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 3/2010
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The Great Escape
We just got home last night from a little holiday away
from mosquitoes and rain. It was absolutely wonderful
to travel around to a few places in the province where
we had mostly sun and NO bugasaurs. It was
We loaded up our holiday trailer and left Thursday a week
ago for Williams Lake where we stayed overnight at the
Stampede grounds. I sat out on the patio at my sister's
place in the evening and there were no mosquitoes just
as had been the case a couple of weeks ago when I was
On Friday we headed for the Kootenays and made it as far
as Blanket Creek Provincial Park just this side of the
ferry over Arrow Lake. It's one of the prettiest
little Government Recreational Parks I've seen with lots
of nice spots for camping, a beautiful waterfall,
man made lake, beaches and more. Alas, it was Friday night,
the first nice weather of the summer and all the spots
were taken. We were sent to an overflow area but it looked
like a bunch of young people were getting set to have
a little party so we moved on to a day time parking area.
It was actually neat because we had it all to ourselves
with a nice line of trees on both sides so it was private
and gave us a place to tie out the dogs. It was also conveniently
located at the entrance of the dog walk paths.
Saturday we crossed the lake on the ferry and drove
on to Silverton where my Brother-in-law has built
a house on Slocan Lake. There was a delightful campground
less than a block from the house so it was easy walking
distance to check on dogs and the trailer while we visited.
The campground hosts were terrific people and really accommodating,
even going out of their way to string an extension cord
to our trailer so that we could enjoy electricity.
Slocan lake is a truly beautiful lake. It's as clear
as a bell, up to a 1000 feet deep, about 21 miles long,
and is a really striking color. Steep hills and
rock walls rear up on either side of the lake and most
of the shores are only accessible by boat so it's not
an overpopulated lake by any means. The day we cruised
the lake on the boat it was probably 30C and the sun just
beat down on us poor folk from the Chilcotin that hadn't
seen either that kind of heat or the sun
much this year. We even got to sit around a camp fire
for two nights and though the evenings cooled down, it
was still really nice and nary a bug to be found.
We crossed over on a different ferry west of Nakusp
and took the back road to Kelowna on Monday. It
spit rain most of the day but that was okay because we
were just traveling anyway. We camped in the Wilson driveway
in Kelowna (our part time summer and fall neighbours here
in Nimpo) for three days and for the most part, it was
really warm and the sun was shining. We even got to sit
outside on their patio and they left their doors open
all the time because guess what? No mosquitoes.
We pulled out Thursday for Ashcroft and camped at
our part time neighbours' place there for the night.
We got in late because we picked up another neighbour
from Kelowna hospital that had been medivacced down earlier
in the week and needed a ride home but wasn't released
until late in the afternoon, so it was evening before
we got to Ashcroft. Still, we got to visit and sit outside
in their gazebo late into the evening with a warm breeze
blowing and only the odd mosquito around. I think
I counted three mosquitoes all together.
We pulled out Friday after a stop for fruits and vegetables
at the local farmer's market and headed home. It was actually
pretty nice driving all the way and the sun was shining
when we got to Nimpo with a brisk wind blowing. It was
a good thing because we had a lot of groceries and stuff
to unload and at least the wind kept down the mosquitoes
while we dove in and out of the house with our booty.
That wasn't the case this morning.
I decided last night that I would cut the hay field
that used to be a lawn this morning first thing.
There was no chance of that happening. We woke up to a
low, grey ceiling and a fine misting rain and mosquitoes
using a battering ram on the door. It spit rain off and
on most of the day and apparently that's pretty much what
it's been doing ever since we left and the bugs love it!
I tried to pull radishes from my garden box today and
had to put my net hat on and make sure I had my wool lumberjack
shirt on over two more layers, all sprayed heavily with
bug dope. I could hardly see through the net for the buzzing
mosquitoes and I could only look at my spuds that
need more dirt, veggies that need thinning and weeds that
need pulling before I skedaddled out of there.
I just hope that we get a line up of three or four days
of hot weather or wind or none of those chores are going
to be done. This is just ridiculous. I swear the mosquitoes
are worse now than when we left and that is just not the
norm. By this time in the summer they would be letting
up and you could at least get outside and do some work
during the day.
There's a tremendous amount of water still filling
up every depression in the ground in this part
of the country and with the rain, humidity and cool temperatures,
it's beginning to look as though things just aren't going
to get better until the weather either changes, or we
start getting some hard frosts. It's just crazy out there.
Unfortunately, the weather and bugs are also affecting
the number of visitors coming here or that even want to
stay here once they arrive, which will have an impact
on the local operators this year, but I don't think there's
a lot to be done about it. It is what it is and there's
no controlling old Mother Nature once she gets a bee in
Things appear to be back to normal on the Bella
Coola Hill. I haven't been informed of any new
road closures since we've been home so the hill must have
stabilized a bit with less rain coming down.
We did notice that most of the rivers and creeks this
side of Sheep Creek seem to be subsiding somewhat, including
the Fraser River. The Chilko River is back to its pretty
icy green color and the Kliniklini and McClinchy are no
longer muddy. Creeks are no longer flowing over the highway
and things seem to be getting back to normal, although
all meadows and ponds are still full to the brim with
water. It's going to be a tough year for ranchers
depending on swamp hay to feed their cows through winter.
Most of the swamps are nowhere near dry enough for haying
now or even a month from now. That's not a good thing.
Flooding and hot weather have damaged hay crops in the
prairies so hay will be at a premium this winter, especially
if hay in BC can't be put up because of the rain.
is the start of a new week so you'll find last month's
blog at July
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!