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Wilderness Adventures - Nov., Week One/2011

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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10/11/2011 10:30 AM

Halloween Party on Chilcotin Time

Hey 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. Yeah.... right.....
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 of pavement.
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 rock.
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 Week One.

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!
Cave woman costume.
Fat girl costume.
Pirate costume and old man costume.
Bat Girl costume.
Platinum blonde costume.
Guy in lots of hair.
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