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/2011
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Halloween Party on Chilcotin Time
everyone, I'm baaaaack!
I just sent my final fridge magnet calendars out in the
mail yesterday so that's the last of them for the year
unless any of you know someone who would like to order
custom calendars to hand out to their customers or clients.
It means I finally get to stick my head up out of
my gopher hole and see what's happening out there.
I took a drive to Anahim Lake and around on the Dean River
road yesterday for the first time in some while. It was
worth noting that there were a lot of bent and broken
aspen and a number of pine and spruce that had been cut
off of the road after that heavy snow fall we had back
in September. I stopped in at a friend's place on
Anahim Lake and it looks like the entire lake is frozen
up already. That's kind of creepy. I know that
they freeze a couple of weeks before we do but we shouldn't
be freezing up until well into the first week of December.
Maybe freeze up is going to be early like last year.
Two nights before last it dropped below -13C or 9F and
our back bay was frozen solid in the morning. There was
also quite a bit of ice extending out in front in our
bay to the west and since Andy had just gotten the front
dock moved and we got the airplane dock secured for winter
the day before, we were thinking our timing was
pretty darned close. But then Tuesday the wind
came up and moved ice in the back bay and crushed the
ice in the front so we got to listen to the klinkers,
something we often only get to hear in the spring.
It was reasonably warm yesterday during the day but what
was remarkable was watching the temperature climb to 6.4C
or 44F after supper and continue to climb to 8.6C or 47F
within an hour. There was a wild south wind banging
on the front windows, but it was really warm.
When I stepped outside late last night to get wood to
bank the fire, it was like standing out on a balmy evening
in summer, sans mosquitoes of course. It finally started
to cool down overnight but it's already back up to 3C
or 37F this morning and it looks like it rained a bit
overnight. Hey, I'll take it! Better than snow this
time of year because that usually doesn't go away.
Because Leah normally organizes the Halloween party and
Richard and Leah have the new babies this year, there
was no Halloween party, or so we thought. I guess once
Clint realized there wasn't going to be one, he decided
we should have one but it couldn't be until this past
Saturday. It was short notice but we all agreed to help
him because he's never done it before and since I was
going into town the Tuesday before, I figured I could
pick up some Halloween decorations and candy for the tables.
Do you know what those crazy stores do???
My first stop was the dollar store in Williams Lake because
they always have seasonal stuff but when I asked the girl
at the desk where the Halloween decorations were she smugly
pointed out that their Christmas stuff was being put out
and the Halloween stuff was gone. Sure enough, as I looked
down the aisles all I could see were these women surrounded
by boxes of Christmas stuff that they were putting on
the shelves and I could hear the clerk behind me telling
me that they were there until eleven the night before
clearing the shelves and putting out all things Christmas.
Are you kidding me? Are you really kidding me????
What in heaven's name is wrong with leaving some of the
old stuff out and what in heaven's name is up with rushing
the Christmas stuff. It was the first day of November!!!
I checked at a store where I had seen a couple of really
neat New Orleans masks a few weeks before determined to
buy them so that we could go in costume for a change.
Gone. All the girl there had were some
really pretty fall leaves so I scooped those because I
wasn't sure what else I was going to be able to find.
My sister and I were headed to Kamloops so we checked
a lot of stores down there and I managed to scrape up
$61 worth of stuff that we could use at the hall but the
selection was pretty skinny and we had to thump a lot
At one point my sister's husband called and to his query
about what we were up to she replied that we were looking
for Halloween decorations. I could hear his howl
of laughter through her cell phone from five feet away.
Okay, so we operate on Chilcotin time out here. I don't
think there's anything wrong with having a Halloween party
five days after Halloween but if the looks that the store
clerks were giving me is anything to go by, apparently
it's not done.
I got home on Friday after four days in one vehicle or
another, and Andy and I got the truck unloaded but I only
got about half of the groceries put away before Clint
needed us up at the Hall to decorate at five. So off we
went and our little group got tables, chairs, signs, liquor,
music and donation box set up. Then we got to decorate
but that only took an hour, and the hall looked pretty
cool when we were done.
Sadly, we didn't have that many people show up although
we did get several in great costumes. I think
having the dance after Halloween and the short notice,
kept us from having a good crowd. But we still had fireworks,
and bonfire and lots of food and it was actually a lot
of fun. Because there weren't that many people neither
Andy nor I had to work the bar and we got to sit out front
with everyone else and visit.
Clint reprised his role of two years ago as a highly
disliked local around Nimpo and actually shaved his head
to match, which got him first prize. That's serious
dedication to a costume and to the cause. He brought on
more laughter than anyone Saturday night just because
the similarity was so crazy good, and because every time
he went out to put wood on the fire or to light fireworks,
he had to deflate himself or risk catching on fire. When
he came back in he had to re-inflate himself but just
before judging, his overworked costume fan failed him.
Not bad value for his initial .87 cent investment
for the costume three years ago. That's mileage!
Lee's radical cave woman costume got her first prize in
the women's category as did the radical but fun dancing.
When Axel arrived with all of his hair, they were quite
a match on the dance floor. Even though not dressed up
he could have taken the caveman category easily. I think
it was after he saw Lee's mat of hair shedding pine needles
and moss all over the floor that he decided to pin his
own real hair up.
Dawn came as Captain Jack while Barry came as an
old prospector recycling his Santa Claus beard and hair
for the costume which will be recycled right back
into Santa's costume for the Christmas fundraiser at the
Anahim Lake School next month. Rochelle's platinum blonde
was cool and her boyfriend had great fun later in the
night with Dawn's pirate wig.
Maybe the two of us can get it together enough next year
to go in costume. We've never had access to any while
living out here, and of course, unlike the boy scouts,
we're never prepared. This time I thought we actually
might be able to do it since the dance was after Halloween
but apparently you have to be Johnny on the spot and get
to the stores before midnight on Halloween to get a costume
or you're out of luck! Maybe next year.
Clean up was on Sunday and boom, done for another year.
Well, not really. Now we have to start organizing the
New Year's Ice Party. Richard and Leah have already
brought in a mess of fireworks for it so we're ready to
We pulled last year's curling rocks out of the lake the
day before it froze up in the back bay, and we're hoping
the aspen rounds have absorbed enough water over the past
few weeks to be as heavy as when they were green. They
don't feel very heavy though but I'm not sure what else
we can do with them. I don't feel like donating
my bath tub to curling rocks for the next seven weeks
so I think closer to New Year's we'll test them on the
ice. If they shatter, then we'll have to find another
big aspen and make new rocks. These are kind of looking
worse for wear so we might have to do that anyway.
Last month's blog can be found at October
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!