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 3/2012
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of the Day.
Fire Season Begins
think I mentioned in the last blog that I fully expected
us to start seeing smoke from lightning strikes and sure
From everything that I hear, Williams Lake, Quesnel, Nechako
and surrounding areas got a wicked thunderstorm on Saturday
night. Apparently some places received just a deluge on
a Biblical scale, but some places where lightning struck
did not receive much of anything in the way of rain. The
result of course was that smoke rolled in yesterday when
the wind switched and came out of the north from the direction
of the fires. We heard the first reports coming
in over the radio from helicopter spotters that called
in the fires, the most prevalent and probably the smokiest
for us being at Bald Face Mountain. However, the wind
did switch at one point coming out of the southeast and
we were still getting smoke. According to one report,
there was also a small fire at Redstone so smoke from
there might also have impacted us.
After supper we attempted to go for a walk with the dogs
in spite of the bugs and just at the end of our driveway
I could hear an air tanker making circles. Andy came along
behind me but by that time, all he could hear was a helicopter
in the distance, also making circles. We couldn't see
them but judged from the noise where they might be. We
jumped in the truck and drove down to Two Mile at Anahim
Lake because if there's a fire in the Itcha's or
Illgatchuz range, you can usually see it from there.
There was a lot of smoke lying over the mountains but
no different from any other horizon and no large plumes
rising above. We listened to the radio on the way there
and could tell that a fire was being actioned by a water
bomber, but it wasn't where we could see it so the smoke
must have just rolled in over the Itcha Range. By the
time we left to return home, most of the helicopters were
headed to their home bases.
We woke up to smoke and fog this morning and Andy said
it was quite dense when he first got up. I could
smell the smoke when I got up though it wasn't as strong
as it had been on Sunday but it was thick enough that
it obscured the mountains all day. The mosquitoes
sure love that smoke haze and were out in force today,
even though it got up over 28C or 82F down here on the
lake. I expect it was 30 or 31C or up to 88F up away from
the lake and you would think that kind of heat would fry
the little buggers, but my attempts to weed and water
today were short lived and I had to duck back into the
Our neighbour was over yesterday and he told Andy that
in the 40 years he has been coming up to Nimpo
in summer, he has never seen mosquitoes this bad.
That's what everyone said last year and the year before
too. And yet they really do seem to be getting worse and
worse. I've certainly never seen them this bad at the
hottest time of the day in blazing sun. Tough little suckers.
At least we finally got a little break from the heat on
Sunday. Saturday was a furnace; bad for me because I had
to cook for guests in the cabin and was trying every possible
thing to keep it slightly cooler than a blast furnace
in here, including setting up a high tech swamp
cooler in the kitchen using a bowl of ice and a fan.
Surprisingly, it helped. I like the heat but not when
I have to cook in it and we're simply not used to it anymore.
Arizona is a long way in the past for me and though Andy
is from the Okanagan, even he isn't used to the heat anymore
and since it's so unusual here to have a long stretch
of hot weather, it takes a little to get used to it. Although
being in two hot provinces for three weeks prior to this
certainly helped to get us accustomed to it. Clouds and
nine degrees cooler temps yesterday certainly made for
a very pleasant day. It gave the house a chance to finally
cool off a bit after over a week of heating up and gave
everyone a break.
Tomorrow is supposed to be another barn burner
and then it looks like showers and clouds on Wednesday
and Thursday for most of the province. I think most people
will enjoy that before it begins heating up again on the
The sun's little blow out on Friday and Saturday
resulted in some amazing northern lights on Saturday night.
I had hoped our guests would stay up long enough to see
them but I think they crashed pretty early, as did Andy.
I finally remembered to check for them at about midnight
it was a glorious sight to behold! There was a great arc
of green swirling right over top of us with a separate
and equally brilliant curtain of green to the north of
us. It just looked like the base was pinking
through red to purple but then the mosquitoes found me
so I had to slip back inside again. I watched them off
and on for the next couple of hours from the porch window
and could see great beams like laser lights playing in
the sky, but I couldn't see as well as I would have liked.
Much as I love northern lights I like my skin intact
and all my blood left inside my skin much better.
It certainly was a treat to see the lights again and I'm
hoping that we'll be building up to them in this next
year so that they're as spectacular as they were in 2002
and 2003. I wish there was a way to build a little glass
roofed observatory where a person could sit inside out
of the bugs, maybe with a little heater for winter viewing,
and look through a clear dome at northern lights. Yeah....
we'll just put that on the list of things to do.... it
should be at about chore item number 7,462.
You can see up on the right the contrast in our view from
smoke on the horizon as compared to when the air cleared
out last week after the Siberian smoke. The wild sunset
was the same night as Williams Lake and Quesnel had their
massive thunderstorms. I had never seen fingers of cloud
go up like that before and I'll post a larger photo on
of the Day
so that you can see it in detail.
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last week's
blog at July
Lake Highway cam looking West.
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!