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 - June, Week One/2008
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read stories like
'Lake Monsters' about the
go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.
Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture
of the Day.
Events And Meetings
don't have a lot of time tonight for an article, but I
will pass on some local information for
anyone that wants to know what's happening. Tomorrow
there is an Annual General Meeting for the West Chilcotin
Tourism Association at the Nimpo Lake Hall starting
just after 1:00. Aside from the usual president's report,
financial report and marketing update, there are guest
presentations about the Anahim Lake Round Table, from
Miriam about the Cariboo Tourist Association, Bella Coola
Tourist Association and one from yours truly on the new
website. Which may or may not happen because we don't
know if we can get the information off of my lap top up
onto a screen in the hall. But it's okay if we can't.
I can bull tango my way through it...I think. There's
also a Tourism Plan presentation and an Ads and Brochures
workshop as well as lots of coffee breaks and dinner if
you can go by the agenda. So come on out and support
your local tourism association if you've any involvement
in the community on that score.
With regards to more fun stuff:
Tatla Lake is holding its 52 Annual Gymkhana on
June 21 and 22nd featuring a parade, (prizes for
best costume) the gymkhana both days and Cowboy Church
on Sunday. All age categories, prizes and cash draws,
a concession with a chili dinner on Saturday and there's
lots of free camping available. And get this. There
is a helicopter ride raffle Saturday and Sunday with a
free raffle ticket with your gate fee each day.
Seeing as how the information came from Audrey down at
White Saddle, I expect White Saddle Air Services is sponsoring
that one. Way to go guys! For more information
you can call Selma at (250) 476-1123.
We're looking for volunteers for Sunday to help clean
the floor in the Hall in preparation for painting. If
you're into helping with either the scrubbing or the painting,
call Andy at 742-3724.
Nothing much else to report other than it's been another
dreary, overcast day with rain this time, and lots of
it. We've accumulated yet another inch of the wet stuff
and the temps have been really chilly. But at least
we were warmer than Vanvouver. Since it looks
like frost for us tonight I had to do the cover the plants
Okay, that's it. I got pretty short notice to do a bunch
of stuff for the AGM tomorrow as well as taking care of
another client today so I'm off to finish up. There's
no time to put up a new pic of the day. Sorry about that
folks. Have a good one!
Just Another Day
another ho hum day in the Chilcotin, although we did
have a little more sun today than yesterday. But not enough
to do a slow roast on the pesky flying critters, unfortunately.
Today the black flies came out to join the mozzies in
force, so a walk on the back trail became more of a half
run. Even walking out on the road was not pleasant. Mind
you, it doesn't help when two out of three of our
dogs are coal black and all were wet. Talk about walking
The temperature managed to struggle up to 15 or about
60 degrees today, but it was pretty muggy. I suppose it
was just as well that it wasn't a hot, sunny day since
I was trying to transplant some vegetable plants into
the garden and get them out of my front window. Finally
I can see the lake and the mountains again without having
to peer through the runaway foliage of tomato and cucumber
We've rigged up a half assed cold frame to go over the
veggies outside, so now we'll see how it works. Since
our nine guaranteed frost free days a year are not consecutive
in the Chilcotin, the plastic covering is almost a must,
at least until that elusive greenhouse gets built, which
probably won't be until this fall. I look forward to the
experiment, in any case.
The new pup is settling in fairly well so far. Our old
Mocha is not particularly pleased with the new invader
since she's adept at nipping our Lab on the behind before
she can react. The cats aren't overly impressed with the
new addition either, but I figure everyone will get used
to her eventually.
I see that Obama has finally been declared the probable
Democratic nominee in the States and I'm pleased.
I think that he has carried himself in a very classy,
very dignified manner throughout the primaries, refraining
from mud slinging, low blows, and crowing. I won't express
my opinion of Clinton since I'm sure lots of people like
her, but I don't feel that she ran as a clean a run as
she could have. Normally, I would be a Republican but
as is the case with many Americans, I think that the fanatical
religious right has gained way too much control over the
US government and it's to the point of being scary. Another
Republican term will take us back to the days of witch
burning and the Puritans. McCain is probably the
best chance the Republicans have of getting back in again
because he is a moderate, but whether he has the
courage to stick to his guns and keep them from forcing
a fanatical right evangelical running mate on him has
yet to be seen. I fear that if they succeed, and he becomes
president, he probably won't live long. On the other hand,
the same might be said if Clinton is forced on Obama as
his running mate. I hope everyone's Secret Service guys
are up to snuff this coming year. It might be the return
of the old Wild West for a while.
Regardless of who takes the Presidency this fall,
they're in for a real shocker in January when they take
over. Heaven help whoever gets in because they're
going to be handed a bum steer in the form of a shocking
debt load, failing economy, and of course, the Iraq war.
And it will all be blamed on them. Not on the past presidents,
but on the future, because that's just the nature of the
beast. Right now I suspect the Republicans have been hanging
on by the skin of their teeth trying to make the books
look as pretty as possible until after the election. But
I don't think the rose colored glasses can possibly stay
on after that. I think that the true state of the economy
will come out then. Heaven help us all because we'll be
dragged down too.
We were watching what was happening over in Oshawa
on the news tonight. Talk about bum steers! The
union for the car manufacturers gives in, takes cuts,
leaves millions on the table in exchange for job security,
only to be told two weeks later that four plants will
shut down and 2600 jobs will be lost. Apparently because
GM is moving their manufacturing plants to Mexico. And
why did they screw the workers out of a higher wage and
the job security? Well, they say that two weeks ago they
didn't realize that fuel prices were going to go up and
that trucks and SUV's weren't selling and that their sales
were down over 35% in the past year.
Some smart guy in Detroit said, "Let's get them down
as low as we can in exchange for the job security promise
so that we can save ourselves as much money as possible
in the next year. As soon as the deal is signed, we pull
the pin. There's nothing they can do about it." So
much for honor among thieves.
So here's another thought. Kind of like the paper bag
one. Why would people buy trucks and SUV's when we've
all known for some time that fuel prices were going to
go up a hell of a lot? We're back to the same old
thing. History repeats itself, but no one ever learns.
When fuel prices went up back in the seventies, the Asians
were quick to slap cheap little vehicles on the market
that were more affordable to drive than the big honking
vehicles that Detroit was producing. It allowed the Asians
to enter the North American car market and has since taken
a lot of market share away from the big three in the past
Enter the last decade of the last century, and the
first decade of the new millennium, and what has Detroit
been building? Honking big gas hogs. Big trucks
and big SUV's and everyone has to have one. The mom with
a family can't drive an economical van anymore. Noooo.....she
wouldn't be the coolest mom around, would she? Nope. Gotta
have a honking big SUV that's lucky to get 13 miles to
the gallon and her husband has to get one too. Even though
they live in the city and drive in the city and need four
wheel drive like they need a hole in the head....they've
just gotta have it! And who sold that idea to the public?
The car manufacturers and the oil companies and
the government went right along with it.
For a few years now I've been thinking about getting a
new vehicle and have been waiting patiently for someone
to produce a decent vehicle that was easy on fuel. I believe
it's possible. It just hasn't suited the car manufacturers
to really work at researching and producing such a thing.
And it won't happen until fuel prices are so high, and
the collective public outcry so loud, that the manufacturers
are forced to build something economical
that can compete with foreign manufacturers and that won't
bankrupt people every time they get into their vehicle.
Now that green has become the new, hot word in our vocabulary,
I think the North American governments feel it's in their
best interest to let fuel prices rise, and not force manufacturers
to be more responsible in the kind of vehicles they produce.
Higher fuel prices may force more people to use public
transit. I'm all for that except that we don't have public
transit out here. And for those that don't use it or don't
have it, they're still forced to drive gas guzzling vehicles.
Like the paper shopping bag, a fuel efficient vehicle
is not a new idea. These idiots don't
even have to be inventive or even forward thinking.
All they had to do is look at history and beat the other
car manufacturers to the punch. Develop and be prepared
to build a line of smaller, fuel efficient vehicles that
people would want to buy in the place of big trucks and
SUV's when gas went up. But as with most big business
today, it's all about greed and it's all about money.
There's no such thing as taking corporate responsibility
anymore, if there ever was. Rather than build smaller,
more fuel efficient vehicles, the morons at GM and other
vehicle manufacturers would rather move their plants to
Mexico to save their bottom line. Hey, why not move more
manufacturing out of Canada and the US? Most of it's gone
to China or India anyway so why not contribute to the
US's ailing economy?
It must make sense to somebody because it sure as hell
doesn't to me!
The New Dog
got a new dog today. Actually, it's not that new because
it's already a few months old. Yeah, I know. Ha, ha. That's
the best I can do for a joke today because I'm just beat.
We were hoping to wear the little worm out going for a
good long walk but it didn't work. I'm not a fan
of having three dogs but there actually is a method to
my madness. Mocha is the very best of watch dogs
with lots of guts and very possessive of her property
when we're gone. And she's also really well mannered and
reasonably well trained. River on the other hand, may
look like a Rottweiler and like he would be a great watch
dog, but I'm pretty sure he would trade in a set
of house keys for a dog treat or a belly scratch any day.
I've also never figured him for a particularly dominant
dog either, at least until today. He was finally the one
that had to put this pup in its place because poor Mocha
had had about enough of it. Oh, and the new dog's name
is also Mocha, which provides a lot of challenges, especially
when training, disciplining, and approving of behavior.
We're trying to change the dog's name of course, but when
one Mocha is already in existence....
As you've probably gathered by now, we never seem
to be able to do anything simply.
A friend of ours ended up with the stray pup and while
she hoped it would work out for her family, it hasn't.
When we first met the pup, we were both really impressed
with her behavior, and so offered to take her if she didn't
work out for our friend. One person suggested to our friend
that the dog may be a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog
and while research on the Internet showed a very strong
resemblance, she's just as likely to be an Indian dog,
possibly crossed somehow with someone's pure bred hound.
Since our black lab is getting older, I've been
thinking we should get a younger dog that could learn
from her, hopefully without it being too tortuous
a process for our old Mocha. I guess we'll see how trying
the whole ordeal is going to be, and how well the cats
get on with the new dog. It definitely won't be long for
this world, or certainly not in our yard, if it turns
out to be a cat killer. Wish us luck. I expect we'll
It spent most of the day overcast and trying to drizzle,
although it is sunny out this evening. Kind of, anyway.
I was trying to plant a chunk of rhubarb between rain
showers that I got from Mary at the other end of the lake
and figured a sunny moment after supper might be just
perfect. And it was. The sun was shining and it was misting
down rain at the same time. Only in the Chilcotin.....
It's pretty darn chilly here as well as throughout
the rest of British Columbia, and it looks as
though most everyone is getting rain from central BC south
to the lower mainland. It also looks like it's going to
be that way for awhile. It's good to get the rain but
it sure would be nice if it got 'er done and then went
back to the sun shining, rather than this long drawn out
stuff. But June is never a great month and is almost always
iffy weather wise.
We saw something on the news last night that really
got to me. They were interviewing people about
how China has beat Canada to the punch regarding banning
plastic grocery store bags and forcing people to purchase
their bags or bring their own. The greenies on the news
were talking about how we really need to have an alternative
to plastic grocery bags, and the politicians were talking
about how Vanvouver was seriously considering such a ban,
but that they really had to find a viable alternative.
Am I missing something here?
We have millions of acres of red and dead trees
throughout BC that are going to fall down in the next
seven years, at which time they will no longer
be viable for anything, whether as lumber or
brown paper bags.
Now I can see the argument that environmentalists had
years ago. Stop making paper grocery bags and save a tree.
Okay, fine. Probably no one, including yours truly, ever
realized what a monster the plastic bag would become.
Filling our landfills, not breaking down, even though
the manufacturers have now made them so thin that they
no longer adequately serve the purpose for which they
are made, and plastering every tree near a landfill and
for miles around. Nothing says progress like a white
plastic bag caught on a ranch style fence out in the boonies.
I bet the tourists just love it. I know I sure as heck
don't! So much for 'pristine' wilderness.
Right now we have lumber mills and pulp and paper mills
shutting down all over BC with over 20,000 jobs lost so
far. Since housing tanked in the US and our dollar has
come in at par, we've lost a substantial market for our
wood products to the south. As a result, all those
beetle killed trees out there are not being logged, preventing
natural reforestation or silviculture, and raising a serious
forest fire threat. No logging, no jobs, more
dead trees. And the politicians can't find an alternative
to plastic shopping bags? Is everyone that ever
used a brown paper grocery bag dead already? Have we all
forgotten that they ever existed?
It's funny, but I learned years ago in marketing that
a successful business is one that finds a product that
people need. Where there's a need, there will be a demand.
So, you fill that demand, your customers are happy and
you're happy because you're making money. Apparently,
no one has thought of applying that concept to the grocery
bag. And you know? You don't even have to
think up something new. It's been done before. Brown
paper grocery bags. What a profound idea!
Even if supplying brown grocery bags to all of Canada
only kept one mill open and employed only 200 people,
I can't see it being anything but a win, win situation.
But if as suggested on TV, that the Chinese go through
billions of plastic shopping bags in a day, then surely
they would buy our brown paper shopping bags made out
of beetle killed pine. Why not? Everything we buy is made
in China. We should be able to sell something
back to them. So how come someone else hasn't thought
of this instead of just continuing to close the doors
on our mills and our manufacturing? I don't know but I
sure have to wonder why our idiots for politicians are
getting any kind of pay because apparently they misplaced
their brains years ago. "We're still looking
for an alternative to the plastic bag.".....sheesh.....
Back in The Chilcotin
first week in June, folks! We just returned Saturday night
from Saskatchewan on a meat run and there was
just too much stuff to catch up on yesterday to write.
I have friends in Saskatchewan that raise a beef and some
good home grown roasting chickens for us every two years
that we go back to pick up, which gives me the opportunity
to visit my old friends and neighbours while I'm there.
This trip was a little different in that we met my best
friend and her partner in Edmonton because she's no longer
in Saskatchewan. Like many people throughout Canada,
she's felt the pull of Fort McMurray and its vibrant new
economy with good job opportunities and higher
wages. It goes without saying that the cost of living
is much higher and all new boom towns have growing pains,
but still, I can see the appeal and excitement. I'm sure
there's some comparison to the old gold rush days and
were I not completely thrilled with where I live, I too
would be heading to the new Klondike.
Canada still hasn't yet seen the fall of the housing
market and onset of recession and although there's
no question in my mind that she will, you wouldn't know
it by traveling across a couple of provinces like Alberta
and Saskatchewan. Every whistle stop and city in Alberta
that we passed on the Yellowhead Highway have endless
building projects underway. Edmonton is expanding incredibly,
as are Hinton and Edson. Saskatoon's boom is breathtaking
and I can't believe the changes in just the two years
since we were last there. Even the ancient little town
near my old farm has seen some change, and that's something!
Trying to get those people to progress into something
even resembling the 20th century was like
trying to roll molasses uphill. There's a positive atmosphere
in the air now, though, and I know that a lot of people
have hope for the new government of Saskatchewan. The
province is rich in resources but the socialist
government her people have been stuck with for the past
many years kept them locked up tight, preferring to see
the population fall into economic torpor with the majority,
including farmers, actually falling below the poverty
level set for the rest of the country. There's a
new energy in the province now and I'm sorely glad to
It was a real delight to see green leaves on the trees
after we left our area over a week ago, but the rest of
the west also suffered a late spring. Seeding in Alberta
and Saskatchewan is way behind schedule because it's just
been too cold. We did see a few tractors out in the fields
seeding on the way but we saw many on the way back. After
they had a few days of warm weather, the soil dried out
and warmed up, the farmers were going hell bent for election.
Sadly, we noted that the mountain pine beetle is
spreading east at a rapid rate. From Little Fort,
through Blue River, and right through the park at Jasper,
you could see green trees turning orange. They'll be red
by midsummer and their epidemic has only just begun. Once
you get on the other side of the park into Alberta there
isn't as much evidence of the beetle, but you can see
it here and there. I know that the government there was
talking a while back of doing a huge controlled back burn
to stop the beetle but there's no sign of it yet. I would
suggest that if they are going to do it, they do so quickly
or the beetle will be all across Canada in just a few
We noticed on the way out that the Fraser River
was pretty high and the North Thompson definitely was
but the real surprise was in coming back. There was a
warm spell while we were gone and the Thompson looks to
be on the verge of overflowing her banks. She's in the
trees in some places and there are quite a few freshly
ripped out trees rolling down the river. The Fraser too
was even higher than it had been on our way out. At Sheep
Creek bridge the old bridge abutments were nearly under
water and the river was literally boiling over the submerged
rocks in the middle. Too much more warm weather
and towns downstream would have cause for worry.
I always get a kick out of going over the Fraser river
at about midway along her length, and then a few hundred
miles later, arriving at her beginnings. Long known as
a huge, slow rolling muddy river tucked at the bottom
of steep sandy banks, she starts out as a beautiful
little frothy blue stream on the western edge of Jasper
National Park on the eastern edge of British Columbia.
Ironically, at that point, the Fraser River, which barely
qualifies as a river, and the North Thompson River, are
only a few miles apart on the east side of the Columbia
Mountains. But the Fraser meanders far north and then
back down to the south, this time on the west side of
the mountains, covering over half the province in its
length, and picking up tributaries along the way. At Kamloops,
the North Thompson and the South Thompson join and continue
on to Lytton, where they and the now mighty Fraser meet
to form the massive giant it is by the time it reaches
the lower mainland. So it stands to reason that
if all these rivers are at high water and getting higher,
and we get warm weather, the shit's probably going to
hit the fan downstream. Fortunately for those folks, there's
a cooling trend again for about a week so they might dodge
the bullet yet.
The best part about being away is coming home. The
floatplanes are in good form and there's nothing like
listening to the loons. Although we were trying
to outrun hot weather coming home with our load of meat,
it was overcast yesterday with temperatures actually cooler
in the afternoon than in the morning. It misted all night
and wasn't much above 45 degrees this morning. In fact
we had to start a fire last night because it was so damp
and chilly. According to the weather forecasters, this
is the kind of weather we'll see for the rest of the week.
Which is okay I guess because the ground was pretty dry,
but the bugs are liking it way too much!
The Nimpo Lake, Anahim Lake annual canoe races were
on the weekend that we were gone so I don't know
who won, but I'll check around and see if I can find out.
I imagine it was a bit of a hair raising race with high
water levels, lots of flotsam and probably quite a few
beaver dams to portage over.
It's the start of a new month, and so the start of a new
week. You can find articles from before we left at May
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!