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 - July, Week One/2007
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read stories like
'Lake Monsters' - just go into Archives on the lower left side
of this page.
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Check out the Picture
of the Day.
probably knows that today is considered a really lucky
day for a lot of people. Today is the seventh day
of the seventh month of the seventh year of this century.
On the news they mentioned that it only happens once a
century. However, if you like sevens, I should think all
of the above in the year 2077 would be considered even
luckier. But what do I know? Since my chances of seeing
that decade are pretty slim, I'll take this one.
Apparently lots of people book their wedding day months
and even years ahead based on these lucky dates. I suppose
I should have held out to be married on this date as many
others have, but it wouldn't have been so much for luck.
It simply would have been a much easier date to remember
my anniversary on. I was married on Thanksgiving Day in
October and since they keep changing what day that is,
I'm never too sure when my anniversary actually is. We
really should have picked a different day and I most certainly
would have had I realized what a problem it was going
to be. We should have chosen Remembrance Day or Christmas.
Maybe even New Year's Day. At least all those holidays
fall on the same date. Probably the easiest thing to do
would be to write down our wedding date and put it somewhere.
However, I have lots of notes all over the place and can
rarely find them when I need them.
We have a pretty warm day today at a little over
20C or about 75 degrees and some high cloud has
moved in along with a bit of a breeze. It hasn't knocked
off all the mosquitoes yet but hopefully soon. It got
really cool last night and I had high hopes that it would
freeze, but no such luck.
There are lots of planes buzzing in and out of the country
with pilots coming in for the BCFA AGM and banquet. And
a huge search and rescue helicopter came in from Comox
for a few hours today with the crew on board scheduled
to give a talk at the AGM. I expect that bird rattled
up some dust when it landed!
There are lots of fishermen out on Nimpo Lake today and
I've watched a few bring in fish. The Chinook salmon
are running in the rivers down in the Bella Coola Valley
so there are quite a few people heading down the 'Hill'
with fishing poles in hand. I don't know how easy
it will be to fish for them with the Atnarko and Bella
Coola Rivers as high as they are but when the weekend
is over I expect I'll find out from friends who went down
The float planes from Tweedsmuir Air have been taking
off and landing on Nimpo Lake steadily today. If
you're visiting the area this summer, you should seriously
consider chartering a plane for a flightseeing trip.
It's the best way to see our inaccessible but breathtakingly
beautiful back country as well as the famous Hunlen Falls
and Monarch Glacier in the Coast Range. Or you can charter
a plane to take you to a fly in lake for fishing for the
day or canoeing on the Turner Lake Chain. It's well worth
Is Summer Here?
afraid to say so but it actually looks like it might be.
Happy Fourth of July yesterday to all our friends
in the States. I always thought it was kind of
neat that both countries celebrate their big day within
four days of each other. I mean, heck, we're nearly a
month out for celebrating Thanksgiving Day, so what are
That super wind we had the other day was remarkable for
working in but it blew in about a million little, tiny,
no see'um type bugs that plastered themselves against
the doors and windows of the house. They were probably
drawn to the lights so that when I went out late evening
to get some firewood, I scurried back in and got the door
shut as quickly as I could because it was just crawling.
A few got in but the nice thing about those little ones
is they die overnight. The deck and ground was littered
with them the next morning.
While the Lower Mainland enjoys hot, sunny weather,
we're still on the edge of the high pressure system.
We're getting a mixture of clouds and sun but it is heating
up today. We got up to 20C or 70 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday
and we're already there today and it's only noon. That's
a good thing!
We watched six pelicans out on Nimpo Lake just off
the point last night. Boy, I'll tell you, those
birds are some big! They must be darn near the size of
small boats because they're easy to spot. We don't get
a lot of Pelicans on Nimpo Lake but there's a huge number
that hang out at Anahim Lake every summer.
The Bald Eagles have been fishing pretty vigorously lately
and driving the loons nuts. While out fishing the other
day we watched as twice, an Eagle scooped up a fish from
the water and flew overhead to the far shore. I'm assuming
he has a nest over there in the trees somewhere and is
either feeding a sitting mate or babies. Andy was laughing
at me because of course, I didn't have my camera with
me and was highly PO'd about it.
There are a few fishing boats out today and as I understand
it, the fishing is still pretty good. Everyone is
commenting on how deep bodied or fat the trout are and
what a great battle they're putting up. Small
wonder. It's been a regular bug buffet out there for a
We should start seeing the planes come in for the BCFA
meeting this weekend. Sometimes a few of the pilots like
to get in a day or two early to do some fishing, visiting
and sightseeing. It looks like the organizers have put
together a Poker Run for Sunday, which might be kind of
fun doing it with planes rather than with snowmobiles.
By golly, the wind is starting up which means I might
be able to work outside so I'm off!
Yoo Hoo!!! No Bugs!
bugs today because the wind has been howling like a banshee.
It was an absolute delight to be able to work outside
today. That doesn't mean you still didn't have to dodge
in the door as quickly as possible to prevent a horde
following you into the calm indoors. Nor was it a good
idea to stay long in a sheltered spot. But in the wind?
Of course the roof may be ripped off the house and
several trees may fall over but who cares? No bugs!
Even the dogs are in seventh heaven and able to spend
a few hours outdoors for a change.
I'm sure most people just shake their heads at us. First
we're complaining vociferously all winter and spring about
the wind. Bitter cold, miserable, biting.....grumble,
grumble. Now we're deliriously happy because we've got
gale force winds out there. Well, what can I say? It's
beautiful country and you like things to be perfect. Bearable
would be nice too.
Actually, it was my theory that it was the last really
big wind we had that brought all the bugs to our place.
I'm hoping this wind will blow them right to Kingdom ......
I know, I'll try to be nice.
Actually, Andy's sister sent an interesting little tidbit
about bugs the other day.
".... It was about the effects of such a rainy
June, and there were the usual things- umbrella sales
up 50%, bike rentals down 40%, etc. But apparently the
entomologists who are monitoring mosquitoes for West Nile
virus are finding that the number of bugs caught in their
traps is hugely up this year- by 390% in Thompson-Nicola,
and by 489% in the East Kootenay." (Thanks
I'm willing to put money down that the numbers in our
area would run at about 1000% but I could be wrong. At
least we're not the only region in British Columbia suffering
from the mosquito onslaught. Sadly, that makes me feel
There's a pretty big high building on the coast and it's
supposed to bring much warmer temperatures and straight
sunshine to the southern half of the province and rain
to the north coast. I'm hoping we'll be in that southern
part but I don't think so. From the looks of the
satellite map, we're going to be right on the edge of
the high and low pressure systems which may be
what's causing our high winds. We've definitely seen some
sun today and it's clearing out really well this evening
so maybe we'll get some of the good stuff. I would just
really like to see a few days of hot weather to burn off
some of these bugs. Or the wind can keep blowing. Either
one would be a good thing.
Our temperatures topped out at 20C or ranged from 60F
to 70F today. Although it's gotten down pretty close to
freezing a couple of times, the last couple of nights
have stayed warm with 4C or around 40 degrees Fahrenheit
at the lowest because we've had heavy cloud cover.
I noticed only one boat going out on Nimpo Lake
this evening. The heavy chop has probably kept
most people from venturing out. The float planes have
been buzzing in and out all day and with these winds,
are they ever getting into the air fast! You only hear
them running up on the lake for a moment and then they're
gone. None of the usual long takeoff trying to break the
floats free of the surface of the lake. The nose of that
plane is pointed to the sky before you know it.
It feels like this wind is going to bring a change of
weather. Cross your fingers for us. The British
Columbia Floatplane Association fly in is this weekend
and we need good weather for the pilots to get in and
out of the region. The Anahim Lake Stampede is also
on and it would be really nice to see the rodeo
riders and spectators get some good weather.
wanted to get outside today but due to the bugs, the only
way to do that was to go out into the middle of Nimpo
Lake. That meant we were going to have to go fishing.
Ah....gee. Now that's a hardship! We went out this afternoon
scurrying away from shore in order to get rid of the mosquitoes
that had taken up residence on the boat.
Shortly after we got our fly lines out, we were
getting fish and in the end, we lost four and
brought home four big fat rainbows, one of which landed
on the barbeque for supper.
I lost one fish after doing some battle with him for awhile.
I don't know what his size was but he sure was strong!
I finally got him pretty close to the boat and decided
I wasn't fooling around anymore, he was coming in. Apparently
not. Just a few inches from the net there was a little
flip and he was gone. No surprise really. He'd done some
serious head jerking farther out and I had let him run
out and down a few times. I probably left it too long
and he finally shook the hook loose.
The problem with these fish now is they've got so
much good food in them and are so strong that
you can't yard them in the way you could even two weeks
ago. At least Andy is better than I am at playing fish
and managed to get in a really big one in as we headed
Our weather was the usual today. Some sun but then the
heavy grey rainclouds moved in making the air heavy and
sultry and perfect for the bugs. Rain spotted the ground
off and on so nothing to speak of and temperatures are
still cool. However! And this is a big however. The weather
people are promising a big high over the southern part
of the province for the next week bringing lots of sun
and high temperatures. We can only hope that we get some
Happy Canada Day!
happy first day of July. Hopefully this means summer is
going to start soon. I'm still waiting.
Our weather has much improved over what
we got while our guests were here from Saskatchewan up
to a week ago. But it still isn't something you want to
bet on, with the sun shining one moment and rain the next.
We took another Sunday drive out to Hotnarko Falls again
in the hopes of getting some pictures while the sun was
shining. It was this morning but by the
time we headed out that way it had clouded over and was
spitting rain. The Falls are going great guns yet
with a terrific volume of water still tumbling down the
cliff but the river is definitely down quite a bit.
Where the two huge culverts carrying the river under the
road had been submerged under a maelstrom of wild water
and debris the last time we saw them, now they are half
out of water.
The geology of the area absolutely fascinates me because
something is wrong with the whole picture. I just can't
figure out what it is. The steep cliffs surrounding
the canyon into which the river falls all show evidence
of falling water smoothing the rock (some of it basaltic
pillars) that makes up the upper part of the canyon walls.
The lower walls of the canyon slope more gently and are
made up of rock that has busted out of the walls of the
canyon through erosion. There's lots of evidence of glacial
action in the area and you might, at first glance, suppose
the walls of the canyon had been smoothed by glaciers
or water flowing horizontally. But to me, it looks like
the water that smoothed that rock was falling vertically.
It would seem that the falls have been moving around the
walls of this canyon for millennia, or a long, long time
ago, this canyon had water falling from all its
walls, and looked much like Niagara at one time.
Did an ice dam created by a glacier form this flat topped
chasm? Volcanic activity? Or was there an earthquake that
created the escarpment? The Precipice nearby is
also a fascinating geological feature and totally out
of place for the region. It all kind of makes
you want to hit the old high school earth science books
again just to figure out what created all that grand landscape.
After I scored some more great rocks for the garden, (That's
my idea of great Sunday shopping!) we took a drive farther
up Kappan Road while I tried to figure out where I used
to go hunting years ago when I first moved into the country.
Along the way we saw very large bear sign and lots
of it! It looks like Kappan Lake hasn't changed
a bit in 20 years and still attracts more than its fair
share of grizzly bear. I sure don't know why.
There is an advantage to having too many
mosquitoes and black flies to work outside and it forces
you to go for Sunday drives. It doesn't pay to step out
of your vehicle for too long when the bugs are this bad,
(You have between 15 and 30 seconds before the hordes
find you.) but you can still see a lot of beautiful
country by just driving the back roads. We get
a kick out of studying the country for geological clues
as well as for different routes to access areas with a
snowmobile in winter.
If we don't get a hot spell soon to knock the bugs back,
I guess we'll be going on a lot of drives out into the
country. It does look like there's a big high building
out over the Pacific Coast and will definitely
bring the Lower Mainland nice weather this next week.
Now as long as it pushes north of us, we should see decent
weather as well. If not....well....all I can say is that
Vancouver sure seems to be stealing our weather a lot
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a really nice person
from Texas yesterday that has been reading these articles
since she and her husband bought a cabin on Anahim
Lake a couple of years ago. We've been corresponding
by email for some time but this was my first opportunity
to meet her because we were in Alaska last year while
they were up for the summer. They're in the same awkward
position as a lot of the part time residents on the area
lakes right now, unable to find someone that can take
out the beetle killed danger trees on their properties.
Something that BC Hydro was supposed to do and instead,
has completely failed in fulfilling their obligation.
I delight in meeting all the different folks that read
these articles because it usually turns out that we have
a lot in common. That's pretty cool. And I appreciate
all of you folks that patiently hang in there for an article
to come when we get busy or have company, and I don't
get them written or posted with the regularity that they
New month so new week. Last week's articles can be found
Week Three. Make sure you check
out the link called Logan and the Three Bears on that
page. It's well worth seeing!
Happy Canada Day to all you Canadians. Here's hoping you
have great weather this weekend and the bugs don't carry
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!