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 - Dec, Week 1/2006
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.
You can search this site for a subject of interest to you
at the bottom of this page. Check out the
of the Day.
Snowmobiles On Nimpo
must finally be that time of year. Two snowmobiles showed
up on Nimpo Lake today. It looked to be the neighbour
from down at the other end and Bill from across the lake
checking the ice.
Andy took the older Ski-doo out for a short spin today
and said that it's pretty mushy in the back bay. I
don't know if a spider hole opened up in the same place
in the ice as it did last year, or if it's just lots of
overflow. That bay has been frozen up for since
long before our first big snowstorm. As a result, there's
a lot more snow on it than there is out in the Main Arm
of Nimpo. The weight of the snow on the ice pushes it
down and allows water to flow overtop, saturating the
snow. Hence, overflow. Nasty stuff if it's deep
because it will slow a snowmachine down to the point that
you can get good and stuck if the snow is deep enough.
The snow on the ice also provides insulation which means
the ice doesn't grow into nice, clear, strong ice. Rather
it's murky and weak, and often not as thick. Between poor
ice, overflow and spider holes, I may not do much cross
country skiing on the lake this year.
Last night there was a really strange warm wind and it
was quite warm. By this morning it had started dropping
below freezing and remained that way for the rest of the
day. Now it's warming up and the wind has started up again.
It's well above freezing and climbing.
Definitely a strange reversal of normal weather! If a
pineapple express comes in it'll melt the snow off of
the lake, giving it a better chance of growing good ice.
But it also means losing all this great snow we have.
I guess you can't have it both ways though, can you?
We're still not hearing Nimpo Lake much. No groans,
wangs or burbles and not gunshot cracks. Most
of the sounds probably can't be heard easily because of
the layer of snow on the lake. Or it could be that the
same snow is insulating the ice so well that there are
no extreme temperature changes. Therefore, no sounds from
the ice. The same thing happened last year and it's
a little disappointing because I really enjoy those 'outer
space' or 'monster' sounds.
I realize that these posts are a little short. I've got
a deadline with web sites right now and haven't even gotten
out the door much so I can't even report anything new
and exciting going on lately. But, I figure if I'm good
now, I can play later when snowmobiling time rolls around!
Power Off, Snowing Again!
Everyone. This is going to be a quickie! Our power was
off for several hours today and I lost that time on the
computer, so of course, I'm behind....again.
Someone at the Two Mile Reserve dropped a beetle
killed pine on the power line and since it takes
the lineman from Bella Coola quite a while to get up here,
we knew it was going to be a long one. Anahim Lake wasn't
out for long but we were out until supper time. As I said
before, the problem is only likely to get worse so a generator
may well be a 'must have' purchase in the near future.
The big disadvantage of the sudden power outages
is the damage it does to all of the electronic stuff,
fridges and freezers. Although my office computers are
protected by battery backup, I had my laptop out on the
dining room table and Andy's computer was on downstairs.
I think the laptop is okay because it has a battery and
it was plugged in through a surge bar, but Andy's computer
was screwed right up. He lost his 'desktop'
completely and since he couldn't do a proper shutdown,
he had to keep hitting his restart button until everything
sorted itself out.
Last night it cleared off and the temperature started
to really drop. At about -14C or 2F I figured, man,
I better put some dogs in and make sure I had a good bank
on the fire. I had no idea how much it might drop but
the weatherman had said to expect much colder temperatures
by the middle of the week. I guess the clouds
started rolling in at some point because by dawn it was
-6 and just a short while later it was just below freezing.
You could see low, white snow clouds rolling over the
mountains, and then obscuring them. We had a little
snow squall here for a couple of hours. Now it's
clear and the moon is shining brightly again. This weather
just can't make up its mind what its going to do!
At least we're waaay better off than Saskatchewan.
I was talking to my web host over in Saskatoon and he
said they've been doing nothing but shovelling snow over
there for the past week and they're thoroughly sick of
it! They usually get our weather about two days later
so I told him they should see a break for the next day
or so. LOL. Friends in Yorkton said the same as this guy...that
there just wasn't any place left to put the snow.
We definitely have more snow than usual ourselves, this
month. I was noticing today that the benefit of
that is if you slide off the road, you probably aren't
going far. Most likely you'll just smoke a snow
bank that will stop you from going right into a ditch,
and then you can reverse right on out of there. If
you aren't going too fast that is.
We're all in the planning stages for the New Year's Party
at the Nimpo Lake Community Hall December 31st. Andy's
still in the process of taking around Thank You letters
to the folks that donated for the Bingo, and already we're
on to the next thing. At least the old hall is getting
a good workout this year.
For those of you that think you'll be in this part
of the country then, come check it out!
was an amazing day. The sun was shining and it
was only a little below freezing. There was no wind so
being outside was quite pleasant. I went for a walk with
the dogs this afternoon and it actually got too warm after
walking for awhile for all the layers I wear.
I saw our neighbour walking back from the boat launch
on the other side of the lake from us. He checked with
his auger along the way and said that there was six inches
of ice all the way to The Dean on Nimpo. That's
just about enough to drive on! I know that there
are already snowmobile tracks over that way from a certain
'someone' carving the first run on Nimpo Lake the
We got another skiff of snow last night and the little
chickadees are going nuts on the sunflower seeds in the
feeder. I'm not sure why that is, because it isn't that
cold. I wonder if it's because so much of their
food supply is buried under snow quite a bit earlier in
the year than is normal.
I noticed on my walks the past few days that I'm seeing
very few wild animal tracks. Some old moose and deer tracks
half buried in snow but nothing fresh. Quite a few rabbit
tracks so it must be a high cycle year for them. One thing
of note is the lack of squirrels and squirrel tracks right
now. They were absolutely nuts earlier in the fall but
the food supply has to be pretty scarce for their numbers
right now since the mountain pine beetle has devasted
so many of the pines.
Our lane looks quite different than it ever did before.
BC Hydro has come in and dropped a number of trees on
the road that leads to ours and our two neighbours' driveways.
Now there's a massive pile of red beetle killed
trees that need to be cut up. The neighbour has
a big job ahead of him. He still has more trees to be
dropped that are almost on top of the hydro line but BC
Hydro now says that the Government insists they can't
cut anything within 45 feet of Nimpo Lake without a riparian
study being done. Can you believe that? The trees
are going to come down whether from wind or by man
and they'll have a lot less effect on the water and the
lakeshore if they're cut down, because then they'll be
cut up and removed completely. If left to fall down, they'll
not only take the electrical line with them, but they'll
land in the water. I'll never know
where the Government has its collective brain but it definitely
isn't where you can find it easily. In any case,
the landscape is slowly changing as more and more trees
come down. I'm discovering views I never knew existed!
A low mist started rolling in off the lake this afternoon
and now there's a pretty thick blanket of it out there
tonight with a full moon shining creepily through. It
feels a little like a 'werewolf' night. The picture
up on the right shows what a pretty day we had but already
the sun was setting in the early afternoon. Three more
weeks before the days start getting longer again.
Craft Fair And New Property
Fair at the Anahim Lake School seems to have been a success
today. Certainly, there were a lot of people in attendance.
The only problem with not getting out much is that
when you do, you spend all of your time running into people,
standing around and catching up. I got to talk
to a lot of the people that I've worked with at the mill
in the past and I don't get that opportunity much anymore.
But as a result, I didn't really get a good look at everything
on display. What I did see was great, and there was a
terrific variety from Bella Coola, Hagensborg, Anahim,
Nimpo and Tatla Lake.
When I arrived at the School, one of the police vehicles
was stuck in a snow-filled ditch. Someone was trying
to pull him out backwards with a pickup, while the RCMP
member shovelled furiously, but the next time
I looked, he was in head first and in even worse shape.
Probably what happened is that the vehicle slid sideways
when the pickup tried to pull it out.
Eventually someone else latched onto his vehicle from
the front, which was down in the ditch, and pulled him
out smoothly that way. And me without my camera....
I sympathized with the member a bit because it turned
out he had his family with him, which I hadn't realized.
I don't think many people did or they might have been
more helpful. Unfortunately, it's tough for people to
sympathize with the man's predicament when he's just stopped
them in a roadblock four times in the previous month or
The weather was a lot warmer today with temperatures around
-5C. It felt positively balmy when I first went
out to unbury my truck from the snow it's been sitting
under for the past week. But by this afternoon
it seemed a lot colder, even though it wasn't. I think
the humidity had gone up and it certainly looked like
it was going to snow.
Another system is moving in from the coast and is poised
to hit the central coast and the interior of British Columbia.
More snow. We already got another inch
or so last night and it's building up.
I picked up the neighbour's girl on our road on the way
home this afternoon carrying her helmet. Her snowmachine
track had stopped turning out in one of the back meadows
and after lugging it about ensuring it wasn't stuck, she
finally gave up and decided to start walking. She
quickly decided that following her own snowmobile track
back while wallowing in several feet of snow wearing a
bulky snowsuit was a bad idea and decided to make
her way up to the road instead, hoping for a ride home.
She said there was excellent powder in the open meadows
so I look forward to checking it out. I admit, it's been
a long time since I've seen snow this good so early in
the year. Now if we can just avoid a pineapple express...
I finally have that new property listing that I
mentioned a little while back. Located on just
a little over an acre on Nimpo Lake, this log home built
in 1989 has two bedrooms, a beautiful covered deck overlooking
the lake and a huge 32' by 32' two car garage with workshop.
There's a large, lush lawn sloping down to the water and
dock and the back yard is nicely developed with lawn,
flowers, trees and circular driveway. I'm hoping to have
the more detailed listing up under Properties
For Sale by tonight or tomorrow.
Yikes! Only A Few Minutes To Midnight!
my computer might turn into a pumpkin. Actually,
I think it already has. It's really acting up tonight.
Just a short note for the day and I'll do something longer
tomorrow given half a chance.
Temperatures were a little colder than expected last night
and today. We started out with a pretty nice day that
turned to heavy cloud by this afternoon when I went for
my walk. I don't know what's coming in, but it looks like
more snow. But hey, we've got nothing on Whistler just
north of Vancouver. That ski hill has recorded about
13 feet of snow so far.
The birds were feeding like crazy today and that's never
a good sign. I keep listening to the lake but although
you'll hear the odd Waaang every once in
awhile, it just hasn't been making the fantastic sounds
it usually does this time of year and I miss that.
Things have been a little busy as usual and I had to miss
out on a poker game tonight because I had to work on my
pumpkin, er..computer, but tomorrow is the Anahim Lake
Craft Sale and since I missed out on Christmas shopping
in the Okanagan because of weather, I just might attend.
Laugh as you may at such a minor thing, the Craft sale
at the Anahim Lake School is actually a major event for
the area, mainly because there is no such thing
as shopping here. We don't have malls, box stores
or even quaint gift shops. We have heavy duty, down home
General Stores that provide everything from frozen
pizza to horseshoe nails. Great if you're just
getting by living in the country but not so great if you're
Christmas shopping for all of your loved ones. Hence,
the Craft sale. For those who don't shop out of area,
or even those that do, everyone in the country relies
on it heavily to provide that special thing
for family and friends. So look out folks, you'll probably
get a special report on all the goodies I see tomorrow.
Oh yeah, the baked goods...mmm.
Canada's Liberal Party is working on voting in a new leader
tonight and for the rest of the weekend. A lot of people
turned down temporary leadership after Paul Martin, our
Prime Minister, went down in flames, thanks mostly to
his predecessor, The Cretin. But keep
in mind that that's my opinion only.
The newscasters are making a big deal of the whole leadership
convention, even counting how many seconds one candidate
spent speaking French. C'mon!!!! The man freewheeled
his whole speech. No notes, no teleprompter. And
he only spoke 90 seconds to 4 minutes out of a 13 minute
speech in French? Horrors!!! You know what? Compare
the population of French speaking people to the number
that speak other languages in Canada, including English,
and I suspect his percentage was right on. But God
Help Us if We poor English speaking joes don't give the
French more than their due! Pleeeeeze separate
Quebec. Then Canada can become a successful country again.
Oh yeah, I forgot to add...that's all just my opinion.
Oh, and another point. Not a single Liberal candidate
brought up the matter of representation. Census
figures for 2006 showed that the Western Provinces are
massively under-represented in Government because of a
huge population shift from the East to the West. Like
the Bush Administration in the U.S. now that the Democrats
have taken over the House of Representatives and the Senate,
Harper's Conservative Government here is a minority Government.
Yet I don't think that fair representation based
on new census figures should be a matter of a vote in
Ottawa. It should become law automatically. What's
up with that? Yet no one is talking about it, including
the new Liberal Candidates. We already know why with them.
Their vote is predominately from middle Canada and the
East but still, you would think that at least one of the
candidates would mention it. If they cared about
the Western Provinces, that is. Which they very obviously
still don't. Someday...that's going to reach out
and bite them where it hurts. Hopefully in the next election.
Happy Friday night. Hope to see you tomorrow! Oop, and
no time to upload a picture of the day...!
have noticed that I've started a new week, so you'll find
last week's posts at November,
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!