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 - January 2010
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read stories like
'Lake Monsters' about the
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.
We're finally seeing a warming trend. It's sitting
just half a degree below freezing at the back in the shade.
The sun was shining this morning and that was a really
nice change. But by this afternoon snow clouds have moved
in and I see that it looks like it's snowing over Charlotte
Lake way. Otherwise, I think it might have made it well
above freezing today. Maybe tomorrow.
With a warm front coming in from the south west and running
into the cold front that's been sitting over the central
interior of the province, we've had some strange weather.
On Thursday night after midnight the temperature came
up from -10C or 15F to -9C. I had gone out to get
some wood to bank the fire and heard a strange noise.
I thought.... that sounds like rain? I went back upstairs,
turned on the outside light and sure enough, there was
a mix of rain and sleet hitting the front windows. Now
at that temperature, that's just strange. I can only assume
that there was an inversion with warm air moving over
the top of cold air, causing freezing rain. It didn't
last for long but the same thing happened yesterday evening.
I was headed up to the coffee shop after supper when it
started to snow, then rained, then turned to snow again.
There was an informal jam session up at The Bean Out West.
Tracey opened her coffee shop up to people that wanted
to come up and play music or sing. For those of us that
are so non musical it's pathetic, we got to buy a specialty
coffee (I saluted the newly warmed weather with an iced
chai tea) and sat and listened to the music makers. There
was someone on keyboard, someone on drums, and five guitars
playing, so it was actually pretty rich sounding. It was
a great opportunity to visit with people that you don't
get to see very often, and although I had to leave early
for another date, it was really nice. This was the first
Friday for this event but I guess there will be get togethers
two Fridays out of the month. Actually, first and third
Fridays as well but that is for practice while the second
and fourth Friday is for the public.
It's really good to see something happening in Nimpo
Lake again. It's been too quiet for too long.
At one time when Cindy was operating Chilcotin's Gate,
she would often have special monthly suppers for the community
with music from her band. Once the motel burned down,
the Gate was forced to close its doors as a restaurant.
There just wasn't enough local business to support it
through the winters. So the loss of both businesses was
a hard hit for our little community. It's wonderful that
Tracey has stepped up to the plate and opened her coffee
shop next to the post office. It gives community
members from Nimpo and Charlotte Lake a meeting place
again when folks come in for their mail. They
just have to become more used to taking advantage of the
facility so that we can keep Tracey in business. Keep
that in mind folks when you're going by The Bean Out West.
Stop and grab a specialty tea or coffee on your way! I
know her lattes are far superior to any I've ever had
in other towns or cities.
Hey! I just checked the thermometer and it made it above
freezing without the sun. It's got to be because of a
warm south wind that we have right now. I would have to
go back and check other blogs but it's been weeks since
we got above freezing, (and then it was for just one day)
especially without any sun. Sure looks like it's going
to snow, though. Or rain. They were calling for freezing
rain throughout the Cariboo today.
Just to let you all know, this is probably my last
post until the end of January. I'm going to leave
for the States this coming Tuesday and I'll be gone a
little over two weeks. Since security in the airports
is so tight now, I'm not going to take my laptop with
me, so no way of posting blogs. I probably won't even
take a camera with me so no pictures of where I've been,
Have a wonderful January, folks!
to over the holidays, it's been awfully quiet around the
lake since New Year's Eve. Many people have gone home
while others have spent the last few days nursing the
holiday hangover of too much food, liquid refreshment,
and company. Many are also still nursing that virulent
cold that ripped through our communities.
While you still see the odd snow machine on the lake,
there aren't nearly the number of people that there was
during the holidays and things have returned to
their peaceful nature around here.
Our weather has been absolutely dreary, but for a change,
that's a good thing. The heavy cloud cover we've been
experiencing has protected us from the cold front that
has moved down over the center of the province. While
our temperatures have ranged from -5C or 23F to -9C or
17F, Williams Lake and Prince George have been experiencing
temperatures at least 10 degrees colder. That's highly
unusual because it's usually the other way around, but
I'll take it. Today was the first day we saw the
sun. It got up to -5C in the shade and up to freezing
in the sun, which made it really nice once the clouds
cleared out around noon. It probably also means that we'll
turn cold now too, but at least we caught a break from
really cold weather for a few days.
We're certainly doing better than the rest of the country,
or the province for that matter. Vancouver has been getting
rain while I understand the Okanagan has been getting
heavy, wet snow. And the east coast! Wow, have they ever
been getting whacked. High tides, storm surge, and several
feet of snow have knocked out power and slowed things
to a standstill there. They can keep it 'cause we
don't want it!
I finally went out for a walk in the backwoods for the
first time in a while. Between holiday busy, nursing my
cold, and chilly temperatures, I haven't been in some
time. The snowmachine tracks in the woods have hardened
up enough to make it possible to walk, while the main
road has been plowed and makes for great trudging with
There was some coyote and fox sign around and lots of
old moose sign. But it looks like the moose have moved
on elsewhere or I wouldn't even mention it here. Otherwise
it will become a bloody hunting ground for the natives
It's their favorite time to hunt because they can run
the animals down using snowmachines, while the moose are
at a disadvantage in deep snow.
Surprisingly, I haven't seen a lot of rabbit sign
around this year. I saw only one set of tracks
on the whole walk today so this must be a real down part
of their cycle right now. That, or we have too many foxes
and coyotes around
My neighbour sent me some more snowmobile pics of he and
his daughter playing around in Gus' Meadow yesterday.
She bought herself a modified M7 for Christmas and had
to check it out, while the young seven or eight year old
son of another neighbour also went out with them to practice
on his sled.
The New Year's Ice Party
New Year's everyone! I had hoped to write yesterday but
I had a fair bit of running around to do after the ice
party. You know how it is. Clean up and then returning
all the things I borrowed or collected for the party took
a good bit of the day. The liquid refreshments or
bad cold seemed to have gotten the better of most of the
party goers so we were a little short on clean up crew.
Actually there was only Donn, Richard and myself as Wendy
had already been there earlier in the morning and did
what she could and then thankfully our neighbours Alex
and Iris arrived in time to help Richard load wood.
I think the party was a great success. Or certainly enough
people told me so that night. I don't really know. I was
a little busy running around, but all the lights on the
trees surrounding the party area looked great, the
curling stones made of aspen arrived to our little curling
rink in the nick of time, the skating rink got
scraped off in time and we got the bonfires started before
people started arriving. Not that they wanted to burn
well at first. The wood we cut up for them was old but
wet so I had to go back home for some of our own firewood
to get things going until another load was brought in.
We had a heck of a time getting the Swiss candles and
ice candles lit. Even the tiki torches were a little slow
to light. It had snowed lightly throughout the day after
dropping about two inches of light fluff the night before.
But right at party time Mother Nature decided to
throw a real blizzard and a cold wind at us for a little
while. So it was difficult to get matches, lighters,
barbecue lighters, or even firestarter to work, but it
At least the blizzard didn't last for too long. Later
in the evening it cleared off and the moon was shining
so it was a lot easier to see but the temperature dropped
fairly quickly too. It just meant people got a little
cozier around the campfire. It may also explain why so
many dove into the chili sitting on the barbecue. I didn't
taste it after I thawed it out that day and it was much
later that night before I had any. Either it cooked down
enough to make it really, really spicy or it was like
that all long and people burned their tongues. But at
least it was guaranteed to warm you from the inside out.
My apologies to anyone missing their taste buds
after having a bowl of it!
Andy set his generator up in front of his truck to light
the Christmas tree lights on the trees, the colored lights
under the bar, the music system, and a big halogen light
for the curling rink. We could have used a little more
light over by the food but after all the running back
and forth with my truck was done with, we parked it so
that the lights shone on the food area and it worked out
okay. The music and Andy's truck pretty much blocked the
sound of the generator so that worked out as well.
The fireworks were terrific. Richard set some off
at 8:00, some more around 9:30, and then put on a great
show just before midnight. There were lots of
kids there earlier on so at least they got to see some
fireworks and have hotdogs and hot chocolate. We were
going to have coffee but it was so cold that the water
froze in the coffee pot before it could heat up and the
whole thing kind of exploded. Sorry about that folks.
But there was a great non-alcoholic punch thanks to Wendy,
and though I kept checking it, no one ever did spike
it, so that was kind of nice. That was not
the case ten years ago at the Millennium ice party so
I was keeping a close eye on it.
Wendy estimated that there were at least 200 people at
the ice party. I never had time to count and it would
have been impossible to do so. Many of the first bunch
of people that arrived had children with them and the
crowd quickly grew. But only a couple hours of later most
of the kids and their parents were gone and a whole new
set of people were there. Faces kept changing all
night as snowmobiles, ATV's and vehicles arrived and left,
but I think that she's quite right, there were at least
that many people earlier on. Things thinned out after
midnight but I was still there at three in the morning
trying to wait out the party goers. Once it was down to
a small bunch of young people around one fire, I packed
up everything I could fit in the back of my truck that
would not benefit from the cold, and came home.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera over until the
night of the party and then I was actually too busy most
of the time to take pictures. I panned some video during
the fireworks but I didn't get much. I'm hoping
someone has some pictures that they can send me.
There were loads of people taking pictures of the ice
bar so there must be some out there somewhere that I can
The ice bar turned out the best. It looked great after
John used the blow torch on it shortly after we built
it the day before the party and then we set coins into
the ice. It was like a sculpture that looked just as good
the next day after we brushed the snow off. I went over
today to try and get some pictures of it and it just doesn't
look the same now. The ice has frosted over some and until
we get the warm sun, it probably won't go as crystal clear
as it was. Before it was like looking into this clear
glass sculpture and particularly interesting was one block
that arrived with a bit of floating seaweed type flora
in it. The whole bar looked really amazing with
a green and a red light lighting it up from underneath.
I want to thank everyone that helped with preparations
for the party. Andy, Alex, Iris, John, Richard, Clint,
Len, Ed, Wendy, and Leah. There were also some guys that
helped us to build the ice bar but I don't know their
names. I would really like to thank those folks from Charlotte
Lake that brought some goodies for the party and anyone
else that brought something that I may have missed, as
well as Mrs. Walker for jumping in and grilling hotdogs
when my hands were full. And thanks to Jeanette for allowing
our party goers to use her outdoor biffy. (Ha! Bet you
folks didn't think about that particular logistic, did
you?) I hope I didn't miss anyone but if I did,
thank you for your help.
Leah didn't get around to selling fifty fifty tickets
the night of the party that we were going to put toward
the fireworks. So if anyone feels like donating a little
bit of money toward them, please see Richard or Leah up
at the Nimpo Lake Store.
Also.... someone handed me a lens cover for a Canon camera
early on in the party. If you're missing one, just call
up to the store at 3333, or call me at 3724 and I'll get
it to you.
Okay, I think that's it for lost and found.
The weather has been kind of bleah since the party although
it did drop below -20C or -4F last night. It got up to
nearly -5C or 23F today, and it's not dropping very fast
tonight. Actually it dropped to -11C but it's climbing
again. Probably because there's a system coming in from
the Pacific. Vancouver was way above normal today so we're
probably seeing a piece of that. And of course it was
cloudy most of the day so it was a little warmer. Since
I don't have a party to plan, dinners to go to, or relatives
driving hundreds of miles to catch a plane in Vancouver
or driving back into the States, I actually don't care
what the weather does right now. Although a little
warm up would be welcome. I'm just about over my cold
and I would like to start walking the dogs out in the
backwoods again, or go for a ski down the lake. Christmas
is over and it's time to get moving again.
This is the start of a new year, so if you would like
to read any of last year's articles you can click on the
purple link for 2009 under Archives on the navigation,
or go to December
Week Two and once there you'll find
all of last year's articles under the Archives heading
on the left.
From my family to yours, here's wishing you all the very
best in the new year. And may all your New Year's resolutions
be easy to keep!!
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!