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Wilderness Adventures - Feb, Week 1/2007

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.

You can search this site for a subject of interest to you at the bottom of this page. Check out the Picture of the Day.

07/02/2007 7:09 PM

The Track

I got to try out the new cross country ski track today. I was so excited by the prospect that it was hard to force myself to work on the computer for a few hours before going out.
It started snowing fine flurries this morning so it wasn't exactly a glorious day to go out. Temperatures were right on freezing and I was afraid that the fresh snow might stick to my skis but I thought I would go check out anyway. If it was no good, I would come back and go for a walk instead.
Heading out across Nimpo Lake to the opposite shore was great and since the going was good, I decided to see how close I could get to my ultimate goal, Dot Island, even though it was hard to see through the little snowflakes. I had to take a quick short cut on my old ski trail and it becomes obvious pretty fast just what an amazing difference there is between a ski made trail and a track setter. Pure heaven and feeling pretty spoiled, let me tell you!
I was getting closer to Dot Island when I came around the corner of a point extending out into the lake and scared up a moose from about fifty feet away. I didn't get much of an opportunity to watch it as it fled down the lake because the dogs took off as well. The Lab stopped dead on my first yell but it took quite a bit more yelling to stop the other dog in his tracks and get him to come back. That is one thing I will not tolerate is my dogs running game or even scaring them for that matter. Surprisingly, the moose didn't move as fast as I would have expected it to, and in fact, stopped for a few moments. Then it continued along the shoreline for quite a ways before finally disappearing into the bush. That tells me that the animals feel far more secure staying on the lake with little snow until they see what's behind them.
Since I was busy bellowing at River I got little chance to take a picture so it's a good thing I didn't have the camera with me for the first time since I started skiing, or I would have been really upset at the dog. It would be my luck that the little camera that's so easy to carry has been out on loan since yesterday. However, I don't seem to be the only camera challenged person in the country. I don't know how many people have told me about the terrific wildlife shots they could have gotten in the last few weeks if they'd just had a camera. Or as in the case of the neighbour across the lake who tried to take pictures of a bunch of caribou they came upon, had the camera but the batteries were dead. Actually, the same fellow said that he and his wife got up yesterday morning and looked out to see a moose in front of the house looking right back at them! Gotta love it!
Skiing back across the lake today was not nearly as nice as going out. The temperature must have just changed slightly because my skis were really sticking to the new skiff of snow in the track. It wasn't bad if I climbed out of the track and onto the icy drifts on the lake but as long as I stayed in the track I risked taking a header every second step. As a result, I had to shuffle-ski all the way home. Slow going to say the least.
Part of the province is expecting much colder temperatures and I'm almost hoping we see them as well. At least it would make for nicer skiing as long as it wasn't too cold. However, on the weather map we almost look like we're on the warm side of a big low spinning off the coast of British Columbia, so I don't know what we're going to get. I don't think the weatherman knows either.

06/02/2007 4:17 PM

Moose Antics

Or perhaps it should be described as the moose saga.
Yesterday morning Andy watched a moose that looked really confused and acted strangely out on the lake. Yesterday afternoon, I saw why.
A moose came out from behind the small island crossing over behind the big island with the cow and calf not far behind it. The first moose started on a bit of a run and disappeared behind the big island while the cow and calf stopped in the middle of the lake. She wandered first one way, then another, looking toward where the other moose had gone and then back from where she had come from. After wandering around on the lake for awhile, she and the calf headed first toward a large peninsula extending out into the lake, and then eventually back toward the small island. I saw her look back, and the other moose comes back into view. The cow and calf stop and face back toward it until there's about a hundred feet between them. Then the cow took a run at the other moose full tilt, turned and headed back toward her calf. The other moose then starts running at her. Finally, all three disappeared behind the small island. Eventually, the single moose reappeared and headed toward Wilderness Rim.
For the life of me I have no idea what went on with that little performance. Has a single animal tried to join the cow and calf group? Momma has been sticking pretty much to herself the whole time she and last year's calf have been hanging around, so she obviously isn't much into company.
I suppose it's possible that the other moose is a two year old that she kicked out when she had her present calf and it's just not getting the message. Or is the other moose a dry cow that is trying to steal the calf? Or a bull that is trying to kill the calf?
I just saw the loner moose crossing behind the big island about a half hour ago and then back to the small island just a few minutes ago. Perhaps the cow managed to lose the animal since yesterday and it's trying to find her again. Don't know, but it sure is interesting.
What's most amazing to me is being able to look out over Nimpo Lake periodically and see at least one moose a day. That isn't that common an event in the winter. You see them, but certainly not that much! I can only guess that the lake is still the fastest manner for them to get around because there's so little snow on it, very few people this year, and no vehicles. The moose don't seem to be bothered at all by the fact that there are houses and people on three sides of the lake. It's their kingdom and that's just all.
I did run across what I'm reasonably sure was a wolf track on the lake while skiing yesterday. It's a lot bigger track than our biggest dog can make, and even where it showed up quite clearly, it was still dished out on the edges like there was a lot of hair around the pads. The animal did a lot of wandering around over on the other side where there are so many moose tracks and beds as well as on the big island where the moose have also been. We don't get a lot of wolves around here, but they do come in occasionally. Most people in the area only ever see one and we've only seen a pair crossing the lake once. So at least no packs have moved in. Not as far as we know, anyway.
I took the track setter out onto Nimpo Lake today. It has to be pulled at a very slow speed in order to set a proper track, but unfortunately, any liquid cooled snowmobile overheats at that speed. It didn't take long for my red light to come on so I shut the machine off and loaded the tunnel with snow to get it cooled off. It took about a half hour of waiting before I could get the snowmobile started again so after that, I just turned out of the track every few minutes and ran the machine at a higher speed in deep snow. I got a half decent cross country ski track laid down one side of the lake and then up the other so that now I'll have a good run from my end and Mazy should have a good run from hers.

05/02/2007 11:11 AM

The Downsides

There is the odd time while living in the Chilcotin that there is a disappointing downside to the remoteness.
Andy is in the process of learning to fly but of course there are a lot of steps between starting and actually doing. Thank the government for being so over-regulated on that score. Pretty much anyone can get behind the wheel of a 45 foot long RV, no matter that they might be ninety five years old, half blind and susceptible to heart attacks, and cruise down a busy highway packed with weekend travelers. But if you want to fly a small bush plane in air space so empty you're lucky to find a bird, you have more hoops to jump through than you can shake a stick at.
I don't have a problem with rules and regulations and we're lucky to have a fully certified instructor willing to come up here and live for a couple of months. But when you're dealing with pilot medicals done 100 miles to the west of us, that have to be sent 350 miles to the south of us, after medical tests are completed 200 miles to the east of us, all based on everyone else's time frame, never mind that we have one of our own or are the ones dealing with the distance issue. It's like a house of cards or row of dominoes. Each one has to be stood up carefully in order to make each behind it stand as it should. If one collapses, they all do.
The same distance thing can get in the way when trying to fly out for a holiday. I'm supposed to go visit my brother for five days in Reno. That should be a pretty simple matter because from most places it is. However, just to fly out of here to Vancouver where you can catch a flight to Reno is several hundred dollars more than the main flight is. Andy can drive me to Prince George (nearly six hours) where I can catch a series of flights taking up to thirteen hours with several plane changes (including in San Francisco) just to get to Reno. Or I can drive into Williams Lake (three hours) to ride a bus from Williams Lake to Vancouver (nine hours) then transit or taxi to the airport (two hours) where I can take a plane four hours to Reno and then do everything in reverse. Since bus times and plane times don't match up, I would have to have motel rooms going both ways as well. The way I look at it, I can probably drive to Reno in not much more time than that. Once you factor in fuel costs or ticket costs, they're probably much the same. In fact, if I owned a small car, driving would probably be cheaper.
There is no question that having access to the Internet to collect all the information speeds things up considerably, but matching times and dates and realizing what a colossal job it is just to get somewhere is highly frustrating. Can you tell I don't travel much? Actually, I've done quite a bit of traveling but it's always been from the front seat of my own vehicle and I'm thinking that may just be the way it will be this time as well.
Though my frustrating travel plans are really of minor importance, Andy's attempt to get pilot training could easily be sidelined for yet another four years because of our location. Although we would never trade our beautiful, peaceful country for the convenience of a more populated area, (think smog, crime, people...) there is that rare moment when you wish things could be different. Especially for those folks that live out here who are getting older and who's health is deteriorating, and there are many. They generally take the long trips out to hospitals or doctors in stride, but many accept that they will eventually have to move. There is no question that there are trade offs and it would seem the key is organization and planning way, way ahead. We all operate on Chilcotin time out here with a lax view on rules, regulations and time constraints. Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn't.
The new weather system has landed a warm front over us with temperatures well above freezing and a constantly changing mix of sun and cloud. Skiing was out of the question yesterday because the snow was so warm it would have just balled up under my skis. I've taken a few headers before because of that and know better now. But a long walk netted me lots of fresh moose tracks on and off the road. There must be a zillion rabbit tracks crisscrossing the fresh snow and either our lynx has quite the country or he's eating really, really well right now.
Andy watched a confused moose wander Nimpo Lake this morning, going back and forth unable to make up his mind where he was going. I'm not sure what was up with that. But there's no question the animals are sticking around. Neighbours went snowmobiling yesterday and counted 27 caribou crossing Nimpo Lake on their way up to Goat Lake.
I've gotten kind permission from the owner of The Dean to use his track setter to make ski trails for myself and Andy's instructor down to the other end of the lake. I'm hesitant at the moment to run all the way down because the same fellow got badly stuck in overflow with his jeep after I saw him driving down the lake the other day. Since a track setter is heavy and you have to go slow pulling it with the snowmobile, I hesitate to meet the same fate, but we'll see.

03/02/2007 12:46 PM

Snow Flakes Are Falling On My Head...

That was a song wasn't it? Maybe not. There'll be a few pounds of snow on my head by the time I go out skiing this afternoon if this doesn't quit!
Andy and Mazy were supposed to go up for their first practice run in the plane today. Andy's been watching the mountains slowly disappear behind a curtain of cloud and by the time I got up, they were gone. We could see snow slowly making its way across the lake and it's been pouring it down now for about an hour. Fine flakes at first but big fat ones are falling now so that should signal an end soon. Maybe.
It's really nice to see the snow, even if it does foul up the best of plans. It's been a couple of weeks at least now since we've seen snow falling and I'm tired of the ice. This will be wonderful stuff to make new ski tracks in!
A couple of the neighbours were going to go sledding today, possibly popping down to Charlotte Lake for a cup of tea with friends and asked us along. I expect that will have been put off until tomorrow now too simply because it's hard to see much when the light is like this and there are snowflakes blanketing your faceplate.
We've had quite a spell of very cold nights and not bad days with the sun shining almost every day. The moon has been so bright it's been lighting up the night so that you can see almost as well as during the day, especially with the moonlight reflecting off the snow. But I guess our weather is changing now. Andy commented yesterday that it was a local oldtimer's contention that a completely full moon would signal a weather change to warmer temperatures. That holds true too, to the best of my recollection. It seems you can get into some really deadly cold spells, even in summer, on a moon growing fatter, but then it changes on a full moon or waning moon.
I went on a walk yesterday in the back woods and was surprised to see that there weren't that many fresh moose tracks crossing the trail. I figured the animals may have moved on because conditions are so much better for them with the snow having settled a bit. There is a crust on top but it doesn't do much to support a dog like Mocha who was floundering quite a bit whenever she went off the trail, so it may still slow predators down from putting the run on moose, deer and caribou.
When I hit the road it became apparent why there were no tracks in the woods. The moose are all walking around on the road! Fresh tracks were everywhere and when I talked to my neighbour, he said there was fresh sign by his place and he saw a moose crossing the lake yesterday. So I guess they're still here, they're just choosing the easy routes.
I found a bed right on the lake close to the shore on the opposite side of Nimpo Lake when I went skiing the other day. It doesn't look like the moose are staying in the woods at all over there either, but only near them for cover.
This Afternoon:
Our snow stopped, it lightened up and I went for a ski across the lake. It's a little brutal in our bay because I couldn't find my ski tracks that were cut into the ice drifts during the melt, but once across the lake it was nice going. We got about an inch and a half in that little snowstorm today, freshening things up quite a bit. Now the sun is trying to peak through and you can see the mountains so maybe we'll have a nice day tomorrow.
I watched folks from across the way drive down the middle of Nimpo Lake to the other end while I was out skiing today. I guess that means they are the first to drive the lake this year! I'm sure there's lots of ice out in the middle because there's about 18 inches in our bay, but still, it takes a lot of guts to be the first ones out there! Especially without the reassurance of an ice road. Maybe we'll take the ice auger out to the middle tomorrow and see just how big a vehicle can travel it. It sure would be nice to be able to drive the lake again.
02/02/2007 7:29 PM

The Remarkable Tales Of Rimarko

Rimarko on Charlotte Lake has an interesting background and colorful reputation going back years. Also spelled Remarko, there is both a ranch and a huge lodge located on massive Charlotte Lake only a few minutes over the hill from Nimpo Lake. By floatplane, anyway.
I bring the place up because I got an inquiry a little while back from a fellow that wanted to know what had happened to it and if the airfield there was still open to planes. I didn't ask, but can only assume he visited the place years ago and so was somewhat familiar with it. However, the lodge at Rimarko has long been in disrepair even though the present owner's wife tried to fix it up and run it as a paying lodge again in the early 80's, but without success.
Ever since I first hit this country years ago I remember hearing fantastic stories about the lodge, or certainly what seemed fantastic to me considering Charlotte Lake's isolation from the rest of the world.
I remember the first time I tried driving over the road, and I use that term loosely, to the recreational beach end of the lake. After what seemed several hours of bouncing through ruts and over large rocks pointing in all different directions I finally arrived at the end and promptly turned around because it was so late in the day. So when I heard that Rimarko Lodge had for many years entertained famous hollywood stars and politicians from all over the world and had an extremely colorful past, I had some serious doubts. First of all, how the hell would they get in there?!!!
Well as it turns out, the lodge had a runway that was as long as our airport runway at Anahim Lake and could take some pretty large planes, one of which was a DC-3 that ferried the supplies and people in for the many large parties the lodge hosted. Rimarko was also known as the place for a working holiday ...you know, the kind you took your secretary on. Discretion and isolation. What more do you need?
I ran into a fine man long since retired from the police force that lives with his wife on Charlotte Lake. I figured I could get a little background on Rimarko from John since he lived in the area but what I got was a really good story. It turns out that John was pretty good friends with the guy that owned Remarko way back then and as John said, "Boy, there's some stories I could tell about that place! Someone should write a book about it." Well John, if we ever get a chance to sit down over a few cups of coffee one day, maybe I will. Unfortunately, standing in the parking lot up at the Post Office wasn't the best place for background but John was obliging, nonetheless.
It seems the owner's family either owned or was directly involved with Fairbanks Morris, which I gather was a large manufacturing company in the States that had something to do with electrical systems. Doesn't matter. Anyway, this guy was the black sheep of a moneyed family so they shipped him out of the country, presumably with some money, kind of into an exile of sorts. It sounds like whether he had money or not, he had a lot of gumption and through a lot of hard work and vision, he built the lodge on Charlotte Lake. Over a period of years he built up a very distinct clientele from all over the world. Rich, powerful or famous, they somehow made their way into the trackless wilderness (or darned near so) to hunt, bird, vacation and party. Since it used to take people several days to get out to this area by horse and wagon, I can only assume that most came by plane. Otherwise they would all have been toothless from bouncing over the roads.
I had heard that people had been coming to the lodge as far back as the roaring 20's but I really don't know if that's true. I do know that John's story was about a time in the mid 60's. By this time the guy had married, had a family and his daughter was getting married.
Morris (His last name, I don't remember his first, though John did tell me.) invited John to his daughter's wedding at the lodge and to the big party afterward. John commented that it would be a fancy affair and Morris told him to come and to bring his friends if he wanted, and not to worry about anything.
John said they arrived at the party, with their best shirts and jeans on but of course they couldn't possibly compete with the sea of long ball gowns and black tuxes. He said the women wore long gloves and were dripping with more jewellry than you'll ever see in a lifetime. Loads of fresh flowers had been flown in for the lawn wedding, and young guys were shaking champaign bottles until they blew the corks and spewed the drink out in great fountains. John said, "They didn't even drink it, they would just set the bottle down, pick up another and do it again, on and on until they must have gone through cases!!"
John said there must have been a hundred lights lit in the lodge and on the lawn so that the whole place looked like a jewel flashing in the dark. And the food, he said! There was everything you could think of and even some things you couldn't!
There were cases of every kind of liquor stacked behind the bar and great tubs of ice and fine glassware everywhere. Morris brought in a bartender from New York, a fancy Chef, and even a piano player from Chicago. John said Morris introduced him to the bartender and told him John was to get whatever he wanted, when he wanted, all night long. That might not have been a good thing according to John.
I guess the piano player had been playing background music to the party, but John said it was almost like elevator music. By this time, most of the folks are getting to feeling pretty good. So when the piano player took a break, John's friend Gerald, from Bella Coola, asked the piano man if he could play a few tunes in the interim. "Go ahead," the black gentleman said, "By all means!"
"Now," John said, "Gerald doesn't play elevator music, but he can play! Gerald gets going on the piano, another friend gets on his guitar and someone else gets going on the accordian. Before you know it, the ladies are kicking up their heels, the men hootin' and hollerin' and everyone's just having a grand old time. Livened that party right up! Course the piano player never did get back on his piano for the rest of the night. No one wanted him to."
John said parties there could go all night and for several days but by the wee hours of the morning, he decided he'd better be getting home. He had to cross Charlotte Lake by boat and as he stated, he was having problems even finding the boat! He and the rest of his party got loaded up and set off, and John said it was lucky that someone had set out a lantern at his dock or he would never have been able to navigate his way back home.
It's funny, but my imagination kicks into overdrive every time someone tells me about Remarko in its hayday and always the same picture comes to mind. I guess because so many people that have been in the country for years describe it all in much the same way. A place involving a lot of opulence and glitter. I can just imagine the place lit up like a wildly flickering jewel at night, in inky blackness where even to this day there is no electricity or any other source of light to take away from the building's own majesty. A huge lake to reflect all that light back looking like a million diamonds on the water. Piano music and laughter spilling out the doors and windows and the aroma of expensive cigar smoke wafting on the breeze.
I wonder what some trapper passing by through the woods with his packtrain after being out in the bush for a year, would have thought about the whole thing?
The whole thing would have looked very out of place in the Chilcotin, I'm sure!
Keep in mind that throughout the region most people still lived in log cabins, some quite small, heating with wood and lighting with kerosine lamps. Most folks didn't own vehicles because few could make it out over the road from Williams Lake without falling to pieces, so most people still got around with horses and wagons. Many who lived in remote cabins hauled in their food and supplies only once or twice a year and cash money was a scarce commodity. So the opulence displayed at Rimarko would have been a rare thing indeed and something to be remarked upon for the rest of the century.

31/01/2007 9:15 PM

The Last Day

Most years January seems to be the longest month of any in the year. It just seems to drag on forever. This year it went somewhere, and I have no idea where. I think we were looking on the calendar to see what day had the full moon and on seeing it was the 31st. today, my reaction was, "Holy Cow!! What the heck happened to January?"
In any case, the month is nearly gone, hope it was as good for you as it was for me, and this isn't going to be a long article because I'm backed up a bit on work and I've lost part of the evening to a supper date.
Andy's niece arrived in Nimpo Lake this evening to instruct him in the art of flying. Betcha not that many guys get to be taught by a pilot that good looking! We took Mazy out to burgers down at the Dutchman and got her settled into her new digs. So from here on out Andy will have to keep his nose to the grindstone, or in the books, anyway.
The lake has really been grumbling the last two nights as well as today. The night temperatures have been dropping down to about -20C or 5 below zero Fahrenheit but getting up to around freezing or above during the day with lots of heat in the sun. Now that it's rock hard compact snow on the surface of the lake I think that the drastic temperature difference is really causing the ice to sing. And crack. You can really hear the snow shift and you can tell a chunk of ice has dropped a few inches with a real whoomphf!
Had another good run on the lake yesterday. Donn over at The Dean was kind enough to run a cross country trail in the back bay and across the front and I got to be the first to use it. The downside was that it was too short so I ended up following my tracks across Nimpo Lake to the point where the moose hang out. Still all kinds of fresh tracks over there.
Today I took a break, mainly because I have a lot of work to catch up on but there's also no point in making my muscles so sore I foul myself up for several days. After all, this is the first week out on skis, so might as well build up.
Okay, gotta go folks. Hopefully I can sneak some time on here tomorrow!

29/01/2007 7:09 PM

Work Party Of One

There have been a lot of beetle killed pine trees dropping around here and I've been of little assistance in that endeavor. Although I did get to roast a hot dog for lunch over the fire that Andy now has in the driveway on which he burns all of the limbs and branches from the dead trees. Other than pulling down the odd tree while Andy cuts, or throwing a few measly branches on the fire on occasion, Andy has been doing all of the work clearing our property of the dead trees. And it's definitely making a difference to the looks of the place. Still lots and lots to go yet and unfortunately, there are a number that are going to be a little tricky to bring down because they're positioned in a manner to do maximum damage to buildings, powerlines, or toys.
Even without the sun shining it ended up being several degrees above freezing today which really softened up the snow. It meant a good run on cross country skis out on the lake today because I was actually making a track in the hard surface snow over the ice. Yesterday I tried out the ski trail that the owner of The Dean tracks into snow above the highway. I think yesterday might have been a bad day to try it. The trail had glazed over from melt the day before and was extremely slippery. Going down hill on cross country skis through tight corners around pine trees on an unfamiliar and icy trail does not turn me on. Once, I had to fall down just to keep from landing headfirst and breaking a ski (or my skull) on a pine tree that was coming at me at a ferocious rate. After landing on my butt about four times, I gave up and turned around. That's okay. The dogs needed a run and since they couldn't come up with me, I came back home and took them for a walk instead, vowing to stick to trails I break myself on the lake or in the woods. That way, if I break my neck I have only myself to blame.
Andy saw another moose in our meadow this morning but decided he didn't want to go chasing it with a camera again today. It suits us if they're comfortable sticking around the area so there's no sense frightening them off for the sake of more pictures.
I was concerned that I might have bothered the cow moose and calf that hang out on the other side of the lake exactly where I like to go cross country skiing. Apparently leaving my own scent, as well as the two dogs leaving tracks and scent all over the place Saturday, bothered the moose not at all. My ski trail was stomped nearly out of existence by moose tracks. Apparently they decided it was a very convenient place to walk. So I guess I'm just not going to worry about sharing the environment with the wildlife. They certainly don't seem to have a problem sharing it with me.

28/01/2007 12:20 PM

Mooses Galore!

Yes, I'm aware that mooses is not the proper term for a multiple number of moose. You would really think that there would be more consistency in the English language. If the plural of goose is geese, then how come we don't have meese when we have more than one moose?
This morning Andy had to run over to Nimpo and just as he pulled out of our yard he saw a band of moose crossing the little meadow next to our guest cabin. He backed up the truck as quickly and quietly as possible, ran into the house, grabbed the camera and headed back out, hoping the moose hadn't taken off. He knows how much I value pictures of animals, especially close up ones that I can use here.
There were four moose, presumably the same four he saw cross Nimpo Lake yesterday morning. But no calf. Andy said they got a little nervous as he neared them because the snow was so crunchy, but they couldn't have been that nervous! With the exception of a young one at the back of the pack, most of them had their heads buried in the buckbrush, feeding, while Andy took pictures. Eventually the four crossed our driveway and continued on their way in about the same spot as I've seen tracks crossing the last few weeks.
Shortly after I got up, one of the lodge owners was taking a walk across the lake with her dog. Suddenly, as she neared the small island, the cow moose with the small calf came pelting out the other side and split for the far shore as fast as they could go. Since these two are definitely different from the four I just saw pictures of, then there's no question that there are at least six moose wandering around the edges of Nimpo Lake. Although with two scares in two days, I'm not sure how long the cow and calf will hang around.
From all evidence, the cow has been sticking pretty close to the edge of the lake and I think it's because her calf from last spring is not that big. It wouldn't have an easy time making it through deep snow and now that the snow on the lake has settled it's a good place for a fast getaway if you have short legs. Otherwise, it's possible it could meet the same fate as a calf moose found up near Heckman Pass along the road recently. It had dived off of the road, probably because of a vehicle and become imbedded in the deep snow. It couldn't move and died there where it had to be disposed of by the highways crew.
This probably explains why that cow and calf wouldn't move off of our road for Andy about a week ago. The snow hadn't settled yet and was still really deep. I wonder by what instinct a cow moose knows that it's dangerous to have a small calf at higher elevations when there's deep snow. Or does she?
With the exception of our dogs, said wussies being in the porch because of cold temperatures, pretty much every dog in the neighbourhood was setting up a major ruckus late last night. Finally, after listening for a moment, I could hear coyotes howling. It's getting close to their mating season now so we'll be hearing them a bit more. It's funny because everyone has been commenting on how few coyotes there seems to be around right now. I don't know if they've been laying low because of deep snow or not, but I definitely haven't been seeing much in the way of tracks this winter.
Later Today
I had to run up to Nimpo Lake this afternoon and as I drove by the gun range I slowed down thinking it might be a good place to see a moose. Sure enough, there was a big black guy at the far end of the meadow nipping at buds on poplar trees as he moved up the slope. He stood some tall and some hefty! He was all by himself and he had to be the bull that Andy has seen a couple of times, once crossing the road not far from there. Andy had commented then on how huge and black this particular moose was and although I kept taking the camera to town with me in the hopes of seeing him, today was the first time. I only had the little camera with me, so at that distance, he didn't show up that well in the pictures. I did get enough of an opportunity to study him though, to realize that the four moose Andy took pictures of this morning, many of which are up on the right, are smaller than this guy. Who knows, they may all be pregnant cows of varying ages with the possible exception of the smaller animal looking face on. It might well be the two year old offspring of one of the others. Without antlers, you just can't always tell. In any case, that's seven moose we've seen today, all within two miles of our place, and none of them that shy.
I have started a new week so if you would like to read yesterday's or articles for the past week, you can go to January, 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!
Beautiful morning sunrise.
 
Big moose in snow.
 
Group of moose standing in a meadow.
 
Moose coming down the snowbank.
 
Early morning moose crossing.
 
A moose stands only a few hundred feet from the house.
 
Single moose highstepping through snow.
 
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