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Wilderness Adventures - Dec., Week One/2007

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.

Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture of the Day.

09/12/2007 11:07 PM

Quick Update

Hi everyone. This is just a quick winter update because I just don't have the time right now to do more. I'm really sorry about that, but the pressure is on to get a project done before Christmas, so unless I want to spend Christmas morning working instead of enjoying family time....
Our weather is still strange. After coming up on Thursday, our temperatures plummeted on Friday, then while everyone else has been in the deep freeze, our temperatures came up again. In fact it wasn't much below freezing today with a gloriously sunny day. In the meanwhile, it was snow all the way up Highway 97 today, grim and cold in Williams Lake and flurries throughout most of the rest of the province.
A few people including Andy went out snowmobiling yesterday, getting a later start than usual because it was really cold yesterday morning. As usual, I was chained to the computer but it sounds like it was a pretty nice ride with really good snow. The young people that run the Nimpo Lake Store and will be taking it over in the new year got new sleds this fall and have been eager to check them out. Insanely, they've been out riding nearly every day including early in the morning when no one in their right mind would go out in temperatures like that! Kudos to their craziness though as both are becoming pretty good riders even though they were novices to begin with.
Logan's machine blew up the last time he went out riding and his second machine blew up yesterday so he had to be towed down from kilometer 18 yesterday. It's a bummer when your sleds take honors for being both the first and second casualty of the season.
It's -15C or around 5F outside right now and has been dropping pretty steadily all evening so I guess that cold front is moving in again. There's supposed to be more snow coming in the next day or so as well. It's sure shaping up to be quite a winter.
This will probably be the last post for a few days unless something out of the ordinary happens so I can get some work done. Thanks for your patience everyone.

06/12/2007 8:06 PM

Bella Coola Accident

Remarkably, there was a motor vehicle accident on the Bella Coola Hill last Friday night in which one person was killed. A BC Hydro crew were driving the Hill just before supper time when they noticed tracks leaving the road and called it in. Rescue crews got there within a half hour including a member of Bella Coola Heli-Sports trained in high angle rescue who took two hours to make his way down the bank 1,100 feet to where the wreckage was. It was dark, about -17C on one of the most dangerous spots on the Hill, and the rescue member didn't want to pass any possible survivors over the bank in the dark on the way down. The driver of the vehicle did not survive and the name has not been released yet as far as I know.
There was compact snow on the road but it was well sanded, as it usually is. Those Bella Coola highway maintenance boys take pretty good care of the 'Hill' so I'm not sure what caused the driver to leave the road. But apparently with the snow through the weekend had the Hydro guys not spotted the tracks before dark and twigged onto what it meant, it's possible that no one would ever have known that a vehicle went over and the driver might never have been found. Kind of lucky really because there are never that many people driving the Hill this time of year.
What makes the whole thing so unusual is that there are rarely ever accidents on the Hill and there have only ever been five fatalities as far as I know. Some people in a pickup truck were killed at the bottom of the Hill after a party as I understand it, but they weren't really even on the Hill proper yet. One woman and her child died on the Hill after being stopped by an avalanche and then buried in deep snow after that huge snowfall we had back in November of 1990. But this is actually the first I have heard of someone going over on one of the worst spots on the Hill. It's so nasty and narrow in places that normally everyone drives really, really slowly and carefully over the bad spots. It's possible though that the driver hit an icy patch and there's nothing to stop you from going over the edge.
I've heard some pretty hairy stories about the Hill in winter before modern day equipment allowed it to be maintained so well. One fellow told us a while back about times when he and his family drove down and there was a lot of ice on the road caused by water running off the banks on one side and over the edge on the other. He said it would freeze up and be higher on the inside so that a vehicle would naturally slide to the outside. He would walk ahead of the vehicle chopping into the ice with an ax cutting a trench on the inside closest to the bank so that the vehicle would slope inward. Every time they came to a snowy or icy patch, he would have to get out and do this all the way down the hill. The worst section of the Hill is only 12 miles long but can you imagine how long it would take you to reach bottom doing that?
The road, known as the Freedom Highway because it finally linked Bella Coola by road with the rest of the world, was finished in September 1953 and was built entirely by locals because the government refused to. Government eventually took over maintenance and improvements but there just isn't much you can do with a road that clings to the side of the mountain and they're really not willing to pour a lot of money into improvements. Besides, nearly everyone that uses it, especially in winter when it's at its most dangerous, is local and knows how to drive it. That's why it's so rare to hear someone has been killed on it. My condolences to the victim's family.
We are in a really strange little weather pattern here. Williams Lake 200 miles to the east of us was -22C this morning, is again now, and I don't think it ever got above -20 all day. The whole interior is in the deep freeze, Bella Coola is extremely cold, and Vancouver isn't expected to be that much above freezing tomorrow. And yet we started warming up last night. It got up to -9C before I went to bed and up to -5C today, which is by far the warmest I have seen it around here in a long, long time. Strangely, it was cloudy all day today too, while nearly everyone else was clear and sunny. I have come up with a totally uneducated guess as to what has happened. Totally uneducated. There's a high pressure system coming down from the northeast and one moving in from the Pacific from the south west. It looks like we're sitting right on the jet stream and the only thing I can think of is that we're presently sandwiched in between with all that warm air that has to go somewhere. Everyone else got unusually warm temperatures a couple of days ago, but we never did. It's doubtful that it will last much longer but we've already been warmer than I expected for a longer period of time than I expected. It's a nice break from the cold, but I would still sure like to see some sun.
For those of you patiently waiting for the conclusion of the RCMP articles, it will come eventually. And I know that last week I promised a link to the lake sounds during freeze up. I'm working on it. I will try to get things wrapped up in the next few days because I have work to get to and I might take a long break this month and over the holidays to get caught up.
Besides, Christmas is coming....yikes!

05/12/2007 7:43 PM

Weather Flip Flop

We finally saw the temperature come up to a high of -8.5C or about 18F today, which is as high as I've seen it in days. It actually started climbing last night a couple of degrees to -12C after it started snowing and though it dropped again this morning, it came up pretty fast this afternoon. We finally caught the edge of that warming trend that hit Williams Lake yesterday as well as the Lower Mainland and southern interior. It won't last for long though. Already Williams Lake is much colder than we are and a huge arctic high is creeping down from the north and is actually blanketing most of Canada. Another coming in from the Pacific is clearing out the last of that Pineapple Express so that most of British Columbia will be sitting under clear, cold sunshine by tomorrow.
Right now temperatures throughout Canada are approximately 15 degrees below seasonal norms and it has been about 15 years since there has been this kind of freezing trend throughout. It looks like it's at least Sunday before the jet stream moves up a bit and brings in cloud and some warmer temperatures to the province. I don't know how many years it's been since I've seen a long stretch of cold weather like this, but it's been quite a while. This really is shaping up to be an old fashioned winter! I have no beef with that at all and can live with the cold temperatures. It's when it's cloudy and cold that it gets me down and that's certainly been the case since we got home from the Okanagan on Sunday. We've now accumulated 8" inches of snow and it's starting to get pretty deep off the beaten path.
Andy had to get up on a newly built roof this morning to clear the snow off and he's been on the Bobcat on a pretty regular basis trying to keep the yard clear. Metal roofs usually aren't a problem for snow build up in the Chilcotin because we generally get enough sun and sometimes warm enough temperatures for it to keep sliding off. But we haven't had any sun lately and certainly haven't had any warm temperatures, hence the unusual situation of having to clear off a roof. I'm not looking forward to when the snow on the house starts to go. Because of the steep pitch, it's like an avalanche when it does move!
We were watching the news tonight, and you've got to feel for everyone that was affected by the wild winter weather this past week, which was pretty much all of Canada. The States too, for that matter. But British Columbia took a good hit again after getting all that snow and then areas that were nailed with massive amounts of rainfall on top of the snow got a double whammy. Areas down south are now cleaning up after the flooding and of course, you gotta feel sorry for poor old Boston Bar. She got it last year, and she got it again. While most roads that were closed throughout the province have been reopened again, Boston Bar has been cut off from the outside since Sunday, first from several snow avalanches and drifting snow, then mudslides, then tremendous rains and of course, has been without electricity the whole time. They showed guests that holed up at a motel there huddled around candles sitting on the table trying to keep warm while folks were using a generator run electric stove down at the community hall to feed folks that had no cooking facilities.
Now I could not do that. I could not live somewhere that didn't have either a wood stove, propane or natural gas stove, or fireplace at the very least. Areas in Canada get power outages on a regular enough basis, usually caused by weather, that not having some kind of back up makes no sense to me. There were only two times in my life that I didn't and in both cases, it was when I lived in apartments and of course, you can't get permission to install natural gas fireplaces or stoves. But it worried me the entire time I lived in both places, less than two years in total, but long enough, nevertheless.
Where apartments are the exception, it always surprises me that folks in condos or in buildings that they own, don't install a fireplace or stove. I realize that there are often limitations on wood burning appliances, but there rarely are on natural gas (or propane where NG is not available) heaters or fireplaces and both can be installed quite easily so long as there is a place for them to be vented. And as long as you get the ones that don't need electricity to be started, (you just have to remember to specify that when purchasing) you're laughing.
We rely on wood downstairs because it produces a much drier heat than our furnace and of course, it's less expensive. But we also have a highly efficient wood fireplace upstairs built into a massive chimney that we rarely have to use. However, in really cold weather like what we've been having over a long period of time, and without the sun during the day to heat things up, it makes a major difference to comfort, and the bricks on the chimney radiate heat through the night long after the fire goes out. Although the big stove downstairs is far more efficient for keeping a whole house warm, I keep thinking that even if all you had was a fireplace like ours you could still get by, and you'd be a whole lot more comfortable than those poor people in Boston Bar. Then again, I was raised without electricity for quite a few years so maybe I think differently than most people. Seems to me though that folks in Vancouver and elsewhere might want to rethink their complete reliance on electricity. If the climate people are right, our weather is changing, weather events will be more extreme, and that means going without electricity more often. And I don't know about you....but I hate being cold! Oh, and now I can see the wheels turning...."And you live in the Chilly-Cotin why??"
Well, let's see. You can get out on a lake in front of your house and do spins with a snowmobile in the first week of December? Actually Andy did that yesterday afternoon because he likes to be first out on the ice, and he wanted to make a trail across the lake to the boat ramp up to Nimpo so that folks know it's safe to ride the Short Arm now. I wouldn't want to bet on the Main Arm though until the guys drill it and see what the ice looks like after this last snow.

04/12/2007 6:53 PM

Continuation of Dawson Creek RCMP

This concludes the letter written by Jim Parfrey regarding the firearms incident in Dawson Creek this fall. You can find the beginning of this letter in the article below.

-"After the back-up car arrived, the constable came back to our vehicle and advised Jim she was letting him go on the traffic violation but would not release the firearms because she was charging us with unsafe transportation under the criminal code and that her immediate superior had confirmed the charge. I again advised she was incorrect and that the firearms must be returned. At this time I removed my seat belt and went over to her and the other two constables and advised her once more that she was mistaken and that she should return our firearms. She asked for proof of the legislation and regulations which I had at my home in Vernon but not with me. I suggested that we go to her office and pull up the Canadian Firearms web site which was set up and is maintained by the RCMP. I advised that the legislation and regulations are accessible there. While she seemed to be unaware of this site she agreed to try this.
Jim and I drove to the RCMP station where we were confronted by the seizing constable's immediate supervisor who proceeded to berate us for telling his constable that she was wrong and abusing her authority. He also reiterated that we would not get our firearms back and that we would be charged under Section 87 of the Criminal Code of Canada. I again stated my experience and background as well as certification and that we had done nothing wrong and wanted our firearms returned. I also asked to bring up the RCMP's Canadian Firearm's website. He refused, dismissed us, and was closing the reception window when I requested a meeting with his superior.
10 minutes later I was ushered in alone (Jim was directed to remain in the reception area) to meet with the Senior Officer in Charge who's first position, based on information from his subordinates, was that we were going to be charged. However, he was open to my describing the circumstances of the firearms and the legal requirements for transportation. He also had a brochure in his possession from the RCMP's Firearms Centre which identified the transportation requirements for both restricted and non-restricted firearms - the Dawson Creek detachment in error was applying the restricted requirements to non-restricted firearms. Restricted firearms (handguns etc.) must meet a much higher level of security for their transportation such as disabling by a locking mechanism and be in a locked opaque case, not to mention additional paper work requirements. With the brochure in his possession as well as confirmation from the police help line it was confirmed that I was right and that neither Jim nor I had done anything illegal regarding the transportation of our firearms. The Senior Officer in Charge advised that our firearms would be immediately released and he apologized for the mix-up. I went out to the reception area and waited with Jim for the return of our firearms.
I felt we all learned something: - justice can be obtained by standing your ground, persevering, and being assertive when your rights have been violated; the Dawson Creek RCMP now have a clearer understanding of what constitutes safe transportation and law abiding citizens will have nothing to fear; and most importantly, a senior member of the force has proven that he was open to protecting the rights of honest law abiding citizens - after all we are human and errors do occur.
Everything had been resolved and the matter was finished to everyone's satisfaction or so I thought. The supervisor brought our firearms out to us and I thanked him. You can imagine my shock when he bluntly stated to Jim and I that we would have been treated a lot worse than we were had he been present at the time our firearms where confiscated. Apparently in his mind citizens are not allowed to advise RCMP or object when their rights are being violated and/or the RCMP actions are wrong or illegal, and anyone who questions them will be treated severely. This belief is so ingrained that he made the statement to Jim and me together in the RCMP reception area which has a security camera that monitors and records. At the end of the day, nothing was learned and nothing was gained! I am gravely concerned that this kind of behavior and treatment of honest citizens will continue if these attitudes are not addressed.

What occurred was wrong on so many levels:

1.. The role of the RCMP is to enforce the laws of the land, not to create their own laws. If they don't know the firearms laws that have been in place for 15 years and slightly updated 9 years ago in a community with a significant number of firearms owners and hunters, what other laws are they ignoring or applying inappropriately or illegally?

2.. This is an area that attracts hunters from all over the province as well as all over the world. The activities of firearms owners and hunters contribute substantially to the local economy. Mistreatment, false charges and harassment will all have a negative affect. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for citizens in a court of law and therefore should not be an excuse for the RCMP. It's a fine line between being ignorant and acting ignorantly - in this case the seizing constable and immediate supervisor crossed the line which leads me to believe that this occurs as a matter of habit, not as a very rare or once in a life-time situation.

3.. By the constable's own statement she has seized firearms from several other owners for the same reasons. Many people do not have the knowledge, the will or the communication skills to defend themselves and may have lost or will lose their property even though they have done nothing wrong. In our case the replacement value of the 2 firearms is approximately $3,000.00.

4.. When did it become illegal for a law abiding citizen to advise the RCMP that they are wrong and that their actions are wrong? When pointing out an error, omission, illegal action, etc. why should honest law abiding citizens be openly intimidated? At the time of the threat the supervising officer had admitted that a mistake in interpretation had occurred, been ordered to return the firearms, but at the last moment added his intimidating comment.

5.. At least 7 to 8 person hours of RCMP time and equipment was spent trying to prove that Jim and I had done something wrong instead of simply applying the law as it stands. A simple look at the RCMP's Canadian Firearms website, either the "legislation and regulation" section or "brochure" section would have provided concrete proof of Jim and my innocence (a 5 to 10 minute exercise at most). Surely this time could have been better spent on highway patrol or investigating criminal activities such as break-ins or drug gang activity. But then of course law abiding citizens, especially seniors who can't move very fast, are much easier targets.

6.. How can the RCMP earn and maintain respect when they treat two retired seniors the way they did even though we posed no threat and were involved in no illegal activity? If they can treat us the way they did, I believe this can happen to anyone and probably has happened many times to law abiding citizens in the Dawson Creek area. What right does the RCMP have to treat two retired seniors as criminals in an active public place (seizing their firearms, calling for back-up, impeding traffic) when they have done nothing wrong or illegal with their firearms. Our only fault was to state our innocence and to advise the RCMP officer that her actions and information were wrong. I was raised to respect the RCMP, and I call many active and retired members friends. When I conduct a course (CORE or Firearms Safety) I always stress respect for enforcement as they have a legitimate job to do. At this stage I can only say that my respect for the RCMP was severely shaken on the 24th of August, 2007 and it is only people like the Senior Officer in Charge that allow me to believe there is still some hope. I wrote this letter hoping that it will be a catalyst that prevents others from being treated as we were, or at the very least residents of Dawson Creek will be better prepared to defend themselves when dealing with the institution that is responsible to protect law abiding citizens.

Respectfully yours,
J.C. (Jim) Parfrey
7044 Nakiska Drive Vernon, B.C. V1B 3M5
Telephone: (250)275-6316
Cell: (250)306-9460 E-mail:"-

Well folks, are you scared yet? Because I am. This just puts our famous police force in a whole new light.
03/12/2007 7:55 PM

Dawson Creek RCMP

Before getting to that letter about the Dawson Creek police, I'll do a quick run down on the weather. It was snowing lightly when we came home yesterday and it snowed a good part of the night and today. Just tiny little flurries but they've still built up to six inches of very dry, very light snow. Temperatures dropped to a little below -20C last night and never really got much above -14C or about 4F today. There hasn't been a wide swing in temperatures for us at all, compared to the Lower Mainland where their temperatures soared in a matter of hours today. Unfortunately, we seem to be on the wrong side of the jet stream and the only effects we're feeling from that pineapple express is the snow it's bringing us.
Satellite pictures and radar on the news tonight show a moisture laden system blooming over us through the night and then we should be in the clear sometime tomorrow. And with that comes more cold temperatures by Thursday. Oh joy.
Oh well.....freeze on lake, freeze on!
Our snowmobiling buddies, Bill and Anita, sent me an email the other day with a letter written by Jim Parfrey, one of two gentlemen caught up in a firearms incident in Dawson Creek. All firearms owners should read this, but so should everyone else. I find the actions of these RCMP Members to be very alarming and indicative perhaps, of the general attitude of our police force.

-"On Friday, August 24, 2007, I had an experience with a few members of the Dawson Creek detachment of the RCMP that I believe the public should be aware of.
It had to do with their incorrect knowledge of the laws regarding the transportation of unrestricted firearms (hunting rifles) and the potential illegal treatment of legitimate law abiding citizens who legally use and own firearms. I have reason to believe that others who are not thoroughly familiar with the appropriate legislation may have been unfairly charged and may have lost their personal property and need to be aware of that.

To set the scene, Jim Kassen and I were heading from Jim's residence east of Pouce Coupe to hunt moose for the afternoon and evening off the Wangler Road approximately 40 miles west of Dawson Creek. Our plan was to go hunting as soon as we finished some business in town. (We both had a valid hunting licence and a valid Moose Species Licence.)
I am retired after some 32 years with the federal government, most of which were in management, and Jim Kassen is the recently retired President of Northern Lights College.
While completing our business in town, we were pulled over by two RCMP constables in a cruiser with lights flashing. Jim had inadvertently driven straight ahead on 103rd Ave from the left hand turn lane in front of the Co-op during the very busy pre- noon traffic rush which was exacerbated by the closure of the traffic circle.
As soon as Jim saw the lights of the police cruiser in the rear view mirror, he pulled into the first available parking spot while the cruiser pulled in behind. The cruiser blocked Jim's truck as well as blocked west bound traffic flow on 103rd which was extremely busy. Jim got out of his truck but was ordered back into his vehicle by one of the constables who approached the driver's side window and advised Jim of the reasons for the pull over, i.e., he didn't turn left from the left turn only lane.
The constable then noticed that there were two hunting rifles (non-restricted firearms) between the passenger and driver's seats. Both rifles were unloaded with the actions open and the officer could clearly see this. Her manner changed immediately, she ordered Jim out of and to the back of his truck while I remained in the passenger seat with my seat belt on. The constable inspected both rifles asking where the locking mechanisms were and I advised that they were not required as both Jim and I had valid Possession and Acquisition Licences (PAL) and at least one of us was in the vehicle at all times.
She then proceeded to take the firearms from the vehicle. At that point I asked what she was doing. She advised that she was seizing the firearms as they were not properly locked up for transportation and that Jim and I would be charged under the criminal code for not meeting safe transportation requirements. At this point I introduced myself advising that I was a federally certified Master Firearms Instructor fully knowledgeable in the legislation and regulations regarding the transport, storage and use of all firearms. I explained that our two non- restricted firearms met all legal requirements for transportation in an attended vehicle and that if she took the firearms it would be, and is in fact, theft of private property that was being transported legally. Furthermore to take the firearms without a lawful reason was an abuse of her authority.

In order to meet all legal requirements for transportation of non-restricted firearms in this case:

1. The firearms must be unloaded - both of our firearms were unloaded and as additional safety features, but not required by law;

a) the actions were open so any third party who knew anything about firearms could see they were unloaded and not in the battery or ready-to-fire position.

b) the firearms were kept below the dash and out of view so anyone walking or driving by would not be alarmed. The firearms could only be seen if someone came up to the vehicle and looked down. This, by the way, is a common method for local firearms owners and hunters to transport their firearms.

2. The vehicle must be attended by at least one individual who has a valid PAL or POL - in our case both of us had valid PALs and were in attendance. If we left the vehicle which was a pick-up truck, the firearms would have to be placed out of sight and the area they are in must be locked (for example covering the firearms with a blanket or jacket and locking the cab of the pick- up.) It is not a legal requirement that a non-restricted firearm be disabled by a locking mechanism while it is being transported.

3. The firearms should be registered even though the time frame legally requiring registration of non-restricted firearms has been extended by the current government until May, 2008. - Regardless both our firearms were registered.

The constable stated that she knew the firearms laws and had several charges pending for firearms offences of the same nature. Neither Jim nor I offered any resistance with the exception of my request that she return the firearms to us, that we did not authorize her to take them, and that the firearms met all legal requirements for transportation. Regardless, she took both firearms to her vehicle. She verified the firearms registration, our PALs, our driver's licenses along with the fact that both Jim and I had no criminal record (either serious or misdemeanor) and had been law abiding our whole lives. After confirming this she also called a back up squad car even though there were two constables present and we were following all direction given and were not involved in any illegal activity. While this was occurring, traffic was delayed on 103rd and the general public had to assume there was a major police take down of what must be a couple of dangerous criminals. Meanwhile I remained in the passenger seat of the truck with my seat belt on."

Don't get mad at me folks, but because of the length of this letter and the importance I attach to it, I'm going to split it up and post the rest tomorrow. See you then.

02/12/2007 7:59 PM

Winter Slams Us

Winter has hit pretty hard with some seriously cold temperatures, but nothing like it's hit the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Or the rest of the province, for that matter.
We just got back from the Okanagan this afternoon and battled cold temps the entire time we were down there and on the way home. It wouldn't normally matter if temperatures were down around -20C or 0F on our trip except that we had the dogs with us and they ride in the back of the truck. Normally they would sleep there as well, but overnight temperatures in the Okanagan dropped so low that we had to bring them inside. And they aren't lap dogs by a long shot. We were lucky to get a motel room in Williams Lake both going and coming that had an entryway we could leave them in, but getting River to leave the warmth of that room this morning for subzero temps outside and in the back of the truck wasn't easy. I felt really badly for the dogs but all we could do was make sure their blanket was warm and they have a mattress in the back of the truck under the canopy as well. Had we any idea it was going to get that cold we would have made different arrangements while we were away.
It's amazing what a massive weather system this is. After hearing that there was a really bad storm that was going to be moving into the province today, we chose to leave yesterday instead and overnight in Williams Lake. When we left the Okanagan and topped out on the Connector yesterday afternoon, the temperature was around -17C and it hovered between -14C and -17C the entire 300 miles or so coming north. It snowed light flurries or ice crystals the whole way as well. Last night it dropped to -22C or a few degrees below zero Fahrenheit in Williams Lake but by the time we left it was around -18C. There was only about a 3 degree variation the entire way west, which is very unusual considering that there are elevation variations and you're still moving north. It simply indicates that the weather system holding over the province was so huge that the temperatures remained consistent over a 500 mile stretch.
I understand it dropped to -27C or around -20F last night right around here, which is warmer than I thought it would be. I fully expected it to drop to 40 below like it did last year. Surprisingly, it was dropping steadily tonight and was already well below -21C this evening when it started warming up. It's already come up to -18C. That was to be expected because the next system coming in is a warm front.
That does not bode well for the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island. They got great gobs of snow today and now they're expecting several inches of rain on top of it. First there's cars and trucks in the ditches and jackknifed on the highways from snow and ice, next it will be flooding. They're also expecting high winds so I don't see it being a happy work day for folks down there tomorrow.
I'm not sure what we can expect out of the next one. It's showing a bulls eye of heavy moisture on the Lower Mainland in the satellite picture, but then it creeps up our way. If that warm front hits our cold air, I expect we'll get quite a dump of snow in the next day or so, which really sucks. It looks like the Main Arm on Nimpo Lake has only been frozen over for three or four days. The ice will be good, clear, ice but probably only three or four inches thick at most. Heavy snows on top of ice that thin means we'll end up with the same terrible, crumbly, unsafe ice we had last year and that means no ice road again. Which is really too bad because there's probably about a foot of good ice in all the bays including ours and on the ramps. Oh well, as the other half just said tonight, there's not a damned thing we can do about it!
We did come home to about two inches of fresh snow today anyway, so that means the snowmobiling will just be getting better and better. I'm beginning to think that with all this snow we've gotten in the month of November, someone had better be getting out and breaking trail to the foot of the mountains while it's still possible or there'll be a lot of stucks until then. I wouldn't be surprised if folks have already been up sledding the Rainbow Mountains because they'll have several feet of snow on them already.
It's sure looking like an old fashioned winter for everyone again this year. Most unusual with this round of weather is that everyone got it. All across Canada and a good part of the States got nailed all at the same time. That just doesn't normally happen for us. If the east is getting snow, we've got nice weather. If we're getting nailed, they're wearing bathing suits in Ontario. But this time, all of BC got it, the prairies got cold, Ontario and Quebec are getting nailed with snow, freezing rain and heaven knows what else, and even the eastern seaboard was supposed to get some weather. Remarkably, California was fighting wild fires just days ago while the Northwest is getting pummeled with snow, rain and high winds. There you go. More extreme weather events with global warming, so they say.
I've gotten permission to reprint a letter written by a gentleman who, while on his way to go hunting with a friend, was stopped and treated in a manner so inexcusable by Dawson Creek RCMP that it's beyond comprehension. However, the letter is very long so I would like to reprint it in its entirety in tomorrow's article, or I may split it between two articles.
In the meanwhile, our friend John sent me a link to an article written for Mclean's titled, "What's Really Killing The Mounties." I think it's a must read as well, but is directed more to the issue of the inner workings of the RCMP and the terrible mess that the whole system is in. So I'll leave you to digest that at Mclean's RCMP Article and continue on with the other article tomorrow. In the meanwhile, if you want to keep track of the RCMP articles that were written last week, you'll find them at November Week Four.

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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 narrow road with a steep grade bordered on one side by rocky cliffs.
Circles in the snow on lake ice with mountains and evening sun behind.
A finger of rock stands out from the mountains.
Snow covered hill in the distance.
Trees in valley shadow with mountains in the distance.
Aspen branches shield a far away mountain.
A moose walks away from the highway through low trees.
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