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Wilderness Adventures - May, Week 2/2006

This 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 the smog!
If you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes, exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read stories like 'Lake Monsters' - just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.
You can search this site for a subject of interest to you at the bottom of this page. Check out the Picture of the Day.

20/05/2006 8:08 PM

Today's Event

Will have to wait until tomorrow to be written about. Sorry folks, but I am just too pooped to pop. It was a long, long day. The waterskipping in Anahim Lake was supposed to start at 11:00. However, as usual, we're on Chilcotin time out here so that means it was almost noon before the first machine hit the water. I've been rained on about a million times, eaten by mosquitoes first thing this morning and blown raw by a cold, cold wind that sprang up this afternoon. I didn't get home until supper time and the census taker was sitting at my kitchen table, so it was just one of those days. On the plus side, I've got lots of great pictures! So hang in there until tomorrow if you can and I'll have the story and loads of pics to go with it. Oh, I did put one pic in on the Picture of the Day.
19/05/2006 4:18 PM

Tomorrow's Event

Tomorrow's the big day for waterskipping. Yep, the annual spring event is one of the more popular ones in the area and along with the canoe races, tends to kick off the summer season for locals and visitors alike. I guess that means I'll be attending if I want pictures.
A kind and gracious reader of this blog, whom by happy circumstance, also happens to be my sister-in-law, found the name of our mystery 'duck' as described below in the article for the 17th. Her email suggested I try looking for a Surf Scoter- adult male and so I did. Do you know I scoured that silly bird book of mine looking for something that fit the description of our mystery bird and could not find it anywhere? Once I had the name, however, it was easy to find under Sea Ducks. Being that blind kind of makes you want to slap yourself in the forehead and my only excuse is that I wasn't exactly expecting a sea duck on a freshwater lake 100 to 120 miles inland from the ocean. Also, I stand by my claim that the illustration in the bird book doesn't look a lot like the birds we saw on Nimpo Lake.
My bird book describes Sea Ducks as heavy, rather large, short necked diving ducks typically seen along coasts. Most live on mollusks. Okay. No coast here and no mollusks. (See the dictionary for mollusks. Snails, clams and squids.) We do have freshwater shrimp gallore in Nimpo Lake which is probably what gives our rainbow trout such awesome pink flesh.
In conclusion, I can only assume our odd birds were blown in from the coast by a wicked wind we had the day before and found our lake to be a nice, calm retreat with lots of chow for the short term. They were certainly doing a lot of diving just off of our shore anyway and they're still here so they must not be in any hurry to head to their summer range in northern Canada and Alaska.
Lots of the locals have been out fishing this week and doing very well. It's no wonder. You look out over the lake anytime there's calm water and there's trout jumping everywhere. Some folks that have moved into the area only recently for summer work have become downright addicted. They hardly come in long enough to eat!
We finally got a minor little rain shower this afternoon, so that will perk up the fishing even more and get the grass greening up. It would be nice to see some leaves pop out on the aspen too. Coming back from town yesterday you could see that bright, fresh, lime green of new leaves most of the way. Until we got here. But we're always a little behind the rest of the country. That's okay. It makes life interesting.

18/05/2006 7:18 PM

Town

Quick trip into Willy's Puddle today, more formally known as Williams Lake. And really, there's nothing quick about a 400 mile round trip that requires one to be out the door and on the road by 5:45 A.M. Can you tell I'm not an early morning person?
Williams Lake is the nearest large centre for us so if you require dentist appointments, as we did today, you travel the 200 miles to get there, spend two hours apiece because when you're going that distance you get all the work done at once, and while one warms a dentist chair, the other goes shopping and runs errands. Then you reverse the roles. Our teamwork usually gets us back to Nimpo Lake within 13 hours of leaving with most errands done and relieved to be home out of the multitude of people and traffic.
Can you tell we're bushed? That's okay. I prefer it that way.
Lots of wildlife on the way in this morning. There was a young moose standing in a little pothole meadow by the road. I didn't get a picture because, a) We blew past too fast, and b) He was such a goofy looking thing with one long ear flopped forward and the other back and big tufts of hair hanging out all over the place from losing his winter coat. His moth eaten appearance belied the majestic big game animal just a little too much to impress the tourists.
Saw a nice, big black bear on the side of the road shortly after seeing the moose but he'd split by the time the camera was out, on, and the truck slowed down.
We saw lots and lots of mulies though and they weren't going anywhere fast! Lots of nice bucks in velvet and fat little does all the way into town. Saw quite a few coming back out too, but at least they weren't all over the road like they were this morning. It pays to have an extra set of eyes in the vehicle watching out for them.
It's been a long day so I hope you folks don't mind if I keep this real short. I'll see you tomorrow.
17/05/2006 7:17 PM

Mixed Middle Of The Week

It's just one of those days where it's a little of this and a little of that. The weather toned down a bit today. It was still sunny and warm but there was a nice breeze and the temperature wasn't quite so impossibly hot as it was yesterday. A little high cloud has moved in this evening and we are supposed to see a weather change over the weekend.
There were some really strange birds on Nimpo Lake today. They were quite dark with really big orange beaks upturned on the end like 'shovellers' (ducks) but with white bulging on their forhead and on the sides of the beak and a big white triangle shaped patch on the back of their head and neck. I looked high and low in the bird book and couldn't find anything like them. They looked like a strange cross between a shoveller and a puffin, and we don't get puffins here. I don't know if they got blown in from the coast on the wind or not but they've been merrily diving for food just off shore in front of the house all day.
One of the property listings on Nimpo Lake mentioned last night has been up on the 'Net all day and the second one will go up tonite. You can access those listings at the Properties for Sale page.
You have probably noticed that articles are being uploaded late in the evening recently. We've turned our cabin over to the local Forestry Protection fellow and dedicated my internet phone line to him, however, since Cariboo Fire Centre in Williams Lake needs to get hold of him periodically, I don't want to block the phone by being online. I may have to change the times that I upload new blogs. If you're finding the new article isn't up before you go to bed, please be patient. I'll change around to daytime sometime in the next few days.
Our new Conservative Government that came into power in Canada in January has been promising to dismantle the whole long gun registration setup in this country. The Auditor General just came down with her report last night indicating that funds were not only mismanaged, changing the estimated cost from two million dollars to two billion since the registry's inception, but that the Liberal Government hid some of the actual costs from Parliament. That's a no-no.
I had really, really hoped that Canadians in general would be so fed up with the whole white elephant that they would back the idea of scrapping the registry. Unfortunately most people from the province of Quebec and from the three largest cities in Canada want the registry kept. Apparently they haven't quite caught onto what has become painfully obvious to the rest of us. The gun registry does not prevent crime. We watched a media interview with a fellow that heads up a coalition against guns. He doesn't believe any Canadian should own any firearm, and yet even he admitted on national television that the costly registry has done nothing to prevent firearms crimes in Canada.
As a result of Quebec's stance, The Prime Minister has backed off from completely scrapping the registry at this point in time in the hopes of winning a majority government next time and doing so then. He has agreed to drop the renewal fee for registration, and those who do not register their rifles will no longer be considered criminals. That's the first intelligent decision I have seen come out of a Canadian ruling government in years. It just does my heart proud.
Yes, I was being sarcastic. It's a step in the right direction, but unless the entire thing, including the registry database is dismantled and destroyed, the next Liberal Government to get in can simply reactivate the registry and again trample all over our right to subsistance hunting, and to protect ourselves and our property.

16/05/2006 7:02 PM

WooWeee! Hot!

I know we sound like we're never happy with the weather in the West Chilcotin but really, it has gone from one extreme to another. We went to nearly 25C or 78 degrees Fahrenheit today, from only a few degrees above freezing for a daytime high just a few days ago. Williams Lake was right around 90 degrees today and that's hot for this time of year. Although I have seen it to 105F at five in the evening day after day in Willy's Puddle back in the early 80's. Boy, were there forest fires then! I'm afraid we're going to see a high forest fire danger throughout British Columbia this week because the temperature highs are off the record and lightning strikes are a big threat now. Anyway, lots of temperature records were broken both yesterday and today all over the province and that made the weatherman happy.
I have two terrific new listings for the Properties for Sale pages and hope to get those completed and up tonight or tomorrow night. It's hard to work inside on the computer during the day when the weather is so spectacular. There's too many things to do outside and we've been waiting for good weather.
The first property has been operated as an RV Park and Campground and has two cabins as well. Clients return year after year. There's nearly five grassy and treed acres sloping down to Nimpo Lake that overlook the Coast Mountain Range. There are 21 RV pull through sites that have full hookups including sewer, power and water and 2 with partial hookups. There are two cabins, one quite large at 16x24 and the other at 16x20. Both come equipped with everything.
The property has a large number of spruce trees on it so the pine beetle will not be a concern.
The house is 27x46 or around 1242 sq. feet with three bedrooms and one bath, fireplace and a wonderful view of the property, Nimpo Lake and the mountains.
There is a large dock commonly used for docking floatplanes on a fairly protected bay.
The property is actually made up of two equal lots, both with waterfront, so if you wanted to sell one half at a later date, it's easily done. However, the property can only be sold as a whole now. The owner will not sell the two lots separately.
The second listing is a 8500 square foot log house custom built by Pioneer Log Homes on over 20 acres of land on Nimpo Lake in a protected bay with numerous docks ideal for floatplanes. There are several new log residences on the property as well as some older cabins. This property has been operated as a resort for years and most clients are repeat customers. The layout would also lend itself well to a corporate retreat or private family estate.
For more information and pricing, check out the Properties for Sale page in the next few days and I should have everything listed there.

15/05/2006 6:22 PM

Bear Attack Number Two

Yet another bear attack has occurred in BC. Apparently an off duty RCMP officer was jogging on a trail ten miles north of Quesnel when his dog was attacked by a black bear. The bear then turned on the officer. He fought the bear off and made it back out to a main road where he was picked up by a passing motorist and taken to hospital to be treated for bite and claw marks. The game wardens are reasonably sure that the animal was a sow and was probably protecting cubs.
It seems awfully early in the year for two black bear attacks to occur on the same weekend in British Columbia, but cooler weather and fewer food sources may result in bear attacks by both male and sow black bears.
Our annual canoe races were held Saturday with a couple of young local boys coming in first and a couple of 'thirty something guys' including one of the local grocery store owners, coming in second place.
The canoe race starts at the Nimpo Lake public boat launch and heads immediately down the short arm toward the mouth of the Dean River. From there it follows the Dean down to Anahim Lake. Although it takes less than 15 minutes to drive that distance it took nearly four hours for the paddlers to reach Anahim. The Dean can be narrow and shallow in spots, barely looking like a creek in places, is often jammed with logs or beaver dams and is just downright treacherous. Anytime before August can be really nasty cold if you take a dunking on the way down the Dean, but this year is unusually cold. Hypothermia would have been a real danger had anyone gone in because our temperatures for the last three nights have dipped below freezing to -5C or about 23 degrees Fahrenheit.
The snowmobile waterskipping races will be held next weekend and I will definitely try to be on hand to take pictures. Hopefully, the weather and water will be a little warmer because going in the water in that sport is almost a given!
I am starting a new week so if you would like to catch up on what happened last week, check out Wilderness Adventure May Week One . Oh, and don't forget the Picture of the Day .
Happy Mother's Day ladies for yesterday. You may have noticed that I didn't write on Sunday, but it was a breathtaking day and too nice to be inside. Besides, I'll bet most of you had a lot of better things to do than read this on a Sunday and Mother's Day!

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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!


Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
Mulie Buck.
 
Looking at the view from Vagabond RV Park.
 
Loon on a lake.
 
Two canoe racers.
 
Second place winners.
 
Dean River Canoe Race.
 
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