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 3/2011
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of the Day.
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
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
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.
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.
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
is the start of a new week/month so you'll find last month's
blog at June
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!
the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!