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 2/2006
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not the furry kind. The really heavy, compact kind
that could, conceivably go through the ice on Nimpo Lake
if one weren't careful...however. It was very
effective today for building a ramp down the bank onto
the lake ice for the snowmobiles.
Another beautiful, sunny day again. A bit blustery, but
that's to be expected this time of year. It got slightly
above freezing with lots of heat in the sun whenever you
could get out of the cool breeze.
We've been watching movies purchased by friends of ours
who vacationed in Alaska all last summer. Since we're
probably going to be heading up there this coming summer
for a visit ourselves, we were highly interested in seeing
what the country looked like. Over the years, I've gathered
from books and movies a general idea of what Alaska looks
like. Big everything, bigger even than Texas...(sorry
guys). Big mountains, lots of snow, water, streams,
moose, bears, caribou and, well, just everything!
And beautiful in a big way of course.
These movies are pretty personalized and realistic. I
don't think they were geared strictly to the tourist as
some of them also seem to have been for the centennial
There is no question after watching these movies as they
went from region to region that Alaska is big and beautiful
and more. But I was surprised to find myself comparing
Alaska to our area here, and finding we stack up pretty
favorably. Although we have no Denali, we do have
Mt. Waddington at over 13,000 feet and the Cariboo Chilcotin
Coast Region has more than 8,000 pristine lakes, 10,563
miles of clear, cold rivers and streams and 9,320 miles
of remote and untouched coastline. We offer fabulous
ocean and freshwater fishing, and if you want to see moose,
caribou, grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, deer
and more, just bring your camera!
It occurred to me that the reason Alaska seems to be such
a spectacular place to most people is because the majority
of the North American population lives in the city and
just are not exposed to wide open, snow covered vistas,
and mammoth wildlife every day of their lives. While
those of us that live in west central British Columbia
in the West Chilcotin, are. Don't get me wrong.
This doesn't mean that I'm not looking forward to Alaska
being one of the most incredible places I'll ever see
in my lifetime!
I just count myself fortunate that there doesn't seem
to be a real big gulf between our wonderful lifestyle
and the country we live in, and that found in Alaska.
It's That Time Of Year Again
coyotes were howling last night. I have to assume it's
mating season for them now. It's about the right time
of year. I was out getting wood last night and I
could hear Nimpo Lake snapping, popping and grumbling
but didn't think to look at the temperature. It
was no wonder the lake was making so much noise, it was
-20C this morning which was a bit of a surprise because
the last few nights haven't been that cold.
Another glorious day in the Chilcotin and we watched
as our various snowmobiling buddies crossed the lake with
their trucks and snowmachines on trailers headed for Perkins
Peak. We chose to stick around home and get some
work done today because we want to go sledding next week.
I hope the boys had as good a day as we did.
Some visitors are out vacationing with their snowmobiles
now and although we saw them go out for a ride across
Nimpo Lake yesterday evening, I don't know if they went
up on Perkins with the other guys or not. We'll have to
give a call and see if they're up for a ride in the next
day or so.
I've been watching a few people out ice fishing
on Nimpo Lake the last while. Mostly off the tip
of the small island. I've been thinking it's time we dropped
a line in the water as well. We haven't had a good feed
of Rainbow Trout for a while and the fish will be awesome
in that supercooled water right now.
I went walking on the trails out back and have begun
marking trees killed by the Mounatin Pine Beetle with
marking tape. The needles on these pine trees
turned red last summer, so it will be easy to find them
this fall when we go to cut firewood. If they're marked,
it will be easier to tell them from those trees that will
be turning red this coming summer.
We haven't determined if it's the tree's flood of sap
in its effort to fight off a beetle infestation or not,
but beetle killed trees that have only been red one summer
are still way too green or 'wet' to use for firewood.
But just try to determine how long each tree has
been dead when everything around you has turned red!
So, I decided it might work to mark those trees that have
already turned this year. That way we know they're at
least two years dead and hopefullly dry when we go to
cut them down in the fall. That's if no one else decides
to do so first!
For the past three years we've been using standing wood
from out of an old burn or forest fire. The wood is iron
hard, most of the dirty, burnt bark has peeled off, and
the heat that wood throws off is just incredible. It's
the best for cold temperatures. We usually try to use
poorer wood for spring or early fall when you don't want
as much heat anyway. Now, however, most of the trees in
the burn have blown down or will be down by this coming
fall, so a new source of wood nearby in the form of beetle
killed trees is fortunate in that respect. Not so fortunate
otherwise of course, but you just have to make the best
of reality. Most of us joke about how much improved
our view will eventually be once the beetle killed
trees are all gone. And that we'll all have a lifetime
supply of firewood close by. You just have to find the
positive in everything you can, that's all!
Blustery Day In March
you can tell it's March in the Chilcotin. You can't really
tell from one minute to the next what the weather is going
to do today. One minute it's blowing snow, the next moment
the sun is trying to shine through. As they say
in the Chilcotin, if you don't like the weather, wait
I posted the pictures on the right a couple of days ago
and forgot to mention what they were about. This little
bird house is usually inhabited by tree swallows in the
spring. In fact there's usually a major dog fight
between mating pairs as to who actually gets to use it.
If the one pair finishes up soon enough, a second pair
of swallows will take up residence and raise a brood of
Tree swallows are a really pretty little blue and white
bird that shines with every color in the rainbow when
the sun hits their feathers just right. Since the house
was built just for them with just the right size hole
for an entrance, that is normally the only bird that tries
to nest in the house. That doesn't seem to be the
case this year though. A little while back I saw
some Chickadees trying to remove the nesting materials
from last summer and thought they might just be clearing
it out to store sunflower seeds because they like to have
little caches all over the place and I thought it too
early for them to be nesting. But...maybe not.
For a couple of weeks I've seen first one Chickadee, then
a second enter the house, then leave after a few minutes
while the other would sit on a branch just in front, watching.
They sure act like a breeding pair of tree swallows would
and it looks like they might be feeding young. It would
be nice to thinks so. But I guess we'll know when we clear
out the bird house this spring and see if there's a huge
larder of sunflower seeds in there.
A big flock of Canada Geese went over yesterday
headed north and since we've already seen the Trumpeter
Swans a few times it would seem spring is in the
air. Hopefully not so much so that we lose all our sledding
snow. This time of year is the absolute best for snowmobiling
because the days are longer and the weather warmer. There
is still overflow and spider holes on Nimpo Lake,
although most of it is frozen, it does thaw by mid afternoon.
At least it looks like the lake is a long way from breaking
In the meantime, I have to get back to work. The computer
is calling my name. "Enough with the fun stuff,"
Great Day Snowmobiling
we just had a super day yesterday and it was a great ride.
The weather was beautiful when we met at Dot Island
on Nimpo Lake. There was a bit of a system over
the mountains though. We had a good crowd but we were
all used to riding with each other in the past with the
exception of one couple out visiting friends. Most of
us knew them, but just hadn't ridden with them before.
However, they were pretty good riders and it is nice when
you have average to excellent riders on a trip, because
the 'stuck' quotient goes down quite a bit and you can
go where you might not with someone new to the game. Not
that we mind that either. Sometimes it's a lot
of fun to show someone new to our area the beautiful views
we have here.
A couple from Naramata that normally ride by themselves
also joined the group and stuck with us for the day which
was terrific because they're super people and both really
know how to ride. Prudence does remarkable things
with her little 550 fan cooled but a few of us
did manage to talk her into taking our sleds up the hill
and see how she liked a little more power. Her husband
has been trying to talk her into upgrading for some time
with little success but she was liking the ease with which
the bigger machines went uphill yesterday. I still believe
the best riders are those people that have the smaller
or older machines but have learned to keep up to and surpass
the big boys. Then you put them on a mountain sled and
watch out because you won't ever catch them!
The trails going up the mountain from Nimpo Lake
are still in pretty good shape, even with our warm weather,
so we'll see how long they last. We did try to take our
new visitors up to see the remarkable 360 view from the
top of Trumpeter Mountain, but as so often happens at
that elevation, the weather socked in and it was just
too tough to see going up. Even if you could make it to
the top you wouldn't be able to see anything sitting in
the clouds, so we turned back.
The snow was really funny yesterday. There was fresh
snow that I call cornstarch snow on top of a windswept
base, which broke through to sugar snow. It was
really slippery stuff and you could bury a machine, although
not easily. That gave us a lot of space to play and I
really like it when conditions are like that. Temperature
variations, such as warmer in the afternoon, can effect
where you go and jumps can result in a lot harder landing
this time of year, but at least you can go just about
anywhere, including in the trees, without getting too
We had some fun playing on the 'Cornice' side then scooted
over to 'Lunch Bowl' and played around there for a little
while before deciding to come off the mountain on the
Telegraph Creek Trail right from the top. The first
part of the trail is a bit tricky first time broken out,
and there's a lot of winding through the trees.
It's been a few years since I've been on the trail when
I helped to mark and clear it and many of the ribbons
are gone. We all decided we need to make up a work party
to re-mark some of the trail and clear out some dead fall.
We try to disturb the land as little as possible, which
is why our trails are often narrow and wind around quite
It was a great run down with few 'stucks' and we only
lost one experienced rider for a little while. He
was in the lead, took the wrong turn and ended up piled
up in a duck's breakfast where three creeks meet and there's
no place to get turned around before getting stuck.
Fortunately, the guy behind him knew better and led the
rest of the group away and down a better route. The rest
of us didn't realize what had transpired until we got
to the bottom of the trail, and shortly after, Bill caught
up after cozying up to his shovel for awhile.
Nearly all the way down the deactivated Telegraph Creek
Road, part of the group decided to head over to the Lookout
Tower on a newly built trail there to show the new
people the view from on top of Little Kappan Mountain.
The rest of us decided to head on home because it was
getting late in the day and we have animals to feed. I
haven't been over that new section of trail yet but that
leaves something to be explored and I'm looking forward
The whole day was just a great one with good company and
a special camaraderie, especially with people that we
rarely see socially but we do make up for lost time on
Just got an invite to snowmobile with our snowmobiling
buddies on Perkins Peak Saturday. That requires trailering
down toward Tatla Lake and since the whole day will be
used up, I guess I need to take a serious look at my 'to
do list' to see whether I can get away with snowmobiling
all day. I would like to because one of our friends is
heading back south until summer when we'll be gone, so
we won't see him until next fall at the earliest. But
there's that 'work' thing, even if it is at home. Hmmm.
Feed For All Tuesday
not a buffet, it's just the name of the software I use
for this RSS feed.
Well, it's time for a new week because the last one was
starting to really slow down with all of the pictures.
Boy, do I love my digital camera! You can find last
week's stories and the awesome pictures of a wolverine
crossing Charlotte Lake at Wilderness
Adventures March Week One .
It was only when I tried to save the past week's Wilderness
Adventures Page in the usual format, that I realized I
already had a March One from last year, and had to come
up with a new format.
So this is a bit of a celebration for me. I have now been
writing these stories for well over a year (I did have
January and February for 2005 simply saved on a monthly
basis when I first entered this dark world of blogging..lol)
and decided to count how many individual articles or 'blogs'
I actually wrote. Wow...289 stories as of yesterday!
Even I didn't realize how many I had written. Yikes!!
I sure hope no one was bored to death....
I have to wonder sometimes what I am going to write about
but this area is so rich in history, bountiful in
flora and fauna and so breathtakingly beautiful
that most days it just isn't that hard to find a way to
describe what we offer here.
There is so much more to write about, but it takes a little
research or having the opportunity to get out there and
talk to people, and find out what's happening. Unfortunately,
I just don't always have the time. I spend a lot of time
in my home office working and miss a good bit of what's
going on outside, and since I don't use the automatic
'blogging' software and do everything the hard way, articles
are slower to post.
You may have noticed the lack of a story yesterday and
a fit of pique on Sunday. That's generally because
I'm backed up with things to do. In this case
my partners in the Whitetail deer business in Saskatchewan
have separated, which means I'm forced to sell all of
my deer in the next month. Fire sales don't generally
go well, and I'm expecting to lose about $50,000 dollars
on my investment.
This does not a happy camper make.
More to the point, I must now spend the time making up
an inviting sales package and contact every deer producer
in the industry in the hopes of pulling some pocket change
out of this 'duck's breakfast' or at least find the animals
a good home, the alternative being to go back at the end
of April with a rifle and dispose of my deer the hard
Since they're beautiful animals, I would really rather
see them go to another farm.
In any event, occurrences such as these can be time consuming
and often prevents me from either writing or being able
to put the research and effort I would like into what
I do write, and I'll reiterate my sincere hope that
I haven't bored anyone to death in the past year.
What I do hope is that you've found these stories interesting,
informative, funny and more importantly, makes you
wanna drop everything and come on out to the Chilcotin!!
For all those wonderful people who have followed this
'blog' on a daily basis, I'm so glad for your patience
and willingness to wait for the next one when I've missed
a day or two.
For all those who have recently joined in reading these
articles, welcome aboard and you'll find more stories
about the Anahim Lake and Nimpo Lake area on either
or under archives on the left. Eventually I would like
to expand this site and go into more detail and background
on the Bella Coola, Tatla Lake, Chilco Lake and
Alexis Creek areas, but that too takes time.
For anyone that would like some specific information
on the area, use the contact form over on the
left hand navigation bar and I'll help in whatever way
One last note, I know that a few people have been waiting
very patiently for the Properties
for Sale page to be updated. It does
take time to get pictures and a little write up from people
for their properties and I hope to get back to that soon.
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!