Anahim/Nimpo Lake BC
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Wilderness Adventures - August Week Four

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.
30/08/2005 2:02 PM

Otters

A family of four otters went swimming past yesterday. Unfortunately, I was on the phone and they went by too fast for me to get a picture. The must be quick and strong swimmers. If they came from where the Dean River leaves Nimpo Lake as I suspect and were going to where I see signs of otter when I cross country ski in winter, then they had quite a ways to go. No problem at the rate they were moving along. They seem to be shy animals and you don't see them often, but there's no doubt that they have a playful side to them. When the lake was quite icy last year from a melt and then we got a skiff of snow, I could see where they had been sliding on their bellies on the ice on the other side. From the looks of their tracks, they would hump up for momentum and then off they would slide, for a good 12 to 14 feet. The tracks went for a good mile like that so they must have been having great fun, much like we would if we were skating.
Stories for the next week or so will probably be intermittant. I have company coming from Saskatchewan today and hope to spend as much time as possible with them. I'm hoping and praying for good weather for their stay. Normally this time of year is guaranteed to be glorious, but this year we seem to be getting a lot of unstable weather, with rain showers passing through every few minutes. The jet stream just isn't where it usually is so I suspect that's the cause. In any case, I'll pick up daily after the Labour Day long weekend.

29/08/2005 9:22 PM

Katrina

Watched her on the news quite a bit today. I just don't envy anyone in her path and having never gone through a hurricane before, really can't comprehend what it would be like. Although some do say jokingly that Saskatchewan has one 365 days of the year. I've always been fortunate to live in areas that just really don't see much in the way of natural disasters. I do love storms, however, and can imagine that besides being scary, it sure would be exciting to go through a hurricane of Katrina's magnitude. Crazy too, of course. Of all the newscasts I saw today, all the devastation to highways, office buildings, homes, trees and powerlines, I think that the most sickening thing of all, was the looters. There is no excuse for creatures like that to even be alive on earth. If they were bugs, we would step on them. I listened to the governor's speech that the police forces would be ruthless toward looting, but I can understand that those same forces would be stretched pretty thin trying to rescue the fools that stayed behind and unable to enforce that order. What do these culls do? Hide in their basements until the storm goes over, knowing all along that as soon as they can, they'll be able to rip off business owners unable to defend their stores? Oh, poor things are just too poor to get out of the storm's path and thats why they were still there. Poor in a pig's eye. It's really too bad all the bottom feeders didn't drown! I don't believe it would have been a loss at all, but instead a real benefit to all mankind. At least they wouldn't be able to breed anymore and produce more of their kind. Do I sound angry and bitter? Absolutely. I'm a business owner. I've worked hard for what I have as have those that are being ripped off by looters this very day. These scum come along and take what the storm hasn't, and I'll bet not one of them has ever contributed a single, solitary thing to society. In the meanwhile, my insurance premiums are going to go up already because of the hurricane; yes even in Canada - and looters just add to that cost. That is minor though, in the face of flagrant defiance of the law. That just plain tees me off!
28/08/2005 10:28 PM

Bear Attacks

Two different occurrences this weekend have resulted in one death and one injury. A 68 year old man was mauled and killed the day before yesterday just north of Winnipeg, Manitoba by a black bear. He had gone out to go picking plums and when he didn't return in a reasonable time, his family became concerned and called the police. A search was launched and resulted in the man being found by police mauled to death. A police officer on the scene caught the glimpse of something out of the corner of his eye. A young black bear was circling around the officer and the dead man. He had time to pull out his service revolver and shoot the bear twice, killing it. An autopsy is being done on the bear to determine why it would have attacked the man. However, locals in the area said that it had been a very poor year for berries and natural food sources for the bears was very scarce. There had been many reports of bears in the area raiding bird feeders, fruit trees and garbage cans.
A woman, hiking in Banff National Park was attacked by a grizzly sow yesterday. Apparently while walking, she suddenly found herself between the sow and two of her cubs. The grizzly attacked, but fortunately, the mauling was shortlived. As soon as the bears left, the woman was able to walk out of the area she was in to get help, where she was immediately taken to hospital and remains in serious but stable condition at this time. Dramatic weather conditions such as all the provinces have been experiencing has had a real affect on all wildlife, especially bears. Some of the provinces have been experiencing extreme drought conditions, burning off berry buds, while others have had a great deal of rain and not enough sun to develop berries. This is one of the main food sources in places such as Manitoba for bears in the fall when they are trying so hard to achieve massive weight gains for winter hibernation. As always, this is a grim reminder that you should be alert, and aware of your surroundings while in bear country, carry bear spray and walk in groups of at least two or more people if at all possible.
27/08/2005 8:39 PM

The English Military Maneuvers Gone Awry

Rescue. I apologize for not writing yesterday, something came up, hence the overlong suspense about this story. This was not necessarily a rescue, but what might have happened had a bush pilot not intervened is difficult to say. In February of 1994 the English military chose to embark on a military exercise from Bella Coola to Quesnel on the Alexander Mackenzie Trail. Although a 480 km trail should not be an impossible task for trained and fit military personnel, it becomes substantially more difficult and dangerous in the dead of winter. One of the fellows had hiked the trail one summer and had put forward a proposal to his unit commander that not only would this be a suitably rigorous training exercise, but as the first people to cross-country ski the Mackenzie Trail, it would be a new record and a feather in their cap. They embarked on their quest for fame leaving two of their unit to man ancient World War II radio equipment while one poor soul carried the other end on his back. It is fortunate that they chose to use Nimpo Lake Resort as their base because Terry Brandt lived nearby. Because they were unable to get their radio equipment working, he insisted they take a handheld radio that used local repeaters. He also warned them that not only were they ill equipped for this venture, but pointed out the dangers of pursuing this exercise at that time of year. Regardless, off they went. So every day Terry flew over them as they struggled further and further out. And each day he noticed they seemed worse off than the day before. They had judged that the trek would only take a week. Each carried what seemed about 100 lbs on their back of which about 90lbs were unnecessary with heavy items such as ice crampons. The Mackenzie Trail is a high ridge trail above the Blackwater River and day after day the group struggled through three feet of snow on the ridge. One lieutenant, a female, weighed not much more than her pack and straggled in to camp totally exhausted long after the rest as late as 10:00 every night. They ran out of food after only a week and finally ended up at Eliguk Lake. Terry landed the plane on the ice and insisted they use a cabin there to warm up and dry out their mummy bags that had gotten wet the first day and had never dried out since. He also insisted that he fly the exhausted lieutenant back to base then began to bring food to the party. Every day he spoke to the unit over the handheld to ask them what they needed, and dropped in light food supplies high in protein such as nuts, jerky and dried fruit for packing as well as dried meals high in carbs that were light weight for carrying; but filling. It became apparent to Terry that their daily trudge through heavy snow on the ridge was becoming more and more of a struggle. At his drop the next day he landed on a nearby lake and pointed out to the exhausted skiiers that they could easily ski the frozen Blackwater River that lies just below the Mackenzie Trail all the way to the end rather than fight the endless snow and cold on the ridges. Out of desperation they finally agreed to the route and arrived at their destination 21 days from the start of their trek, fully 14 days past due. Had there been no kind and concerned bush pilot with the skill to fly and land anywhere and his partner to scrounge up and provide exactly the meals the unit needed what would have happened? Had they not used Mary's Nimpo Lake Resort as a base, would anyone aside from those souls manning a radio that wouldn't work, have ever known they were out there much less taken it upon themselves to fly up and look after them every day? A modern day bush pilot requires all the guts, determination, and ability that those that opened up the north country all those years ago had. We're lucky they're still around!
25/08/2005 11:50 AM

Sharing with Planes

Everyone here shares water space with the floatplanes. But it must be quite a surprise for newcomers or vacationers to the area that aren't familiar with something that size going over their heads or landing on the water nearby. The odd new local has been known to complain about the noise of takeoffs, but since the floatplanes were here first, I'm sure not going to. They don't take off before 8:00 in the morning and this isn't like living near an airport because it just isn't that busy on the lake, but it's still quite funny to be talking to a neighbour on the phone when one takes off and I have to tell them to stop talking for a moment because I can't hear them, then they in turn have to tell me to stop talking because the plane is now near their place. The first time I was talking to someone from Saskatchewan on the phone and one of Stewart's DeHavilland Beavers took off, I had to tell him to hang on for a moment. "What the hell is that?" he asked, because all he could hear over the phone was a roar. "That, my friend, is a floatplane!" I replied with pride. The same thing happened the other day when two glass repair fellows were here admiring the view and two planes went up in tandom. They just stood there in awe as the planes flew by our peninsula and I yelled at them. "Aren't they beautiful? It doesn't get any better than this!" It's a real pleasure, even after all this time, to watch a plane push to get up onto the 'step' or touch down like a feather with lake spray following their floats.
All of the pilots are very concientious and cognizent of where any boats are on the lake and there are probably no better pilots in the world than bush pilots. In the past century, they've opened up a lot of inaccessible country including the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Alaska. In years past, many have saved countless towns by flying in vaccines for disease outbreaks as well as medivacced out individuals hurt or lost in the wilderness. In the early nineties there was a similiar story here. But I'll tell you about that tomorrow!

24/08/2005 2:45 PM

The Loons

Today is an absolutely gorgeous day on Nimpo Lake. I wasn't going to write today because I was busy with updating another web page, but in the end, couldn't resist. Not a cloud in the sky today and as I watched a boat head out to go fishing, he must have been going too fast to suit the loons because they set up a vociferous complaint. In other words, they were yodelling to each other. The loon call has to be the prettiest sound in existence. You don't realize how many are on the lake, even with the bald eagles bothering them, until you look around and count a pair here, another there and yet another over there. They're funny to watch because when a floatplane goes over, they duck into the water and then up they pop after it passes, calling at it as it goes by. The young are doing fly bys now strengthening their wings for the long flight to winter grounds. They're a really heavy bodied bird and look surprisingly ungainly in flight for such a beautiful, graceful bird in the water. They're extremely strong though. I haven't seen much in the way of hummigbirds lately and expect most are gone. There'll be fresh snow on the mountains soon because even though the days are quite warm, you can see your breath late at night and it's cool! There were northern lights to the north last night. This is the absolutely best time of year in the West Chilcotin where cool nights have knocked the bugs back to nothing and the sky turns that dark autumn blue.
23/08/2005 11:26 AM

Little Black Fox

Sometimes they can be pretty cheeky. The other morning we had a fox just off the drive into our property. He shied away from the vehicle then slowly crept back to within a few feet of it to retrieve something he had dropped. Keeping a close eye on the truck he picked up his breakfast, finished eating it then scampered away. He had a black back, golden red underbelly and white tuft on the end of his tail. Like one that I saw at the mill a couple of months ago, he was the funniest looking thing. That one was of the same coloration and the white at the end of his tail looked like a flag. He was bouncing around out above the parking area in broad daylight. I couldn't tell if he was hunting, looking for scraps of food or just hanging around. One of my work mates said that someone at the mill had been feeding him and that's why he wasn't so afraid of humans. Normally, they're a shy animal, and it's hard to get a picture of them. I've come to a screeching halt a few times on the way to the highway to get a picture of a fox only to have it fade into the bush long before I can get the camera ready. Apparently, however, they can be tamed somewhat if you start feeding them. That never seems a good idea to me. I hate to have an animal start to rely on humans for food then have to learn to fend for themselves again once that easy food supply stops. I like to feed birds in winter when temperatures are cold and they have a hard time finding food sources under the snow. But I usually slow, then stop the seed supply once spring has arrived so that they and their young don't become too reliant on any but food they can forage for themselves.
22/08/2005 1:07 PM

Nimpo Lake Properties

Finally got some pictures for two more properties for sale. One of the properties is 2.6 acres with lake access. Located on Nimpo Creek Road, it overlooks the lake and has a really unusual view different from anyone else's on the lake. It looks out over the foothill trees at Kappan and Trumpeter mountains. I don't have a view picture but will drop down that way soon and take one to post. It is a private, treed setting on a bench with a nice little year round cabin. A new R40 metal roof was put on the cabin in 2000 and it has power, phone, drilled well, a tool shed and comes furnished with appliances. If you own a plane, there is a 1900' dirt airstrip across the road and you'll have lots of aviators for company. The price is $85,000 Canadian. The other property is 3.17 acres with 187' of waterfront located on Nimpo Lake North Road It too sits on a bench above Nimpo Lake on the 'main arm' with a southern exposure and a spectacular view of the Coastal Mountain range. There are two small single room log cabins with power and phone at the property line. It would be a beautiful place to build a new log house. Your neighbour has a 10,000 square foot summer 'cabin' on the property next to you. Great fishing for Rainbow trout right below your house. Price is $120,000 Canadian dollars. Pictures for both properties are on the right and you can get more information and contact information under listings on the Properties for Sale page. As you can see, the pictures for the property on Nimpo North Road were taken in winter, so we'll see if we can update that. Just to let you know, this is the start of a new week, so stories from last week can be found at August3.


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!
A boat and plane share Nimpo Lake
 
Plane touches down on Nimpo Lake
 
Gorgeous autumn day on Nimpo Lake
 
Cabin in a private treed setting overlooking Nimpo Lake
 
Interior of cabin is spacious and bright
 
Two cabins with waterfront on Nimpo Lake
 
Interior view of one of the cabins on Nimpo Road North
 
The cabin views are of the Coast Mountain Range
 
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