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Wilderness Adventures - May, Week 2/2014

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 some great contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

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17/05/2014 7:30 PM

Rain, Sun, You Name It!

Yep, I know, it’s been a long time between blogs, folks. But it’s spring!
Other than a one day run into Williams Lake and another down to Bella Coola I’ve been outside every single day since the last blog and too pooped to pop in the evenings. There has been no thought of doing anything but mindlessly curling up on the couch until bed time after some long, exhausting days.
The only reason I have the energy for a blog tonight is because Andy didn’t work down at the other end of the lake today so we had a fairly easy day of it putting up tongue and groove on our shop wall.
Then I went to go for my walk this afternoon and only made it a short way before being drenched by an absolute deluge. I decided I was only doing the mile and a half and started to really move out, making it near the road just in time to see Andy go whipping by with the truck, obviously looking for me. I was only a quarter mile from home when he caught up to me and we loaded the wet and bedraggled dogs in the back and the wet and bedraggled me in the front. So I actually haven’t had enough hard, physical exercise today to be excused from writing a blog, but be warned, it might be the last for a little while again. For those of you that read this you know that trying to beat the bug season means going full bore on projects until the pesky little critters take over the yard.
So far, since that little two day snow fall we had there before ice off, we haven’t seen much in the way of mosquitoes. There’s the odd one that lands and bites but they’re the big, slow ones so you can usually get them easily enough. However, it started to rain yesterday evening, rained all night and a good part of the day today. If it warms up after this it might just be hell on wheels because the buggers will be out in force if it’s humid.
We have had three quarters of an inch of rain in less than 24 hours which is a heck of a lot for us, but surprisingly, the ground has been soaking it up. I’ve been digging quite a few fence post holes in three different spots in the past week and the ground hasn’t been terribly dry, but it hasn’t been super wet either for just coming out of Break Up…. Testament to our small snow load this past winter.
We had some thunder and lightning yesterday and weathermen were calling for it for a good bit of the province so this rain will help to dampen any possible forest fires started by lightning, especially since some parts of the province were getting quite dry.
We have had a pretty nice run of stable weather for the past ten days, although none of our temperatures have hit the highs we enjoyed a few weeks ago. I think we made it up to 20C or 68F yesterday but most days we’ve ranged between 15C and 18C and rarely gone anywhere near freezing at night. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a lot of sun past noon each day because it usually clouds over. On the one hand it’s nice if you’re working outside, but on the other, until we got this rain nothing was growing at all. In just one day the lawns have greened up, the leaves have started popping out on the aspens and willows, and some of my perennials have grown about four inches overnight, I swear. More often than not it clears off at night but clouds over during the day, so it kind of sets everything back. For that matter, down at the other end of the lake where Andy is helping out a neighbour, they’re finding frost not that far down in the ground. That isn’t unheard of but it indicates that this definitely isn’t going to be an early spring!
While down in the Bella Coola Valley this week we were really surprised to see absolutely no sign of bears there. It wasn’t until we started back up the Hill that we started seeing them. First a black bear, then Big Red was out part way up the Hill a little lower than his normal territory, and then a little farther up was this enormous black. He was huge! He also seemed to be in the same area we have often seen Big Red so I’m wondering if he took over and pushed the red bear down the hill a bit. I also didn’t see Shaggy with Red but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. He’s pretty small and so scruffy that he tends to blend in with the shrubbery. I kind of thought one reason we weren’t seeing any sign of bears in the Valley was because everything down there is a little behind in spring by a couple of weeks. But there isn’t a lot for the bears to eat up on the Hill and yet there were three bears trying to scrounge grass and clover along the road so I have no idea where the bears are down in Bella Coola.
Early spring or not, our events go on. This weekend is the sixth annual Nimpo Lake Fishing Derby and I’ve seen a few die hard fisherpersons out on the lake sitting in the rain since this morning. That finishes up tomorrow and then next weekend is the Annual Canoe Race from Nimpo Lake to Anahim Lake on the Dean River. That’s always a fairly hilarious event and my sister from Williams Lake still tells everyone about how beers are thrown from the bridges to paddlers sometimes beaning them on the head, sometimes holing the canoes, often landing in the water, or breaking open in the canoes and spraying beer all over. Presumably the beers that survive the landing into the canoes get drank on the way while the beers that land in the water get collected by the last paddlers, who can make out pretty well on their haul. They don’t have to buy any booze for the weekend, anyway.
The event ends with a dinner at the Anahim Lake Community center and usually a dance after presentation of the prizes. By the way, anyone can enter so if one of you hardy souls would like to compete, you certainly can, even if you don’t have a canoe. Often someone is willing to loan you one just to widen the field. Just keep in mind that the water you are canoeing over just came out from under ice so it’s mighty cold if you fall in!
While I am on the subject of events, there is an Artisan Fair on at Tatla Lake on May 31st from 10 to 4. Chinese Lunch, Various Crafters, multi garage sales, burger and hotdogs, bake sale, or set up your own booth. It's free!
Well, I’ve just spent nearly two hours fighting with my computer because it decided it needed a rest. I’ve finally gotten it going again and now I need a rest, so I’m quitting. I’ll try to get back on and post the blog more often but if the weather’s nice, no guarantees! And don’t forget if you don’t know already, there are more regular though short posts on Facebook. Just click on the icon on this or any other page on this site.

Last week's blog is at May Week One .

Anahim 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!

Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
Golden sunshine on flags, calm water and trees on the far shore.
White boat shines on Nimpo Lake in evening sun.
A long waterfall tumbles down a mountain.
A red black bear on the Bella Coola Hill.
A black bear looks up from feeding.
A floatplane flies toward the mountains.
Button leading to The Chilcotin Facebook Page.
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