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Wilderness Adventures - June 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!
14/06/2005 1:56 PM

British Columbia Floatplane Association

The BCFA will be having their Annual Fly-in at Nimpo Lake in the middle of July. Pilots will start flying in around Thursday and Friday July 14th. and parking their plane at various areas around Nimpo Lake and Anahim Lake. Not everyone arrives by floats, some come in on wheels or amphibs. Many land and park at Terry Brandt's and Lois Bowman's place on Nimpo Lake, because they have two large hangars and cement aprons going right down to the water for amphibs, and a long plane dock for floatplanes. It's not unusual to see 10 or fifteen planes lined up at the dock. Lois and Terry provide a great buffet and silent auction on Saturday night and bonfire outside afterwards, for everyone that wants to visit. Attendance is usually excellent and often involves up to a 80 or a 100 pilots. The experience is a great one and provides a super opportunity to get to know some of the town and bush pilots from all over British Columbia and the U.S.
13/06/2005 12:08 PM

Golfing

Did you know that Anahim Lake has a private golf course? It's not exactly what you would expect in the nature of a golf course however. It costs .25 cents to play, and whatever you do, don't bring your own clubs! Or so I've been warned. Was supposed to go golfing today, but it's windy with some heavy overcast out there, and looks like we might definitely be in for a midday deluge. We sure are in the rainy season right now. Anyway, I haven't had the opportunity to see this golf course yet, but I understand it has sand greens, short drives and lots of hazards! The last course I played on in Saskatchewan had that problem too. I attended the Annual Cow Patty Classic there, and it consisted of golfing in a series of cow pastures. The hazards consisted of you know what, and if you ended up in a fresh hazard, it was your choice to try to 'chip' out of it (if you didn't mind the head of your club turning a kind of weird browny green color) or you could take a penalty. Gopher holes posed their own set of problems, for obvious reasons, especially if they were deep ones. Of course there were no greens, but gopher holes were utilized, just widened out a little and a can put in the hole so that you could recover your ball and replace the flag. I found a lot of balls from previous years, probably because I was in the woods a lot. But I did win a prize for coming in last! Anyway, I look forward to checking out our local course, and I'll let you know how that goes....as soon as it stops raining.
12/06/2005 1:26 PM

Writing For The Search Engines Is Tough

Trying provide a web site with good content isn't that difficult, but getting good placement is a different story. Even with careful and dedicated research and reading every newsletter pertaining to search engine placement that I can, I'm still never sure how the search engines work. Or how they determine a web site's placement. Of course, I don't think anyone else is too sure either. I've been writing this newsletter for two reasons. To draw attention to the area and hopefully promote the tourist industry here, and to draw the attention of the search engines. That has been very successful with Yahoo, but I'm just not sure how Google does things. Their robot does seem to pick up the site more often because of this newsletter, but in the latest incidence, it only updated the home page, and none of the others. Which seems really strange. However, I will keep writing in the hopes that it will help the area, but sometimes it's a little hard to dedicate the time it takes every day to write something interesting about Nimpo Lake and Anahim Lake. Not that they aren't really interesting regions, just that I don't get out much! LOL.By the way, with all this rain, the fishing is really good right now.
11/06/2005 3:45 PM

Now You Can Find Anahim

Apparently Simba, down at the Anahim Lake Inn, is the reason why we now have proper highway signage. Simba owns the motel in Anahim Lake, but is originally from California. Her brother was coming up for the first time from San Fran last year to visit her. After turning left at Williams Lake onto Highway 20, apparently he drove west for a couple of hours and at no time did he see a mileage sign for Anahim Lake. Finally, after driving about 100 miles, he turned around afraid that he had made a wrong turn somewhere because there was no indication on the road signs that he was headed toward Anahim. It's true, the highway signs say Alexis Creek, Tatla Lake and Bella Coola, but you have to come some way west before any signs indicate Anahim Lake is ahead of you. After Simba complained to the Ministry of Highways about the issue this past winter, new signs were created and apparently now, there are about 20 signs indicating where Anahim Lake is. Which is good, because it will be much clearer to the tourists as well.
10/06/2005 2:25 PM

Short Today

Time is a little short today, so the story will be too. A fun picture was sent to me by email called BC Street Gangs. It's of four grizzlies walking down the center of the highway. "Only in Canda" as they say. Weather varies between sunny with big, grey thunderheads and overcast. No rain yet today. A bit of a breeze. Still hoping for frost at night to knock some of these bugs back. This weather seems to be prevailing over all of the province so it's really cut back on the problems with forest fires, which is a real blessing because it's awfully early in the season for fires. I've been working at the sawmill between Nimpo Lake and Anahim Lake as a grader. Being at my station at night has not been pleasant. The mosquitoes are truly brutal. However, this seems to be a province wide problem this year. If you read some of the old stories about the goldrush days, and how the bugs used to drive pack trains over cliffs, and drive men and animals on the Klondike Trail mad to distraction, especially going through the muskeg swamps further north. I can certainly see why. Even with the bug dope layered on every hour, the mosquitoes this year are like attack planes. Swat at them, and they'll just keep on coming. However, June is always a bad month for mozzies. Once it gets hotter in July and August, they should, hopefully, all but disappear.
09/06/2005 12:50 PM

Camouflage Wildlife

Yesterday was moose, today we play spot the deer. Deer, like moose, stand out against the backdrop of a highway, or grassy road allowance, although maybe not as much because the deer aren't nearly as large or dark-colored as moose. We have both Whitetail and Mule deer in the West Chilcotin, as well as the Black Tail down in Bella Coola. The deer's coloring changes from red and white spotted as fawns to a buff or tawny color as adults, that can vary from reddish brown in summer to greyish brown in winter. The amount of white on each animal can vary from deer to deer and species to species. Spring is an especially bad time of year for deer on Highway 20 because they come out to graze along the highway where grass greens up sooner than elsewhere and to lick up salt put on the road throughout the winter on icy roads. Unfortunately, their favorite time of day to be on and along the road is at dusk and dawn, when light is the poorest and the deer are very hard to see. Care should be taken during these times at all times of the year when driving Highway 20. If you look at the pictures on the right, a deer has just crossed the highway and is on the grassy road allowance where she still stands out. But once she gets into the bush on the other side of the road, she stops, because she knows she blends in to the surrounding country. Third deer down scampers off the road to Bella Coola just inside Tweedsmuir Park boundaries, but once high up a hill among the surrounding bushes, it stops to stare back knowing it's well camouflaged. By the way, I had to sharpen the wildlife pictures, especially where they're hidden in the woods, just so you could find them in the pictures!
08/06/2005 12:25 PM

'Let's Play Spot The Wildlife'

Wildlife stands out on highways and gravel roads because it's not a natural background for their coloring. But what's truly amazing is how they look once they dive off the road. Most ungulates, such as deer or moose seem suddenly to blend in with whatever their background, light conditions pick up guard hair color and seem to make the animal transparent, or certainly to blend in with surrounding flora. Take the moose on the right for an example. Not quite on the road yet, he's starting to really stand out. But once he crosses, he's starting to blend in with the road bank on the other side just because of the way the sun hits his hair. On the third picture, once he get's into a dark stand of aspen, he's hard to spot and if he were standing still and you didn't know he was there, you would walk past a six foot tall, 1000 pound animal, and not even know it. This particular moose has a large grey/white patch on his hump over the shoulders which is very unusual and may have been caused by a past injury, or he may just be getting old. Moose vary in color depending on light conditions, age and gender from light brown as calves to nearly black as fully mature animals with varying degrees of grey or light brown on the legs and muzzle. Tomorrow, we'll check out some deer, or maybe tomorrow will be a black bear day.


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!
A picture sent to me via email of four grizzlies
 
A deer has just crossed the highway and still on the road allowance
 
Once behind the bushes, she feels sufficiently comfortable to stop and look back
 
Another deer scampering off the road on the Bella Coola Hill just after entering Tweedsmuir Park
 
The deer stops to look back once she knows she's blended into the surrounding woods
 
Moose crossing Highway 20
 
Moose reaches the bank on the other side
 
Moose blending into the surrounding woods
 
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