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 Two/2012
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of the Day.
The Pretty Weather
has been really nice the last few days, and even though
we've seen a lot of cloud, we've also seen our share of
sunshine. This morning was beautiful with warm temperatures
just around freezing and lots of sun. We walked to the
gun range and back with the dogs just because it was so
nice and I wanted to spend as much time as possible outside
before going down to the other end of the lake. This afternoon
it clouded over but it still made it to three degrees
above freezing early afternoon and may have gone higher
than that but I wasn't near a thermometer. Even though
it was partially cloudy it was still pleasant although
I wouldn't have wanted to be up on the Itchas this afternoon.
I could see a wicked snow storm happening up there when
I came down the road from the north end of the lake.
Last night the temperature started dropping really
fast after supper and I thought, uh oh, dogs might
have to go in the garage for the night, but then the temperature
came back up to -6C or 21F and stayed that way until morning.
Our temperatures have been pretty mild for this time of
year and we're still only getting the odd skiff of snow.
No case of Bobcat butt for my other half this year! He's
only had to clear out the neighbours' and our driveway
a couple of times and plowed the ice road just the odd
time. It's sure nice for him compared to last year when
he spent a good part of the winter clearing snow.
I went up to Nimpo today and everyone's smiling. Even
people I don't know comment on the weather and just about
everyone seemed delighted with the week and this winter.
We've made it past the middle of February and that's always
a milestone. Sunset is later, the sun warmer and the days
being longer on both ends just makes a tremendous difference.
We're all more likely to come out of hibernation mode.
A bunch of people were out ice fishing yesterday and I
even passed a couple cross country skiing on the lake
when I crossed on the ice road this afternoon.
Andy went up on the mountain with three others Thursday
and said conditions were wonderful. There had
been fresh snow up there and in most places he said you
could hardly tell that anyone had been up there on a snowmobile
this winter. On many of the trails, they hadn't. Now that
Lloyd is gone many of the people that ride up there aren't
all that familiar with where some of his trails are so
they don't get broken out until someone like Andy goes
up there. Which means fresh powder and deep snow for the
first ones through, although he said that the markers
for a couple of the trails are fading away to the extent
that even he had problems finding the one down the back
side. So he and Henry will have to go up and re-mark them
when the latter comes back in country, which should be
There are some upcoming events that I'll list here
now since this is going to be a short blog. There
will be a crib tournament at the hall in memory of Gloria
Folsom on February 24 starting at 7:30 PM. The annual
Snowmobile Poker Run is on March 10, and everyone leaves
from the Nimpo Lake Public Boat Launch at 10:00 AM prompt!
So anyone participating will want to be there before then
because no one is waiting. It just drags the day out too
much if early participants have to wait for late ones.
There will be a bingo at the Hall in April to raise money
for the Community Association and plans are already under
way for the Annual Canoe Race in May. I noticed the Ice
Off book was on the counter up at the Nimpo store so I'm
not sure when the deadline is but if you'll be wanting
to get your guesses in for before long. The charge for
that is $5 per guess.
Happy Belated Valentine!
realize it's late, but happy belated Valentine's Day,
We were in town all day yesterday and didn't get back
until after supper so it wasn't exactly what you would
call a 'special' day for us. On the other hand, we got
to spend over six hours driving time together so that's
probably pretty romantic. :-)
We got really lucky with weather yesterday. The roads
were good with ice on this end but virtually clear from
east of Tatla Lake, on. There's probably less than six
inches of snow in Tatla that has accumulated over the
winter, and that's in the shade. There's probably only
about two inches around Alexis Creek and next to nothing
in Williams Lake. It hit -22C or -8F yesterday morning
but warmed up to around freezing by the time we left Williams
Lake and was around that when we got home. The
temperature has really been dropping at night but that
sun has a lot of power during the day, not that we really
saw a lot of it today. It was a little cloudy with filtered
sun so it warmed up to three degrees above freezing but
I think it would have been much warmer if the sun had
been able to break through. Still, no complaints. There
are lots of smiling faces around this winter so I'm not
the only one happy with the weather so far.
Andy's going snowmobiling tomorrow so I guess we'll
see what conditions are like up on Trumpeter.
I'm taking a pass. First of all, I'm babying my back this
year, and I haven't heard that the snow is all that soft
higher up. It sounds like it already has that pack we
usually see around March. Nice for not getting stuck because
you can generally go just about anywhere, but it can be
a little rough on the back and I hear the trail from Dot
Island got torn up pretty badly over the weekend.
Ted sent me photos that he took last week when he and
some guys went up to Trumpeter. He said that nearly a
foot of fresh powder fell the night before they went up
so though the surface was firm underneath, it was still
nice riding on top.
Wilderness Rim had their annual ice cutting party
this past weekend but it seemed awfully quiet.
Usually you see a lot of snowmobiles racing over the lake
heading that way but either I missed it or there just
wasn't anyone from this end going. I think I was painting
trim boards on Saturday so we didn't even think to drop
by that way.
We got about an inch of snow last week and a couple of
very small skiffs since then. Just enough to show fresh
animal tracks while out walking the dogs. There's supposed
to be a good storm coming in from the Pacific that may
hit tomorrow but it's hard to determine from the radar
if we're even going to see any moisture.
Andy cleared the neighbour's driveway the other
day and he was really surprised at how much snow there
was on it. It hasn't been cleared all winter,
it's not exposed to wind and very little is exposed to
sun. As a result, it's a pretty fair gauge of how much
snow would be laying on the ground if sun and wind didn't
come into play. In the deepest spots he estimates that
there's 14 inches of snow. Enough to go over the top of
your boots and a lot more than I actually thought there
was. It's a far cry from what we had on the ground last
year and is definitely less than normal so far this year.
We might still get more snow but it's looking less and
less likely that we'll see a big dump. Although I am
knocking on wood as I type. Still, what's the worst that
could happen from here on in? Two and a half more
months of winter is pretty much the most we have now.
I love it!
It's not so lovely for the loggers around Williams Lake.
A couple of mills have put all their truckers on graveyard
shift and the trucks have to be in by 1:00pm. Going to
work at 10:30 at night and not home until well after daylight
is an ugly shift in anyone's books. I always tried to
land straight nights on any job I worked, but I avoided
the graveyard shift like the plague. I didn't like it
when I did have to do it. I always felt like a zombie
in the morning but couldn't go to sleep because the sun
was shining. I don't envy anyone having to drive during
I borrowed a new computer a couple of days ago because
I was offered the opportunity to design and produce another
tourism guide. Since my regular computer is still down
in Kelowna I quaffled a bit to the people who conceptualized
the product, then decided to heck with it, I would find
a way to do it. I spent a day and a half just getting
some programs on the borrowed computer but mostly downloading
an antivirus and in doing updates for that and for the
Windows operating system. It's a great source of
annoyance to me that software producers create such sloppy
work that the files for anything on the 'Net now are huge
and take forever to download. No one bothers to
take into account now those people like us in North America
that are not on Broadband. While our satellite hookup
is much faster than dial up, go over only 15mb and you
get knocked back to dial up speed. The Hughs satellite
system is so overloaded with users now that it barely
moves at peak times. Unfortunately, unlike most people
in urban areas, our options are limited. So downloads
and updates that might normally take most people an hour
or two to complete can take us a day or two. I find it
amazing that I can build a fully interactive, colorful
webpage that loads in seconds because I built it to be
fast, and yet these dorks that create software updates
for a living can't manage to do so efficiently.
Unfortunately by the time I got the computer ready to
go and was ready to let the tourism association know that
I was back in business, the job had been given to someone
else. It's crazy how much we've come to depend on
computers, and yet they let us down on a regular basis.
Switching back and forth between computers is
extremely confusing as well, especially when you're dealing
with four different operating systems. While not drastically
different in how they operate, there are still enough
differences between Windows 98, 2000, XP, and Windows
7 that I really have to stop and think sometimes about
where things are. Most people upgrade their computer to
a newer OS, learn it, and never look back. Or at least
they don't once they've mastered the new OS after some
air turning blue frustration. But having to move back
and fourth between the different operating systems, finding
my files, sometimes working with older software, etc.,
is not easy at all. Or it isn't for me and I suspect that
it wouldn't be for a lot of people. I've taught
some people how to use their computers and have seen their
level of understanding so I'm pretty sure most folks would
not like doing what I am. I know I don't!
It's also frustrating that as computer development has
moved forward, it leaves an expensive array of software
and add ons behind it. I have three computers sitting
here right now and no one of them work entirely, while
the fourth languishing down in the Okanagan awaiting repairs
has two virtual computers on it as well as Windows 7.
I also have five printers sitting in my office, one of
which I just purchased and isn't out of the box yet because
I no longer have a computer that it will work with. Printers
that I have used with my crippled Windows 2000 computer
are slowly wearing out and new printers don't work with
2000 anymore. So I have three printers that won't
work with Windows 7 and two that won't work with anything
older than XP and Windows 7. I look around my office strewn
with monitors, printers and towers and sometimes I'm about
ready to give up. It certainly seems like the sane option
at times. Add to that several thousands of dollars of
software that I've bought over the years now collecting
dust, because it no longer works on the progressively
newer computers, and it makes you wonder why anyone would
get into the computer business in the first place. While
computers are supposed to make things easier, so far,
I actually haven't seen full evidence for that. On
the other hand, if you want to spend your life testing
your patience, computers are definitely the way to go.
Talk about Buddha!
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last week's
posts at February
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!