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 3/2011
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 International Space Station
It's still winter here. All of BC has gone into a deep
freeze this week. Last night was our coldest at
-36C or -32.8F although one neighbour across the lake
says his thermometer hit -38 and the one up on the hill
said his thermometer registered -40 which is the same
for Celsius and Fahrenheit. What made it so much
worse was that there was a wind. Yesterday afternoon when
it was only -15, the amount of wind we were registering
would have made it between -25 and -30C so heavens only
knows how cold it got last night before the wind died
down. It would have been awfully miserable for all the
creatures out in the cold. I know the little bit I've
been outside the last couple of days, which has not been
much, I assure you, the air was just bitter with the breeze.
Today was much better with very little wind. It
only got up to -16.6C or 2F today but the sun was shining
and it has a lot of heat. I left the shades open
on the front windows today to let the sun contribute to
warming the house up and it hit 90 degrees in no time.
That's too hot for even me! Still, it helps to keep the
house warm overnight when the mercury starts to plummet.
I brought in a big load of wood this evening and realized
how funny it is all the little things we do when it gets
cold. Normally we get wood from under the deck as we load
up the stove, but when temperatures drop I like to bring
it all in earlier so that we don't lose heat to the outside
late at night. We keep the block heaters on both
vehicles plugged in so that in case of an emergency if
one vehicle won't start, the other will. We close
the blinds on the windows to help keep the cold out at
night and get the dogs moving in and out of the porch
at a little faster rate to keep cold air from blasting
in the door. The door gets cracked on the porch cold room
to keep my veggies from freezing up and the air vent downstairs
in the freezer room gets closed up. All the myriad little
things that you do without even thinking about and I chuckled
to myself. Because I guess there's not much difference
in what people do in the city. How do you prepare for
a cold snap?
The Lower Mainland and particularly Vancouver Island
got hit with snow before getting blasted with colder temperatures
and arctic outflow winds. In some places their
temperatures were supposed to feel as low as -12C or 10F
and it looked like everyone was feeling pretty sorry for
themselves. Awww. It's kind of hard for me to feel sympathetic
when the weathermen on both channels ooh and ahh on how
cold it is there when it's so cold in other areas of the
province. They don't even bother to mention our temperatures,
which looked to be the coldest, and that's without even
taking into account the wind chill. I suppose it is much
colder down there because of the humidity, but I
still think a lot of people would be toast if they actually
had to face a real winter.
I took the dogs out for a walk after supper tonight because
they've been crammed into the porch all day. I would like
to have taken them on a long walk today but though I can
bundle up and stay warm enough in the sunshine, I think
it's just too cold for them. A Louisiana hound dog with
only a single coat isn't exactly suited to these winters.
Not that she wimps out because she certainly doesn't.
Other than when we're back from a walk and she's first
on the door step to get back into the porch. All three
dogs are for that matter and it's a regular free for all
to see who's going to get in the door first. Heaven
help you if you're in their way. You'll be flattened.
Since it's no fun going without the dogs I didn't go either
and really needed a stretch tonight. You can tell that
it's cold out when your boots squeak on the snow and everything's
dead silent except for the odd snap of a cold stressed
branch or tree. I was looking for northern lights with
the flashlight off and had just turned around to come
home when I saw a bright light moving across the sky.
It was really bright and took quite a long time
to cross before I lost it in the east so I thought it
might be the shuttle Discovery. Andy pulled some
times off of the computer and I was too late to have seen
the shuttle but just in time to see the International
Space Station. It was sure cool looking in that clear,
cold air. Now we just have to remember to keep an eye
out on Saturday at about 6:15 when we should see both
of them fairly close together prior to docking. I think
it's supposed to snow Saturday but hopefully we'll get
lucky. I would love to see that.
With any luck too, it will warm up for the Poker Run on
Sunday. Just a note to anyone considering coming. Normally
we have a barbecue after but I guess organizers this year
aren't doing that so the only food will be at lunch when
there will be a wiener roast out on the trail provided
it's warm enough.
Well, I see the thermometer is already reading -30C
or 22 below Fahrenheit so I guess it just might hit -40
An Old Fashioned Winter
Boy, we've definitely got an old fashioned winter. It
dropped to -25C or -13F last night and the temperature
is a little slow to come up this morning. It's
still -20C or -4F out there. But we've got a gloriously
blue sky and lots of sunshine so I think that will bring
the temperatures right up today. Hopefully. Then again,
it might have been colder if we hadn't had cloud cover
and it hadn't been snowing this morning so maybe it won't.
We couldn't believe it last night. We went across the
lake for supper and it was snowing when we left. It was
still snowing fine flakes when we got home and it was
-17C! Very unusual to have snow when it's that cold
here, but it seems to be happening with more and more
frequency. Strange, I tell you. It didn't snow
that much, but still enough to have to clear the decks
and clean the trucks off. I don't know if I've ever seen
so many little snows over a period of six weeks. Or big
ones for that matter!
Today the mountains just look like cream covered
ice cream cones all smooth and pure white with not a rock
showing anywhere. There must be a pile of snow
up there. It makes sense because those mountains have
been socked in for days now and for every inch of snow
we get down here it can drop six inches up there.
It's back to being pretty quiet around here. The only
sign of life is the two fellows we had dinner with last
night are out snowshoeing across the lake. It was much
busier this past weekend when Wilderness Rim had their
ice cutting on as they always do around Valentines. I
didn't get down there to visit at all but saw lots of
snowmobiles zipping back and forth across the lake and
the Dot Island trail has been beat up pretty good.
This is pretty short notice but Anahim Lake Community
has decided to have their Children's 139 Fundraiser
after all this weekend. Saturday night at the community
hall, dinner, dance, live music and silent auction.
The annual Nimpo Lake Poker Run is going to be on
Sunday, February 27 with a 10:00 AM sharp start at the
boat launch. Poker hands are $5 apiece, for as
many hands as you want. All you need is a snowmobile.
I expect if it's a nice day we'll have a wiener roast
out at Gus's Meadow and hamburgers back here at the end
of the poker run. I hope it's nice and warm. I don't know
if I'll be going. If I am it's most likely on one of our
back-up machines since I managed to blow up the starter
on my machine.
We took the two fellows out for a trail ride the other
day up to kilometer 24 on Tuesday so that they could see
the view above Charlotte Lake. Neither are accustomed
to snowmobiles so we didn't want to take them up into
the mountains and now I'm thankful we didn't go.
We came back down Charlotte Main and decided to go through
Gus's Meadow just because it's a nice winding little trail.
We stopped to talk for a moment in the meadow and then
continued on across Nimpo Creek and through a little meadow
on the way up to the Hooch. I kicked it in the butt at
the beginning of the meadow and pulled out in fresher
snow to play a bit. I could hear this little this little
ting ting noise coming from the motor so I notched it
up a bit more to get even with Jim so that I could have
him go ahead and stop Andy who was in the lead. Just
as I pulled up next to him there was this loud bang so
I stopped right there. Jim heard the ting and
the bang so he stopped right away too, which was good.
I left the machine running because I wanted to see where
the noise was coming from and lifted my hood. It's
never a good thing when you see a couple of screws laying
in the bottom of the snowmobile. It's kind of one of those
'uh oh' moments. What else do you say?
Andy realized we were weren't behind him and came back
in a jiffy and we shut it off as soon as he could hear
the tinging. There were a few fresh metal scars here and
there and a part or two hanging awry so it was time to
take the belt off and hook it up to the back of Andy's
sled. Being dragged with a rope behind a snowmobile with
no power, steering the beast around corners getting pelted
with snow from the machine in front is an interesting
experience. Fortunately, this is my first turn at it and
it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be, mainly
because Andy was kind enough to not go Mach 5 and slingshot
me around the trees, although he did have to go fast enough
to keep up the momentum. Even then he was spinning
his track in some places. Unfortunately, my machine is
quite a bit heavier than the new machines and with my
weight added to the dead machine it can get pretty hard
on the machine pulling. Fortunately, at least the Dot
Island trail was down hill, and when we got onto the lake,
Andy cinched my machine up short behind his and I rode
with one of the other guys. That way if we hit overflow
it wouldn't drag his machine down. I've heard many
guys complain of the terror filled rides they've had down
off the mountain because they're being pulled
by someone going way too fast. I've never heard that it's
a good experience so I count myself lucky that it was
Andy pulling me and that we weren't all that far away
So now, there's a really, really big bill to make the
repairs. I would just as soon wait and just ride one of
the other machines if I want to go snowmobiling. Tuesday
was the first time I had gone anywhere in two years because
of my hip, so it's not like I've been doing a lot of riding.
But Andy doesn't like broken things, especially when one
of those things is my baby.
Well, it's two hours later and we just came back from
a walk. It was -16C when we left and didn't look like
it was going to warm up any more than it had. It's
beautiful out with not a breath of wind and that sun has
some heat in it so it's not bad if you're bundled up.
And since tomorrow is supposed to be colder, we might
as well get a walk in while we can. The dogs enjoy the
walk but they don't waste any time diving back into the
porch where we keep them when it's cold. All those fox
and rabbit tracks might be interesting but they like their
creature comforts too.
As you all know, about this time of year when there's
been too much snow and cold and winter is seeming a little
long, I usually bring out Winter Buddha and post
him up on the right. Bill and Anita Miller, friends
of ours in Quesnel, sent his picture after they built
him on one of their adventures and I love pulling him
out in the dead of winter because he always makes me smile.
Hope you enjoy him as much as I do.
You'll find last week's blog at February
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!