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Wilderness Adventures - June, Week 3/2011

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!
If you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes, exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read some great contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

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22/06/2011 8:05 PM


Apparently, summer came yesterday but I think someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that. We had a pretty decent day yesterday but today was mostly overcast although it was very warm. Truly the favorite weather of the bugasaurs. While our tourism operators might object to me mentioning it because it can effect their business, truth be told, the bugasaurs are not nice this year. We expected that with all the high water and now the slime left behind leaves a perfect breeding ground for all those mosquito eggs left in the grass years ago. June is always a bad month for bugs, especially if we've had an abnormally cool spring, which delays the hatches until they all come at once, just as we've had this year. It's creepy looking out at the screen door and seeing all the mosquitoes hanging onto the screen waiting, hoping, that you'll open that door.....
We do okay in the house for the most part. At one time when we had three cats meandering in and out of the cat door bringing mosquitoes in on their fur, it could get pretty brutal in the evenings. There would be a mosquito zapper in every room and it was open warfare every evening to get them all before you headed to bed. But with no cats going in and out now, it's just us bringing the beasties in on our clothes and in our hair when we come in from outside. Tonight seemed especially bad and we've both killed several this evening, especially during dinner. The bugs seem to have an affinity for braised short ribs.
I can handle the small number of mosquitoes in the house except in the 'reading' room. In fact we have two problems with our reading room right now. One is that with the Canada Post strike on, we've run out of reading material in the reading room. There's no Garden's West, no Reader's Digest, not even a fishing magazine! It's pathetic. I'm down to reading the book of Awesome right now and thankfully it's full of short antidotes so at least it's fun and interesting. Which brings me to the second problem in the reading room. There is nothing worse than being comfortably perched, glasses on and ready to get in a moment's reading when you start hearing the whine of a mosquito. One never, ever drops one's drawers out in the wilderness when the mosquitoes are this bad because.... well, you just don't want a behind welted with bites so you hold all works until you can get safely indoors, even on a long road trip. But it's truly an insult to be in the confines of your own home and have that most hallowed of rooms invaded by a mosquito. You cannot relax and enjoy the reading room. Instead you're continually swatting your backside because it's the only bare skin in the room and it's a large inviting target. It's unlike your arms where a residue of mosquito repellent is caught in the fine hairs, or the aroma of repellent that's mixed with sweat on the back of your neck or the hard helmet of hair on your head caused by the use of too much mosquito repellent over the course of the day. Nay, this is a fresh open field. It's truly undefended, virginal skin, white as a lily, and not toughened up by years in the sun and wind. No mosquito can possibly pass up this smorgasbord of purity, and you know it. So it's with deep fear and an abiding hatred that you listen to the steady whine of a mosquito wending his way around the room. The walls are white but you can't see him, so you know he's flying low which means you have to keep the hand windmill going behind your back. All enjoyment of the moment is gone and you might as well get off the pot, fold up the book and leave things for another time because nothing is going to happen until that mozzy is dead. I've spent a considerable amount of time in the reading room hunting down a mosquito and I'm not the only one. Andy spends longer at times and I often hear the thumping on the wall, shower or bath tube indicating the chase is on. Even the cat gets in on it. Maybe it's because it's easier hunting but most likely it's vengeance for invading the one truly sacred room in the house.
Hunting down and killing mosquitoes is no longer as easy as it once was and that would seem to have something to do with age. Yep. About the time that you start noticing you can't read the fine print on a road map anymore, (Yes, I know, that's obsolete for most people nowadays because everyone uses their built in GPS except us.) is about when you realize you can't see mosquitoes like you used to. I can still snag the slow moving ones out of the air but the fast moving light colored ones that we get later in the season go zipping around the house and you keep losing them in front of the furniture or the cupboard doors.... You can still usually get them eventually if it's day time but at night it's another matter entirely.That bug body blends in way too well with its surroundings and then when you throw in eyes that started failing when you were forty, that's it. The challenge is almost too much but you have to keep at it because otherwise, you will be rewarded with a mosquito bite and that itchiness is never fun. Not that we don't get bites outside. It's just the indignity of getting bit in your own house....
The water in Nimpo Lake is still going down, though not quite as quickly. The water is still above high levels but only by about six inches or so. Maybe a little higher. It's pretty wet around the shores of the lake where the water has receded but left saturated ground behind. There's also a lot of debris left by the water that floated in from elsewhere on the lake. Some debris was up on the banks of the lake and the water floated it off or it came in through the creeks. In our meadow, over the years logs and deadheads have built up along the edge. The meadow normally floods in the spring, but that slow build up of debris and high grass prevented the logs from going any farther. This year not only did the lake come into the meadow as it does every spring, the water was high enough to float the logs off that edge and right into our meadow as well, pushing them up on the encircling banks in some cases. That's actually a good thing. While it will take a long time for that waterlogged debris to dry out, once it does, we'll finally be able to reach it, cut it up and burn it.
I've noted some other interesting things that have floated onto our shore including plastics like a bleach bottle that had been cut out for baling a boat, white drain pipe, a long pink flat something... not sure what it is but once everything dries out, we'll do a clean up. I'm not sure how well our Christmas lights out on the tree on the point did with the high water. Quite a few of them were under water so we'll see after freeze up this coming winter, I guess.
Roads in the area are in pretty good shape as far as I know, other than highways was stopping people from going down the Kappan road to the Hotnarko Falls the other day but that road does flood at times.
The following is the only other road information I have. Chilko and Tatlayoko Valley roads have been repaired now. We'll see how long that lasts.

Road Information. See below.
Water Pooling
Highway 20 Both directions - Water Pooling 45 km east of Tatla Lake. The road is reduced to single lane alternating traffic. Updated Thu Jun 22 at 4:35 pm.

Bridge Maintenance
Highway 20 Both directions - Maintenance 75 km east of Bella Coola to Anahim Lake (70.9 km), 6:00 am to 6:00 pm daily through Jun 24. The road is reduced to single lane alternating traffic. Updated on Fri Jun 17 at 3:16 pm.
This is the start of a new week/month so you'll find last month's blog at June Week Two..
Thank you to Ted for the use of the two photos up on the right. I'm a little short of images this week.

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!
Bald eagle hunting.
Duck on a log.
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