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 - March, Week 2/2014
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Break Up Begins
has been consistently warm since the last blog, which
admittedly has been some time. It has gotten above freezing
every day in the past ten with some days only registering
a couple of days above and others like today getting to
8C or 46F, which means water is running everywhere.
We have had a lot of sunshine in the past week and a half
but we have also had a lot of high winds. This is the
only time of year where thats actually a really
good thing. Much as I hate it, it does a remarkable job
of drying things out after the snow melts such as on the
roads and in our driveway. Even the ice road is good if
a little slippery. We saw what happened the one spring
we didnt have a lot of wind and it didnt freeze
at night a couple of years ago. For those of you
that read the blog youll remember that we were walking
for a month as were many of other people that were having
to leave their vehicles on the town side of monster mud
holes. So far, no worries in that regard this
year. It is freezing at night and theres no lack
of wind. Our main road is drying out nicely although it
needs another week of not too many people on it and no
snow or rain to dry out completely. Unfortunately,
we might lose our ice road before then. Most of
the ice road is in excellent condition, but its
breaking up badly over at the public boat ramp. This winter,
whoever plowed the ramp down to the launch for the New
Years party, plowed gravel and dirt right onto the
ice, which is the worst possible thing for it. It snowed
on top of the sand and gravel so we didnt see it
until too late. The sun hits that dark colored dirt and
it melts a hole right in the ice and starts to break it
up. Its been getting worse over the last couple
of days so if the weather doesnt cool down and tighten
the ice back up, well probably lose it by the end
of the week. Its too bad because even though
we didnt put it in until late because of all the
overflow on the lake earlier in the season, its
been terrific with no overflow on it at all since. Losing
it means travelling over the road and our driveway which
will chew it up a little and add some ruts, but thats
just the way Break Up is.
At least with this consistently warm weather were
seeing lots of people out on the lake now. One day this
past weekend alone there were people walking the ice road,
people ice skating, a fellow hoofing it over to the far
shore, and a bunch of people ice fishing off the shore
of the small island, all at the same time.
Andy dropped a tree on our shoreline last week that
had a bit of a bad lean toward the house. There
were several reasons for taking it out but the fact that
he had to use the Bobcat to push it toward the lake instead
of have it fall toward the house made that the predominant
one. In addition to that, it wasnt that big a tree
when I arrived here twelve years ago but it was a fast
growing spruce with huge branches that was starting to
block out the sun for about an hour each day in winter,
and the taller and bigger it got over the next few years,
the more sun it was going to block. In this country, you
rely a lot on the sun to heat your house up during the
day in winter so blocking out the sun was kind of
its death knell. Sadly, it was never going to
grow tall enough to shade the house in summer when the
sun is so much higher so it had no purpose other than
to be a big, beautiful tree that could potentially blow
onto the house in a few years, so it had to go while it
was still small enough to handle. We can also see a lot
more of the lake and mountains out of our front windows
now, and I especially like that we can see the point again
which we havent been able to see well for the past
I counted the rings on the stump and there were
38 very wide ones to the center so it wasnt all
that old but it obviously really liked having its feet
in the water judging the rate at which it was growing.
Trees normally grow really slowly here making that rate
of growth very unusual, so the endless supply of lake
water has to be the reason.
We only had another few weeks to drop the tree so that
we could clean it up and burn it on the lake and since
the weather was warm, last week seemed like a good time
to do it. And since a bonfire is always a good excuse
to invite friends and neighbours over for some appies,
we had a little party on Saturday. The weather wasnt
perfect by any means with snow squalls all morning and
early afternoon and really high winds, but the sun popped
out here and there and everyone was dressed warmly. Once
the fire got going that wasnt really a problem any
longer anyway but standing in water was.
Andy had cleared an area for the tree to drop onto and
in so doing, pushed up a substantial ring of snow. I figured
that was going to cause overflow, and it did. By
the time the fire had burned down to a level you could
stand around, there was several inches of water sitting
on the ice. Its a good thing people in this
country are pretty easy going and dress appropriately
when invited out for an afternoon in the boonies.
Everyone had a good time and well probably do it
again next Sunday. We have a pile of slash in our usual
spot that needs to be burned before open burning bans
are put on so well invite the neighbourhood for
a wienie roast and a little socializing. I have another
pile down below my garden that also needs to be burned
but its among the trees so Ill have to hand
Ive heard wolves howling way off in the distance
a couple of times in the past few weeks when I
have gone out to get wood for banking the fire for the
night, so theyre definitely around this year. I
think that they followed game in this winter and just
havent left. We have had some moose hanging in close
to residences around Nimpo Lake this year, probably for
safety from the four legged predators. Unfortunately,
it wont protect them from the two legged ones. We
also had the Indian horses go through the back trail just
a few days back and I think they were being run. Theyve
been feeding in the meadows along Highway 20 between Nimpo
and Anahim all winter, mainly because thats the
only source of food for them. But last week their
tracks ran through the woods along the back trail and
they left a lot of manure in their wake, common when horses
are frightened. They circled around and were back
in their usual meadow the next day, so Im pretty
sure something spooked them and put them on the run for
a few miles, probably either wolves or the Indian dogs
from Fish Trap. They run game across the lake on a pretty
regular basis so I wouldnt put it past them.
I saw the strangest thing the other night well after
midnight. I noticed a really bright light over
on the far shore in front of the Waterfront Motel so I
went outside and took a look at it through the binoculars.
There was a full moon and because of the light, it was
hard to see what was above it but it looked like big panels
up on a large stand with this sun-like light underneath.
Darned if I could figure out what it was but thought maybe
the owner of the Waterfront had decided to put up solar
panels that would power a bright security light in the
yard. A little while later I could see a really bright
orange light when I passed the kitchen window so out came
the binoculars again. Hey, Im a curious person.
This time the structure with the panels was still there
but now there was a tent behind it, what we would call
a canvas trappers tent, except that either it was
orange, or the orange light was reflecting off of it,
and there was a really soft orange glow coming from within.
"Okay." I thought, "This is totally weird.
Did some tenters come in late and decide to set up a bunch
of big lights so they could see to set up their tent?"
Even though odd, I didnt have another explanation
and went to bed with a big old moon above, the lake rumbling
through the night and a mystery on my mind.
I remembered to tell Andy all about the weird goings on
of the night before and he looked at me like I was an
imbecile.Theres a Timber Kings film
crew staying over at the motel so they were probably just
doing some night filming. He said. Well,
that made sense, but how I was supposed to know that,
I have no idea! Im not a coffee shopper so I dont
get all the latest rumors and wouldnt remember what
I had heard if I did. Timber Kings is a show going
into its second season of filming right now about Pioneer
Log Homes and their owners who have a lodge, Wilderness
Rim Resort, at the other end of the lake. I have
no idea why the film crew would even be filming in Nimpo
Lake since Pioneer's log yard is in Williams Lake, unless
it was background on the lodge, or maybe to take footage
of the Pioneer built cabins over where theyre staying.
Maybe they need some human interest stuff? Who knows?
All Im certain of is I have never seen a film crew
working at night before and had no idea what they looked
like. Now I guess I do.
As I mentioned above, the lake has been making lots of
noise. Since the night of the full moon it has been
growling, thumping and rumbling all night long and youll
often hear it thump during the day. Hmmm
wonder what the film crew thought of that since it was
the noisiest on the night they were doing their thing.
Ive noticed before that the moon seems to really
add to the noise making festivities when its full
and we have thawing temperatures during the day and freezing
at night. Ive often joked to myself that its
the moon lifting the ice and have this little cartoon
picture in my head. It sounds cool right now, anyway,
especially since the lake ice has been exceptionally quiet
I have mentioned it on Facebook but I'll bring it up here
as well. I am running a contest to celebrate the
one year anniversary of the Facebook page and 100 likes.
Try to identify how our view has permanently changed recently,
(the burn pile on the lake should be your clue) and send
your guess to me with your name, phone number and email
address and you will be entered for a draw for three
days free stay in our cabin B&B at AJ
with breakfast for two included.
You can have additional people at no charge but additional
breakfasts will be charged. You can also add days to that
package at the standard rate if you wish. This package
can be used from July 15 to October 15 of this year or
from June 1 to October 15 of 2015 but the dates you want
will have to work around dates I already have booked in
August so far. If you can't use the package, you
can transfer it on to your friends or family but you cannot
sell it. Deadline for your entries will be March
31st with the draw on April 1st. You will be contacted
if you have won, otherwise your contact information will
not be used for any other reason. Just to let you know,
once the Facebook page reaches 200 likes, there will be
2 packages up for grabs in a contest at that time.
If you win the prize, the package can be used any time
during our open season so long as I do not already have
the dates booked but you must give one month's notice
before booking. The sooner you book if you have
won the prize, the better your chances of getting the
dates you want.
This prize will no longer apply if for any reason we are
no longer operating AJ Bed & Breakfast. You cannot
exchange the prize for money or any other value. You cannot
sell the prize for cash or exchange it for any other value.
You can send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week's blog is at March
Lake Highway cam looking West.
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!