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Wilderness Adventures - December Week 3

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.

31/12/2005 11:32 AM

Last Day of 2005 and Winter Solstice

This has been quite a year and I would like to thank everyone for their feedback and for sticking with me on this site in 2005 and I would especially like to thank everyone that advertised on this site this year. This site went online last spring although I spent most of last winter and the winter before building it and even though I've tweaked a few things here and there, it is mostly just this page that gets updated. I guess within one day I will have to figure out what I am going to do with the archived blogs and how to set up the new year. As I explained before, this isn't automatic, I have to hand code every time I write this article, so it's not as a quick as it would be if I used an automatic setup as most people do. It also explains why I miss the odd day like yesterday. If I'm busy at something it isn't a simple matter of sitting down and pounding out an article.
Yesterday was an absolutely magnificent day. There were people all over the lake motoring around in vehicles, on fourwheelers, snowmobiles or just walking. I yearned for my cross country skiis but we were expecting company so getting outside and playing wasn't an option.
I've been reading the Alaska Almanac that we got for Christmas and it got me thinking about the winter solstice. Most people look at that time of winter as only having meaning in the far north such as Yukon or Alaska. And it's true that there seems to be a very noticeable and drastic loss of daylight hours in deep winter. For example, on the Arctic Circle, the sun does not rise for one day during the winter solstice (December 21 or 22) while in Barrow, Alaska north of the Arctic Circle, it does not rise for 67 days. Around Fairbanks there is only 3.42 hours of daylight on the winter solstice and around 7 hours in Anchorage. That isn't sunlight, that's daylight.
Although our days aren't as short during the winter solstice, it still has quite an effect on everyone. Our shortest day gives us little more than 8 hours of daylight, and the slow shortening of days building to the solstice drags everyone down. But as soon as the solstice has passed, everyone's mood lifts. Then it seems as though the days get longer at a great rate. Where in December you have to be down off the mountain and headed home while snowmobiling by 3:30 in the afternoon, by mid January you can get away with 5:00 p.m.
We all look forward to the long days in summer of course. Where Fairbanks has nearly 22 hours of daylight at the height of the summer solstice in June, we aren't that far behind. It isn't quite dark here even at 11:30 at night and it's lightening up again by 1:30 in the morning with full daylight by 3:00 a.m. If you look to the north, where our sun sets and rises in summer, you'll see the sun's glow on the horizon during the 'dark' hours on June 20 or 21.
This distinctive difference in seasons and daylight hours is quite a phenomena for people who come here to vacation for the first time from the far southern States. I remember being very surprised at the sudden nightfall when I've visited down south while visitors to here ask if it's ever going to get dark because we have such a long dusk and dawn.
I guess that's what makes this such an exciting world! Mother Nature's differences.
I have a brother visiting from Ohio for the next week so I don't know how often I'll get to write this article, but I'll do my best.
My family will be ringing in the New Year at the Nimpo Lake Community Hall tonite, and may switch back and forth between that and an ice party on Nimpo Lake.
Already there are lots of people on the lake with fourwheelers and a few non-mountain snowmobiles hauling wood for ice parties and pulling the kids around on tubes and sleds. One fellow is out there ice fishing and a few are walking with their dogs. Anahim Lake is also gearing up for their New Year's ice parties. The beauty of these is that children can attend which they cannot at the Halls where liquor is served. There's probably no doubt that people will have liquor on the ice as well in their thermoses, but there is far less chance of a road accident and most people are only a short walk, snowmobile or fourwheel ride from their front door. It certainly prevents the chance of an automobile accident on the highway and we don't have the high incidence of impaired driving that most towns and cities have on New Year's Eve.
In the meanwhile, I would like to wish the best for you and yours for the upcoming year of 2006. Happy New Year!

29/12/2005 12:21 PM

Winter Flying

Today was one of those absolutely glorious winter days perfect for flying. Probably not so much for snowmobiling. A bunch of the neighbours were going to trailer up to 18 km. to try snowmachining up Trumpeter Mountain. They invited us but I think the snow will have been too hard packed by the recent rains to make it possible. Since we both run powder machines, I have no intention of burning up a new Ski-Doo because there isn't enough soft snow, thank you very much. Instead, the guys went up in Terry's Super Cub to see how our intrepid snow machiners were making out. I would expect that the rocks through Goat Pass would still be impossible to get over if there isn't enough snow. They don't look like much in winter when snow covered but the boulders are the size of houses in summer.
Oh, I can hear the guys flying around now, so they must be back and having fun. This is truly beautiful country for flying in winter and a small plane on skiis can take off and land anywhere. Even with two people Terry's Super Cub has remarkably short take off and landing requirements. He commonly lands on the mountain to bs with the snowmobilers.
Nimpo Lake has finally started talking again. The last couple of nights it has gone well below freezing and since it warms up quite a bit during the day, there is quite a temperature difference on the surface of the ice. The day and night before last it boomed and muttered the whole time. Friends came over for supper and said they had walked down to the point where there was open water. Every time the ice boomed or shivered, the water would come bubbling up. I have to see this for myself. I didn't know it did that. It must cause waves in the water every time the ice cracks and a shelf of it drops or rises. I've tried to describe before the sounds the lake makes when freezing, and it's just indescribable. And unfortunately, unrecordable, or so it would seem. Anyway, I'm glad the lake monster is back. It seemed awfully quiet on freeze up this year, and I missed it. I could stand outside for hours at night and listen to it if it weren't so cold.
Well, the fliers are back. I guess they flew over the guys before Goat Pass and one machine had skiis in the air stuck in deep snow, and someone else was busily shoveling out his machine. They talked to them on the radio and the guys said they were having a few problems breaking trail so the snow must be deep in the woods. Terry noted that there was a lot more snow up on Trumpeter than had been previously. The snow had melted in an inversion layer that held cold air down on us for weeks but kept warm temperatures up high. It must have snowed when we got rain in the last week though so that's a plus. Now if we could just get more snow down here...we're so spoiled that we're used to snowmobiling from our front door out across Nimpo Lake, and usually don't start trailering our machines until late spring.

28/12/2005 2:15 PM

New Property for Sale on Nimpo Lake

This actually qualifies as an acreage that may be subdividable into 5 lots of a little over 2 acres apiece. This 12 acre lot sits on the south end of Nimpo Lake with a spectacular view of the Ilgatchuz and Itcha Mountains and has a protected bay that is ideal and has been used for mooring a floatplane.
Part of the 12 acres sits on Nimpo Lake with quite a bit of waterfront, while the lesser portion sits across Nimpo Lake Rd. South and includes meadows ideal for keeping horses or other livestock. The property has electricity and the main power line that runs along the road would allow for electricity to each lot as well as road access and waterfront should you decide to subdivide the property.
Most of the property is forested in spruce which is a real advantage in view of our pine beetle problems, and there are several high flat benches sitting above the lake that would make ideal building sites.
There is a 4 bedroom house with full kitchen and living area, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms downstairs as well as 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom upstairs. The upstairs is unfinished and the house needs siding on the outside. There is also a large cabin walled with sliding glass doors facing the lake on the property. The well is as near to artisian as you can get with unlimited water supply, there is a shed and docks, good road access and Crown Land (cannot be used for residential land) bounds the private and secluded property.
The owner is undecided as yet on price. He is waiting for us to go over and take a good look at the whole property and take some more pictures because we both have a real estate background. I would expect that a proper appraisal of the property should be made by an expert from Williams Lake, but it may take time to get one out here. If you would like more information, you can get contact info from the Properties for Sale page at Properties for Sale.
This is a rare property on Nimpo Lake as most were subdivided into smaller lots years ago. The only comparable parcels of this size left on the lake are the large resort properties. I will post more pictures as I get them.

27/12/2005 1:46 PM

After Christmas

Christmas 2005 is over, and now comes New Year's. Our family had a great Christmas although sometimes it's nice to just sneak home and have a few quiet moments.
This morning was a beautiful, crisp morning just below freezing and the sun shining. Several people were out on the ice roads skating and playing hockey. It warmed up so much over the holidays that it pooled several inches of water between the banks of the ice roads. Then it froze into a perfectly glassy surface for skating.
Just to show how quickly the weather can change though, by noon some wicked looking clouds started moving in and dropped snow for a few seconds. Our resident pilot was out playing around in his Super Cub on skiis, flying over Nimpo Lake until the storm moved in, anyway. He flew right at us so that I could get a good picture of him, but I clicked too fast and the digital didn't click fast enough the second time for me to get the close up. Next time.
Some day I'm going to read the instruction booklet and learn how to use this camera.
Only a couple of hours later the skies have cleared to our intense winter blues with only the clouds boiling up over the Coast Range.
Although the lake is now ideal for skating, it's not much good for snowmobiling on. What snow didn't melt during our warm spell has frozen to a hard crust, and you would overheat or burn the sliders out on any liquid cooled snow machine. It's still ok for driving a fourwheeler on though. Especially if you like doing 360's on the ice.
It looks like there's fresh snow on the mountains, so maybe we'll get lucky and have good powder up higher for snowmachines.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Santa was as good to you as he was to me!
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!


You can find last week's articles at December Week Two.
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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!
Plane on skiis
 
SuperCub
 
SuperCub plane on skiis takes off of Nimpo Lake
 
Subdivision Map
 
Skaters on Nimpo Lake
 
Ski Plane
 
Playing hockey on Nimpo Lake.
 
Plane flying in storm clouds.
 
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