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 - West Chilcotin Blog
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Earthquake and Halloween
really wanted to get to this blog last weekend because
of the earthquake, but I've been hell bent for election
trying to get my calendars printed out in time to take
them into Willy's Puddle for cutting by this past Thursday.
We didn't return until last night so this evening is the
first chance I've had to sit down and write.
I went up to the Community Hall last Saturday night
because I promised to finish getting it ready before people
arrived, help out on the door admissions, and
of course I took up food. (What else is new, all the locals
will ask? I take food everywhere!)
My other half wasn't in the mood and decided to stay home
until later, mainly to watch the World Series, I'm guessing.
We had an excellent turn out with nearly fifty people
coming for the social and fireworks and so I was pretty
busy. Imagine my surprise when Andy showed up at
the door just before nine asking us all if we felt the
He described to me how everything that could
swing in the house did... quite strongly in fact, and
when he got up from the couch and came over to the door
to the downstairs, he held onto the jamb because as he
said, the house was moving enough that he just wasn't
sure what was going to happen. He said it lasted what
seemed quite a long time, at least 30 seconds and maybe
up to a minute, and he described everything in vivid detail.
I believed him of course but quite a few other people
were looking at him kind of funny and I think he
was beginning to wonder if he had imagined it all,
especially since he had checked the seismic service on
line and there hadn't been mention of anything. Certainly
no one, including myself, and I was stone cold sober,
had felt anything at all. We decided to leave shortly
after, mainly because I'd done what I had come to help
with, it was a miserable snowy night outside, and I wasn't
into driving the icy roads any later than I had to.
As soon as we got home Andy headed to his downstairs computer
and yelled up only a few minutes later that there had
been a quake and he wasn't crazy after all. I never thought
he was but we all find it more comforting to to have a
weird event confirmed rather than not. :-)
The earthquake occurred just off of Haida Gwaii
(formerly Queen Charlotte Islands) and registered at 7.7
on the Richter scale. It was actually stronger
than the quake that levelled Haiti in 2010 or the quakes
that struck Christchurch in the last couple of years and
registered as one of the larger ones to ever strike Canada.
Miraculously, there was little damage and no injuries,
even though it occurred just off the populated island,
but that can probably be attributed to its depth. The
earthquake occurred between 17km and 19km down, which
is really deep, and it might explain why shaking was felt
as far away as Edmonton to the east, and the Yukon to
the north, and yet oddly, not everyone felt it.... We've
come up with a theory for that.
Most people don't seem to have felt it in our region,
except those that were on upper floors in their homes.
For example, the Community Hall is a log building sitting
on rocks on ground with a nearby swamp. Our house is an
open basement toward the lake with the back part and footings
buried in the ground. Our main level is actually upstairs
with a loft above that and Andy was in the upstairs. Richard
and Leah said their neighbour babysitting the kids felt
the quake and that their kids woke up and started crying.
Their living quarters are on the second floor above the
store. A fellow near Prince Rupert didn't feel a thing
in his house even though others nearby did, but his home
is a single level home built right onto bedrock.
Both Andy and I watch shows on Discovery Channel, etc.
that often have earthquake demonstrations that show multi-storied
buildings swaying more extremely at the higher part of
the building. The closer you are to the top, the more
the sway. It makes sense to us that just being two stories
up could pronounce the sway more than being on the ground
floor. A professor from UBC more or less confirmed that
the type of architecture and the type of ground underneath
could have a bearing on whether occupants would feel a
quake or not.
My only beef is that I missed it! I've only
every felt two others in my lifetime and the first during
the day was one weird sensation. Your brain just doesn't
get it for a few seconds. The second woke me up in the
middle of the night and I thought my eyes had gone funny.
The house was a log one and I woke up facing logs that
were definitely moving, yet my husband at the time never
woke up, never felt it. He didn't believe me either the
next morning and it wasn't until he heard about it at
work and on the radio that he realized I wasn't off my
rocker, so I know the feeling of disbelief when it's aimed
There have been numerous aftershocks since the main
event last Saturday, over 20 so far from what
I've heard and some of fair magnitude including a 6.5.
There doesn't seem to have been any
damage other than a discovery that was made just a couple
of days ago. Apparently four hotsprings on Hot Spring
Island in the Gwaii Haana National Park Reserve and Haida
Heritage site have completely emptied out. Geologists
think that the quake opened up cracks in the earth's surface
that drained the popular geothermal pools.
Mother Nature giveth and Mother Nature taketh away, I
While the event could have been disasterous, none of it
is on the scale of course to what happened over on the
Eastern Seaboard with Hurricane Sandy. Boy, do I feel
for those people. What a mess! Our hearts go out to those
Halloween was a great success at the Nimpo Lake
Community Hall this year. It was decided that
invitation only was best this year but the turn out was
still terrific and I think this year we had our best yet
costumes! From out little beginnings of less than five
years ago when almost no one dressed up to now when at
least half did, we've come a long way and I was really,
really pleased to see it. I didn't get photos of everyone
that I would like to have. Ed G came as an eighteen
hundreds cowboy gambler and looked more realistic than
most movie set cowboys set in that period. Mind
you, it probably helps that he really is a cowboy. Leah
and Richard out did themselves as the Mad Hatter and the
Queen of Hearts with Richard looking scarily like Johnny
Depp in certain lights. John and Lee came as the zombie
bride and zombie groom, or he was a vampire. I'm not sure
but he did have big teeth and blood running down his face,
but either way, they both looked unbelievable! Clint showed
up with a very original costume as usual, dressed as a
lumberjack pushing around a gorgeous black bear rug and
head mount on a carrier with his face apparently raked
by the claws. I think he called himself a Bear (bare)
rider. We had an ambulance attendant, pirate,
hard hat worker, Prince of the Dead, a really, really
ugly pregnant cowgirl with whiskers, another dead person
from Charlotte Lake with a screw in his head, (he might
have been Frankenstein), a Swiss ski instructor who came
as a ski instructor, a teacher from Hogwarts with a skull
that squirted blood, and I don't know who all else. But
we sure seemed to have a lot of dead people this year!
We missed a few people that normally come but couldn't
this time, and probably a few more that the lousy weather
kept away, but otherwise, it was a great turn
out and we made some decent money for the Hall. It will
help pay some of the utilities through winter so thanks
for participating everyone! And thanks to Richard and
Leah for the fireworks display! You'll probably notice
that the photos don't show nearly the brilliant display
we normally get. That's because I tried the little camera
on the wrong setting and just couldn't get the photos
quickly enough. I was just getting the tail end. So
I shut off the camera and decided to enjoy the fireworks
for a change instead of trying to see them through
a view finder as I usually do. It was nice to actually
see them but you guys don't benefit much from my selfishness.
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last month's
October Week Two.
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!
the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!