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 - West Chilcotin Blog
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The Past Week of Summer
I'm afraid I have to eat my criticism of the weathermen
in the last blog. It is exactly nine days since I wrote
it and the day after, the weather they forecast finally
came here and was absolutely stunning for a full week.
In fact stunning just cannot describe it. Weve
had summer time temperatures that ranged as high as 26C
or 79F one day but averaged between 21C or 70F and 23C
or 73F most days and all that in the first week of May!
Many temperature records fell around the province this
past week but Im sure if an official record had
ever been kept for this area, we would have beat it many
times over the course of the past week. I think that the
best part of all was having a full seven days of clear
blue skies with high haze only moving in yesterday on
the eighth day. Normally in the summer when we get a good
run of nice weather and the air heating up, within a few
days thunderheads start to build and we get lightning
storms, and then forest fires. This time it stayed blue
and sunny and fairly calm. There was a breeze that sprang
up the past couple of days but the guys were grateful
for that because they were up on the hot side of the cabin
roof putting new tin on and they were roasting up there.
Its not often that you get a long run of good,
reliable weather but we took full advantage of this one,
I can tell you that! We've worked long, hard days
to try and get as much done on the cabin as possible while
we could. Our neighbour and Andy got one side of the roof
strapped, insulated and tin put on in three days and then
the neighbour had to go out to the real world for three
days. I had already started putting the Sikkens on the
logs of the cabin before he left and then while he was
gone, both Andy and I worked at getting all three coats
on with the sanding in between done. We still have a final
fourth coat to do on one side but I wasnt keen on
working under the guys while they did the roof on that
side so well have to wait for another stretch of
warm weather to finish that. The guys worked from Wednesday
through Friday and got the rest of the roof done and the
ridge cap on so shes a leak proof cabin now
and looking pretty spiffy I must add. Theres
still some trim to do and the skirting to be done, and
a new deck to be added, but I cant wait to see what
our first customers think of it!
The cabin has turned out to be one of those unexpected
projects that ended up taking the top of the priority
list of chores to be done this year. It all started out
with Andy hiring our neighbour to grind down the logs
on the lake side this winter where years of weather and
sun had really decayed the outer layers of the logs. It
looked so good when it was done and was such a stark contrast
to the other three dark aged sides of the cabin that he
had our neighbour do the whole thing. That was the start
. Because the bottom logs needed to be reached
to grind them, the old skirting had to be torn off and
will have to be replaced.
For the longest time Ive wanted a new roof
on the cabin for two reasons. We have new laminate
flooring in the cabin and if the roof leaks, it will ruin
the floor, and the other was strictly for aesthetics.
Every other building on the property has the same pretty
forest green tin roof except for the cabin, which had
a glaring tin roof from prehistoric times. Its nice
now because it doesn't hurt your eyes when the sun is
shining on it and it looks really good with the shiny
and newly stained logs.
The result of putting the cabin at the head of the list
of things to do this year was that a lot of other stuff
got put on the back burner, but weve still managed
to get an amazing number of things done besides the cabin.
Weve both been dragging our poor beat up bodies
into the house at night for supper and then collapsed
on the couch until bed time, which has been a lot earlier
than usual. Hence, no blog but its been worth
it! I only need one or two more days to get my
garden pretty much whipped into shape and then I have
to finish digging the dirt out of my greenhouse and replace
that so I can get veggies in there this year. So Im
hoping and praying that the bugs just hold off for a little
longer. Yep, gorgeous weather and no bugs if you can believe
it. That will probably change soon because the weather
Yesterday high haze moved in a day before the weather
guys predicted it, and today we were under pretty heavy
grey skies. It even tried to spit rain a few times.
I figured for sure that the mozzies would come out in
force with cooler temps at 18C or 64F and no sun to fry
them, but they havent arrived yet. If they could
just hold off for a couple more days
been pretty amazing working outside without that misery
and even in the evenings when weve found the energy
to take the dogs for a walk there has only been the odd
one. Mind you, theyre still those big, fat, lazy
mosquitoes, the precursors of the lightning fast stingers,
which havent arrived yet.
You would think we would be sad that the cooler,
cloudier, and probably wetter weather has moved in but
I think were both relieved. It means we
can finally slow down a bit and working outside isnt
quite so hot. I had a bunch of transplanting to do today
and it was perfect weather for that. I cant imagine
trying to do that two days ago. My plants would have been
wilting left and right.
The other reason Im not unhappy to see this weather
is because of the forest fire danger. Things have really
dried out fast this spring and weve already had
fires, two of them in this area, and one south of Tatla,
all of them set by people. We had one behind the Indian
Reservation two days ago in a meadow where natives set
fires annually to burn off the meadow grass and it got
big enough that a bird dog was called in and for all I
know, a tanker may have been as well. A few days before
that there was a fire down at Towdystan. There is
a ban on burning grass or stubble or slash that goes on
in the middle of April, which makes it really
difficult for any of us to burn our slash out here because
were still normally under quite a bit of snow. This
year we were lucky and though there was still snow on
the ground we were still able to burn a week before the
ban. However, the natives dont worry too much about
bans on burning and burn their meadows and roadsides when
they feel like it. A fire often gets away as a result.
A much bigger fire started a week ago down at Choelquoit
Lake but the first wind we got of it was a helicopter
going to Anahim Lake for fuel with his water bucket still
hanging underneath. The BC Wildfire website gave
the long and lat of the fire and it looks like it started
right at the campsite on one end of the lake, which is
why I dont mind seeing cooler weather and maybe
some rain. Otherwise, the fire center will slap a campfire
ban on and rightly so. If there are that many human caused
fires this early in the season and not one caused by lightning,
then the writing is on the wall. However, this change
in the weather should hold that off for a while yet and
for so long as our spring goes back to normal. Whatever
normal is nowadays.
There has been some amazing benefits of our unnatural
blast of warm weather this past week. Right now
Im seeing more hummingbirds around than Ive
ever seen this early before. The tree swallows are already
occupying the house on the tree and the loons have been
calling like crazy at night and even during the day. The
mountains have changed dramatically from only a week ago
when they had a fresh mantle of bright white with only
some melt showing up. Now they look like they do at the
end of June or into July with a lot of rock showing and
the snow going fast. The leaves have come out on the aspen
in just the past three days, up to three weeks early,
and there are a crazy number of butterflies around.
The fish have been jumping in the past few days so bugs
of some sort must have hatched. In fact I was out the
other day and even though it was really hot out, there
was a constant plop sound coming from the lake all around
our point as fish jumped for most of the morning and into
the afternoon. The lake level is already starting
to subside and I expect the temperature of the water is
much higher now than it ever has been before at this time
of year between the early ice off and warm air. Just think,
this time last year the ice had only been off for two
days and the water was a lot colder!
Dont forget that the Annual Canoe Race is
being held this next weekend on Saturday and the Fishing
Derby on Nimpo Lake is being held on Saturday and Sunday.
Everyone is welcome!
Don't forget to take your Mother out for brunch tomorrow,
Youll find the last week's of blog at May
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!