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Wilderness Adventures - Nov., Week One/2008

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' about the Lakesounds 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.


07/11/2008 4:45 PM

The Town Trip

We spent yesterday in Williams Lake. As usual, between appointments and lists of things to do, even with an early start and late home, we still never get everything done that needs to be. Even at a dead run and dividing up the errands, inevitably we push some stuff to the 'next time' list.
The road in was pretty good with just a little freezing rain through Alexis Creek and some blowing snow up around Riske Creek, but the weather in Williams Lake yesterday morning was absolutely brutal. Wet, driving snow started building up on the roads pretty fast making getting around town a lot slower and more difficult. At one point while Andy was at the dentist's office, I was driving to a store just a few blocks away and there were people sliding through stop signs and slipping and sliding all over the road. It was a good time to go slow and stay as far back from those people as possible since it was apparent that most were still only running summer tires on their vehicles.
Coming back home last night was excellent until about Tatla where we hit compact snow on the highway to Nimpo Lake. It looked like we got a couple of inches of fresh snow here while we were gone.
This morning it started out looking like it might be a pretty day today, but the sun struggled to stay out, although it did manage to get up to 7C or nearly 45 degrees Fahrenheit today. There must have been an inversion layer again, though. When it was still freezing down here this morning you could see the snow melting off of the tops of the mountains. We seem to be getting a lot of those this fall.
I finally came across a set of rabbit tracks in the woods today, the first I've seen so far. It must be a down year in their cycle. I was surprised to see that there weren't that many other fresh tracks, although there were still a few. Nothing like it was after our first snow fall when it seemed every creature in the bush wanted to leave its mark.
It sure seems dark awfully early now. With heavy cloud later today, it already looked like it was getting dark at 4:30 this afternoon. It has started raining tonight and is still holding a little above freezing. I'm not sure what we're going to get tomorrow. It looks like that next low pressure system is going to sweep over us so it's just a matter of whether it's bringing us rain or snow.
For those of you taking an extended weekend because of Remembrance Day, have a great long weekend!

05/11/2008 2:31 PM

The Election

My apologies for no blog last night, folks. I really wanted to watch the American election. It would appear that Obama had much more of a lead than the media led us to believe. Not only was the horse race not a photo finish, it wasn't even close. According to the media, Obama won a majority not seen in over forty years when Lyndon Johnson won 61% of the vote in 1964 and had the widest popular margin in American history at that time.
Regardless of which side one might take, it was definitely an historical election and in view of global opinion of America, perhaps the world will look on the country a little more favorably now, particularly on the diplomatic front.
While America has often been considered the protector of civil rights in other countries, her own record at home hasn't exactly been anything to write home about. Perhaps this election will change that around a bit.
I think that McCain took a couple of critical missteps. Using fear mongering to whip up hysteria was probably the most distasteful, but to give him credit, that may not have been him but more likely the Republican machine.
I think that his biggest misstep was in appointing Sarah Palin as his running mate. Had he become President he would have been the oldest ever elected to a first term. I think that many Americans felt that with his age, his chances of not being able to complete his term were too high. The responsibility of a presidential candidate is to choose a vice president fit to run the country in his place. It's an important responsibility and I think that he failed the country in that manner, particularly when his platform was 'country first' and 'experience'.
Sarah Palin has shown us that she does not have the experience or knowledge of foreign affairs, or even of the internal workings of the government, to do a good job as president of the United States of America. 38 of 70 conservatives, including Colin Powell, cited McCain's choice of Palin as their primary reason for endorsing Obama because all felt McCain failed in his responsibility to the country in his choice for VP.
I always felt that McCain should have been President rather than George Bush. I think he would have been a great president, although Bush did a pretty good job right after 911 of pulling the country together. Sadly, I don't feel that way about anything he has done in the last few years as president. But I became really disappointed in John McCain during this election. He changed. A lot. I don't know if he was a puppet, or if he decided to change his platform and become wishy washy because he was trying to appeal to the greatest number of voters, but he no longer seemed true to himself or authentic to me.
Obama was constantly criticized for lack of experience, especially in foreign policy, so with methodical forethought, he chose a running mate with that experience. But I believe that McCain chose someone for sensationalism that would boost his ratings with voters. He thought he could pick up the disgruntled 'Hillary' women voters and satisfy the religious right in his choice. Instead, he infused fear into a lot of voters that considered the possibility that she might become president. Given another twenty years in office, Palin might bring something worthwhile to the post of Vice Presidency, but at this point in time, I dread to think what would have happened the first time she had to sit down in talks with the heads of an Arab State, or with China, or with any other country that requires decorum and delicate political maneuvering.
McCain's speech last night was the first time in many months that I saw the old John McCain. The one I've admired for years, and the real person that's been hiding under that stiff phony exterior for some time. I can't emphasize enough how impressed I was with his speech congratulating Obama, and asking that the country come together under Obama's presidency and bring America back to greatness. Barack Obama even referred to the extraordinary phone call he received from McCain who finally showed the grace and style I've always respected him for.
I may be a Republican, but no matter who you voted for, or where your roots are, Barack Obama deserves to have the support of the country. He won that position fair and square. And his job is not going to be easy...
Regardless of who had won the presidency, they were going to be handed a bucket of dog scat by the sitting government with a country deep in debt, deep in war, and a plunging economy. There isn't going to be a lot of money to spend, and it's going to be difficult for any president to pull America out of her present condition. I just hope the American people give the new government time to do the job.
Yesterday wasn't too bad but it was cold and damp. It never got above more than one degree above freezing. All I saw yesterday were eleven Trumpeter Swans making their elegant way above me toward the south. Such a beautiful bird and such a strange call. Maybe that's why they call them Trumpeter Swans except that they must all be in training. They sound more like a cadet that has picked up a trumpet for the first time.
Last night the mercury dipped to -10C or 14F and it hasn't quite made it above freezing today. While it dawned clear and cold, some high cloud moved in later today. It's supposed to snow tomorrow so I guess we'll see.

03/11/2008 7:49 PM

Time Change

I know it happens year after year, but I'll never get used to it. Turning the clock back in the Fall screws up my inner clock just as much as putting it forward in the Spring. Screws up the animals too. They think we're trying to starve them to death because we're feeding them one hour later than their internal clocks tell them it is.
We seem to be turning back the clocks later in Fall and earlier and earlier in spring. It suits me because it means we're on Daylight Saving Time for longer in the year but it sure is a big jump from light to dark now moving it from the last Sunday in October to the first Sunday in November. Or maybe it was my imagination. It's always a shock to go from having supper in daylight to having to turn every light on in the house just to see your food.
I didn't realize how much we had gained in Daylight Savings Time in the spring until I looked it up. We went from the last Sunday in April in the 70's to the second Sunday in March in 2007. Don't get me wrong, I love it! I'm hoping that there's a conspiracy afoot to do away with Standard time entirely. You know, keep moving it later and later into fall and bring it on sooner and sooner in the spring so that the Standard Time proponents don't realize what's happening. Until one day whoever it is that's in charge of these decisions finally decides that there's really no point in going back to Standard Time for only three weeks out of the year and pulls a sneaky on those in favor of it. I've been waiting for a few decades for that to happen and I really hope to see it happen before I'm on my deathbed and can't enjoy the extra evening light anymore.
All joking aside, in our new 'green' era I'm really hoping that the energy conservation visionaries will bring an argument to the table that will banish Standard Time once and for all. Think about it....Everyone gets up in the morning, rushes around for a few minutes and then they're off to school, or work, or whatever. Some families might actually sit around a breakfast table and eat a good hearty breakfast together like the cereal commercials like to push, but it's highly unlikely. I've sure never met a family like that except maybe on the weekend.
However, I do know a lot of families that spend time in the kitchen cooking supper, put a good meal on the table, and take their time eating it. It makes sense to me that you're going to consume a lot more electricity in that hour and a half or so in the evening than you are going to consume in a half hour in the morning. By the same token, people coming out of a dark sleep don't tend to turn on a lot of lights in the morning while they do their thing before going to work, school, etc. While people coming from light all day, tend to turn on a lot of lights when they come home to a dark house, especially to cook or eat. They may turn them down later to watch television, etc. but they're still going to burn more electricity in a dark early evening than in a dark morning.
I'm not necessarily a greenie but I will jump on whatever bandwagon will help me to get rid of Standard Time forever!!!
Anyone with me???
So....We have a landmark presidential election in the States tomorrow. I know that every country in the world has been following this one and I'm pretty sure more Canadians have been following it than even followed their own election two weeks ago.
My Sister-in-law sent me a very interesting link tonight that I could not resist following up. Its a site called, 'If the world could vote' and actually allows a single computer to vote once, and recognizes the country that computer is located in.
I have to admit at being astounded at the figures. Of 746,437 votes from 12 countries, Barack Obama garnered 86.9% (648,870 votes) while John McCain only received 13.1% (97,557 votes). Obviously, the Bush Administration has not been looked on very fondly by the rest of the world so I naturally assumed that it made sense for most of the world to favor Obama. Some countries have a high black population, many countries, like Canada tend to be liberal or socialist, etc. or some have an obvious stake in not having someone like Bush in the Whitehouse. Obama received over 80% of the vote from Iran. Is that because many in Iran think that Obama would make a better president? Or is it to Iran's advantage for the war on terror to be backed off a bit?
I can't say I was surprised that the rest of the world was in favor of Obama, although I was surprised by how much. But most telling of all were the numbers from the US. Yes, US residents are permitted to cast a vote on this intriguing website started by three guys in Iceland.
Weighing in with 247,148 votes, Obama garnered 79.8% of them, McCain 20.2%. One has to assume that as many Republicans caught wind of this website as did Democrats, whether by email or word of mouth....so what's up? Well, I don't honestly know but I have some theories.
Theory #1 and most obvious is that the Icelandic boys are skewing the figures. The only motive for doing that is if they had personal favoritism for Obama but they would gain more by having honest and trusted information on their site so it seems an unlikely motive. Many of the figures for the other countries seem to be reflected accurately according to some of the newscasts I have seen. The polls done by media really does show that Obama is favored over McCain in most countries. So that means that probably only the US polling figures are skewed.
Theory #2. But are they? Is it possible that this Internet poll is more accurate than the polls we see and hear about on TV? It isn't in the media's best interest for one candidate to be far ahead of another. Everyone likes a horse race and this is a really important horse race so they would much rather have a photo finish! So, does that mean that US pollsters are lying to us?
Theory #3. Not necessarily. Keep in mind who's using this Internet poll. People in households that can afford computers and an Internet hookup for one. It can be suggested that those people who use the Internet are on average more educated, more internationally aware and more liberal in their politics than those who don't. I think that this would certainly apply to countries other than the US. But does it apply to the US?
First, those voting from the US have to have the time to find the site and then be bothered to vote on it, and be willing to trust the site enough to vote on it. Conservatives, (having been one all of my life) are a notoriously suspicious lot and perhaps less likely to trust an Internet polling machine. Personally, I don't think you can trust one on the Internet any less than the electronic ones in the States from the sound of it, but that's a personal opinion.
So what's happened with those numbers? I'm back to....I really don't know. But it gets the brain going, anyway.
It never made it much above 4C or 39F today and was bloody chilly! We were lucky to not have any breeze or it would have been downright bone chilling. Quite a change from the last few days and the way the thermometer is dropping tonight reflects the fact that the jet stream has taken a major dive southward.
The Dean River has been freezing over down near the bridge for a week or more now and less and less of the ice is thawing out during the day. There's lots of ducks on lake coming in close to shore the way they do this time of year. I've seen loads of Canada geese going over as well as the odd small group of Trumpeter Swans. Oh, and the fish are still jumping like crazy out on Nimpo Lake!
There's been lots of smoke around the last few days as folks start burning their slash piles accumulated from the clean up after our windstorm. The snow on the ground has made it a good, safe time to burn, but wet wood makes lots of smoke!

02/11/2008 7:19 PM

The Halloween Party

Our Halloween party was a great success Friday night. The fireworks were super and I'm hoping to get some pictures of them from people that were bright enough to bring their camera. Obviously, I wasn't one of them. Friday morning I was going over everything that I needed to remember to take to the hall for the party. My camera and tripod was one of the items on the list. So much for lists...
The weather really held for us with clear skies and lots of stars. Even with a bonfire it was black as the ace of spades outside but those fireworks sure put off a lot of smoke! Some were nearly obscured by it. Someone's cows out on the range sure didn't like the sounds of explosions. We were all laughing at how much they were complaining. After the explosions were over I could hear River barking across the lake. He hates fireworks. Thank heavens all our neighbours were at the Hall.
We got somewhere over 40 people for the dance and quite a few more than that for the fireworks. Not a lot of people actually danced because most of them spent time visiting with each other which is great. That's the whole point of having a community event. Our dynamic has changed and the people coming to events like this now are different from many the years before. The Charlotte Lake folks attended and they're a lively bunch as well as many of our neighbours and some young people. A few folks wore costumes which was kind of fun. Andy and I didn't have a lot of time to decide whether we would dress up or not so I just went as myself. Country Bumpkin.
We're really lucky to have Richard and Leah from the Nimpo Lake Store as part of our community. Leah's a regular little fireball and the organizer behind most of our events anymore. Had it not been for her we would never have thought of putting on a Halloween party but would have enjoyed a quiet evening and our jack-o'-lantern at home instead.
Most people left fairly early and we had some of the clean up done and were home by midnight, which was quite nice. Since Anahim Lake was also having fireworks and a dance, we were lucky to be blessed with a police presence only once and that after pretty much everyone was gone. Since no one left without a designated driver, the police had no reason to hassle anyone.
We had a funny day yesterday with that monochromatic look you see over the mountains and on the lake in the fall, but the fish were jumping so we went fishing in the afternoon. It was absolutely amazing. We got eight fish in one hour and we never even got out of the bay in front of our place! We had lots of strikes as well so the fish were hungry, and one rotten bugger made two mighty splashes and took my fly without so much as a fare-thee-well. It was great! It looked like there was a hatch of some sort of little flying bug which is probably why our flies were so popular. At least we have lots of fillets down in the freezer now.
I scurried out for a walk afterwards and still no more sign of that bear. But I did come across fresh fox tracks and we scared up a ptarmigan that was already snow white. I ran across more ptarmigan tracks all through the woods today.
The temperatures were pretty darn good both yesterday and today with it getting to 8C yesterday and over 9C or 48F today. There was hardly a breath of wind out on the water yesterday which is one reason we could get away with being out there without freezing our butts off. A breeze did come up in the afternoon, just as it did today, but it was still pleasant. We're trying to enjoy as much of the warmer weather as possible, because it will undoubtedly change soon!
As you can see, I've changed to a new week. You'll find last week's articles at October Week Four including an account about that wicked windstorm we had.






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!
Golds and reds on the water and in the sky.
 
Pink and grey clouds with unusual shapes above Nimpo Lake.
 
Razor shaped pink cloud above the lake.
 
Halloween jack-o-lantern.
 
Broken tree on a vehicle.
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