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 One/2011
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Check out the Picture
of the Day.
I've been getting some grief from downstairs about the
lack of blog this past week so it seemed time to post
The weather this week has been utterly glorious,
with only an occasional breeze to mar the odd day.
And that's only because it can be really warm in the sun,
but if even a tiny breeze springs up, it carries the heat
away from your body and you have that wind-chill factor.
In the past ten days the weather has been pretty decent
overall. We've had the odd cloudy day or we've had snow
squalls roaring through, but for the most part, the weather
and temperatures have been good. It still gets chilly
at night with lows from -9 to -13C or 17 to 8F but most
days we've gotten up to freezing or above. On Monday the
temperature reached 6C or 43 degrees! I think we've been
a lot warmer than Williams Lake or maybe even the Lower
Mainland from the look of the weather on the news every
night. I'm pretty sure we're the lucky recipients
of a temperature inversion where temps go up at higher
elevations while cool air gets trapped at lower elevations.
Today it's a little cooler at -5C or 23F, but that's most
likely because it fogged in this morning and the sun didn't
break through until around noon so it took a lot longer
to warm up outside. Tonight we were at nearly -12C by
supper time so it looks like our temperatures are going
to dive bomb overnight. That was to be expected. The whole
province is cold with a high pressure system that has
moved in from the north.
The lake was as silent as a stone until a week ago. Within
a day of seeing the first fingernail of a moon in the
sky, the lake started talking. Two days ago we
were standing outside with the neighbour and the sound
the whole lake was making was hilarious. It was running
through its repertoire of burbles, and cracks, shuffles,
groans, growls, and the occasional high pitched alien
wooowoooo sound. I would like to have recorded them and
uploaded with the blog but the sound isn't working on
my computer right now. I have no idea what that's about
but I'm tired enough of technology to not really care.
The best sounds are when we get a nice, warm day
like we did two days ago after a cold night and clear
moon. That lake just doesn't stop. The Main Arm
was in the process of freezing up too so that would have
made a big difference as well. Every night we can hear
the lake from inside the house and tonight it's talking
steadily with low mutters and growls. Scared the heck
out of the cat when he heard his first boom the other
Andy checked the ice down in front of our place a couple
of days ago and we were only at four inches, but
our neighbour across the bay checked it yesterday and
said it was six inches as far out as he went, so I guess
it's growing. As long as we don't get any more
snow we'll be golden. Unfortunately the weatherman is
calling for snow on Saturday but I'm hoping it's not much.
We've got a community work party happening near our place
where we can start a big old slash pile up for a wiener
roast for those that come and help out. We're starting
a bit early and we'll have to move the wood more than
once as a result, but it will help save on the last minute
rush between Christmas and New Year's when there's so
much to do for the New Year's Eve ice party.
Grow ice, grow!
We have a home invader and I'm guessing that it's
a fox. Two nights ago I could hear some growling
around midnight but just thought it was the lake. Then
our cat, who is still less than a year old, let out a
piercing shriek and I went thumping downstairs. I didn't
catch what it was, only a glimpse in the dark and the
cat door slammed shut. I figured it was probably the neighbour's
cat and searched around outside with a spot light for
a while but couldn't see anything.
Our new neighbour's cat has made himself pretty
comfortable in our yard and we've caught him in the basement
a couple of times when we've come home from being away.
So the cat's owner has made a real effort to keep the
cat inside, especially at night. I saw her up in Nimpo
yesterday and asked if her cat had been out the night
before and she said no, it had been in all night with
her. When I explained what had happened she said
that at four that morning she was woken up by her cats
and what sounded like a small dog growling. She
went rushing out to the entry where the little dog door
is, and didn't catch anything but her cat was hissing
and the other cat was arched up on the back of the couch
glaring at the pet door.
Since the food in our bag of cat food has gone down considerably
in the past week, I'm thinking that we've been getting
a visit from a fox. We don't have any stray cats in the
neighbourhood at all that I know of but we do have a black
fox and he's been leaving his tracks all over the place.
I was visiting over at a friend's this afternoon
and she had a red fox perched on her deck with the cat
sitting on the back of the couch glaring at it from inside
the house. Eventually the fox curled up on the
deck and just glared back. I know that there's a couple
of foxes in Nimpo as well that hang around looking for
handouts and they are really pretty to watch. But I don't
want one in my basement.
I have wondered why Trouble (our kitten/cat) has been
standing guard on the door downstairs for some time this
fall. He's been particularly determined to stay down there
the past two evenings and stay on watch. I had just assumed
that maybe he was watching for the neighbour's cat but
since it's nearly a half mile away and usually is in at
night, in retrospect it doesn't seem likely that that
is what was around. I know he was sure skittish
after that night that something was in the basement. Now
we just have to see what it is.
Andy set the wildlife camera up outside and pointed it
at the cat door last night but all it got was my periodic
forays out to get firewood for the stove. He'll set it
up again tonight but this time without the flash and I'll
leave the outside light on. I closed off the cat door
last night and will again tonight just because we really
don't need a cornered fox, otter, mink or anything else
in the basement. But at least once we know thine enemy
we can figure out how to live trap it and take it out
into the boondocks. Unless it's a cat, of course.
At least we don't have skunks here.....
Our neighbour, Ted Hlokoff, sent me a bunch of photos
of some pretty glorious sunrise/sunsets that I'll post
up on the right. He and a few of the other guys
went snowmobiling up in the Rainbows on Sunday and I guess
that meant a lot of stucks in some really deep snow.
I'll post his photos of that as well. As you can see below,
I've also decided to embed the Anahim Lake webcam of Highway
20 in this page to try something new. I've been asked
by a couple of people why I don't set up a webcam of our
lake so that people can see what's happening throughout
the seasons. I don't know much about webcams and don't
know if they require a lot of bandwidth or not. We're
only on satellite so we can't afford to use up a lot of
download or upload, nor would I want to slow down the
page load. But we'll try the Anahim one and see how it
goes. In the meanwhile I may do some research and find
out what it would cost for the equipment and what it would
entail to set up a web cam for Nimpo Lake. At least it
would be a lot more interesting than looking at a dirt
highway, I think. Check it out.
Last week's blog can be found at November
Lake Highway cam looking West.
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!