lake Airport was there with a trailer load of 50 gallon drums to fuel him up. I, being the nosy neighbour that I am had to call Lora over at Vagabond to find out what this absolutely beautiful plane was. A Twin Otter from West Coast Air down Vancouver way was probably on a charter and needed fuel. The places that you can get the jet fuel he needed is very limited in British Columbia, especially north of the Island. Nimpo Lake and Anahim Lake are one of the few fuel depots that can make it available to all kinds of aircraft. I realize that most of you probably have little interest in this subject, but I promise you would have found this plane as breathtakingly beautiful as I do, even if you've never even seen a floatplane before. Wish you could have been here.
If you would like to see more on floatplanes in the area check out the Flightseeing page or go to Flying Gallery
08/08/2005 12:25 PM

Events in the West Chilcotin

Of which there are many to attend. As I discussed yesterday, there are lots of activities that you can participate in here. But the region also hosts several events annually. In early spring, water skipping is popular with everyone. That involves racing your snowmobile on the water. Yes, that's what I said. It's hilarious and often involves a few participants going for a swim in some very cold water if they couldn't keep up the speed on their snowmobile. Usually in May, shortly after the ice goes off of Nimpo Lake, we have the annual canoe races. They start at the outlet of Nimpo Lake and down the Dean River to Anahim Lake. This route is a bit tortuous with all the corkscrew bends in the river, and also usually involves a few people taking a swim. The annual Anahim Lake Stampede and Bull-O-Rama in July draws rodeo riders from all over British Columbia and other provinces. It offers good prize money and a lot of exciting rodeo action with barrel racing, bull riding, bronc riding, roping and gymkana. On Saturday morning there is a parade with both communities putting a lot of effort into their entries creating lots of smiles for everyone involved. There is a dinner and dance at the Anahim Lake Community hall and a beer garden at the grounds. The Native Ball-hockey Tournament involving two grueling days of roundrobin games and playoffs occurs at the same time. Bella Coola offers lots of events throughout the year, including their own rodeo in July and the ever popular Discovery Coast Music Festival. Every year they bring in a varied and interesting lineup of performers, including some big name headliners. This year famous Canadian Folk singer Valdy wowed the crowd as well as hard rock Chilliwack and The Cruzeros who have won Junos for their country music. In February, Nimpo Lake and Anahim Lake host an AA Snowmobile Race in February. However, due to higher rates of insurance for events perceived to be dangerous to participants, this event may not continue. Although everyone in the region is busy lots of people make a real effort to volunteer to put these events together. Enjoy.
Just to let you know, this is the start of a new week, so stories from last week can be found at August1.


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!
Guests stand in front of the main lodge at Nature Trails Wilderness Lodge
 
Canoeing on our calm lakes with spectacular views.
 
Trailriding in the beautiful West Chilcotin
 
The only thing better than the scenery is the camp cooking
 
A beautiful Twin Otter maneuvering for fuel
 
Take off for the Otter
 
The Twin Otter is a huge, beautiful flaotplane
 
Loaded with fuel, the Twin Otter will need a lot of lake to take off
 
The challenge of waterskipping
 
Barrel racing
 
Trying not to sink on your snowmobile while running over water
 
Snowmobile races
 
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