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 3/2008
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
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'Lake Monsters' - just go into Archives on the lower left side
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Check out the Picture
of the Day.
Big Grandma and the Big Boom
another blustery blowsy day in the Chilcotin folks. Again,
not worth writing home about. The temperature hit -14C
or 6.8F last night and hasn't made it much above freezing
today with only a little sun. Still, it's enough
of a temperature difference that the lake ice has been
grumbling steadily all day. It was booming pretty
good last night too when it really started to cool down.
I'm working on another project now and don't have a lot
to write about, but you're in luck. Floyd sent a funny
little story to keep every one chuckling so I'll put that
in right after the following notice.
There is an Annual General Meeting for the Nimpo
Lake Community Association tonight at the hall
at 7:30. So for those of you that are here and read this
blog, you know to attend, right? There will be a Treasury
report, vote on Directors, Wayne Murray is going to attend
to explain the new forestry management boundaries for
the mill, and there's an application form for everyone
to look over regarding funding for a forest fire break
to be cut around Nimpo Lake. Also, Leah is working on
putting together a bingo for April, so volunteers will
be needed. Okay folks, you know the drill. Now onto Floyd's
-"BIG GRANDMA AND THE BIG BOOM
Grandpa told this story, and I don't know if it is all
true but a good story anyway.
Big grandma was my great grandma and grandpa's Mother-in-
Law. She came from Missouri and smoked a corncob pipe
that she always had in her mouth.
It seems that one of the first cars to come their way
was a drummer (salesman) in a Model T Ford. In those days
there were very few service stations, so everyone had
to pack their own gas. This drummer, who spent the night,
left the next day and forgot part of a jug of gas on the
porch. When grandma picked it up she tipped it over and
spilled some on the floor. She saw right off it had great
cleaning power and also a terrific smell. Now in those
days people didn't waste anything. They used everything
they got a hold of so grandma decided the best place to
use it, where the smell wouldn't bother, was the old outhouse.
She really scrubbed it from stem to stern. She had just
finished when Big Grandma headed down the trail. She had
her pipe in her mouth and a newspaper under her arm. This
was the highlight of her day. In fact this was about the
only time she knew exactly what she was doing, because
she was like some of us, getting kind of old.
Well she hadn't much more than got set down in the privy
when they heard this terrific boom, and ran out on the
porch to see a cloud of smoke and dust where the outhouse
used to be. They ran down the trail and there sat Big
Grandma out in the buck brush, hair singed but the stem
of her pipe still in her mouth and what was left of the
newspaper in one hand. Grandpa said, "What in the
devil happened to you?"
She shook her head, and said, "I don't rightly know. I
just started to light my pipe….
Must have been sumpin I et."
Have a good day folks!
that's really the only word I have for the day. The
temperature only got to one degree above freezing today
because it had to scale up from the low of -13C or 8F
last night. It was a gorgeous morning early, early on
but by the time I actually got up, it was its usual murky
self, which is all we've been seeing lately, and it never
really changed throughout the day. There was a really
raw wind blowing so it was colder than the bejeeze outside,
which meant I didn't linger in any one place for long
on my walk today. What's really annoying is that
it's pretty much cleared off this evening, as it has most
nights. I wish it would reverse and we get a little
more sun. But, I imagine that's exactly how most people
feel that have to go to work when it's nice all week and
then the weather turns lousy on the weekend.
This time of year is always hard because you're
betwixt and between. Not great conditions for
winter recreation but still too wintery for spring or
summer stuff. It would have been awesome to have had winter
in February and March and only now have the temperatures
we saw for five weeks prior to this one when it was downright
balmy during the day. However, if there's one thing I
learned long ago, it's that Mother Nature could really
care less what we would like in the way of weather.
I'm not the only one already fed up with Break Up.
I spoke to a friend in Saskatchewan today who's husband
had to shovel snow this morning. She was not
impressed. Especially when my husband suggested they send
the snow our way. Actually, she probably thought us crazy.
But I have to admit, I would rather have lots of fresh
snow on the ground than this in between drudge of crusted
snow, ice and mud. Unfortunately, we come to this stage
every year and like it or not, we have to go through it
to get to actual spring and seeing some green. It will
be a long wait. We're over a month away from the ice coming
off of Nimpo Lake, and two months away from seeing any
green buds on the trees. Unless something changes drastically
between now and May, that is.
We were watching them celebrate the cherry tree
blossoms in Vancouver on the news tonight. Sigh......
After seeing that, I've decided I'm going to find a cozy
spot to plant a couple of Nanking and Sand cherries this
year. I remember I had some in Saskatchewan in a raised
box right next to the house where they were protected
from wind and got a little warmth from the wall of the
house. Our zone is a little colder than the prairies but
a lot of my other plants came from there and have made
it, so those may as well. And I admit, the blooms are
spectacular early in the spring because they beat out
just about anything else and although only a shrub, the
cherries from the Nanking can still be used. I
never did because the birds loved them so much, especially
if they dried on the stem over winter. Then the Grosbeaks
would suddenly flock in and clean them up in no time.
Geez....I just got off on a tangent and had to go searching
the Internet looking for the very plants I mentioned above.
Although there's no doubt that as a resource the Internet
is invaluable, you can spend a lot of time off on a tangent.
In this case, I came across McFaydon's seed catalogue
out of Manitoba and I was lost for awhile. Sorry about
that. I'm pretty excited this year about the growing
season because for one, I fully expect to be done
with web work except for my regular clients since I would
like to start enjoying where I live, and two, we're hoping
to have a greenhouse up this spring. I don't know if it
will happen but we were lucky to stumble on a very good
buy for slightly tinted tempered glass that a local has
had for years. One of our neighbours found out about it
and built a greenhouse. As soon as I heard about it, we
snapped up the rest of the glass available. There
are numerous uses for glass like that out here,
not the least of which would be for the deck railing,
a gazebo or pergola wall, and a greenhouse. Since it's
difficult to grow much in the way of vegetables out here,
a greenhouse is first on the list and a glass one is pretty
much a must since I'm definitely not a fan of plastic.
It looks shabby in a very short time no matter what you
do and I hate the noise of the plastic clattering when
the wind is blowing. So that's why I'm really excited
about looking at seed catalogues for the first time in
years. Yummm. Lettuce and green onions, tomatoes and cucumbers,
zuccini, baby carrots and maybe even some beets. Wow...herbs...that
would be nice! Except for chives. I'm battling them throughout
my garden now since the flowers on a single plant were
allowed to go to seed when we went to Alaska the summer
before last. Rotten little boogers are worse than
anything I've ever seen and I'm going to have
to throw out a lot of perennials that have been swarmed
by them. If you didn't know they were invasive, take my
word for it, even here where we're somewhere between zone
0 and 1, they're invasive!
You know, this was just going to be a short little weather
update because I actually have work to do. I don't know
what happened there....
you all had a nice Easter weekend and that you're enjoying
much less blustery weather than we are. Our weather
is just plain raw. We've had a pretty good wind
here the last couple of days and although the sun has
been shining quite a bit, it's only around freezing during
the day and the wind carries away any heat the sun might
be providing. However, our winds haven't been nearly as
damaging as they were down in the Okanagan this weekend,
downing trees on houses and causing power outages in Summerland
and Penticton. The same storm dumped a fair bit of snow
in the mountains around there and down on the coast.
A wild wind carried in an eight minute snowstorm
before dawn Sunday, much to everyone's delight
since it dropped about an inch of snow. Just enough to
lubricate the sliders and keep the snowmachines cool for
the ride yesterday.
The 'Good Old Boys Club' had decided on a work party
yesterday to clean up what we call the Telegraph Creek
Trail that had some deadfalls on it. I love work
parties because you're actually accomplishing something
useful but unfortunately, they chose a day where I was
going to be cooking Easter Dinner for company. However,
our friends decided they wanted to go on the work detail,
and brought along a family member that had never ridden
before and a friend that had ridden very little. I had
warned them that this was a nasty little trail and
not for the inexperienced and fully expected that
they would just go play around up on Trumpeter. They didn't.
The little work party made up of entirely experienced
riders grew to ten with mixed ability and helped to turn
it into a long exhausting day for all with lots of stucks
Because we got such a tremendous amount of snow last year,
no one went down that trail. It's on the back side of
Goat Mountain, heavily treed, and protected from both
wind and sun. As a result, the snow builds up in there,
doesn't melt, and doesn't harden up. The same conditions
made it very warm and pleasant without wind for everyone
yesterday, which was probably very nice, but it
was also too hot when they were trying to dig out from
Logan tried going down the trail early this winter but
didn't get far because of the windfalls so as a result,
it had been fully two years since Andy had been over the
trail and he was the trail breaker yesterday. Combine
the length of time lapsed, with marking ribbons that have
disintegrated or blazes and ribbons that were put on too
low and were buried under the snow, and it's a long hard
slog trying to relocate the trail. There are also
two major drainage systems that you have to watch out
for, with Telegraph Creek being a nasty little
thing for winding back and forth and having open water
under the trail. Toward the end of the worst part of the
trail, there are several small lakes and on the last you
always have to pick your way around overflow on the far
end. Andy had a lot of hunt and search and backtracking
to do the entire way with loads of people getting stuck
behind him. But, they made it through and down the mountain
just in time for Easter dinner. No one lasted for long
though. Most of the people that had been riding ate and
pooped out to the extent that I thought one or two were
going to fall asleep in their plate of food. Since everyone
cleared out of here hours before I expected them to, it
was an early night.
This will undoubtedly add up to being a somewhat
expensive snowmobiling year for our friends and us.
Andy didn't do too badly but he did crunch in a wraparound
bumper a couple of trips ago and if you add the price
of scratchers to that, it will be a few hundred dollars.
Richard's machine is now distinctly pigeon toed with both
'A' arms bent. Badly. Leah busted up the side of her machine
straight out of the box on a really cold night rolling
it into a snow bank but it's held together very nicely
with duct or '100 mile' tape. Richard pointed out the
other day that she's busted and bent the scag on one ski
really badly. Judging from the scrapes on the ski
she bounced off of, or hit, a really big rock
sometime this winter but it certainly hasn't affected
her phenomenal ability to ride just about anywhere. Our
loaner machine got cracked up a bit on this last trip
out due to an unfortunate meeting with a good sized tree
and of course everyone's machine bears the mark of collision
with one or more trees this year. Actually, from the sound
of it, quite a few got hit yesterday. Small surprise considering
the narrowness of that particular trail and the deep snow
conditions, it's pretty easy to wallow into a tree well
or hit a stump.
All in all, if you use the amount of the repair bill as
a marker, it's been a very successful season
yet with no one injured. Just a lot of tired muscles and
a few bruises because more than one person went head first
over their windshield or got thrown over the side of their
machine. However, I think the season is pretty much done
now unless we trailer to the Rainbows or we get a lot
of snow fairly soon.
Andy noted today that there's a lot of open water on the
point on Nimpo Lake even though our day time temperatures
haven't been all that warm for the past week or so. I
noticed along the highway today that the ice on a lot
of the sloughs or meadows are getting soft yellow spots
from warm melt water seeping through the snow layer. Once
you see that, the ice will melt quickly. But, we're nearly
to the end of March so things are bound to start breaking
up fairly quickly. Besides, the red winged black birds
have been here for well over a week now and that's a sure
sign of spring. Maybe.
It's the start of a new week so you'll find last week's
articles at March
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!