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 - November Week 1
you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes,
exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read stories like
'Lake Monsters' - just go into Archives on the lower left side
of this page.
You can search this site for a subject of interest to you
at the bottom of this page.
Winter Vacation in Nimpo Lake and Anahim Lake
you're planning your winter vacation now, this is
just a reminder that British Columbia is a winter wonderland.
Many of the ski hills on the lower mainland are reporting
record snow falls and some are open three weeks earlier
than they have in the last twenty years.
Now is a good time to think about booking your winter
recreation holiday in the West Chilcotin. Nimpo
Lake and Anahim Lake offer accommodations in winter.
Both the Country Inn in Nimpo Lake and the Anahim Lake
Inn offer warm, cozy rooms for the adventurous snowmobiler,
snow boarder and cross courntry skier.
The Dean on Nimpo offers deluxe accommodations in the
lodge where there is also a restaurant and lounge. Wilderness
Rim Resort has some gorgeous cabins that can hold from
small to large groups and if you come around Christmas
or after, you can snowmobile right from your cabin
door into the mountains.
The Timber Guest House offers private bed and breakfast
accommodation with a 360 degree eagle's view of the surrounding
Although some resorts do shut down during winter, some
such as Escott Bay and Nimpo Lake Resort might still squeeze
you in for a winter holiday. If you would like to know
a little more about the lodging available check out Resorts
Page as well as the Motels
and Bed and
Last I heard, there was a good base building up
in the Rainbow Mountains and there was about a foot of
snow at kilometer 24 at the base of Trumpeter.
The weather has been very cool this fall as can be seen
by the early freeze up on the rivers and shores of lakes,
so if it keeps up, it'll be a spectacular year for winter
The Good, The Bad, and the Damned Fine
know, just when you think you're having the nastiest week
possible, there's a little ray of sunshine. Actually,
in this case it was two big rays of sunshine.
I was having the absolute worst week duking it out with
a virus on both my business computers. When things were
at their worst, I was very down. Then I got two emails.
First on one computer just as I got it back up again,
then on the other once it was fixed. Both emails
were from people that have been reading this blog or daily
I assisted the one lady and her husband from Bavaria in
finding accommodations this summer while they were vacationing
in the area. I had hoped to meet them while they were
in Nimpo Lake but was unable to. However, she was
kind enough to send an absolutely awesome email
and indicated that they enjoyed reading the daily stories.
The second was from a couple near San Antonio that have
purchased a ranch in the area and plan to spend their
summers here in the future. They too indicated that
they enjoy reading about the country and I very much look
forward to them becoming a part of our community.
The emails couldn't have come at a better time for lifting
my spirits and I doubt if either party has any idea how
much I appreciate their feedback. Because, you see, both
had to be reasonably clever to find how to contact me
since I don't have any contact information on this site.
I've been meaning to change that. I would like to give
people the opportunity to comment on the articles, add
their own input, or just send an email. I just haven't
had the time to make the changes and in this world of
spam, I'm not about to just throw an unprotected email
address on this page.
But the fact that these wonderful people were willing
to overcome the little challenge of finding a way to contact
me is remarkable. And boy, did you make my day!!
We went out fishing this morning. It was an absolutely
calm, frosty, sunny morning with the water icing up near
the shore. It seemed only fitting that since we were first
on Nimpo Lake this spring after break up, we should be
the last off in the fall. Only one fish that got away,
and no more bites, but that's ok. It was just for fun
anyway before the boat comes up on shore and the dock
is moved to a sheltered bay for the winter.
Canada Geese are swarming in now. Wow, only a few days
ago it was getting awfully quiet around here, and
now the air is alive with flock after flock of Canada
Geese headed south.
This morning, one flock came in a long straight broadface
line rather than a vee or trailing line, which I thought
was a little odd until I saw where they landed. They all
swooped down onto Nimpo Lake in a tight formation to land
off a little point in our bay that is rarely completely
frozen over except in the coldest of temperatures in winter.
I don't know if there is an underground spring there but
it can be dangerous to go too near it in winter.
A few people have gone through the ice there.
This spot is also the first place to open up in the spring
and it's where any birds that come too early end up having
to land because the rest of the lake is still iced over.
That was the location of the 'Mexican Standoff' on the
ice that I wrote about earlier this spring where
bald eagles, Trumpeter Swans and Canada Geese were all
forced to float in a little tiny section of open water
together waiting for the ice on Nimpo Lake to
The fact that these geese came in and landed on that tiny
little area in exactly the same pattern that followed
open water last spring tells me that they were probably
the geese that came then on their way north. They have
a whole lake of water to land on but they chose a little
tiny spot and something tells me that their memory of
this lake is that the area off the point is always open
water and therefore safe to land on. Or maybe I'm
just trying to impress human thinking on them.
We all do that.
Oddly though, all the other flocks that came in later
landed in normal formation and all over the lake. This
may or may not be a regular stopping place for these geese
but it's more likely they are not familiar with the lake.
Since it was early in the afternoon and there was a pretty
nasty snowstorm brewing over the mountains, they probably
decided this looked like a nice safe lake to be on for
Temperatures are dropping now at night and it isn't warming
up much during the day either.
Fresh snow on the mountains and it's trying to lay
down a little skiff this evening. The weatherman
promised us sun today but he gaffed us again. I guess
the boat is going to have to come out of the water and
the docks moved because it just doesn't look like we're
going to get much in the way of fishing weather now. The
cold wouldn't be so bad sitting out on the lake at just
around freezing if you had a little sun shining on you.
But sitting in a boat with no sun sure is a recipe for
stiffening up and being miserable in my books.
That's ok. It'll be ice fishing time before you
know it. We'll just have to wait until the ice
know, there's nothing like a virus on both your computers
to ruin your whole day. Or more to the point,
several days. For some reason or other, the anti-virus
program I was running on my newer computer didn't pick
up a nasty little trojan in an email sent
to me. It was actually an email I might never normally
have opened, but I happened to be expecting a zip file
from a client right at that precise time so of course
I opened the email and zip file. Since it didn't seem
to want to unzip properly on the one computer, I,
in glorious stupidity sent it over to the other computer
to be opened by winzip, thereby infecting both computers.
My computers started acting up immediately but fortunately,
as soon as I updated my virus definitions for Norton on
the second computer, bang, it found and removed the virus.
Not so lucky on the new computer. I've spent two days
with the help of my brother-in-law on the phone attempting
to manually clean the virus out since it wouldn't allow
either of my anti-virus programs to run. I think it's
gone. Sure hope so. I've hesitated to upload this page
to FTP on the Internet until I could be sure it's gone.
As soon as I was able to clean the virus out enough to
get a new issue of Norton Anti-virus onto this computer
it picked up a more recent trojan that had just infected
my files. So I think she's all good to go now. I hope.
It just goes to show you that even when you are cautious
and don't accept anything you don't know in emails, and
you think you're protected by your anti virus programs,
you can still get caught with your pants down. Not a good
feeling and real breezy at the moment.
Snow is on the ground now and not melting so maybe winter
is here. There are still some buffleheads sitting
on Nimpo Lake out front but not nearly as many as two
days ago, and I haven't heard a loon for ages so they
must be gone.
waterfowl are flocking up and some are already in the
air and headed home. This morning there were all
kinds of waterfowl gathering up in the mist on Nimpo Lake
just in front of our house. Mostly buffleheads,
there were also some mallards out there. The little buffleheads
are black and white and have a really neat way in the
water. They float high and leave a wake behind themselves
in calm water, but they seem to be able to really speed
up and slow down in the water without their wake changing
much at all. They really flock up and like to stick close
to each other this time of year. They'll head south very
Two flocks of Trumpeter Swans flew over today at
about the same time. Although I didn't get the
camera going in time for the first bunch, I caught the
second flock going right over the house. At least you
get some warning that they're coming through. They call
them Trumpeter Swans for a reason. They have a very distinct,
high honking noise when in flight. Many of these birds
will be heading for their wintering grounds at Ralph Edward's
old homestead on Lonesome Lake provided John, his son,
is still feeding them.
I heard John on Monday checking in on the radio. It sounded
like he had just gotten home from Bella Coola with his
winter supplies. He has quite a trek every time he goes
out to civilization. For those of you that think
the hardships I spoke of and the books I was talking about
in the last few articles applied to times long ago, think
again. Many people such as John do not have easy
access from their homes to the outside even now days.
He must canoe or boat down the lake to the Hunlen
Trail where he walks for several miles to where he leaves
his vehicle parked. He drives out for supplies
and mail, drives back to the trailhead, and then must
walk back through several miles of dense, grizzly infested
bush. Sometimes in the dark. Then he gets into his boat
to continue home, or if it is winter, walks, snowshoes,
or skis the rest of the way with his pack on his back.
He encounters grizzlies on a regular basis and
has had wolf packs follow him home more than once.
There's a lot to tell about the son of the Crusoe of Lonesome
Lake, but that's for another day.
is the start of a new week and I'll take a break now from
the old legends and stories to catch up on the local stuff.
We've had snow flurries off and on for the last week or
so and there was a good 6" dump the day before
yesterday on Heckman Pass at the top of the Bella Coola
Hill. One of the highways guys yesterday said
that a pretty good base of snow seems to be building up
in the mountains for snowmobiling. The neighbour got a
nice moose the other day that took some packing out of
a swamp meadow. He said after he shot his he looked around
to see a huge bull snorting and pawing at him not seventy
yards away. Apparently there were three bulls there together
so they must be well past the rut now.
Ranchers up Morrison Meadow road have been having
a heck of a time with grizzlies the last three years.
One couple say they've lost seven cows to one grizzly
sow in the last three years and figure she's killed about
thirty head of cattle belonging to different ranchers
up there. The sow's been marauding since she was a youngster
so it sounds to me like her mother taught her predator
bear behaviour and she has carried on with teaching that
behaviour to her cubs. Remember my Bear
articles of September?
There might be several reasons for increased grizzly numbers
in the area. The BC government in all their wisdom
put a moratorium on grizzly hunting there for awhile.
Numbers climbed so quickly and so dramatically that the
situation was actully becoming dangerous.
Another reason for larger numbers may be from the large
forest fires we experienced in 2004 and 2003. The Chilko
fire of 2003 was the largest in BC and burned over a monsterous
area displacing a large number of wildlife. The
Lonesome Lake Fire of 2004 not only burned over a huge
area, but destroyed a lot of dense grizzly habitat.
The animals have to go somewhere if they want to eat and
moving into this area is no hardship for them.
The final reason is strictly a guess but I think it's
a reasonable one. We've had extremely mild winters lately
and a high survival rate among deer, moose and caribou
calves. Since there always seems to be a natural cycle
where high prey numbers are followed closely by high predator
numbers, we may be seeing just such an upswing. That
wouldn't be so bad if grizzly bears only attacked wild
prey. It's when they start attacking a rancher's livelihood
that people start getting cranky.
I haven't heard a loon call for a few days now so I don't
know if there are any left on the lake or not. The
water has just started icing over in a little bay on the
Dean River where it comes out of Nimpo Lake. There was
ice on Anahim Lake the other day and the little
mud puddles on our back trails where I walk are all frozen
over. There are still a few ducks and grebes dotting the
lake and river. I don't know how feed in the lake is but
the fishing has been incredible for the few brave souls
that have ventured out on Nimpo.
I watched a grebe the other day trying to eat a fish that
was easily his size. It was way too big for him but he
was determined. He kept rolling it over in the water trying
to get a good beak hold on it but I think it kept slipping.
I don't know how he planned on eating it. It was way too
big for him to hang on to, much less swallow. Eventually
he lost it. I didn't even think grebes ate fish, but I
guess this one does.
Last week's articles can now be found at October
Week Three because this is the start of
a new week. I really hope you see fit to go visit the
page if you're interested in information and stories about
the area some of which are condensed from Rich Hobson's
novel "Grass Beyond the Mountain".
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!