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Wilderness Adventures - July Week One

This 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 the smog!
13/07/2005 12:41 PM

Washout!

An unbelievable hail/rainstorm last night of kind you never see in this area. Usually the mountains to the west take the brunt of storms by the time they reach the Chilcotin Plateau. Last night however, the Nimpo Lake area got a storm to beat all storms while the sun shone most of the evening just 10 miles away toward Anahim Lake. Rain and hail came down in torrents wave after wave for about an hour and moved rocks, gravel and dirt some distance. Pine needles are piled up a half inch deep while a post driven into the ground was washed out and there's a 3 foot deep washout by the garage. The plants are all looking pretty tattered and if this house had not been built on a hill overlooking the lake, there very well might have been water in the basement. The gutters overran with water after being plugged up with pine needles and hail stones that blocked the downspout. It's funny. You often see on the news the extreme weather that the rest of Canada periodically experiences, particularly this spring and summer, but although you see the pictures, it's often hard to comprehend the true magnitude of a harsh hail or rainstorm until you have one. Only because we just aren't accustomed to anything but fairly moderate storms here. Another case for global warming? Who knows. But by midnight the stars were out and it was cold. Much colder and there would have been frost. And frost in July is not at all unusual in the West Chilcotin!
12/07/2005 12:23 PM

Places on Nimpo

I have a few light descriptions of real estate on Anahim Lake and Nimpo Lake. There's a home for sale on Anahim that is winterized, with a drilled well, and out buildings that is $169,000. There are two properties for sale on Nimpo Lake and one with lake access. I know of the latter property personally and it's one of my favorites. It sits on a bench just above a house I built a few years ago on the north arm of Nimpo and has a totally different view from anyone else. It's a nice cabin set well back from the road on 2.6 acres, one of the few completely flat pieces of ground around in a very secluded, protected spot. It looks right out above the treetops with an incredible view of Kappan and Trumpeter mountains. It looks like you could reach out and touch them! New roof on the year round cabin, well, power, phone and log tool shed.
The owner of this cabin also has another property for sale (he owns a floatplane and just bought a property with a protected bay for his plane, and a little more suited to planes than the other properties for sale) on the main arm of Nimpo Lake. I've walked the property and it has quite a view! It is 3.17 acres with 2 small single room log cabins that sit above the lake and have a southern exposure. Services are at the road. The third property for sale is just down the road from us in a protected bay on the South Arm of Nimpo Lake. It too is a cabin sitting up on a hill above the lake with a really nice view of the mountains as well. There's 3 acres, electricity, drilled well, and dock listed at $188,000. Keep in mind that these prices are all in Canadian funds, which is worth .20 cents less on the 1.00 than American funds.
11/07/2005 1:40 PM

Mix of This and That Monday

A little mix of everything today including property for sale information. I've noticed that since adding the properties for sale page to this site a few weeks ago, that the page has been getting hit hard. Which is really good on the one hand, but I wasn't expecting such a great response and was totally unprepared for it. I had only thrown up three listings at the time for businesses that are for sale in Nimpo Lake and Anahim Lake and expected to add slowly to the page as I spoke to people interested in selling their properties. I figured it would take some time for the new page to become established with the search engines. Well, it didn't. It seems to be in great demand on the search and here I've been caught with me pants down, or flatfooted so to speak. So after reading of a couple of waterfront properties for sale in the local paper and knowing through the grapevine of a couple more, I scrambled on the phone last night talking to property owners. They will all be sending me pictures and writeups for their property and I will post the information as soon as I get it. I'll do a little more research for more property as I get the time but there really isn't a lot available in the area. Waterfront property in particular, has always been in high demand. If you would like to take a look at what's listed at the moment, go to Properties or hit that button on the navigation menu.
On another note, I finally go a picture of the Dutchman Restaurant in Anahim Lake that just doesn't do the place justice. The perennial and annual flowers, climbing vines, hanging baskets and shrubs look absolutely magnificent around the building. It's a must see at this time of year right on the junction at Anahim Lake.

10/07/2005 7:56 PM

Stampede Week

The Anahim Lake Stampede and Bull-O-Rama was on this weekend and just wrapped up today. Shamefully, I forgot it was on and didn't realize it until I drove to Anahim Lake late this afternoon and passed several big horse rigs heading home. Unfortunately, I got there too late to get pictures, but hopefully someone else did and I can post them in future. By all accounts, it was a very successful event this year starting with a gymkana on Friday night, parade Saturday morning down the streets of Anahim Lake, barrel racing, bull riding and bronc riding as well as other events the rest of the weekend. There was also a dance at the community hall and a cowboy breakfast. There was a really great turnout and the weather cooperated for the most part. This stampede runs at the same time every year as the famous Calgary Stampede, which is too bad in a way. There are sure to be a few competitors that must miss one rodeo in order to be at the other.
09/07/2005 8:31 PM

Loons on Nimpo

The loons in the back bay on Nimpo Lake have definitely lost a baby to Eagles. There is only one floating with the parents, but he has grown quite a bit in the week we were gone. Although less vulnerable at this size than before, he is still somewhat in danger. The full grown Bald Eagles work as a pair. One will dive bomb the young loon forcing it under the water, and as soon as it pops up for air, the other eagle immediately dive bombs the baby until eventually it is forced to come to the surface long enough to breath. One eagle is guaranteed to be there to strike the bird, killing it and carrying it off. It's a cruel world out there. Hopefully this young loon will make it. An immature Bald Eagle was hovering over the bay in the wind all day, causing the loons to raise a real ruckus and guard their baby carefully, allowing me to get a few pictures of the family. The water has been so high in the meadows on either side of our road that unusual water plants are growing in them. They're really pretty but I sure don't know what they are. They float on the water similiar to water lilies and I thought that they were water hawthorne. However, the flowers don't fit the description. They're a bright pink, fuzzy, conical flower that come up on stalks from underneath. Someday, when I get the time and can set this page up for feedback from readers, someone may be able to tell me.
08/07/2005 8:08 PM

Bluebirds

Mountain Bluebirds have to be just about the prettiest bird in British Columbia, especially when you see them during our dreary days of the last few weeks. I saw one a few weeks ago where I work at the mill between Nimpo Lake and Anahim Lake. If you recall from my description of my workplace, I have a wonderful view of the mountains, a meadow where there used to be a lake, surrounded by small pines, spruce and aspen. Many evenings the wild horses wander through in an attempt to escape the bugs, and there's lots of bird life in the area. Two evenings in a row I saw a flash of vivid blue too far away to be sure of what I was seeing. The second time looked like a bird that had been painted with bright blue paint, it was so brightly colored. I have seen bluebirds elsewhere, including the Eastern Bluebird in Saskatchewan, but didn't think they would be found in this area since we're so close to the Coast. The third time I saw the bird, he perched nearby on a lumber pile, and at 6" to 7" inches in height, was much larger than the small, pale bluebirds of Saskatchewan. This bird was vivid in color and not the least bit shy. It was using the lumber pile as a perch from which to spot dinner, then would swoop in and grab his 'bug' steak. What brings this bird spotting back to mind is the article I just read in a magazine. I found it fascinating and have to bring it to your attention. Did you know that no blue bird is actually blue? Instead, their feathers are actually brown, but covered with a layer of cells that absorb all colours of the light spectrum except blue, which is reflected back to our eyes. So, to us the birds look blue, but are actually brownish in colour. Is that amazing or what? You can thank Gardens West magazine for that neat piece of trivia.
On another front, saw the mama loon in the back bay of Nimpo Lake today, but with only one baby. The other must have fallen prey to the Bald eagles. But my, has baby grown! I'll try to get a picture tomorrow.

07/07/2005 1:28 PM

The Recon Plane

The J-4 has an interesting history. Another one of Terry Brandt's planes in his hangar at the family reunion in Oregon was the original 'SuperCub', and it's a little beauty. Perhaps not as easy to see that under military green paint, but it's there. The J-4 was used as a reconnaissance plane during the war. It was a very light plane, so it didn't carry weapons or munitions except for the odd pilot that carried a bomb like a grenade that he pulled the pin on and dropped out of the cockpit onto the ground below. The plane carried two people and could fly quite low to the ground and in tight spots. It reconned for bombers as well as spotted enemy positons. Unfortunately, it wasn't super fast and without munitions, if spotted, it was a sitting duck. What does this have to do with the West Chilcotin? Well, the SuperCub is probably still one of the favorites planes with bush pilots. For such a small plane, remarkably, it still has enough power to take off on floats. It can get in and out of the smallest lakes, that only helicopters could otherwise get into, it can land on tiny airstrips, backroads or meadows, and can land on the side of a mountain or glacier on skiis and take off in a very short distance. The green plane being pushed out of the hangar down the airstrip by two pilots in the photo on the right is the precursor of the of the fantastic, indomitable, SuperCub. And as with all of Mr. Brandt's planes, it still flies!
06/07/2005 10:41 AM

Back From The USA

Finally got back from Hood River, Oregon. Let me tell you, it is not easy to dodge Canadian holiday traffic going south at the beginning of the weekend, and dodge American holiday traffic going north at the end of the July long weekend. American customs was a bit stinky going down, while Canadian customs was wonderful, which is really unusual. It's usually the other way around. Getting down to Hood River friday afternoon was ok, but had to turn around and drive into Portland about midnight to pick up my brothers at the airport. So we were a little knocked out for Saturday's festivities. The entire weekend there were glider rides provided by Terry Brandt, his sister and cousins and from Sunday on Jeff was there with his helicopter to give rides in that as well. The gliders were fascinating. Judy would take a glider (one was a trainer and one was Terry's racing glider) up by towing it behind a crop duster she owns. She had a lot of power so she didn't waste any time getting that glider into the air. Once the glider was high enough, the tow rope was disconnected and you were on your own flying without an engine! There was always an experienced operator or instructor in the glider with each person, and the person going for the ride usually got to ride up front and drive, with the instructor giving helpful hints from the back. Each ride lasted about a half hour with the glider getting to about 3000 feet and offered a once in a lifetime experience for a lot of people. Everyone described the sensation of no engine in the plane as incredible, with the only noise up in there being a soft wind noise as air rushed past the glider. The closest any human being will ever get to flying like a bird.
05/07/2005 9:32 PM

The Workplace

I was reminiscing about my workplace of a few years ago. I worked at the Planer mill for West Chilcotin Forest Products Ltd. Located between Nimpo Lake and Anahim Lake on Highway 20. They set up the planer 1988 and I started there as a lumber grader that June. You used to switch around with the other grader for half the shift, to the backside of the mill where you piled three grades and sent the other one down to the end stacker. I used to love looking out that side because there was a little lake surrounded by green grass, aspen and small pines with snow capped Kappan mountain rearing up in the background, more mountains behind it, and to the northwest the Rainbows and Anahim Peak to the north. It was like looking at a picture postcard. I used to drive into Williams Lake on the weekends and enthuse to friends and family about how I had to be the luckiest person in the world. No fancy high rise office in New York could possibly have a view that would rival mine. After a few years of being away, I've only recently started back at the planer mill the last three summers on second shift as a grader. This time I work J grade and I am now always located on the backside of the planer, exactly where I was before. The lake is gone now. I remember how disappointed I was when told they had filled it in. But the green grass, aspen, and now bigger pines are still there. And so are my beloved mountains. They still rear up in the background, the Rainbows backlit by the sun going down between the crags, Anahim Peak mysterious and grey against the pink backdrop of a dying day, making my view unrivalled anywhere in the world.


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!


Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
Paddling along the shore of Nimpo Lake
 
A stormy evening over Nimpo Lake
 
The Dutchman Restaurant in Anahim Lake draped in flowers and greenery
 
Loon family on Nimpo Lake
 
The adult loons keep a close eye out for eagles as they careully guard their young baby.
 
Beautiful floating plant similiar to water lillies with a bright pink, fuzzy, conical flower
 
The first 'SuperCub' was used as a recon plane in the war
 
The two man plane owned by Terry Brandt painted in it's military green still flies well.
 
Judy's crop duster used to pull up the gliders
 
In the air just before disconnecting the tow rope
 
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