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 - Nov., Week One/2010
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of the Day.
Today has been an absolutely amazing day. It's the middle
of November and at 48 degrees Fahrenheit, or 8 Celsius.
That's pretty wild and I love it! I think everyone does.
I was out and about in Anahim yesterday and everyone's
mood really reflected the nice weather. Every
time one of us mentioned how nice it was we knocked on
wood. Although it was spitting some rain yesterday afternoon
there's been no snow to speak of yet this year. Today
the sun is shining and there is a wind alternating from
out of the west to out of the north, but at least it's
not a cold wind. We're hoping it will settle down a bit
so we can take up the ramps on the new plane dock at the
back and tie the dock off to trees before freeze up. But
right now the water is just too rough in the back bay
and would make it too difficult to do the job. It's rare
for us to get much movement in the water at the back,
but it does happen with a north wind.
So we opted to go for a walk on the back trail instead.
The surface of the trail was a little goopy because this
warm air is drawing the frost from the surface of the
ground, but it will freeze up soon enough. We're supposed
to have some cold arctic air move in early this week,
so that will take care of the goopiness. I don't mind
dodging a little muck on a day like today on a walk. It
beats what's coming! As Andy says, every day like this
is one day less of winter and that makes me a happy camper.
Winter is nice in its own way, but seven months of it
can get a little tiresome. At least this
time of year you get lots of sun through the windows because
it's so low in the sky, but it still has some heat. Once
December comes it seems to lose some of it's brightness,
maybe because of the low angle, and definitely loses its
Anahim Lake has been frozen over for two weeks now
and the bay at the north end of Nimpo Lake was also starting
to freeze over. The Dean River at the bridge on
our road was frozen over everywhere except at the bridge,
but that may have opened up today with the wind and warm
air. The lake is starting to look a little sluggish when
there's no wind and I expect the temperature of the water
is getting very close to freezing, but it's not frozen
yet! In fact we've only had a tiny bit of ice form on
our north shore in a couple of spots, but the back bay
hasn't begun to freeze over yet.
We haven't heard or seen any loons lately and I
hope it stays that way. As much as I love to hear
them, hearing them in December the last two years has
been scary in view of the fact that we've had loons freeze
in and be killed by eagles the last two years. I would
really prefer to not see that happen again.
We're thinking that our spring must have had something
to do with the loons being bigger or possibly maturing
earlier this year. We're guessing that loons that survived
first nesting had lots of time to grow up and get out
of here before freeze up. A second batch of eggs
or babies wouldn't have survived our cold May and June.
Which explains why what young loons we have seen this
summer were quite large. But who knows for sure? Our couple
never did have any babies with them in the back bay this
year, which saved us the pain of watching them be harassed
and eventually killed by eagles.
We're seeing the usual interesting ducks and such congregate
along our shore line as it gets closer to winter. We had
a whole group of Common Mergansers (or at least that's
what our book says they are) swimming around for a day
and one had a really peachy breast. The muskrats are gathering
winter food now and we had a family of otters swim by
our point a few days ago, so there's lots of life around
Floyd Vaughan Celebration of Life
Hi Everyone. It's been quite a while since I last wrote
and I apologize for that. I've had concerned readers contact
me asking after my health and I really appreciate it.
Not writing the blog has in small part to do with my health
in a funny sort of way. I mentioned before that I have
a problem with my hip and it seems to really be aggravated
by long trips in the truck and long periods of time spent
in my computer chair. So I make an effort to get up and
move around quite a bit, and I only stay in this computer
chair as long as necessary. So if I've spent a good part
of the day working, as soon as I'm done with what I'm
working on, I get up and leave the office. That means
not spending the extra hour or two every
day writing a blog. But it's been so long, that I've decided
to make an exception today, especially since I'll be away
from the computer for most of the afternoon.
So.... lots has been happening. The detour has been
shut down because Highway 20 at McClinchy is now open
and freshly paved. Thank heavens! Andy's finally
off work. I keep telling him that he's supposed to be
retired...:-) Most of the truckers have moved down into
the Bella Coola Valley now where excavators are clearing
debris from the creek beds and trucks are hauling it off.
They figure they may be working down there into December.
That's a good thing. It helps the local economy tremendously
when these equipment operators have money in their pockets.
Operators working on the detour and Highway stayed at
places both here in Nimpo and down in Tatla Lake which
also helped tourism operators a tremendous amount. After
those road closures from fires knocked the heck out of
tourism this summer, the floods helped to make up for
Our fall has been a mixed bag. As I mentioned before,
September was kind of a washout, but parts of October
were really nice and this month certainly hasn't been
bad at all. It's been dropping pretty good at night but
most days the temperature makes it above freezing and
last week we actually had a week of really warm weather.
We've had a little rain and a little snow that has melted,
which is good. It means there's moisture in the ground
to take plants and lawns through the winter but also helps
to drive the frost into the ground.
We've gotten pretty much all of our fall chores done and
things picked up and put away before snow comes. It's
helped that we haven't gotten the dumps of snow we did
last year. In fact other than for today where
we've got low cloud, a lot of days have been mostly sunny
and it's been pleasant working outside. We should enjoy
it while it lasts. Predictions are for a long, cold winter
with lots of snow for British Columbia. I thought we had
that last year already when everyone else had little in
the way of winter, so maybe it's our turn to be balmy.
We had a great Halloween dance at the Hall two Saturdays
ago. Sure had a different crowd though. Not that many
of our regulars showed up but we got a lot of young people
and they sure like to dress up. We had some great costumes
but Barrie Wilson's was still the best. He and Dawn
came as hippies and boy, did they look it! Besides
hippies we had Elvis, Batman and Batwoman, and a very
tall, very ugly witch! Sadly, I didn't get a picture of
one of our neighbours dressed as a girl. Wow, was
he a knock out! Actually, that was the strange
part about the evening. Guys came dressed as girls and
the girls came dressed as football and hockey players.
Must have been something in the water. Made it quite fun,
actually. The fireworks were great thanks to Richard and
Leah Simon from the store. For anyone that would like
to donate toward the fireworks, the donation bucket is
at the store because two thirds of what they purchased
are going to be used at the ice party this year. Yep,
another New Year's on the ice! We got such a good
turnout last year and so many people commented on it that
everyone wants to do it again. We just have to organize
a little sooner this year.
So now for the really sad news.
Last Saturday a Celebration of Life was held for
Floyd Vaughan at the Nimpo Lake Community Hall.
He died October 22nd of his injuries from a motorcycle
accident in Kelowna, a devastating loss to his family
and friends. For those of you that have followed the blog
for a while, I was pleased to reprint a lot of Floyd's
great stories from when he was a bush pilot here. He's
an old timer in these parts as he and his family came
in here in the sixties. He's long been considered
the best bush pilot in these parts and will be very sorely
missed. I know I've never in my life seen such
a turnout for one man with folks I haven't seen in years
crowding the Nimpo Hall. I know at least a couple of hundred
passed through before I made my escape shortly after it
started. I don't do well around that many people, even
hiding in a corner.
There was never a better story teller than Floyd if you
could get him going, except maybe for Duncan Stewart.
I'm hoping that I can talk Lora, his wife, into letting
me have a copy of his stories. Last year he and I had
discussed me putting together a book and though he was
modest about the suggestion, I think secretly he was tickled
at the thought. It's something I would still like to do.
Last month's post can be found at October
Week One . I hope you all understand
why the blogs have been so few and far between. I'm hoping
this hip thing will start improving.
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!