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 - May, Week One/2012
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still trudging out to the trucks when we need to go anywhere,
or if we have to get water or groceries out of the truck,
we use the ATV. In both cases when I got back from Williams
Lake two weeks ago and when Andy got back last week, we
had a pretty good load of groceries and supplies in the
truck. In my case it took a couple of trips with the ATV
and trailer to haul everything home past the mud hole.
Today the highways guys are supposed to be working on
the main road into the north end of Nimpo Lake to try
and open up one lane using geo tech material or mats.
It's good that they're doing that end down there first
because everyone there has a way longer walk to get out
to their vehicles. Our main road is still passable,
albeit in a shaky way. On a couple of holes you
have a choice of going around on one side or the other
without falling into the ditch, which must be a little
hair raising for the larger vehicles. We've widened the
road by default as a result so it's not too bad, other
than being bumpy.
Our own mud hole is its usual happy self and slowly healing
up but we've still got one stubborn spot that's really
soft so we're still not driving over it. Nor is our only
other neighbour right now and fortunately, no one else
is in. You do, however, always have idiots. The other
day while Andy was in Williams Lake I discovered while
walking the dogs that some numbskull had decided to try
the mud hole. Fortunately, they backed out once they started
sinking so they didn't tear up the road too badly, but
Andy still had to spend quite a bit of time the next morning
ditching and filling in their tracks. I'm not sure
what part of a large, orange, triangular highway sign
on the road that says 'Road Closed' that people don't
understand, but apparently English comprehension of school
graduates in Canada is much worse than I previously thought.
Yesterday morning someone drove across it and up to the
boat launch where they turned around and went back but
since they didn't sink any more than six inches through
the mud, we figured they probably came in on the frost
and that was probably highways guys checking the state
of the road. Hopefully they'll get a chance to come fix
our road next week and we can start driving on it again
without worrying about wrecking it.
Everything is drying up more slowly than it should
just because we've had so much cold weather lately.
All of British Columbia is below normal temperatures and
on top of that we're not seeing a lot of sun during the
day, so things are just really cool. We saw much warmer
weather a month ago in March, but that's probably just
as well. All of our local snow is gone now but higher
up there will still be some and a slower melt is a good
way to keep down the flooding.
The level of the water in Nimpo Lake is actually starting
to go down now. It was climbing fast there for a while
with the higher temperatures and crazy melting but Andy's
been keeping a close check with his marked post, and it's
gone down nearly two inches in just the last couple of
days. Most of the wild water rushing into the lake has
subsided and while it's still pretty red from all the
swamp and pine needle runoff, the water's not nearly as
murky as it was last year.
Peaks in the Coast Mountain Range are still pretty
round with snow and the Itchas are still looking bright
white, which doesn't bode well for either Bella Coola
or Corkscrew Creek which flows into Anahim Lake.
We keep getting little snow or hail storms nearly every
day. Often the mountains are blanketed with the tell tale
white squall lines of a snowstorm and every time the clouds
clear and you can see the peaks, there's fresh snow up
Nimpo Lake is finally, finally starting
to melt. Yaaaay!!! We've got open water
about 10 to 15 feet out from shore in places and one little
pond of open water in our reed bed has grown to join another
pond in a reed bed in front of our neighbour's to at least
give us an idea of what open water will look like. It
even has a resident buffle head pair and a merganser while
our bit of open water off our shore has a pair of black
and whites. I heard a loon call from the open water that
runs between the point and the big island this evening
so things are finally becoming normal. It seems that the
bird life is really late showing up this year, but then
again, it was probably pointless them flying here just
to be on ice.
I truly look forward to blue water soon. I don't
know when the ice will go out but I think I missed the
first date that I chose on the Ice Out pool. I
guessed for tomorrow and there is no way the ice is going
to be gone tomorrow, although Andy thinks that it will
just suddenly fade away and there's lots of evidence to
support that. We noticed a week ago that even though the
ice was still quite thick near the shore, it had all candled
its full thickness. There's been a lot of warm runoff
running into the lake and under that ice so if it's candled
all the way out into the Main Arm, then one day it will
just suddenly disappear. Unless the wind moves it first,
of course. But there has been no grumbling at all from
the ice so it's probably just rotten.
We've seen an otter right around supper time a couple
of times now. He's been going from the big island
to the small one with his funny humping, running, slide
way of transport. It may be an awkward way of getting
around on the ice but they can sure cover a lot of ground
that way! After seeing the otter at that distance the
first time I realized that a creature I saw on my way
to Anahim one day a month ago had to have been a wolverine.
I saw it across a meadow at almost the same distance coming
down out of some trees and it was big with a pretty big
tail. Much bushier than an otter's I realized later. It
was too far away to see any of the striping you often
see on a wolverine but I can tell you it was one cautious
dude. Even at that distance of probably over 600
yards, it realized that my vehicle was on the highway
and slowing down. He stopped, watched me for a
split second, then turned tail and disappeared back into
the woods. If it was a wolverine it's small
wonder they're so rarely seen if they're that cautious.
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last month's
posts at April
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!