Anahim/Nimpo Lake BC
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Wilderness Adventures - July Week Two

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!
20/07/2005 1:08 PM

Little of Everything

Had my chance to try Morel mushrooms this week. Friends that I had spoken to at the BCFA dinner on Saturday night brought some of the mushrooms by for us to try on Sunday. I sautéed them lightly in butter with just a few spices because I didn't want to camouflage the flavor. It was a bit of a different experience because they are completely hollow inside with a crinkled, rough texture on the outside. They took a little getting used to, but the flavor was actually quite good. Just not as good as I had come to expect. As I said, it was a little hard to get used to the texture. I think I'm glad now that I was unable to purchase the ten pounds I wanted from the mushroom buyers. Although I can understand why they might be considered a unique delicacy at gourmet restaurants.
I understand the Salmon fishing in Bella Coola hasn't been as good as it usually is. Water has been so high in the last two months from rainfall, that it's difficult to get on the rivers. About the only spot is at the fisheries pool on the Atnarko River in Tweedsmuir Park, and of course all the fishermen have congregated there because they can't get on anywhere else. So standing shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of people fishing isn't my idea of fun. I would guess that with the high water, it isn't possible to walk down around the corner from the pool and fish the middle of the river near the confluence. That's my favorite spot, although you often have to share it with grizzly bears. Speaking of which, a grizzly sow and two cubs are living over near Nimpo Lake Resort on the north arm of the lake, and have been seen at the back end of the mill yard. I guess two fellows were staying at Cherne's cabin below their house last weekend. They left their host's house at dusk after visiting and hearing about the grizzlies. They were were walking in near dark when their host yelled that the grizzly was behind them! When they turned to look, all they saw was a huge shaggy brown shape behind them in the woods. They bolted, screaming back to the house while Harley the Llama (one of the pets at Nimpo Lake Resort) looked on in puzzlement. Some of us out here just have a wicked sense of humour.

19/07/2005 12:26 PM

The Flying Boat

Only one more picture of planes and on to other stuff. Actually, I have lots more pictures and would like to go on and on about the floatplane only because of its incredible versatility as a bush plane. It has had more to do with opening up remote areas including the North, than any other single thing. This next little jobby isn't very practical as a bush plane, however. Or sure doesn't look like it to me. It doesn't carry much of a payload, sits low in the water so visibility would be limited and I think that might be a real problem where there are log jams and other obstructions in the water. Since it sits so low in the water, it also looks like it would take longer to pick up wind under you wings, but I could be wrong about that. It's a cute little thing anyway. Although I'm not sure the owner would characterize his flying boat that way. By the way, a floatplane is anything with floats under it, while a flying boat takes off and lands on water on it's belly. As noticed in the previous story, it's not impossible to damage or gash a float. I should think it would be a lot more difficult to make the same kind of repair when you've put the gash right in the belly of the plane. How do you fly it then? Take a look at the flying boat getting ready for takeoff on Nimpo Lake on the right. His engine sits up on top of the plane behind the pilot between the wings.
18/07/2005 11:39 AM

A Little Takeoff Problem

Floatplanes were 'flitting' all over the place yesterday morning. Apparently the Tweedsmuir Park project started at 8:am but it must have finished up by noon or early afternoon as I was seeing a lot of planes going from one place to another fueling up or visiting. You can see from the top two pictures on the right, the difference between a plane coasting out, and one heavily loaded with fuel heading for home. He's the one dragging his tail in the water. One of the floatplanes had a bit of a problem yesterday. One of the members and ex-president of the association likes to go over to Charlotte Lake for fishing with friends every Sunday after the annual AGM and parks project. I guess they were fishing for trout off the floats when the wind came up and pushed the plane onto the rocks. It resulted in a nasty gash in the float and in a flurry of radio and phone calls around the country looking for inner tubes to put in the floats to push out the water. They finally found some inner tubes at Les Zigler's machine shop and flew them out to the owner of the plane. They got enough pumped up innertubes into the floats to fly it back to Terry's hangar and flew the friends back in a different plane to keep the load as light as possible. You see, if you have a substantial amount of water in the floats of a plane, it makes it really heavy and it won't lift off of the water so you pump your float lockers periodically before flying because you always end up with a small amount of water forced into the seams or overspray on landing and takeoff. But when you have a gash in the bottom of the float, there just isn't any way to pump the float dry. It doesn't take much water to throw off the balance of a plane, and a lot of water in one side makes it pretty tough to take off or land or fly, for that matter. Anyway, the gash in the metal was repaired and the floats pumped enough for the plane owner to leave Nimpo Lake for home this morning. Hopefully he made it ok. The weather is calm and sunny, and quite beautiful so he should have an uneventful trip.
17/07/2005 12:11 PM

The Floatplane AGM

The British Columbia Floatplane Association AGM seems to have been a roaring success. They had their meeting yesterday at Terry Brandt's hangar on the north arm of Nimpo Lake. It was quite a good turnout considering the weather was pretty ominous over the mountains. Floatplanes were lined up at Terry's dock, as well as Nimpo Lake Resort's docks, and at a neighbour's as well as up on the hangar apron. Three tail draggers (wheeled planes) were lined up on the dirt runway above the hangars and a few floatplanes were parked at various resorts on Nimpo Lake including a flying boat over at Vagabond RV Park and Resort. The supper was a terrific success and there was music and dancing afterwards provided by Cindy Nadeau from Chilcotin's Gate. The silent auction had lots of goodies and the donation bucket filled up pretty fast. Today, there was a parks project for the pilots up at Turner Lake. Every year on the Sunday following the AGM, the members fly into whatever area Tweedsmuir Park asks them to, and everyone works hard at fixing trails, campgrounds, or in this case, tent pads, for the day. Anyway, took lots of pictures but it's hard to get a good one of all the planes lined up at the dock because there are so many of them. So over the next few days, I'll just keep adding pictures for those plane enthusiasts out there. After all, Nimpo Lake is the "Floatplane Capital of BC!"
16/07/2005 12:18 PM

Kingfishers and Floatplanes

I know, quite a combination for today. We've had a Kingfisher sitting in one of two trees on the shore of Nimpo Lake in front of our house for the last few days. He must find it pretty good hunting right there. Grey and white, and with a large crest making their head look too big for their body, the Belted Kingfisher is about 12" long. Aside from terns, kingfishers are the only small bird that dive headlong from air into water.
The British Columbia Floatplane Association AGM has just wrapped up and now everyone will be wandering around looking at each other's planes and enjoying a delicious lunch provided by Mary Kirner of Nimpo Lake Resort, Terry Brandt and Lois Bowman who are hosting the event in Terry's aircraft hangars.

15/07/2005 4:04 PM

Windsurfers and Weird Plants

A weird mix of stuff for Friday. Our first windsurfer that I know of was out on Nimpo Lake this week. He was tacking up and down the main arm and near the big island for a while when this picture was taken. Then the wind died. Completely. As a result, he ended up trapped out in the middle of the lake unable to go anywhere. No one thought anything of it for a couple of hours until it occurred to several people on the lake at about the same time that none had seen his sail for some period of time. But there he was, resting on his board between the two islands trying to ride the current in, which would have taken a few hours. A boat from Stewart's Lodge reached him first and brought him and his sail back in. Even with a wet suit on, the poor fellow must have been half frozen because it was really cool that evening. Not quite the same conditions as the Columbia River Gorge at Hood River, Oregon where we were on the July long weekend. The area is world famous for windsurfing because of the wild winds down the valley. There were countless windsurfers all up and down the river that weekend. They looked like colorful butterflies dancing on the water.
Remember the weird water plant in our swamp from last week's blog? Well, we got an answer back from Garden's West and here it is. - Your plant is a Persicaria hydropiper common names include smartweed, water pepper and water pepperwort. We will put your letter in talkback because your story of how it came to be will of interest to other readers and may encourage them to share their stories about how climate changes are affecting their neighbourhoods. This plant originated in Eurasia. We have no idea how it came your area. That's a mystery.
Dorothy Horton Editor

Last but not least, the British Columbia Floatplane Association AGM starts tomorrow at the north arm of Nimpo Lake. Some planes should be arriving tonite and I will be getting lots of pictures!
14/07/2005 1:13 PM

Morel Mushrooms

The abundance of Morels from last year's Lonesome Lake fire seems finally to be winding down. There's been quite a crop of the christmas tree shaped mushrooms out there that has continued maturing for a couple of months now, but is finally slowing down. Apparently the cool, rainy weather has just kept those mushrooms popping up and picking five, five gallon buckets in a day is not hard to do if you happen on a good area. A good number of people from the native community as well as locals from Anahim Lake and Nimpo Lake have been out picking, but word of Morels gets out fast. Mushroom pickers from all over have converged on the area over a period of time, some staying in local accommodations, some in tents up near the fire where a 'tent city' and cook shack has risen out of the ashes, so to speak. Apparently, the same thing happened last summer down at Chilko after the huge forest fire there the summer before. I guess Morels grow in abundance anywhere a fire has swept over the soil the season before. Since we've had a number of huge forest fires in the area the last two summers, we've become the Morel Mecca. I still haven't had an opportunity to try the mushroom and keep begging my work compatriots to bring a couple in for me after a day of picking, but they keep forgetting. So perhaps I may have to break down and buy a pound from the mushroom buyers. Right now the price is ranging from 4$ to 6$ a pound because there's some competition between the buyers, yet I understand the Morel fetches a pretty high price in gourmet restaurants. One work companion was telling me last night that she's cooked them every which way when camping, but her favorite is dipped, breaded and fried so that they resemble veal cutlets in texture and taste. My mouth is watering already!
I'm starting on a new week now, so the past week's entries can be found at July 1 .


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!
Flying boat going out on Nimpo Lake for takeoff
 
Freshly fueled flying boat sits low in the water
 
Fueled plane is heavy in the water on take off probably from having a full load of fuel
 
Flying to Tweedsmuir Park for the member's project on Sunday
 
Planes lined up at Nimpo Lake
 
Plane in for BCFA AGM
 
Beaver sitting on hangar apron
 
BCFA members are pilots from Canada and the US
 
Paddling along the shore of Nimpo Lake
 
Our first windsurfer!
 
That weird plant now has a name
 
Picture of the christmas tree shape of the Morel mushroom from the book 'Mushrooms of Western North America'
 
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