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 - Jan., Week Two/2011
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of the Day.
And.... It just keeps on coming
By this morning we had accumulated another 8 inches of
snow. That puts us at 14 inches in the past 48 hours
and at the grand total of 20 inches in the past week.
And there's more on the way!
I've spent most of the day shoveling again, while poor
Andy has been out on the Bobcat for the last two days
digging out other people's places. In many cases most
just want their snow banks pushed back because their driveways
are getting too narrow and a truck and plow usually can't
do that. The phone calls came in steadily yesterday but
he can only do what he can do. It takes time just to load
up the Bobcat, trailer it to where it has to go, unload
and plow. Then start all over again. He's going to have
a serious case of BB or Bobcat Butt by the time he's finished
over the next few days.
It's predicted that we'll get another 4 to 12 inches
of snow tonight but who knows. One weather forecaster
says that a warm front will be moving over the Coastal
Mountains that could bring freezing rain or rain and much
warmer temperatures. The dip on the other news channel
says 20 to 30 centimeters (up to a foot) of snow for inland
sections. That's us. But I don't put a lot of faith in
any of them anymore although the new meteorologist on
CTV certainly seems to know his stuff and they let him
talk a lot so you do get more in depth information on
the weather. Mark and Christy on Global are both excellent
but during the week we're usually stuck with that idiotstick
Wayne who is far more interested in listening to himself
than reporting the weather with any accuracy. So
as usual, we just look at the satellite pictures and try
to figure it out for ourselves. Or as Andy says, just
look out the window.
We finally got to see the sun today and what a remarkable
thing that was! It started fighting its way through the
clouds midmorning and was present most of the day, even
if it was a little watery. It still has heat and that
made all the difference in the world to my mood and
the house. Even with the wood stove and fireplace
going it never gets hot in here with the temperatures
we've been having, but throw in a little sunshine and
it's a whole different ball game. This is the warmest
it's been in the house since the cold spell hit and boy,
is it cozy!
This afternoon you could see a nasty wall of cloud
coming in from the west but it must have bypassed us or
dissipated. I just took the dogs out for a walk
and the moon is shining through high haze. I heard people
talking over the radio earlier today and they were mentioning
that 100 centimeters or about three feet of snow is supposed
to be coming in. Presumably that's for Heckman Pass and
around the top of the Bella Coola Hill. I know some of
our contractors returned from Bella Coola today because
their job was shut down. I guess the weather down there
is horrendous with arctic outflow winds and blowing snow.
Which is kind of nice because most of them plow snow so
that will take the heat off Andy by quite a bit.
The satellite view on the Weather Channel still
looks nasty for us through Monday with one storm after
another hitting the Coast and parking over us.
I keep hoping we're going to get some of those warmer
temperatures that they're getting farther south. It's
-18C right now and never got above -13C or 8F today in
the sunshine, but that frankly seemed quite balmy compared
to the way it's been. Warmer temperatures would be a bit
disastrous with all this snow on everyone's roofs, but
it doesn't have to get above freezing. Maybe just up to
-5C. That would be downright tropical!!
I know, I know, be careful what you wish for. We might
get snowed on again. :-)
By all accounts, the overflow on the lake is horrific
and very difficult to bog through on a snow machine
and impossible on cross country skis. Our neighbour said
they pulled off everything from their skating rink because
it's shot. There's so much overflow that there's no way
they can make the rink work, or anything near it. Everything
is under slush. That may just do in our lake for the rest
of the year. Unless it warms up and compacts the snow
on the ice so that the water can freeze, all that fluffy
snow will just continue to insulate the layer of water
underneath and we won't be doing anything on the lake
until spring. I don't know what the state of the ice road
is. It hasn't been plowed recently so it may be under
overflow as well. Oh well, stuff happens. We'll
just do like the rest of the world and blame La Nina.
That seems to make everyone feel better.
I must say, I'm certainly a fan of our road guys right
now. I know their plates have been pretty full but they've
still been making a real effort to get in on the side
roads as soon as they can. It doesn't always happen right
away, but it's pretty darn good under the circumstances.
You remember a couple of days ago when I talked about
how happy I was that we weren't getting the weather other
parts of the country was? Okay, I admit it. I'm not so
happy anymore. Apparently Mother Nature reads blogs.
Yes, I know, she's an entity that is a product of the
human imagination and as such, does not actually exist.
But in existence or not, she still apparently reads blogs.
You know.... that payback thing?
Well, she got us!
Yesterday morning we woke up to about six inches
of fresh snow on the ground and more sifting down as it
had all night. Tiny little flakes that are almost
non existent but give them enough time and they will
build up! The snow finally quit by late morning but by
then we had already been outside for awhile. I spent a
good part of the day on the wrong end of a shovel, while
poor Andy spent most of it both on the Bobcat and on a
shovel. He spent nearly an hour on top of our travel trailer
shed roof getting this winter's accumulation of snow off
of it and that one's a horrendous job. He also had to
get up on our porch roof and clear it off because it's
nearly flat. Since I don't do heights, he gets stuck
with the roof jobs. Then the canvas shed and boat
had to be cleared. Last year the windshield broke on the
boat because of the weight of the snow so Andy cleans
it off after every heavy snow fall now.
We're super lucky to have the Bobcat because while vehicles
still have to be cleared of snow so that they can be moved,
Andy can get in most places around our drive to plow.
That just leaves places he can't get that require shoveling,
as well as the decks. I spent quite awhile yesterday trying
to get the snow off the greenhouse roof, after spending
the same amount of time getting it clear the week before
when we got snow.
When he was finally done our yard and road, Andy headed
down the main road a ways to the neighbour's who had called
yesterday morning. He's got a horrible, steep driveway
and the Bobcat is better than a front end plow on a pickup
for clearing any amount of snow. It was getting
pretty close to dark and down to -18C while Andy worked
over there, and -20C or -4F by the time he got home.
Way too cold to be out in the open pushing snow as far
as I'm concerned but he didn't notice it much. He still
has to go back and finish today but he'll have more than
that to do before long, because it's snowing again.
Last night it cleared off and the temperature really started
to drop. But about the time it hit -22C it started to
cloud over and the temperature actually came up two degrees
and held all night. But this morning it started snowing
again, even though it's still -18. If the weather forecasters
are to be trusted, and frankly, that's in question right
now, it looks like we could see snow right through
Monday, and lots of it. Oh joy!
Actually, we didn't do that badly yesterday. We got no
more than Kelowna and half what Williams Lake got. But
if you look at the weather maps it looks like the heavy
stuff is going to be parked over us and Vancouver for
the next several days. At least Vancouver is getting warm
temps and rain. I'm not sure why we're so cold and it's
snowing at the same time. That's unusual here, but
I wondered about it being a La Nina year, so I went back
in the blogs to four years ago. Yep, we got several
large dumps of snow and the weather was cold on the same
dates in January. Since the snow is still pouring down
out there at the rate of about an inch an hour, it looks
like we'll we see the same accumulations we did four years
ago. So.... more shoveling.
I just talked to my Mom down in Arizona and their weather
is nice with temps in the 70's. I was down there this
time last year and I'm thinking it might not be a bad
place to be right now while she, on the other hand, would
rather be here. I'm thinking that makes one of us crazy.
:-) Oh well, it'll all be good once the sun comes
out. I'm just not sure when that's going to be.
It tried yesterday several times but just couldn't quite
do it. Hence, we have both the stove downstairs and the
fireplace upstairs going full tilt. This house really
heats up in winter when we get sunshine, but we lose a
lot of heat through the big windows in the front when
we don't. Still, I would much rather be me, warm and cozy,
than some of the wildlife out there that will be struggling
with deeper snow and colder temps.
Sometimes I think Mother Nature just loves a good payback!
I admit to having been a little smug about our great weather
so far this winter and horror of all horrors, I've actually
spoken out loud about it..... several times. So
finally I think Mother Nature figured it was our turn.
Fortunately, she didn't get too serious about it and soon
turned her attention elsewhere, so we only got a little
payback, not a big one, which I'm still happy to take
like a man, er woman, or whatever. Particularly
when you see how badly the rest of the world is getting
hit with some truly nasty weather.
We had planned on going to town early last week but since
the weather people were forecasting a snow 'event', we
thought we would just watch and wait. Sure enough, the
evening before, snow started to sift down, so we canceled
our trip. But when we got up the next morning, there was
barely a skiff of snow on the ground and we were kind
of kicking ourselves. At least until we heard throughout
the day that there had been a blizzard from Williams Lake
to Redstone, loads of snow on the ground, numerous
accidents around Williams Lake, road closures and getting
around town was a nightmare.
Since we didn't have any appointments and it wasn't that
important, we put off going in until Friday. Thursday
night it started sifting down snow again but we didn't
think much of it until it really started to build up,
so another cancellation. We woke up to between six and
eight inches of snow depending on where you were in the
yard and it took Andy most of the day on the Bobcat to
get our driveway clear while I meandered around with a
shovel and broom for a few hours. Shoveling snow
isn't necessarily my favorite job, but if I can use it
as an excuse to avoid my office and the dreaded computers
that have taken over my life recently, I'll gladly take
It was expected that we would get cold, clear weather
over the weekend but we figured we would try for town
on Monday if it wasn't too cold. But since it dropped
to -28C or -18.4F Sunday evening, we canceled the trip
yet again, mainly because it's too cold to leave the dogs
outside all day. That, and I figure if you're going to
have vehicle trouble on a trip, it will be because of
cold weather. In addition to that, we can't turn on our
furnace for heat while we're gone. More on that below.
So now we're trying for later in the week but since there's
really no sense of urgency here..... we have lots of groceries
yet..... then I guess we'll get around to it when we get
around to it. The main reason for going in was for Andy
to get his winter snow tires on the truck, even though
the ones he has on there are excellent. But I figure
if we wait long enough, it will be spring and we won't
have to worry about it. :-)
The only other reason we had to get in was to buy a new
thermostat for our propane furnace, and trust me, I have
been teased unmercifully about that!
I don't know why I store up so much electricity, but in
the winter I can zap just about anything. People, dogs,
light switches and if it's bad, even touching the kitchen
sink will just about knock me flying. One night just before
going to bed a couple weeks ago, I went to turn off the
furnace fan. I knew as soon as I touched it that I had
zapped it hard, and since the LED display went blank,
I figured it for a bad one, so I left a note for Andy
for when he got up the next morning. Sure enough, I had
shorted out the programmable thermostat controls and we
need a new one.
I have the same problem with my computers.
Every time I tried to put a flash drive or USB cord into
the port on my new computer, it restarted the computer.
I was a little teed off because my old one used to do
that if I even touched it, and it would screw up my keyboard
and mouse, so I expected the new one to NOT
do that. The fact that it did either pointed to the builder,
or to me and I was much happier blaming the builder. Alas,
one day after zapping the thermostat, we decided to do
an experiment and I lost. I had Andy put a flash
drive into the new computer with a rubber glove and without,
and the computer didn't die. Every time I touched it,
even with my rubber glove on (yes, I have had to use one
for the past few years in winter if I wanted to touch
my old computer) the thing restarted itself. We tried
me sitting in a different chair, my shoes off, etc., etc.
The only time I didn't kill it was if I left my office
and got rid of a bunch of electricity and put moisturizer
on my hands. Andy did kill my computer once, but
he thinks that's because I handed him the flash drive
and had already given the metal on it a charge.
So, as I mentioned before, I get teased about it, especially
every time Andy walks through the hall expecting to be
able to read the interior temperature of the house, and
I have to admit, I kind of miss the readout too. But we
still don't need it so badly that we have to go to town
in lousy weather.
Oh, and before anyone writes to me suggesting a humidifier
would solve our problem? We have a tea kettle going 24/7
on heat down stairs and the humidifier running 24/7 on
the main floor. Even then, including when I'm cooking
or boiling stuff on the stove, we can't get the humidity
above 21%. Hey, it's dry country. That's what makes really
cold weather quite bearable here.
Our weather has been chilly the last few days, never
getting warmer than -12C or 10F during the day.
Throw in a breeze and not much sun, and this fair weather
person has not been getting out much. The lake was fabulous
for cross country skiing prior to our the snow falls we've
had this past week and you could go anywhere. Now it would
take some serious work to break a trail so I've been waiting
for warmer weather and nicer days. The same goes for walking
on the back trail. I'm hoping a few people have been over
it with snowmobiles lately and broken trail. Otherwise,
we're going to have to take our own machines over it before
walking on it. There's a fair bit of snow to slog through
Andy went with a couple of guys to Hotnarko Falls
on Saturday to break trail for the rest of us that had
planned to go Sunday, had the weather cooperated.
He said it was tough going. There was lots of fresh powder
to work through and it took them quite a while to get
there, and then over to Hotnarko Lake, which had a lot
of overflow on it. I've heard the same about higher up
as well. Ted sent me some pictures from when he went out
sledding the other day and he said that there's lot's
of powder out there. I'll post them up on the right here
since I can't get pictures downloaded from my camera to
the new computer right now.
I suppose one good thing about the not great weather and
temperatures is that I'm pretty much forced to get some
work done in my office. And I really have to because before
you know it, spring will be here and it'll be time to
plant and grow stuff!!
And I just want to point out to Mother Nature that
I'm really not complaining too much about the weather.
Honest. I'm happy. I really am. I'll take what
we've got over what the Canadian Prairies, Ontario, Quebec
and the whole Canadian and American East Coast and what
the Southern States is getting. I'll also take our weather
over the floods Australia has been saddled with as well
the weather stuff many other parts of the world has been
nailed with. Yup ..... I'm happy.
For last week's blog, go to January
You may have noticed that there is only January Week One
on the navigation on the left. The 2010 blogs can be found
by clicking on the listing in orange that starts with
the last blog in December 2010. That blog will have the
whole index for the year.
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!