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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of the Day.
Our Odd November
here I sit, next to my SAD light trying to dispel some
winter blues because it's DARK out there!
It started snowing last night, snowed all day and
still hasnt let up this evening, nor is it expected
to until Thursday afternoon. I havent seen
the island all day, thats how dark its been,
so its been pretty hard to get motivated to go outside
for any reason other than to shovel off the front deck.
Im sure it will all be better once the sun is shining,
the snow has crisped up and I get used to everything being
white, but right now, Im just not ready for winter
A large amount of snow has fallen into the water
and the lake is starting to slush up now. I expect
it will freeze over fairly soon because weve got
a real cold front moving in on Friday. We were down in
the Okanagan for a week and didnt get back until
last Wednesday, and because it had been deathly cold throughout
the province then, I fully expected to come back to Nimpo
Lake being completely frozen over. But other than for
some ice in the back bay extending over to the public
boat launch and a wide line of ice out in front of us,
the lake was clear. Winds and warmer temperatures in the
past week have beat the ice right back to only a few feet
out from our shoreline.
From talking to people here after we got home, it
looks like we were much warmer here than elsewhere in
the province, probably because of an inversion layer.
Were at a higher elevation and its often warmer
here while cold air is trapped in the valley bottoms.
And there was no question that the temperatures have been
much, much warmer on the higher mountains. They lost of
a lot of snow while we were gone and a whole lot of black
was showing up on those rocks. I guess there was quite
a bit of freezing rain as well while we were gone, meaning
it was definitely balmier here than in the Okanagan, but
I think were going to pay for it now! Aside from
having eight inches on the ground already and lots more
expected, temperatures are supposed to plummet to
32C or 26F overnight for a few days after
this snow ends. Then another bout of snow is expected
when it warms up toward the end of next week. Im
thinking its winter.
Not only are our two immature loons still cruising around
on the lake in front of our place but another three young
loons joined them yesterday. The lower number of eagles
this year seems to have helped the loon population. Now
if the little guys just have the brains that God gave
a goose and get their butts off the lake before it freezes,
theyll be good. Otherwise, theyll
be eagle bait. Weve got a big Bald Eagle thats
been screaming around here for the past couple of weeks
and yesterday I got a photo of it buzzing the young loons
with nesting material in its talons, of all things. I
wasnt aware that eagles build nests in winter but
maybe this hopeful is getting an early start on next years
breeding season with a potential mate.
We finally got the moisture in November that weve
been missing for most of the summer and fall.
I think I mentioned in the last blog that I only recorded
a total of about two tenths of an inch of rainfall for
both seasons but alternating rain and snows this month
added up to at least an additional half inch or more before
I brought the gauge in because snow was freezing in it.
The rain and snow melt in the mountains has also served
to bring our lake level back up past the stick I put into
the waters edge at high summer this year, but its
still incredibly low. And it was late this fall before
the Dean River had enough water in it again to flow over
the rocks at the bridge out on the highway.
As most of you know, fall is my busiest season for
computer graphics and calendars for my clients, one reason
why there again has been no blog for the longest time.
But weve also been working on other projects, not
the least of which has been to get our winter wood in.
For the first time ever, we used up all the firewood in
our wood shed last winter because the wood near the back
was getting really old and had little heat energy left
in it. Weve replaced it with beetle kill which will
by no means last as long as green wood of years ago would,
but it will still be good for four or five years if we
dont get into it. Its nice to have a wood
shed nearly full of firewood just in case we get a long
cold spell or a winter with a lot of snow that makes it
difficult to get wood. Otherwise, Andy plugs away at bringing
in wood throughout the winter a little at a time, mostly
just to stay active more than anything.
Weve also embarked on a trail building project
for me. For some time Ive been wanting to
build a cross country ski trail that I can use in winter
that hopefully wont be as likely to be destroyed
by snowmobiles as the backwoods trails would be.
Weve spent a couple of days clearing deadfall out
of the way and just about made it to the end yesterday
but we both pooped out and I was wearing a pair of boots
I dont normally wear, so my feet were cold. I
wish now that we had pushed through because now with all
this snow, it wont be easy to complete the trail.
On the other hand, if we get a lot of snow, it wont
matter because I can ski over the deadfall.
We had guests in the cabin late this fall that discovered
how much I like skiing and the gentleman is just over
80 and remarkably fit, but no longer skis at his second
home on a lake near 100 Mile, so he offered me both of
his cross country ski groomers. One is a classic trail
groomer and the other is for skate skiing, a form of cross
country skiing that Ive never done but have always
wanted to try. We picked them up last week on our way
home from the Okanagan and Im just tickled pink
about them. Now I can groom local trails on a regular
basis when we get fresh snow or theyve been run
over by snowmobilers without having to go borrow
Donns across the lake, which has often been borrowed
by someone else and has to be hunted down in Anahim Lake.
Then I feel guilty for having the groomer at my place
when someone else might want to use it which is why last
year was the first time in years I borrowed it. Now, I
dont have to worry about it and its going
to be wonderful!
Next on the list of projects still to be done is
finish our wood working shop and I want enclose the area
below our deck for a home gym. Its virtually
impossible to work out comfortably in our basement where
the equipment and wood stove is just because its
way too hot, which is why I havent used the gym
stuff much before this. It doesnt look like doctors
are going to be able to fix my hip so Ill try fixing
it myself. But the weather is going to have to improve
a whole out there before I even think about
starting on the project, so that probably means warm days
in January or February. Right now, Im just trying
to get through the dark months. The wood working shop
should be a lot easier and it will only take a small heater
to warm it up inside, so Ill get an upcoming AGM
out of the way and then poke around in there with
finishing insulating the last wall, plastic it, and then
well get some gyproc up on it. Same with the ceiling,
then some lights and thats it! Well
start organizing all the stuff we have in there so that
we have room to work and we will finally be able to do
all of our wood working in one place for the first time
since I moved here over 12 years ago. We also have some
closets to build and finally get our basement rearranged
and organized but Andy has been patiently working away
at that and then my office is on the list for a major
cleanout as well. Im starting to feel less like
a packrat and way more like those hoarders you see on
TV. Scary thought
Its Thursday now and its STILL
snowing. Thats nearly 48 hours and it doesnt
look like its going to let up anytime soon. We were
up to 14 on the ground after it has settled a bit
and that was earlier today before I got cold, wet, fed
up, and decided I wasnt going to do anymore shoveling
until it let up. Andy arrived back at the house
in the same condition and covered in snow with frozen
fingers after spending all morning and part of the afternoon
on the Bobcat getting us cleared out, our road
plowed and a couple of our neighbours plowed out. Theres
still more to do but well leave it until tomorrow
when hopefully the snow will finally have quit and maybe
the sun will even be shining. Thank heavens the snowflakes
have been really small or this might have built up a lot
more than it has!
The temperature has been falling steadily from just
two degrees below freezing at dawn this morning to 12.5C
or or 10F before supper now and a wind-chill of -18C or
0F . Its been dropping really quickly in
the past couple of hours and I wouldnt be surprised
to see us in the mid-minus 20s tonight. That wont
make it very pleasant to be outside tomorrow with that
chilly north wind thats blowing right out there
right now, but hopefully if the sun finally comes out
it will warm things up a bit.
The lake was green today from all the slush sitting
in the water. The water has been so still and
the temperature brought down so much by the snow that
I think that it will be ice by tomorrow unless this wind
kicks it up. Sad, because slush makes lousy ice but what
are you going to do?
We've really been enjoying watching an otter family work
the edge of the ice in front of our shoreline for the
past week or so, catching fish and generally just having
fun. But with this slush I don't think they're going to
have open water much longer and hopefully they've already
figured out where home is going to be this winter.
Thanks for your patience waiting for this blog to finally
be written and posted but don't forget that you can find
regular updates on the Facebook page at Facebook/TheChilcotin.
Happy American Thanksgiving, everyone!
last blog is at October
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!