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 - Feb., Week One/2013
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read some great
contributed stories and ongoing blogs, 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.
The Town Trip
I mentioned the day before yesterday, we had to go into
Williams Lake for the day making it a twelve hour in and
out run. I had an appointment as did Andy, and we had
lots of errands to run as well as some grocery shopping
to do. We had temperatures of about -11C or 12F when we
left yesterday morning and that stayed pretty consistent
all the way through to Alexis Creek with temperatures
dipping to 13C here and there. Then at Lees
Corner it went up to 9C and by the time we hit the
top of the hill above Lees Corner, the temperature
was only one degree below freezing. Up on Riske
Flats it stayed right around freezing, sometimes fluctuating
between one or two degrees below to just above the freezing
mark. That area is at around the same elevation as we
are at Nimpo Lake so it just goes to show you that the
weather inversion is continuing this winter, with warm
air aloft and cooler air on the ground.
It came up to above freezing in Williams Lake while we
ran around and did our thing. Temperatures were definitely
pleasant for getting in and out of the truck all the time,
a far cry from a month ago when we were trying to get
stuff done in a wet snowstorm and beat our way home before
I was really surprised at how much snow Williams
Lake had. Apparently they really got dumped on
last week and one photo we saw in the newspaper showed
about a foot of fresh snow on a picnic table. There was
still lots in my sisters yard and packed on her
driveway so it must have been fun getting around there
for a few days. I know I should be sympathetic but
. Stuff happens. :-) Even Alexis Creek
had a lot more snow than weve become accustomed
to seeing there in the past few winters. Conversely,
Tatla Lake would have a miserable time of it if they tried
to hold their snowmobile poker run at this time of year
as they used to. I dont think theyve been
able to hold a run for at least three years now if not
longer. Were not much better. We are having our
poker run on the second of March but I think the trail
makers had better stick to existing trails. We dont
have any more snow than we had last week and what we do
have is going down fast. There are lots of places where
it is bare ground under the pine trees. Our snow levels
probably vary between six inches to a foot depending are
where you look. I doubt theres much more than that,
even in the woods.
In contrast to that, it looks like the Northeastern
part of the US and some of Ontario is going to get socked
pretty hard with snow tonight and tomorrow with
two massive low pressure systems butting heads right over
those areas. They are predicting up to two and three feet
of snow in some areas, areas that havent been hit
for a while. But at least it looks like most people have
been well warned and are aware of whats coming and
are preparing for it. If most people in the hardest hit
areas stay home Friday, then theres a whole weekend
for road crews to try and get things cleaned up a bit
before the next work week. With fewer people out on roads,
you could probably assume there would be less chaos.
Tonight the sun set over the mountains in the west
south west where it belongs, at exactly 5:00 PM tonight.
This morning I noticed how much higher in the sky it was
in the south east than it was a month ago at the same
I think that February is my favourite winter month. Andy
and I were talking about that today. It seems his is December.
Thats probably my second favourite but its
also got the shortest days, which I dislike intensely.
I hate November because its rarely a nice month,
there is usually a distinct lack of sun and you can get
some damned cold temperatures in that month. January can
be a mixed bag. You never know what its going to
bring but it always seems like a month that drags on,
and on, and on
and on, and on
Thats the month that needs to be just 28 days! February
is often our nicest, sunniest, and sometimes warmest month.
The light is brighter, the sun higher in the sky, and
the air just seems to be clearer. Oh, and its a
short month. That really helps!
Tonight the thermometer is sitting right on freezing,
it's clouded over a little and it looks like it might
try to snow. Hopefully, we won't get much. Just
don't tell that to the guys that are praying for it right
now for sledding. Awwww. :-)
Cougars Revisited - Blog Anniversary
numbers just keep on growing.
If the information Im getting is correct, were
up to three cougars dead in the area now. Apparently,
the outfitter that went out after one of the cougars and
lost his dog to it, just found one dead in a trap on his
trap line up around Kappan. I still have to verify it
but if true, thats a whole lot of cougars at one
time! There must be something pushing them out of other
areas that are normally more attractive to cougar. It
would be interesting to know.
So this is an anniversary for me. Actually,
the anniversary was a week or two ago but Im always
late for that kind of thing and it wasnt until I
cruised back in the blogs yesterday to check that I realized
that I was a day late and a dollar short, yet again.
Congratulate me because I have now been boring the
heck out of you for eight years. Yep, eight full
years! That is how long I have been writing and posting
on the website about the area. Man, no wonder Ive
been feeling like Im running out of things to say.
Maybe I should expand my territory
. You know, start
writing about Tatla Lake or something
Had someone told me eight years ago that I would
still be posting a blog on this website now, I
just am not sure I would have believed them. For one thing,
it was a shock from the beginning that so many people
read the blog and seemed to appreciate it being written.
I have had many comments and met and talked to quite a
few wonderful people, all because of this blog. And I
know that a good many summer residents appreciate being
informed on whats happening here, particularly during
times of flood, wind, or fire. As a result, often times
Ive felt obligated to keep it up just for the sake
of those same residents but I also hope to keep encouraging
folks to come and visit our area, whether youve
been here before, or this will be your first time, and
enjoy it while youre here.
Most importantly, I want to let everyone know how
much I have appreciated you writing to me, calling
me, correcting my information or simply passing something
on that you think me and folks that read this, might find
interesting. Thank you for your stories, thank you for
your photos, and most importantly, thank you for your
We had an amazing day today with quite a bit of
sun although there was wind coming off the lake.
Still, temperatures reached 4C or 39F and as soon as I
got away from the lake on my walk with the dogs, there
was very little wind. I would very much like to have gone
for a ski today but its never fun to ski into a
wind and it drops the temperature on your skin by quite
a bit. Thats okay, the smells are more fun for the
dogs in the woods than on the lake anyway.
The clouds are moving pretty fast and out of the south
this evening so Im wondering if were going
to get a weather change in the form of snow. We had a
skiff on the ground yesterday morning but nothing else.
One of the forecasters said on the news that he
wasnt expecting there to be anything in the way
of winter weather for the next seven to ten days
down on the Lower Mainland so lets hope that remains true
for us. Especially since we have to run to town tomorrow.
It would be nice if the roads would stay clear and dry.
usually dont get out a lot but this turned out to
be an interesting weekend.
I attended the open house Celebration of Life
for Enubi at Eagles Nest in Anahim Lake on Saturday.
She died the Saturday before. Last night we attended an
informal Birthday party for a couple of people in the
community. Celebrating a death on the same day as you
celebrate the continuance of life seems strange, but I
guess that's why they call it the circle of life.
At least getting out into the community you get to catch
up on some of the gossip. I asked Phil if she had done
any skiing in Anahim Lake this winter and she said she
wasnt about to because of the cougar. What
cougar?? The one that was hanging back behind
her place and left tracks on her trail. Or they both did.
She wasnt sure if it was both cougars hanging around
or just the one.
What??? Two cougars?! Its rare to see cougar
in this region because we dont have much of a deer
population, but to see two! Its true that
we are seeing whitetail deer move in from the Tatla area
but not enough to support the same kind of cougar population
you hear of down Tatlayoko way. While Ive heard
of the odd sighting of cougar over the years, and twice
heard of two being seen at once, its just really
rare. In this case, it sounds like quite a few people
around Anahim saw at least one of the cougars.
It turns out that a rancher up Lily Lake way called Duke
and asked him to come up and shoot a cougar hanging around
her barn. Its going on calving season and the last
thing you want is a cougar in your yard!
At the same time one of our local fur trappers was asked
to take his lynx dogs out after the other cougar because
it was coming in too close to houses around Anahim Lake.
I guess he went after it but it killed one of his
best dogs. As a result, I understand that a cougar
hunter was called in from down Tatlayoko way and brought
up his dogs and eventually got the cougar.
I guess both cougars were young males in pretty poor physical
condition. Locals are guessing that they came up the precipice
looking for new territory because they were probably kicked
out of their home territory by their parents. Winter up
here on the plateau would be very tough on a cougar, even
a pair that might hunt together. The only game here in
winter to hunt is moose and caribou and neither would
be easy for young cougars to pull down. That would only
leave rabbits and such, and Im seeing no sign of
rabbit at all, so their population must be on a downward
trend. The result of snow and no easy food supply would
be starving cougars, which would explain why they were
going in so close around people and their houses. Its
a shame they had to be shot but thats life too.
This is not natural territory for cougars.
In any case, it seems that this all happened just in the
past week or so and I hadnt heard a thing about
it. I really have to get out more
Our temperatures have been absolutely amazing, even though
were only getting mixed sun and cloud. Today the
sun couldnt quite burn all the way through the cloud
for any length of time, but even so, the temperature
reached nearly 5C or 40F today. It hasnt
been getting that cold at night for a change so its
not taking much for it to warm up during the day, even
Im happy. I figure every day that we get into February
with nice temperatures, thats every day that winter
is shorter. And its a nice break in case winter
slams back in again. Its good to see warm temperatures
because it clears the snow off of everything. All the
decks are bare. Most of the snow slid off of the house
in the past few days and is starting to come off of the
outbuildings, the tarp shed and the boats. Today we had
a breeze for the first time in days but it was reasonably
warm so you didnt mind being out in it.
I just wish we could get a little more sun with the warm
temperatures. This is the first year that my compost
barrel has frozen up. In fact, if we hadn't gotten
this warm weather in the past week or two, I would have
had to stop using it because it's too full and nothing
is breaking down. Blame it on that long two month stretch
we had before Christmas with no sun. The composter is
black and normally absorbs enough heat from the sun in
winter to keep it working but not this year!
The warm weather is starting to settle the snow
out in the woods but it hasnt gotten crusty yet
so the game can still outrun the predators.
Everyone was talking about the sunrise yesterday morning.
I didnt see it, of course, because I dont
get my butt out of bed that early, but fortunately, Andy
does and he got some photos. Theyre up on the right.
Red sky in the morning Sailors warning and all that
good stuff, but even without a lot of sun by afternoon,
we still had a great day, yesterday.
The overflow is getting worse along the ice road over
to the boat ramp but its still only along the edges
so the road is holding up well. I wouldnt care to
see what the overflow is like out on the lake running
a snowmobile, but presumably its no better than it was.
A group sledded by our place and went through on our back
trail yesterday, avoiding the lake altogether, and its
true, Im not seeing much of anyone out there. I
know when I ski now I stick to frozen tracks or to the
ice road. Its not as much fun but it beats scraping
frozen snow off the bottom of my skis when I hit overflow.
It looks like most of the province has above normal
temperatures right now. I dont know how
much longer it will last but Ill take whatever we
get. January is gone now and the days are definitely getting
longer. Noticeably longer!
With the exception of the groundhog in Calgary, groundhogs
in Canada and the US didnt see their shadow yesterday
which is supposed to indicate an early spring. The one
calling it for the two western provinces did see its shadow
though, so, its a longer spring for us. Yeah, right.
Since the general record for these furry little guys is
around 39% correct, I dont think Ill pin my
hopes on the groundhogs. First of all, another six
weeks of winter is normal for us, so shadow or no shadow,
theres no getting around Mother Natures intentions.
It looks like it gives folks an excuse to dress up in
tails and top hats though, and have long, weekend celebrations,
and you wouldnt want to take that away from them,
So the Super Bowl was today. It looked like it might be
a nail biter toward the end there. I was just reading
yesterday that the Super Bowl is the second biggest food
holiday in the US and just behind Thanksgiving. Really??
A football game is that important that its the second
most important food day? Wow. What happened to Christmas
or Easter? Doesnt anyone have big family meals on
those days anymore? I was just reading the stats for chicken
wings. 1.2 Billion wings will have been consumed today,
a whack of pizza, and 79 million avocados, used for making
All I have to say is
. Good grief!
Youll find the last blog at January
Week Three but for any of the older
postings, this is the start of a new year so youll
have to go to the menu to the left to find the 2012 blogs.
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!