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 4/2009
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.
Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture
of the Day.
is April Fool's and according to newscasts, the date that
the Conficker computer worm, loaded on millions of computers,
is set to look for instructions from the 'Mother' computer.
Whether that is instructions to search for and send sensitive
passwords or other information on personal and business
computers, fry the computers, or something else, experts
don't know. Good reason to have your antivirus up
to date at all times and of course, Microsoft
is suggesting that everyone make sure they have the latest
update or patch downloaded from their site. Which is good
advice except that this worm is apparently only targeting
Windows XP and Vista operating systems. Since I still
run 2000 Professional, no patch for me. Yes, I know
what you're going to say....I'm still in the dark ages.
There's a reason for that. I actually still run one computer
with a hopped up Windows 98 operating system on it that
I use for the fridge magnet calendars I produce for clients.
The software is so old that it will not work on a newer
OS. I did try getting an updated version and using it
on my newer computer for one client. After weeks of painstaking
setup I produced a beautiful finished product for them.
Last fall when I went looking for their files for
the 2009 calendar season, they were gone. I had
accidentally deleted all of their files because I did
not realize the new program puts the base files in 'My
Documents' on my C drive. I don't use that drive for Data
files so in cleaning them up one day.... Needless to say,
my comments on the matter cannot be repeated in good company.
A lot of my software may not work on XP and I have many
thousands of dollars worth that I don't care to replace
if I don't have to. Although I do have XP loaded on a
second hard drive on my computer in order to test said
hardware, I still haven't had time to get around to doing
that. Much to my Brother-in-law's chagrin, I'm sure, since
he was the one that installed it and has been trying to
drag me into the 21st century ever since.
The second reason I'm still running Windows 2000,
which is a beautiful operating system and works without
a hitch, is that you couldn't pay me to put Vista on anything
I own. Not now, not ever! I told Andy some time
ago after having to deal with Vista on a couple of client
machines, that if I am ever not given a choice and have
to upgrade to that OS, I will throw all of my PC's away
and go buy a Mac. And I don't even like Macs.
Apparently I am not the only one that feels that way about
Vista, however. It seems now that Microsoft has scrapped
Vista and is in the process of putting out a different
operating system. Small wonder. Many businesses
and corporations have refused to change their computers
over because of the problems with Vista. They
can't afford downtime because of a screwed up OS but that's
a lot of money that Microsoft is losing because they can
probably expect most large businesses and corporations
to do a complete overhaul of their office computers at
least every five years. Apparently too, Dell got on their
backs because they were losing so much money when customers
refused to buy their new computers. Why? Loaded with the
Vista operating system. At least Microsoft has finally
seen the light. Maybe those terrific ads between
the PC guy and the Mac guy being run on TV made a difference.
It didn't get that cold last night, but it didn't warm
up much today, either. There was a wild blustery wind
nearly all day and the air temperature never did make
it much above freezing. It was really warm in the sun
if you were in a sheltered spot, but otherwise, that wind
had a seriously chilly bite to it. But hey! The pussy
willow buds are out. They're a month late, but they're
out. And a huge V of geese went over today.
Forecasters are calling for snow tomorrow so I guess we'll
see in the morning what we get. We got quite a bit of
sun today, but we had cloud as well. There's another system
sliding down the coast and it may or may not spill over
Andy was getting tired of me commenting on it being
spring here on the blog so he drove out on the
ice and took pictures of the snowbanks on the ice road.
Then he insisted I post it here and on pic of the day
so that you guys could see we're no where near spring.
He's actually right when you consider the weather that
we have. In this country we don't really have spring as
such. You know... where you have new buds on the trees
and small green grass shoots shooting up, flower bulbs
peeking up through the soil and then things just gradually
green up into summer? Here we just kind of go from
mud and ice to mosquitoes. We have such a short
growing season that our spring as compared to other areas
probably occurs around the first week of June. July is
summer, and you're starting into autumn the last two weeks
of August. That's why growing stuff here is so much fun.
It's a heck of a challenge and a real achievement if you
Our Newest Operators
temperature rose remarkably fast this morning and you
didn't have to look very far to see the disastrous results
by this afternoon. It had climbed to at least 7C
or 45F at one point when I checked it this afternoon and
may have gone higher. I crossed the lake going
over to Nimpo just before four and the snow on the ice
road was getting pretty mushy so I decided to come home
by the gravel road to see what it was like. That wasn't
a really great idea at all. The frost is starting to come
out of the road bed and I left some good ruts here and
there. I think I'll stick to the ice road for the
next while. This could end up being a really messy
Break Up. That's okay. It makes life more interesting
when you never know what to expect from one season to
the next! :-)
We had mixed sun and cloud today. The cloud couldn't stay
put long because a wind sprang up around noon and gusted
on and off all day. Maybe it will help dry things out.
You folks may have noticed that there is a new link on
the left for Puntzi Lake. Since it's quite a favorite
stop for many people on their way out here to the West
Chilcotin, I finally made time to add it to the
site. I would like to welcome the Kokanee Bay Fishing
Resort to the site, who's owners Merry and Andrew MacMath
I've only met on the phone but they sure sound great!
Kokanee Bay has a lot to offer with great fishing
for Kokanee and Rainbow trout, cabins, camping/RV
sites, boat, motor, canoe, kayak or pontoon boat rentals,
dining with reservations, horseshoes, playground and sports
area as well as endless local hiking trails. You'll find
more information on them under a page called Puntzi Accommodations
and the Resorts listings.
I also want to welcome Niut Trails Outfitting, another
operator that has just listed with resortsbc.com this
year. Eric Hatch has been living in the Tatla Lake, Tatlayoko
Valley area for over 30 years and guiding in the region
for 20. He provides professionally guided pack trips
and trail rides in the Niut Range, hiking, and horse assisted
hiking in the alpine throughout the summer. If
you would like something a little easier, then his ranch
vacation is just the thing for you! You'll find more about
what Eric has to offer under the Resorts listings and
Eagle Lake Paradise Resort is located, where else
but on Eagle Lake? Which, from the pictures that
owner Silvia Geissler has been kind enough to send me,
is an absolutely gorgeous lake with that neat aquamarine
green you only see in the Chilcotin. With a stunning mountain
view and charming cabins, this is a place to kick back,
relax, and drink in a little serenity. You can enjoy fishing
the incredibly clear waters of the lake or go hiking and
look for wildlife. Eagle Lake Paradise Resort works in
close association with Niut Trails Outfitting to offer
trail riding and the other activities that Eric offers.
You'll find Eagle Lake Paradise Resort's listing banner
at the top right on the Tatla Lake page.
If you have friends coming to visit or plan a little
visit to the West Chilcotin this year, please
take a look at what our operators have to offer you in
the way of accommodation and activities.
The Glorious Day
this is some ornery weather! Yesterday was like a winter
day. Yesterday evening it kept trying to snow and succeeded
in dumping an inch or so, then it started getting cold.
It was only -7C or 19F when I got home from poker before
midnight last night, but the air just had that biting
feel, so I let the dogs in just in case. It turned out
to be a good decision. The temperature dropped overnight
and was sitting at -20C or -4F this morning. That's
pretty darned cool for the end of March, no matter where
The day dawned bright and beautiful and that good old
March sun started warming things up pretty nicely, although
it was still -11C or 12F when Andy left to go snowmobiling
with the guys before eleven this morning. It was
one of those truly remarkable days with blue skies, bright
sunshine, and only the odd wispy breeze passing
through. It sure makes it hard to stay in front of this
computer. Actually, I couldn't do it if
it weren't for the fact that there's a fair bit of snow
still on the ground and working outside is well nigh impossible
right now. Unless you care to be skittering around on
ice or ankle deep in mud when it gets above freezing.
Taking the dogs for a walk is hard enough to accomplish
in those conditions much less yard work.
Well, maybe not that soon. Every time we
get another skiff of snow it just kind of adds to the
Even with the heavy insulating layer of snow on the ice
there was enough of a contrast in night and day temperature
that Nimpo Lake was grumbling this morning.
We were just commenting the other day on how quiet the
lake has been, and Andy figures it's because of the snow
layer. Once that melts or compresses, we'll be hearing
the lake booming again. Mind you, at the rate things are
going, Ice off is going to be pretty late this year.
Andy said it was a gorgeous day where they were snowmobiling
today, and that there was about six inches of fresh powder,
probably dropped at the same time as we got our little
snow last night. That's actually a good sign. There
wasn't a lot of snow this year, even at higher elevations,
so it won't hurt us at all if fresh accumulations are
added to the snow pack to keep water levels up this spring.
I feel bad saying that when the poor sods in Manitoba
are threatened by the Red River flooding and ice jams
and are probably praying every moment for anything but
Our temperature is hovering just above freezing this evening
and what started out being high haze late this afternoon
has turned into solid grey cloud. There's a system sliding
down the coast and I think we're catching the edge of
it. I don't know that it's going to bring us much for
moisture but I guess we'll know if there's snow on the
ground in the morning. Tomorrow and Tuesday look like
really nice days according to the weekend weather forecaster,
but it also looks like it's going to get cold again toward
the end of the week. Heck, at this rate we might
be snowmobiling into May!
looks like Old Man Winter is determined to take a last
kick at the cat. Although that particular kick could last
weeks or a couple of more months. Spring just isn't quite
here yet even if it does feel like it time to time. I
think it snowed a bit while we were in town yesterday
and it's been trying to blizzard off and on all
afternoon since I got back from a walk. It started
out with hail, then the temperature dropped and it turned
to snow. It was white out conditions again trying to drive
across the lake to the boat launch, and throughout it
all, the sun keeps trying to break through the clouds.
It was weird going to town yesterday. We've been
in snow for so many months that it was a surprise to see
even around Tatla that they have very little snow.
It's no wonder they couldn't hold a snowmobile Poker Run
this year. It was about the same around Alexis Creek but
there was still some snow up on Riske Flats. Williams
Lake, however, was downright dusty!
It was pretty sunny for a good part of the day and downright
balmy temperature wise. I don't know what it got up to
but at one point the thermometer on the truck read plus
9 degrees after the sensor had been cooled off. It was
actually quite pleasant getting in and out of the truck
and running around doing errands without a jacket on.
We didn't see any moose going in or out to Williams
Lake but we did see lots of deer along the highway.
They're sure looking in fine shape. You can tell they
didn't have a hard winter at all. There were a few Canada
Geese here and there and the river along Highway 20 around
Redstone was just loaded with Trumpeter Swans. It's the
only open water in the region right now so I guess they
probably have no choice. There were a couple of Canada
Geese on a lone pond near Tatla that was frozen solid.
It seems to me that it must be highly dangerous
this time of year for the birds because without
the protection of water, just about any predator like
a fox or coyote could sneak up on them.
Temperatures are still getting down at night. It dropped
to -14C or 7F last night and was nearly as cold the night
before. I have no idea what the temperature was here yesterday
but it was right around freezing when we got home at supper
time last night so presumably it got much warmer than
that. Not so today. It's been sitting right around freezing
all day except during that snowstorm when it dropped a
couple of degrees, but it's back up again now. It looks
like we could get a nice day tomorrow but I'm not going
to hold my breath. It's spring after all and you can't
count on anything.
turns out three guys died in those two different avalanches
I mentioned yesterday. Actually, that's not strictly true.
One of them has not been located yet under the wall of
snow that came down so he is presumed to be dead.
There's the odd time when we go snowmobiling that I get
a little concerned about avalanche. There aren't
that many places where we go that pose a danger but there
are a couple. The Cornice Play Hill could be a
problem in years with high snow loads and the right conditions.
We've seen snow break away from there when machines cut
the cornice and I think that's the spot where Duke is
said to have outrun an avalanche a few years ago. Other
than that, avalanche isn't much of a problem in our snowmobiling
area. Probably the biggest danger from avalanche
would be if a bunch of us were sitting on Goat Lake when
that snow breaks away from the cliffs above as it does
every year. The way it busts those ice blocks
out of the water, you wouldn't want to be anywhere near
there when it happens. It sure would be something to see
though. And hear!! I'll bet it would just about deafen
you listening to the sound of an avalanche and busting
ice reverberating around the cliff walls with nowhere
for the sound to go.
Tornado season looks to have started down south again
and the flood waters are still rising for Manitoba and
North Dakota. Now they're saying the Red River will
reach levels not seen in a hundred years. Boy,
if you think about the difference a hundred years can
make to population levels and development.....
Our weather is downright boring compared to everywhere
else. While the temperature bottomed out at only -11.5C
or 12F last night , it didn't waste that much time coming
up this morning and would have warmed faster had the sun
ever made an appearance. It nearly did a couple of times,
but not for long. Still, it got up to plus 6Cor 43 degrees
Fahrenheit today and amazingly, is still sitting at 3C
right now. It looks like it's going to clear off again
tonight, but it's expected to be cloudy again tomorrow.
Doesn't matter much to me. It's town day tomorrow and
I would hate to think I was missing a pretty day for one
of my least favorite chores.... shopping.
Incidentally, for anyone that hasn't looked, that
new listing at Eagle Lake is up on the property for sale
page. Don't forget that there have been some price
drops in the last couple of weeks on property listed there.
Go check it out!
probably not much that I would change from the description
of yesterday's weather today.
It went down to -11C or 12F but that was after
it cleared off. Yesterday when I came back from a walk
it hailed, then the weather got nice, then it snowed lightly
with clouds moving in and out. I went to Anahim Lake at
supper time and could see that with the water from melted
snow laying on the highway, it was probably going to get
pretty slippery once the temperature dropped. Midway through
the evening, it started pouring down the snow and I'm
thinking to myself just how ruddy wonderful it was going
to be to have to drive home on ice covered by a layer
of snow. It wasn't.
In fact, it was about eleven when I left Anahim Lake for
home and ended up behind a plow truck. He was only going
about 35 miles per hour but he was blowing up a lot of
loose snow and there was no way I was going to try to
pass him. I wasn't particularly interested in going any
faster anyway since his were the only tracks in the snow
and the only way you could tell there was a highway there,
so I stayed tucked in behind him. Rotten bugger
though. I could feel my tires lose traction on
the ice under the snow here and there but he didn't drop
an ounce of sand on the highway. It seems pretty pointless
to me to drive up and down the highway throughout your
shift on icy surfaces, without dropping any sand. I know
that they claim that just driving the highway blows the
snow off but I think you would have to be going a lot
faster for that to be effective, and it certainly doesn't
improve the icy conditions any. About half way home
I hit a snow storm and visibility got really lousy
so I was at least glad to have the maintenance worker's
yellow flashing light to follow. At least he was useful
for something. Friends that left before me had the snow
storm the whole way so I guess if I had left about five
minutes later than I did, I might have missed it completely.
As it was, by the time I hit the boat launch at Nimpo
to go down onto the ice road, I could see stars in the
sky before me.
It was much the mixed bag today as well. It was
gorgeous this morning without a breath of wind and only
a couple of degrees below zero. The sun was shining
on a fresh 1 1/2 inches of snow that we received overnight.
By lunch when I headed out with the dogs it was starting
to cloud over and a breeze had sprung up. It threatened
to snow for part of the afternoon, but by this evening,
the skies were clear behind the line of mountains gleaming
with a fresh blanket of snow.
I have no idea what's coming tomorrow other than
that a big system packing both moisture and wind is barreling
in toward the central coast. Whether it's going
to slide down the coast along the mountains and miss us
all together or come inland a ways is impossible to tell.
I guess I'll know when I wake up tomorrow. :-)
The temperature is dropping pretty fast tonight. It got
up over 5C today, but shed that by supper and dropped
another five degrees within an hour. There are clear skies
out there tonight so it might get fairly cold. There is
a cold front associated with that system coming in but
while temperatures might not come up as much as they have
during the day recently, they'll still be above freezing,
I think. The sun's just too warm this time of year. Things
should start picking up around here. I saw a couple
of people out ice fishing on Nimpo by the small island
for most of the afternoon and a small group came
back from snowmobiling for the day. Our neighbours have
returned so I expect the impromptu ice skating parties
will start up again and we'll have to see if we can fit
in another run to Hotnarko Falls with them.
Life is definitely cool around here.
In contrast, I feel for those poor buggers in Manitoba
and the Midwest that are going to be dealing with flood
waters for the next while. A state of emergency has been
declared for communities north of Winnipeg because of
ice jams and North Dakota has been declared a disaster
zone. The Red River is predicted to rise 41 feet
in the next few days. Can you believe that???
That is going to cause some serious grief.
Then there are the ice storms that have put a thousand
homes out of power, and avalanches in two different locations
in BC caught up some snowmobilers and one has died. I'll
say it again... boy, am I glad I live here and not elsewhere!
Wig Wag Weather
got a heavy work load today and may not be around this
evening so this is going to be very short today.
It's typical spring weather today. It's up in the air
as to what it's going to do minute to minute.
It only went down to -6C or 21F last night and it was
absolutely gorgeous when I got up with temps only slightly
below freezing. The sun was shining and there was nary
a breeze first thing so Leah called and asked if she could
go for a walk with me but to do it early today. That way
the mud would still be frozen and the snow crunchy and
less likely to ball up in the chains on our boots. It
was a good thing we went when we did.
The wind started picking up while we were out so I took
a route down the road that would put our back to the wind
and back through the woods where it's never too bad. By
the time we got back here it was getting pretty blustery
and within about a half hour of being in my office, it
started pouring down the hail, and with that wind, most
of the time it was coming in side ways. Now it's turned
to snow so I guess the weather forecasters are right for
a change. They called for snow or rain on Tuesday
in central British Columbia and points south.
It's hard to say how long it will last, but it looked
like a pretty heavy system coming in on the satellite
pictures. Around here though, the old saying 'if
you don't like the weather wait for five minutes'
often holds true. It definitely doesn't pay to get too
excited about spring too early in the Chilcotin.
The Poker Run
morning folks. My apologies. As you've probably noticed,
I decided to take the weekend off, and no...not from work,
just from the blog. Each day of not writing gives me another
hour or two that I can spend on work that needs to be
done. Unfortunately, that's piling up.
I rolled out Saturday morning fully intending to go on
the Poker Run but finally decided that it would be unproductive
and I could just get way more accomplished if I had the
place to myself and a whole day to work. Not that going
on a fun sled ride with a bunch of people to visit with
is not productive, just not so much so as having a full
day in the office.
The day started out cold at -16C or 3.2 but it was
sunny, although a breeze had started up by the time everyone
left Nimpo. Quite a few people met at the boat
launch across our bay and once gathered there, went on
down to the North Arm where another group had gathered
to get their first poker card.
They followed the trails up to Goat Pass and onto Ptarmigan
Flats where lunch was planned. Down here the wind was
just howling and I felt really sorry for the riders up
there where they would be so exposed and probably cold.
I couldn't believe it when everyone told me that
it was gorgeous up there with just a slight breeze
evidenced by one photo I saw where the smoke from their
fire was going almost straight up. Down here at this elevation
with the wind blowing all day, I suspect you would have
had a hard time even starting a fire! It
sure was a highly unusual reversal, that's for sure. The
only thing I can think of is that the wind started sweeping
down on this side of the mountains and picked up speed
coming across the lake, which would affect us, but not
people up higher.
The group had a great lunch of roasted wieners and smokies
and then came back down a different trail to Nimpo Lake,
where they had to meet at the car wash for their final
card. It was a good group of about 24, which was excellent
considering there was only three days notice that there
was going to be a poker run. I think given a couple
of weeks notice, the number of people that showed up would
have been double that.
We fixed everyone some burgers and there were salads,
and a good visit before everyone powered out and headed
for home. 75 kilometers isn't that long of a ride but
if you're not used to riding a lot, you can tire out pretty
easily. Oh, and Logan won the ride with a full house while
Leah won with the worst hand. Andy bought a hand for me
even though I wasn't there and I figured for sure
after looking at it and choosing my final card that I
had the worst hand. It's definitely typical of
the cards I've been getting on poker nights of late.
Yesterday was the first day in a few with little or no
wind and it was downright warm out in the sun. The snow
is really starting to melt and unfortunately, out on the
road and in nearly everyone's yard you're either skittering
on ice or knee deep in mud. Actually, not quite knee deep
yet because there's frost not that far under the surface,
but it's mucky enough.
Welcome to Break Up!
That's the only bad part about a cool winter with little
melt, is that when it does decide to warm
up, the melt comes all at once and makes a real mess.
But on the bright side, it beats having ice everywhere
for a solid two months like we did last year because of
the warm spells we got midwinter.
The red winged blackbirds arrived in droves today. Where
there had only been a few here and there, the flock is
in force and full voice out there now and the feeder is
swamped. So far the grosbeaks seem to be able to hold
their own but it might not be for much longer. I think
they're considerably outnumbered. It really is wonderful
to have a tree full of blackbirds singing outside your
door but it does get noisy and within a couple
of weeks, I know from experience that it will get tiresome.
They're pretty hard on the seed supply too. Most years
when I want them to go away I stop putting seed out but
I don't dare this year. Snow is still covering everything
so it won't be that easy for chickadees and grosbeaks
to find food, and it's still cold enough that they need
the extra protein.
Surprisingly, even as warm as it's been getting, it's
still really dropping at night with the exception of last
night. It only got down to -10C or 14 and was actually
warmer than that at dawn because clouds rolled in. It
was kind of a mixed bag today with both sun and heavy
cloud, and a pretty brisk wind, but it still made it up
to a balmy 6C or 41 degrees Fahrenheit. I think we're
supposed to get hit with a snowstorm tomorrow so I guess
we'll see. It wouldn't be spring without a snowstorm!
As usual, this is the start of a new week and last week's
articles can be found at March
Week Three .
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!