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Wilderness Adventures - December 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.
You can search this site for a subject of interest to you at the bottom of this page.

24/12/2005 12:28 PM

Contact Information

Well, I finally did it. I added a contact page to this site. Yesterday morning a gentleman from Vernon called with inquiries about the area and the accessibility of a plane on skiis. Apparently he's expecting to be up here in February or March and I'm really hoping he'll stop by and I'll get to meet him.
More to the point, the fact that he had to phone made me realize that I really needed to give folks access to a contact page. It's a lot easier and less expensive for people to drop a note in an email than to phone.
The contact page is a form rather than just an email address. There is a critical reason for this. It gives me the opportunity to hide the actual address from Spammers and forward it on to my personal or business inbox. This way I won't have to constantly be changing the email address because it's being spammed to death.
Unfortunately, the email form isn't the most attractive thing going but it is the holidays and I decided I wanted to get something up quickly. Hopefully, I'll get a chance sometime in the next few months to spruce it up a bit. I realize that the form does require entering in some information before you can submit it, but it's absolutely necessary to block spammers and none of that information will be used except to return emails or phone calls if requested.
I look forward to hearing from people. Hopefully I can answer any questions posed off the top, but I can always get the info if necessary. I also look forward to comments, whether positive or negative about this blog. Positive is uplifting for all of us, and I can always learn from negative feedback. The link isn't on all of the pages of the site yet, but it will be eventually.
So here's your opportunity folks! Good or bad, all comments are welcome. This site has been a great opportunity to meet new people, including those who have visited the area, and to the fine couple from Texas that hopefully will be moving here soon.
Just to let you know, it's actually raining here! We enjoyed a great snow fall of big, fat, furry snowflakes last night that built up to several inches. Unfortunately, the highly unusual rain that we're seeing today is taking that down pretty fast, and poor Terry has spent the day pushing slush off the ice road on Nimpo Lake before it freezes. To look on the bright side, I guess we'll have a 7 mile long ice skating rink. Oh well, something else to blame on global warming.
Merry Christmas everyone! And to my new friends in Bavaria, thank you so much for the wonderful Christmas card!

22/12/2005 9:44 PM

Thursday Before Christmas

Everyone is just starting to take a big breath...and relax. Almost. There's still a few last minute things to be done. In our case, finish making presents, baking for baskets and Christmas dinners and a few more lights to go up, but the wrapping is done and most of the big stuff.
I was going out for a ski on the lake today but it started snowing hard making for poor visibility and light. I got started on other chores but once the snow let up, kids and parents appeared on the ice of Nimpo Lake like magic. Next thing you know, there were vehicles idling next to each other as people visited through their windows, the fourwheelers pulling little kids around the lake on sleds and the older kids on cross country skiis.
Lots of kids were skating on the ice rink by the boat ramp while more played hockey up and down the ice roads. Our neighbour will be delighted. He's commented the last couple of years that there just hasn't been the activity on the lake through winter that there used to be in the past. But I think that there was a bit of a lull there between generations. There just haven't been many kids around but suddenly a bunch of babies have grown old enough to be on the ice now. It's nice to see.
The blogs are probably going to become pretty irregular for the next few days with Christmas. You most likely won't see much now for articles until after Boxing Day.
If I don't get the chance tomorrow or the next day, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! And don't forget, it's not too late to book some vacation time between Christmas and New Year for a little winter recreation! Hope to see you up here for a little snowmachining, cross country skiing, winter hiking, or just sipping hot chocolate around a bonfire on the lake enjoying good company.
Happy Holidays!

21/12/2005 6:33 PM

Ice Road!

All is silent, not even a mouse...until the ice road goes in. It seems as though everyone waits with bated breath until the ice road goes in and then it's winter party time!
Terry B from the other end of the lake plowed the ice road on Nimpo Lake today accompanied by two guys on snowmobiles with ropes and long sticks just in case the truck goes through the ice. Probably not much danger of that this year. The least amount of ice on the Main Arm is six and half inches thick. Since he plowed out a road to our boat launch as well, I got to be the first on the ice with a vehicle this year, besides him of course, when I drove over to get the mail. Not that I was the only one for long.
My mother came whipping down from her end of the lake not an hour after and Trudy was parked down on the ice with her children. They had plowed out a skating rink next to shore with their fourwheeler and were happily skating and playing hockey by the time I got back down on the ice. By dusk there were a number of people over there skating and drinking hot chocolate.
By this afternoon Terry had plowed out roads to all the bays and of course his runway was plowed out a week ago. Snowmobiles only need to accompany the plow truck the first day. After that, the road ice will grow to be the deepest on the lake because it has no snow to insulate it from the cold and keep it from growing.
People are starting to travel in for the holidays and their first question when they hit the country is usually "Is the ice road on yet?". I know my fuel usage in my pickup will halve for the rest of the winter because you can cut off so much distance using the ice road. And it cuts down on rocks in the windshield that you get travelling the highway.
Winter has officially arrived!

20/12/2005 11:17 PM

Winter Mix and Match

It's still a busy time of year and didn't even get out of the house today but at least we got a tree up and decorated today. One more chore done for the holidays. Yes, I know, most of you don't consider decorating a Christmas Tree a chore but when you feel like you're already slipping backwards under a pile of things that need doing, what should be fun becomes something you try to do as quickly as possible. Not that it meant I got anything else accomplished today. I didn't.
I had hoped to get out for a ski today since our temperatures have warmed up considerably. It's hardly below freezing now and supposed to continue warming for the next six days. As you can see from the picture on the right though, someone else got out. The neighbour boys got out on Nimpo Lake today, one pulling the other on a snowboard with their fourwheeler. I didn't know it was possible to snowboard in just a few inches of snow on ice but they did a pretty respectable job of it. Looked quite flashy out there doing some fancy turns, until he fell down, anyway. That must have hurt, but up he bounced again calling for his brother to come back for another round.
The chickadees are not feeding quite so frantically now that temperatures have warmed up a bit and it's nice to see people out walking and riding again.
The one picture on the right shows trees plastered with snow around 100 Mile House on our way home from the Okanagan the other day. I put it in because believe it or not, much of that white build up is not snow, but frost repeatedly building up on the trees and powerlines. Over a period of a week that heavy cold air held down moist air in the valleys all over British Columbia and coated everything in layer after layer of frost. What was different from the usual was seeing white on the trees from frost down low, and nothing up high because the sun was hitting at higher elevations and melting any frost. That is opposite of what you would normally see this time of year.
Today was a bit disasterous around the province. A lot of freezing rain causing accidents. We missed the bullet again. It was a very pleasant day here but I'm glad we weren't travelling today.
Weird. Oh well, blame it on global warming. Isn't that what we all do nowdays? I'm counting my blessings today because I'm not trying to get back and forth to work and do my Christmas shopping in New York city with a transit strike on. Ain't life wonderful?

20/12/2005 12:21 AM

Shopping Outside of Nimpo Lake

Unfortunately, that's a must. Hello folks. Sorry about the long absence, but it's a sad necessity this time of year. Although I dearly love this country, it does have the odd downside and Christmas shopping is one of them. We're a little limited on the ability to purchase gifts for friends and family here. Actually, we're a lot limited. Although Anahim Lake has three grocery/general stores or trading posts including the Native Band store, and Nimpo Lake has one, they're more for day to day survival. It can actually be a bit tough to find a birthday card much less that 'perfect' gift for your loved one. As you've probably guessed by now, residents of both Nimpo and Anahim do their shopping by catalogue, driving out to 'town' or lately, by Internet.
Since we have a place down in the Okanagan, we chose to go there to do our Christmas shopping. That of course means a nine hour drive and since you've spent the time and fuel to get there, it's also an opportunity to pick up hardware and house stuff and visit a few friends. Coming back last Friday night brought home just how isolated this region is and dependent on nearby town centers for the shopping goods. I have never seen so many vehicles on the 200 mile stretch from Nimpo Lake to Williams Lake in all the years I have been on that road. It seemed everyone in the country was making a beeline east on Highway 20. It finally occurred to us that it was the last full shopping weekend before Christmas and everyone was headed out to civilization to do their thing. Of course I consider passing 40 or 50 vehicles on a three and half hour drive to be quite a line of traffic but in reality, I suppose anyone from the city would laugh at that number.
The weather has been extremely cold province wide and in the last three days here it's dropped to -23C or -10F below and chillier at night. Nimpo Lake is freezing up nicely and the ice road will be built soon, I'm sure. Our resident road builder wanted to do that Sunday after drilling ice the length of Nimpo but since he ran into a spot that had only 4.5 inches on the Main Arm in one area, he chose to hold off. 4.5 inches is enough to hold a light vehicle easily, but it also means there could be spots with less ice yet, and that's courting disaster.
The weather is supposed to warm up drastically tonite or tomorrow and bring snow which could cause overflow and slow down the building of the ice road but hopefully our excellent cold temps will have given us enough good quality ice for the winter.
Sun shining on cold ice during the day and cold temps at night have really set the lake to muttering and singing. The ice is snapping into a myriad of cracks that quickly fill with water. There is the odd fourwheeler, one snow machine, a plane and my ski tracks on the lake so far, but it'll pick up in a hurry.
I do have some pictures to post but not enough time tonite so I'll do it when I can.
I hope those of you who've been faithfully reading haven't abondoned me! I've tried to keep this a pretty regular article since starting the site this spring but it's funny how fall and Christmas and all that entails sneaks up on you. Cheers! Hear's hoping I can write tomorrow.

11/12/2005 9:04 PM

Auction

The auction at the Nimpo Lake Community Hall last night was a roaring success! We raised money to pay for next year's insurance and finish the addition. The potluck was terrific and Logan, our auctioneer was hilarious. I would love to write more but I just spent an hour writing this article and wiped it out by accident. Since I don't have another spare hour, this will be short and sweet. The next party at the Hall will be at New Year's Eve and should be great fun.
Things are gearing up to be quite busy for the next few days with Christmas and all, so I probably won't be writing much. But I'll write when I can. Oh, and the lake is really starting to sing again!

10/12/2005 11:02 AM

Handgun Ban

For those of you that don't know, or particularly care, Canada has a federal election coming up and the election promises from all parties are flying. Although we're hard-core conservative, the new Conservative leader is so radical and so scary that we were actually looking at voting Liberal this time. At least until the Conservatives had the good sense to find a different leader.
Paul Martin, the Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal party has a really good track record as Finance Minister for the past Liberal government, and although he's got the nickname of Mr. Dithers for a reason, he seems fairly level headed and reasonable for the most part.
Until yesterday.
The idiot declared a ban on all handguns in Canada. We already have a ban on handguns. They are a restricted weapon and have had stringent restrictions on them since 1930 and those restrictions got even tougher in the 90's. You have to jump through a lot of hoops and go through a lot of licensing details, including background checks by the RCMP to be licensed to own a handgun. You then need to go get a carrying permit from the police in order to transport the gun. That includes from your house to the gun range and back, if you are a target shooter.
Big cities like Toronto and Vancouver are having crime and gang problems with homicides and other crimes committed with handguns. However, more than 84% of homicides are committed with illegal or unregistered handguns. The rest with stolen guns that may have been registered with the legitimate owner. Why would these idiots in government think that the criminal element is going to be the least bit affected by a ban on handguns. Does Martin think they're just going to run out and register their guns right away? No, instead, the value of blackmarket guns has just gone up by ten times and the marketeers are laughing all the way to the bank at the announcement.
Martin's knee jerk reaction to vow to ban all handguns if he gets into power is strictly a political ploy for the idiots and ignorant that live in their insulated little urban homes and don't have a clue about the real world. They think that if all handguns are banned then they won't have anymore crime. I can't stress the word idiot enough. They are already banned. Where the government falls down is in law enforcement and immigration enforcement. Most repeat offenders are let back out onto the streets because there is no space in the jails for them. Many of the convicted are aliens or landed immigrants that have deportation orders and ignore them. Not to be racist but a huge number of our worst criminal element are from other countries either under refugee status or illegally. The answer to a lot of our problems lies in showing this unsavory element the door out of the country and forbidding them re-entry. Ever. However, as most people the world over know, Canada is the home of the bleeding hearts club and all any of the criminal trash have to do is claim that they will be treated poorly if they go back to their own country, and Canada hands them the keys to continue doing whatever they want to in this country.
I find it disturbing and telling that time, after time, after time, when you see the pictures of criminals and gang members on tv smirking as they walk out of a courthouse just after beating a homicide rap, or getting conditional sentencing, or being able to serve their sentence at home, you will rarely see a white face. No caucasians. Everything but. They have connections to other countries and gangs in other countries, providing pipelines for drugs, guns, etc. And the best that Paul Martin can come up with to buy votes is to ban handguns. Oh yeah, and they're going to up the number of immigrants allowed in the country to 250,000 annually to increase to 500,000 annually by 2010 and relax the requirements. I wouldn't have a problem with that if the people entering the country were the legitimate, hardworking immigrants that made this country and the US great to begin with. But that isn't what we're getting. If the Canadian government thinks they're getting an increase in hard working, tax paying citizens, they are sadly mistaken. The past 20 years should have shown us that. Or the huge influx of Asians we got in Vancouver when Hong Kong was being passed back. The Canadian government opened the doors wide more for self interest than sympathy because they invisioned a lot of money coming from Asia with those people. Unfortunately, a huge percentage of Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean gang members came along with them. And of course they don't get along with each other much less with the East Indians that already existed here and the Hispanic gangs that have moved in from the south. Fortunately for BC, most Russian Mafia, Italian Mafia, Hell's Angels and other bike clubs operate mostly in the East or it wouldn't be safe to walk in any BC city at night.
I feel strongly that the only thing that keeps this element in check, as well as the drug using B&E artists, is that they really don't know who in this country is ready and willing to defend their home and their business with a firearm. Take the firearms away from the law abiding citizens, because they are the only ones that will register their guns in order to keep from being labelled a criminal, and you have just taken all restrictions off the criminals. Why no one can see that is beyond me!


You can find last week's articles at December Week One.
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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!
Plow truck on Nimpo Lake
 
Plowing the ice road
 
Coastal Range overlooks truck plowing Nimpo Lake.
 
Ski and fourwheeler tracks on Nimpo Lake
 
A boy on a fourwheeler pulls another on a snowboard on the lake
 
Frost covered trees.
 
Picture of a Chickadee
 
Pink cloud of sunset
 
picture of a light covered spruce tree
 
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