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 Two/2007
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.
Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture
of the Day.
sorry folks, but things have piled up on me here and I'm
having a tough time finding time to write an article.
I hope you'll be patient with me. Get out
there and enjoy the spring weather or read a great book.
In the meanwhile, I'm not sure when I'll get a chance
to update this blog next but hang in there!
Happy Mother's Day
sunny Sunday and Happy Mother's Day to all
the ladies that had the courage to become Moms. I of course,
am not one of them. Probably a good thing because I've
never felt the world was prepared for a replica of me,
and I know for a fact that there's a lot of people around
that would agree with that statement.
Previous commitments of the last couple of days have prevented
me from writing here but I figure most people have a lot
better things to do on the weekend anyway, than to be
reading a blog. Such as being outside...which is where
I would really, really like to be today.
However, that's where I was the last two days so I'm stuck
on the computer until an appointment later this afternoon.
We had an absolutely stunning, spectacular, wonderful,
non-windy, sunny, warm, day yesterday. Enough
adjectives for you? Trust me, it's not enough to describe
our first taste of summer. Even the bugs were coming out.
It probably got close to 20C or about 70F yesterday and
got pretty toasty while we were moving stuff from one
of Terry B.'s properties. Incidentally, it looks like
that 12 acre property on Nimpo Lake is now sold so you're
out of luck if you were interested in a large piece on
Today is nearly as nice but there is some cloud mixed
with sun. Yesterday was all about sunshine and clear
blue skies. It's still getting down to below freezing
at night though, with lows ranging around -5C. That's
okay too. Gotta keep those mosquitoes at bay as long as
Until today, the water level in Nimpo Lake has continued
to rise and both Willy's Creek going in on the
south end and the Dean exiting on the Short Arm are boiling
right along. Nearly all of the snow around here is gone
so most of that will be melt from slightly higher elevations
although it may be warm enough up on the mountains now
for some snow to be melting there too.
Things are speeding up here at a great rate because the
spring bear season is already in progress and the summer
vacation season starts soon. That doesn't give much time
to the operators to get their lodges and outpost cabins
ready. Most of them have already retrieved their docks
from the back bay.
I watched one of our neighbours go by with his dock
today with all three of his small dogs looking like little
sailors, or Captains, on the front of the dock.
Only two of the dogs are his, while the other, Missy,
is just being looked after. Thought at first to be a whuss,
it turns out she fits into the Chilcotin very
well, and has ever since shortly after she came here.
Andy went out to help our neighbour with the dock and
after they passed our peninsula I headed back into the
house and was not longer watching. It turns out I missed
the action because apparently Missy decided she was going
to join Andy in the boat. She reached from the dock to
his boat but in typical cartoon fashion, the gulf
of water between dock and boat widened and unable to remain
stretched between the two surfaces, the dog went into
the water. It took some doing but she was rescued
none the worse for wear and ready for the next adventure.
You've gotta wonder about some of those small dogs. All
guts and goin' for glory.
Yikes! Gotta go to a meeting. Have a good one folks!
know, every time I make a profound statement, someone
makes a liar out of me. You know how I was talking
about those fighter jets nearly always doing their maneuvers
only when there's a heavy cloud cover? Well this morning
there were five of them playing around up there and there
wasn't a cloud in the sky. Andy made sure to call me outside
to watch them and you could often see the contrails when
normally we can only hear them and guess what they're
doing. Incidentally, the sky was such a
clear blue that my camera had nothing to focus on so I
couldn't even get pictures of them as they did their matched
turns and other maneuvers for quite a long period of time.
Yesterday the first fishing boat was out on Nimpo
Lake and today the first floatplane. Tweedsmuir
Air had their Beaver out doing some practice runs warming
up for the summer season which has already started for
them. They have had clients ready to go, they just haven't
been able to get on the lake before today. Yesterday they
were still locked in by ice in the back bay but I think
the boys cutting a channel in the ice for the dock yesterday
was just enough to start the ice sheet moving.
I had to chuckle to myself this morning thinking it was
a good thing our neighbour across the lake went to town
early this morning because by late morning the sheet had
moved over in front of her resort. I can just see her
going, "What the heck!!? I thought the ice
went out?" I'd have had a fit if that had
moved in front of our place. When I first saw it I estimated
it to be about 500 yards long and fairly wide and moving
slowly out of the South Arm. It had shortened up considerably
an hour later and by this afternoon, it was gone completely
after a brisk wind kicked up.
It froze again last night but it was quite warm today
and was still +10C or 50F early this evening so it was
a really beautiful day. Finally!
The weatherman is predicting sun for the lower mainland
and rain for the north coast so it's hard to say what
we'll get. There's a big low pressure system spiraling
off the coast to the north so as long as it doesn't slip
southwards and get us, we should be in good shape for
the next few days. Really sudden warm temperatures would
not bode well for the province, as I've mentioned before.
Parts of Prince George are already under a flood
watch and one of the city parks close to the Fraser River
is under water. The Nechako and North Thompson
are coming up and the one fellow reiterated what I was
already sure of. The snow pack is not yet melting in earnest,
it's still building. The snow pack in the watershed that
Prince George is in is estimated to be up to 300% more
than normal and higher than any on record. Most people
in the province are hoping for a cool spring and early
summer with a very slow melt. I guess we'll know within
the next week if that's going to be the case since the
middle of May is when you normally see a big warm up.
Our lake level is amazing. The water is
still rising, although only by inches rather than in feet
like the rivers. Our dock looks downright funny because
with the join in the middle, the outer section is riding
really high in the water and rather than sitting level,
it looks like something is wrong with it. We walked our
point this morning and there are bushes and trees sitting
in water that have always had dry feet before, and the
lake has crept onto a small section of land. Our meadow
no longer exists as such but just looks like another bay.
However, though ours is probably one of the lowest
properties on Nimpo Lake, we're still a long ways from
having to break out the scuba gear.
Just to let you know, there's a really beauty of a resort
coming up for sale. I'm just waiting for the information
to come in so that I can post it on the property for sale
is so nice to look out there and see water for as far
as the eye can see. I don't know why I was so
impatient to see the ice go out this year but it seems
I'm not the only one that thought it long overdue. The
owner of Escott Bay on Anahim Lake told me their ice just
went out yesterday as well and they were glad of it!
It was wild and wonderful about midnight last night when
I went outside to get wood to bank down the stove for
the night. Something must have set the loons off
in the back bay because they stated yodeling and
then all the loon pairs in the vicinity started calling
back and forth. It was just beautiful, and all the more
so because I haven't heard that for about six or seven
I guess we weren't the only ones wanting spring to get
on with it. The boys over at Eliguk's base from across
Nimpo Lake were determined to get their dock from its
winter resting spot in the back bay to its normal summer
spot in front of the base. The only problem was that ice
goes out of the back bay last and there was quite a bit
of it between the two points. The fellows ran back and
forth with a boat breaking up ice and eventually opened
up an avenue for the dock.
The dock was an L-shaped one, so the pilot of the boat
pushed from behind keeping the point of the L to the fore,
providing a prow shape to go through the water. The
fellow helping him stood on the dock and kept the ice
broken up in front of it as it moved forward, and pushed
it to either side with a long oar. It actually
worked very well and they succeeded in getting the dock
to its rightful summer position even though they were
pushing the season a bit. We've seen what happens before
when you push it too much. Your dock ends up locked
in ice. It happened here one year on the other
end of the summer when a dock was moved too late in the
fall, and it stayed locked in ice all winter.
I just took a look outside and noticed that the large
ice sheet the guys moved through earlier today has moved
right over to where they parked the dock, even though
that was completely clear earlier today. The sheet will
keep moving around until it finally disintegrates and
hopefully it's too mushy and soft to do any damage.
It's a good thing we had one or two warm days before
the snow and the ice went out when it did. It's
chilled back down again and last night it started dropping
pretty early in the evening. It was -5C or about 22F early
this morning and although it warmed up today and wasn't
bad in the sun, when it clouded over there was a distinct
chill in the air. Andy said the water along the shoreline
was iced over this morning and I think the weatherman
called for cooler temperatures over the next few days.
That will continue to delay the spring melt and it just
means when it does warm up, low lying areas
in the province are going to be threatened by even more
serious flooding. There's fresh snow on our mountains
so I expect the same is true around the province, and
all that fresh snow just increases the snow pack.
Our lake level continues to climb, which is glorious to
see. We really needed the lake to come up after last summer's
drought like conditions sucked the level down to an all
time low. For the first time since I've been here,
our meadow now looks to be part of Nimpo Lake and you
would never guess there's grass under all that water.
I don't know how much the lake has come up in the last
couple of weeks. Some people say two feet but we're guessing
less than that. A lot of the frost has come out of the
ground already and nearly all of the local snow is melted
now, so any more rise will come from mountain snow and
that probably won't get serious about melting for another
month or so. Between now and then the lake level will
drop substantially again.
Snow in Nimpo
this is why I live in the Chilcotin. You
just never know what's
next. Spring was yesterday and it looks like summer has
been canceled this year.
We woke up to a snowstorm this morning that continued
for most of the day. Really wet, sloppy stuff
that had a lot of moisture in it. Which is good actually,
because we really needed it. That, and the rain we got
last night. I actually set the rain gauge out yesterday
evening when it began to look like it was going to set
in for the night, but of course it was full of slush this
morning so there was really no way to guess how much we
actually got before it turned to snow. It was still +5C
or 40F when I went to bed last night so I wasn't exactly
expecting white stuff when I got up. Bit of a surprise,
but not completely out of the norm. We get snow every
month of the year and May can still be considered
a winter month here.
Just to show you how thick the stuff was coming down and
how low the ceiling today; I was filling up the bird feeders
this morning because I felt bad for the little guys trying
to find food in that sloppy snow on the ground when I
heard a jet overhead. I could tell right away that it
was the boys from Comox. Or I assume that's where they're
based out of. I've mentioned before that we occasionally
get fighter jets doing maneuvers in our airspace, probably
because very little else occupies our airspace
at higher altitudes. But they always seem to come up when
it's partially cloudy or we've a really low ceiling. I
don't know if that's to keep anyone from being able to
monitor their maneuvers, or what, (Are there spies anymore?
Or did those go with the Berlin Wall?) but you will almost
never see or hear them on a clear, sunny day.
A few moments after hearing the sound of the jet, I heard
this massive boom and must have jumped about two feet
into the air. At first I thought it was thunder but it
just kept on reverberating and then the sound slowly died
away. I thought, "There's no way it can be
thunder. It's snowing for Pete's sake!" Then
I realized I could hear the sound of a jet that sounded
far, far away and thought, "Okay, somebody just broke
the sound barrier and they were probably pretty low when
they did it." I expect the heavy, low cloud magnified
the sound or maybe the surface of the lake did.
I could hear people's dogs around Nimpo Lake start
barking immediately after so it must have scared the p'
out of them too. Shortly after, I received a phone
call from a neighbour a couple of places over making sure
we hadn't had an explosion here or hadn't decided to use
dynamite to blow our stumps after all. He said that the
walls in his house vibrated while another neighbour, who
had also checked around, said that his roof vibrated.
We all agreed that it was pretty difficult to determine
if there were flames resulting from an explosion, when
we were in the middle of a snowstorm. I called
across the lake just to verify that it was a sonic boom
and was told by a lady long around airplanes that it was
indeed. I was pretty sure since I spent the first few
years of my life next to an Air Force base, but the phone
calls had started to make me wonder. As the one fellow
said, we're all a little gun shy about explosions and
fire around here. With good reason.
The ice didn't go off of Nimpo Lake completely last
night, so I guess yesterday doesn't qualify as the official
iceout day. We still had a line of ice out between
us and the big island, and while down at the North end
of Nimpo today, I could still see ice on the Main Arm
past the point. However, a good wind came up this evening
and has pretty much demolished the ice in front of us,
while a neighbour down on the south end called to say
that suddenly, he could no longer see ice from where he
was. Since the ice can't be seen right now from the North
Arm, I think this evening qualifies as official
iceout for this year. Mary says so too and since
she's our iceout referee, consider it so.
All I can say is that it sure was nice to see blue water
this evening after the sun came out.
This is the start of a new week so you can find last week's
articles at May,
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!