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 3/2013
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
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Check out the Picture
of the Day.
got a little skiff of snow this morning, again. But its
already above freezing and theres water dripping
off the roof, even though theres no sun. Yep, another
cloudy day. The same thing happened yesterday, too. I
think if the sun had made it out and the temperatures
being what they were, it would have been a glorious Sunday
for being outside.
Its really amazing how much power that sun has now
when it does come out. Like the weather guy said
yesterday on the news, you can predict one temperature
but if the sun comes out, add three to five degrees. Today
it lightened up a little bit a couple of times but it
never did quite make it out. I went for a walk this afternoon
and there was fine snow the whole time, even though the
sun was really trying to pierce those clouds. The snow
must have been partly rain, even though the flakes were
tiny, because it stung a bit when it hit your skin.
I wonder if theres still an inversion up at higher
elevations because theres still not a lot of snow
up in the mountains were looking at.
Friends went snowmobiling up in the Rainbow Mountains
to the west of us on Saturday and the one I spoke
to said it was a long day pulling sleds out but Andy spoke
to Richard and it sounds like it was a little brutal.
I guess the snow isn't as deep as it has been other years,
but there's still lots with a crust and then snow on top
of that. Snowmobiling was great unless you broke through
the crust to pure sugar underneath with no bottom, which
is what happened every time they tried to start out once
they were stopped. It sounds like there were lots of stucks!
Nearly every time Ive been up in the Rainbows it
has been a very, very long day of getting
stuck and unstuck. Ive gone up twice when you would
swear not another human being has been on the trail going
up there at anytime in the past year. The one time that
I went up it must have dropped two feet of snow the night
before and there was no base under us. It was a
bottomless pit every time you got stuck and believe me,
wading through snow thats over your head is exhausting!
The fellow I was riding with got stuck in a creek and
we might have been there for the winter if some other
people hadnt come up. Glen had been dragging his
girl and a friend of hers up on boards but conditions
werent great for them either. We finally decided
to turn back because weather was coming in and we were
beat. We were going down when we came across someone else
that was horribly stuck. He hurt himself pretty badly
trying to get out and I remember he limped for months
afterwards. We eventually all got back down to the parking
area and I was never so glad to get off a mountain in
my life.... and we hadnt even made it up to the
After a couple of trips like that imagine my chagrin
when a few years later friends invited Andy, me, and a
new RCMP Member who had never ridden before to go back
up there. I was a little concerned because the friends
were extremely experienced riders but it actually turned
out to be a pretty good day. For one thing, the trail
going up had a little traffic on it since the last snow
so at least we didnt spend a good bit of time getting
stuck just going up. It always helps too when the
sun is shining and you can see where you're going, unlike
the other couple of times when it was a snowstorm every
single time. Heckman Pass can get up to 14 feet
of snow in a year and Im pretty sure it dumped all
14 feet the two times I was up there before. It also helped
too that by this time I had a couple more years of riding
under my belt so I was a lot more confident in myself
and the new machine Andy had bought me. But I still always
sympathize with people who arent used to riding
much and get stuck a lot or fear getting stuck. Been there,
done that. In fact, I had a reputation for climbing trees
there for a few years, and believe me, when you climb
a tree with a snowmobile, it takes a lot of guys to get
it back down again! I have posted my Mother's favorite
photo from a few years back on picture of the day. It
must be her favorite, because she still
has it in a frame in her living room.
Up on the right I've posted a few more of the favorites
of times gone by, although not by any means the worst
stucks we've ever seen. These were just the quickest to
Blame it on the Neighbour
I got up this morning it was peppering the snow down like
there was no tomorrow and there was already an inch or
so on the ground. I believe that I can lay the blame for
that firmly on our neighbour.
Hes been doing an amazing job of grinding the logs
down on our rental cabin and only yesterday he told Andy
that the weather had been just great for doing the job
for the past two weeks and he couldnt have been
happier with the temperature. Way to piss off Old
Man Winter. One does not want to be too smug about
. Ever! Or sure as shooting, itll
reach out and bite you in the butt.
Getting some snow isnt actually that bad when its
only a couple of inches, particularly since the guys have
been praying for it every day for snowmobiling, but the
temperatures are also pretty warm so its wet snow.
I expect it was turning to ice under tires out on the
highway this morning unless there was enough mag on the
pavement to keep it melted.
At least when its above freezing like this,
the snow generally slides off the roofs. I watched
this afternoon as a couple of inches of today's snow slid
off the greenhouse glass. Weve been kind of fortunate
because when it was cold before Christmas and the snow
wouldnt have been sliding off of roofs or anything
else, we got very little. Since we've been home around
the first week of January, when we have
gotten snow its been warm enough for it to slide
off most things around here. It still has to be cleaned
off the boats and the canvas shed as well as the flat
roof outside our bedroom door, but most everywhere else
is pretty good. The exception is the cabin roof on the
north side. The south side stays clear in the sun but
the north side stays cold and theres about a foot
of snow sitting up there on the old grey tin roof. Im
hoping that if the roof is replaced this summer with a
new one, the metal will be slippery and the snow more
likely to slide. I dont know why the cabin
doesnt end up all cockeyed through the winter with
all that weight pressing down on one side.
Our neighbour has had to wait until he can again access
a big job hes been working on up until recently
when weather shut him down so we asked if he could come
work for us for a couple of days, as the log grinding
on the cabin was supposed to be a small job. The logs
facing the lake side and the sun are exposed to a lot
of extreme weather and since the cabin is well over forty
years old, the logs were really deteriorating. They were
pretty spongy and checked and I wasnt sure there
was much we could do with them. One of the things that
our neighbour does for a living is grind down logs on
houses and cabins and he does an amazing job. I
was shocked at how good the logs looked on the one side
after he ground them down to newer wood and Andy
decided if it looked that good on one side, he would get
him to do all four sides of the cabin. So what started
out as a minor job has turned into one lasting a couple
of weeks, but boy, is it worth it!
Every day that weve come back from our walk Ive
had to take a second look because the bright fresh look
of the cabin keeps taking me by surprise. Ive
been blown away by just how new the cabin logs look now.
I cant wait to see what it looks like once we get
some stain on the logs and window frames and that new
style of chinking in. Theres a lot of other work
that needs to be done to the front, and the cabin will
have to be re-skirted and the skirting stained, and it
would be nice if while were at it, it could be roofed.
It will last long past our lifetime now if we can get
all that done on the outside. Its just that all
this has happened by accident now and will be heaped up
on top of the long to do list of projects that need to
be done around here. We and all our neighbours often
joke about how projects are like dominoes, and its
true. Start on one and you open up the door to
a whole can of worms!
If we didnt have to die until all our projects are
done, we would all live to 500 years of age!
We went for a walk with the dogs today and I was really
struck at the lack of tracks in the back woods. Its
true that it didnt stop snowing until early this
afternoon, but there arent even any old tracks in
the snow. All weve seen for weeks now is the odd
coyote or fox sign, and thats it. Not a rabbit,
not a squirrel, not a grouse track to be found anywhere,
and Im just not sure why. There should at
least be squirrels! Particularly with how warm
the weather has been for weeks and weeks now. Everything
should be out and about enjoying the spring like temperatures.
I dont know if it was because everything went into
an early and deep hibernation because of the cold start
to winter, or if we are in the down cycle of everything.
I did see a lot of grouse and ptarmigan sign at the beginning
of winter but nothing since. Its kind of weird.
Weve had a couple of hawks around for the past three
years or so and I know that they can be pretty efficient
killing machines. I stopped feeding birds this year because
of the new cat, so there is nothing for song birds around
here. I suppose its possible that the hawks
were forced to switch out their menu and go after
squirrels and grouse in the woods rather than enjoy the
easy pickings of birds on a feeder. But I would prefer
to believe that all the little varmints and grouse are
just on a low cycle. It sure doesnt give the dogs
much sign to investigate, anyway, and theyve been
complaining about it.
Normally the dogs will be ranging all through the woods
loving every smell going but with not much there
they have to find something else. Not that they aren't
just as happy to investigate other dog markings along
the main road. Dogs are pretty easy to please.
Its just when they get all excited about coming
across their own pee from the day before, you kind of
have to wonder at just how bright they really are
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I hope you find yourself
as lucky in love as I am. And if not
all good things take time.
Youll find last week's blog at February
Week Two 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!