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 3/2008
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.
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Check out the Picture
of the Day.
everyone. I know I missed yesterday but it was my Birthday
and I was kind of running around. Not that what we were
doing yesterday evening, when I normally write, was all
that important. But as part of my Birthday, my partner
kindly agreed to take me to Cora's Wild Trout Coffee Company
and Store over at Wilderness Rim for a to-die for
Licorice flavored ice cream cone.
Now there's licorice, and there's licorice. Many specialty
places that offer that flavor of ice cream offer a grayish
colored mass that kind of tastes like licorice.
Not so Cora's ice cream! Black as the Ace of Spades and
packed with flavor, this is a modern mother's nightmare.
If you have any white furniture at all, you do not
want your kids to know this stuff even exists!
Although I might not be as messy as the average six year
old, I did manage to dye the ends of both
of my braids black while eating my cone. I'm not quite
sure how I did that, but my blonde locks ended up a dingy
grey. That was after I rinsed them! Oh yeah,
and no matter what, you are going to end
up with a black ring around your mouth. So heaven
help the mom's with kids that like licorice.
Andy says the chocolate is pretty heavenly too because
the quality of ice cream is so good, but I just can't
tear myself away from the licorice long enough to try
another flavor. Anyway, that's why you didn't get a story
was because we decided we should go for a drive
and look for bears while eating our cones, and
then we decided to drop down to the other end of Nimpo
Lake to pick up some anti-mosquito stuff that you soak
your clothes in, and then, one thing led to another, and
I wasted the whole evening!
Today I wanted to take a close friend to lunch for her
birthday which of course, was today. Our neighbour's birthday
was the day before mine, and we had planned to go out
to Charlotte Lake to help celebrate yet another
friend's birthday today had we not just ended up with
too much on our plate. And, my old boss's birthday is
tomorrow. So many people celebrate their birthdays right
around this time that you have to wonder just exactly
what caused all of our mothers to do the hanky panky at
the same time over a wide spread of years. I'm darned
if I can figure it out!
We attended the Variety Show that Marie put on with
her dancers at the community hall tonight. There
was an excellent turnout with standing room only and that's
just a testament to how good the show was. Only an hour
long, it featured kids and teenagers that Marie teaches
dance to from 100 Mile, Alexis Creek, Tatla Lake, Nimpo
Lake and Anahim Lake, divided up into fifteen dance numbers
from jazz, tap, and ballet to just plain free form. Andy
was absolutely blown away at how well these kids did.
I think just about everyone was. You have to remember,
we don't see a lot 'cultural' events in the Chilcotin.
They did just a remarkable job and it was a lot of fun
to watch. There's a lot of dedication there too when you
consider the time and effort involved over the year and
the distances these kids had to travel to put a show on.
Pretty cool! Sadly, I took my little camera instead of
the big one and the lighting was so low, that none of
my pictures turned out very well at all.
Speaking of cool...
We've warmed up a bit in the last couple of days
with it actually getting up to around 20C or 70 degrees
Fahrenheit during the day and staying well above freezing
at night, but it's still not great out. There's mixed
cloud and sun with anything from a breeze to gale force
winds, and it's just not nice. If you wake up early, early
in the morning the sky is completely clear and it looks
like it's going to be a glorious day. Then, the clouds
move in. It seems we're stuck with one low pressure system
after another spiraling in, sometimes from the Pacific,
sometimes from the south. That darn jet stream just will
not move north and bring us better weather. Not that I
care to have California's 48C or 118 degree heat right
now but I wouldn't mind a piece of it.
The flooding in the Midwest looks like it's going to just
get worse and worse as the Mississippi breaks through
one levee after another. You know, I remember my Dad saying
years ago that if local government in the states didn't
prevent continued development on the Mississippi flood
plains, some day there was going to be a major flood that
would take out hundreds, if not thousands of homes. Now
there is going to be a huge cost in clean up and repair.
Who pays? Everyone. And you can bet the insurance companies
throughout North America will be raising the rates on
all of us, yet again.
It's too bad good old fashioned US of A ingenuity
hasn't come to the fore yet. You would think someone
could figure out how to divert all that water from the
Midwest when they need to, to states like California when
they need to. Flooding on one side of the country and
massive forest fires on the other. They need to change
it up a bit down there...:-)
A Day Late and A Dollar Short
me folks. As usual, I'm a day late and a dollar short.
For some silly reason I had it in my head that this was
Friday night so no point in getting in a big hurry to
write a blog. I should have known better since I know
full well that tomorrow is Friday since it's a once a
year B day I prefer not to recognize...it just slipped
my mind. The first sign of getting old, I guess.
I've also been tracking a malicious bot on one of
my sites. Not this one, thankfully, but on my
portfolio site. I had wondered why I was suddenly getting
a whole bunch of returned mail for my main email address
for that site, especially since apparently I sent mail
to people I don't even know. Usually that's the first
sign that your email has been hijacked, but when I checked
my site, it appears that it has been too.
A nasty little bot listed as malicious on a Trusted informational
site. I've just spent several hours this evening
doing research trying to figure out how to block the thing,
in addition to hitting informational forums. With any
luck, someone will post an answer by tomorrow.
You know, it's bad enough that we've malicious people
in the real world committing crimes against innocent people,
but to have to put up with it in the virtual world too....sometimes
you don't know whether to give up or fight back. Fighting
back in the real world is pretty easy, especially in this
country where defending your family and home is expected.
Fighting back in the virtual world is a whole different
matter, first to find or recognize that there is
a problem, and then it requires hours of exhausting research
to figure out how to combat it. Those folks in covered
wagons crossing the prairies for months on end to homestead
in a new part of the country a century ago might have
thought they had it hard. But to be honest, in order
to live in the pre-Internet era, I would trade them places
at the drop of a hat!
We had another sorry day weather wise today. It was bitterly
cold with the wind and not much for sun. At least it wasn't
too bad for bugs, unless you got into a spot sheltered
from the wind. Then watch out!
I watched the thermometer drop at a pretty good rate last
night until it was only one degree above freezing.
I figured I had better go out and cover my poor, pathetic
looking vegetable plants. They alternate between shivering
in the open and sunburning under the plastic. All the
beautiful cucumber plants that I had that were producing
little cucumbers have given up the ghost. They're
long since dead. The tomato plants are hanging
in there, but only by the skin of their teeth. Thank heavens
for hardy perennials! Even some of the plants and shrubs
I thought I lost in that thaw/freeze cycle we saw this
spring are making a comeback. Mostly from the root, but
hey, at least they're trying!
You've got to love that good old fashioned Prairie
stock the best. I've got a double peony that started
out with only one flower the second year I planted her,
but she'll be loaded this year. The same goes for some
others that came back from Saskatchewan dug up in pieces
from a friend's yard. They had barely established themselves
when I dug them up and transplanted them yet again last
spring. They must like their new digs though because some
are loaded with flower buds already.
I've noticed something this year. Our loons on Nimpo
Lake seem a lot quieter than I ever recall them being
before. For as long as I remember, at around eleven
every night they would set up a laugh fest all up and
down the lake, calling back and forth to each other for
several minutes. I haven't heard them do that since the
spring, and then not very much. I wonder if there's too
many eagles on the lake now and it's too dangerous for
the loons to call? Or is our water changing and we have
fewer loons? I know that there are still a lot of people
that go racing too near shore with too big a boat during
the time that eggs or baby loons are in the nests. They
get wiped out pretty quickly if the resulting wake is
too high. Then again, too many cold, rainy springs
and early summers in a row might be to blame as well.
I don't know what the weather is supposed to bring in
the next few days. I've about given up on watching the
forecasts. It was spitting rain a bit here again today
but I swear it looked like snow over the Itcha Ilgatchuz
Mountains today. We'll know tomorrow if there's fresh
white stuff up there.
Heidy sent me some more remarkable pictures today so I'll
post one on the pic of the day. And don't forget Marie's
dancers on Saturday night. She's hoping for a good turnout
so all you locals....come out and support your local
tap, jazz and ballet dancer!
Chilly Hump Day
suppose it's 'hump day' for all you folks that have to
hold down a 9 to 5. If you were at work,
don't worry, you didn't miss a thing! It's still
pretty chilly here in the Chilcotin, although
the sun did try to shine off and on today amid a cold
It rained yesterday and the night before and this morning
when I got up you could see a wall of white in front of
the mountains that may have been snow higher up and hail
lower down. The clouds have cleared away this evening
and one of the really high mountains looks like it has
fresh snow on it.
Our June just refuses to warm up. We had to start a fire
in the house again last night and probably will have to
tonight as well. It's not shorts and tee shirt weather,
that's for sure! I suppose the upside is that it's one
less month that we have to worry about forest fire danger.
Of course as Andy says, we really should stop complaining
about the weather compared to what the rest of North America
is getting. If folks aren't under flood waters,
they're facing tornados and forest fires. But it's in
the nature of the average Canadian to complain about the
weather. Besides, can't be all bad. There have still
been people out on Nimpo Lake fishing.
I just have a couple of things to point out for the day.
The kids that belong to Steppin Out West dance academy
will be performing their dance routines in a Variety Show
at the Nimpo Lake Community Hall this coming Saturday
at 7:00 pm.
And the other is that I would like to welcome the Atnarko
Retreat Bed and Breakfast on board at this web
site. Heidy Lenz and Daniel Fiechter operate the
only B&B on Charlotte Lake but they also have
a beautiful, large cabin, the first built on the lake
fifty years ago that they let out. You can take your own
meals or take them with your hosts at their lodge, and
I understand from friends that Heidy makes a mean cake
Heidy was over today sharing some of her pictures with
me, many of which I can use on the local tourism website
that I've built for the WCTA and many that I look forward
to sharing with you folks. She's got the very best
picture of the cutest little black bear cubs you ever
did see! I'll probably post that on the pic of
the day for you folks to take a look at. Anyway, I haven't
had a chance to visit their accommodations but the Atnarko
Retreat looks like it will be an absolutely stunning place
to visit. In addition to that, Heidy is a professional
masseuse so you can have a very relaxing and enjoyable
stay. Heidy is the person that has been translating this
site into German. That's progressing nicely and soon I
will have the link to the pages set up.
Okay, that's it for the day. Sorry about no article last
night but I managed to hurt my back yesterday and after
taking one look at my hard office chair, decided I wasn't
going near it last night. That's my excuse and I'm sticking
of the Readers of the Blog was kind enough to send some
pictures and a little email about his trip up in May.
The pictures on the right are Michael's and if you roll
over them with your mouse, you'll see his comments.
my thanks to Duncan Stewart, for providing us with cabins,
food and hospitality. All were superb! My thanks to "his"
Chef Richard for many, many wonderful meals, including
the cooking of a most delicious rainbow trout. Which by
the way measured 24" head off and baked! To his cabin
staff who made our fireplaces up, a big warm thank you!
Such a welcome, to come home to after a long day of fishing
Second, to Bill and Darlene at Escott Bay, for providing
me with two wonderful horses and two wonderful days
of riding. Hanna, their new lady wrangler, was such
a treat to meet and ride with. For you men out there,
a real cutie too! The rule "6 degrees of separation"
is never far off. While riding Hanna asked where my
wife was from? As it turned out, Hanna took her final
exams etc. for her tourism courses not in Germany, her
home country, not in Nimpo, not in Calgary, but in the
little town of Bowden, Alberta. Right where my wife,
Colleen was born and raised. I mean how many people
even heard of Bowden? I think maybe the 1000 people
who in the past 100 years came from or lived there.
But the highlight for me, was to ride with Bill and
Colleen on our second last day up into the forest high
above Nimpo on the Towdystan. We saw huge wolf tracks,
bear dung galore. Plenty of other big game had wintered
during the coldest part of last year. The geese and
ducks were in many of the ponds, lakes, and streams
as we made our way up the valley and hills. If it had
not been our last real day at Nimpo we would have seriously
considered riding well into the night and seen the watershed
that separates the Dean river drainage system and that
of the Fraser. But that's a ride for us this fall. Perhaps
with Miriam, their other lovely lady wrangler.
To Darlene, a special thanks for opening up your own
home, and your wonderful home cooked dinner. Again the
"girls" talked and talked and talked. It was so nice
to sit and watch the sun set over the lake at your home.
And to Richard at the store, for good service, cheap
gas and fishing licenses that actually worked this time."
regards to the previous mention as to whether eagles
land right in the water after fish. Michael weighs in
with some pretty good tales from Ladner:
get sucked under with fish all the time. Now granted it
takes a good sized salmon, dog fish etc. to do it or other
sea creature. (Read on). But it's done. Size, depends
on the fight in the fish. But I have seen Eagles pick
off many a fish in my 60 years. Just moments ago in front
of my float home in Ladner a mature Eagle got a duck.
Yesterday a rabbit. They have to eat too you know. But
off Hornby and struggle back to shore. How did I know
the fish was 10 pounds? I had just caught it. It was thrown
back but stunned and the Eagle was on it like a seagull
on a herring school. Bang, feet down like landing gear
on a 747. With the weight of the fish, for a few seconds
we thought it was going to drop or be jarred from the
fish. But he doubled his efforts and made it to shore.
Shore was about 200 yards.
Now my sister's 23 pound cat was another thing. Mr. or
Mrs. Eagle, they live above us in a large fir tree. They
pretty much patrol the beach and ocean around our cottages.
One day the Eagle dropped onto my sister's large deck
like a stone, and just before our eyes grabbed the cat
and headed for the beach to get some air under its wings.
Now this cat was no slouch when it came to eating and
was 23 pounds. Well the Eagle made it about 100 yards
across the beach and out over the water where it tried
to turn to gain elevation back to its roost. The cat was
failing in the air and its motions and weight caused the
Eagle to drop the cat. and down it went into the sea.
My sister raced across the beach and into the water to
rescue her cat. Off to the vet she rushed. the Eagle's
talons had torn free from the weight. The Eagle did not
release or drop the cat.
Eagles need to "release" their talons while perched to
open their talons.
I have seen Eagles swimming on the water for hundreds
of yards to shore. Seen them rise from a swimming position
into the air, and I have seem them dragged under never
to be seen again. At Hornby one evening while out fishing
off Helna Point, and with my 5 year old son, we saw two
small seals in various throws of foreplay and copulation.
They were obvilious to their surroundings and we rowed
our 14' boat within 20 feet. All of a sudden an Eagle
dropped down upon the motion on the water, and within
2 mins of struggling was gone under. There was nothing
we could do to help the Eagle."
- Michael Owen
Thanks for the pictures and emails Mike!
Our weather today doesn't even bear mention it was so
bad. It was windy with some sun today, but not much.
Mostly it just threatened to rain which meant the bugs
were horrendous. As a result, I worked on the computer
today. I was out all day yesterday doing a little of
this and that, including putting together an irrigation
system for my flower garden and keeping the lawn watered,
while Andy and his crew of one worked at putting a second
coat of paint on the community hall floor. By
yesterday, I had enough of mozzies, especially after
testing one section of my new irrigation system.
The water mists out of the little sprinkler heads, and
the bugs love it! We'll see what tomorrow brings. We
really need hot weather but Vancouver got a far better
day weather wise than we did today. And if we're not
going to get hot weather to knock back some of the mosquitoes,
then I would like a gentle rain to help our lawn along
instead of these winds that carry all the moisture away,
thank you very much. Wonder what the chances are
of me getting what I wished for? LOL.
Last week's articles can be found at June
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!