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Wilderness Adventures - November Week 2

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 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.

17/11/2005 10:12 PM

A Little Mexicana in The Chilcotin

Went to supper at Chilcotin's Gate tonite and it was smashing! The Gate is a family restaurant in Nimpo Lake that has only recently been taken over by new management. Ian has been having some specialty nights lately just to show his stuff. No question, the man can cook. We went out a week or so ago to a prime rib dinner that couldn't be matched at the finest of restaurants and tonite was Mexican Night. We met the neighbours there and got the opportunity to meet some brand new neighbours that just purchased a cabin on Nimpo Lake just a few lanes down the lake from us. They look like they might be a lot of fun and I look forward to doing some sledding with them this winter.
Having special nights at the restaurant is an excellent way to see your neighbours and fellow community members. Summer is pretty busy for everyone in the area so late fall and winter is when everyone just kind of takes a big breath and relaxes. And take the opportunity to get out there and have some fun of course.
One thing that is kind of unique about the area that I never really noticed before, is how handy it is to know everyone. Our new neighbour inquired as to how much fuel the generators providing our hydro for the region used. I said I didn't know the answer to that question but I would just step over and ask the fellow that did. The fellow that keeps an eye on our generators told me that we go through about 4300 litres a day in summer and about 11,000 in winter. That translates into about 1000 or 2500 gallons depending on the season. Not necessary information I guess, but unlike anywhere else where you would have to research a question, it's just nice to go over to the next table and ask.
Just for anyone that doesn't know the area, we don't get our electricity from a power grid as most do. Rather, our power comes from huge diesel generators sitting on the back of semi truck trailers at Anahim Lake. Although it may be a costly way to generate power for our region, it would be a lot more costly to put in the infrastructure to bring electricity from Williams Lake. Some people have investigated the possibility of putting a plant on some of our rivers or streams, others at putting in a co-generation plant that would utilize some of the waste from the mill, but nothing has really come to fruition yet.
Just an added note, I realize I've missed days again in writing articles, but I am in my really busy season as mentioned before so articles are going to be hit and miss for another couple of weeks yet. Thank you all for your patience!

Oh, one other thing. If any of you using Firefox for a browser noticed that this and last week's blog was a little screwed up, I just wanted you to know that I only just realized it a day ago and fixed it up. If you want to see the new improved pages, just hit your refresh button. My fault. I was fooling around with my html and wiped out some code that I shouldn't have. Sorry about that.
15/11/2005 4:23 PM

Ice On - Snow On

You remember my discussion yesterday about how nice it would be to build good ice on Nimpo Lake before it snowed?

Be careful what you wish for because it probably won't come true. As you can see from the picture on the top right, things look a little different today. Our wonderful clear ice was covered up by two inches of wet, heavy snow guaranteed to cause overflow and deteriorate the ice already formed on the lake. Out past the islands, the main arm is still open, which is fortunate. We can only hope it stays that way at least until the end of the week when we're supposed to have a clear high come in from Alaska. If temps drop and there's no precipitation then the lake will freeze over with good ice. If not...well, you can't have everything but it sure would be nice. No overflow would be nice. Overflow on a lake is caused just by these conditions. Lake ice, whether quite thick or thin and early in winter or late, can be pushed down by the weight of heavy snow. When that happens, water seeps in from shore or from cracks in the ice caused by it buckling under the weight. If you have two feet of snow on the ice, you can have two feet of overflow, and it is nasty, especially if you can't see it. The water saturates the snow underneath making it very heavy. If you hit overflow with a snowmobile you have to keep your speed up and get out of it as soon as you can or could be trying to shovel your sled out of several feet of snow that you can literally wring the water out of. People have been known to be stuck for a few hours, especially if there's no one left on shore that can help to winch the sled out. Even cross country skiing is no fun. A couple times when I went out across the lake last winter I hit overflow. The first time I was sinking into 8" of snow that turned to slush in my tracks which in turn froze into ice. The second time out was only an inch or so, but it too froze, making it way too slippery to use that trail again.

14/11/2005 10:48 AM

Ice On!

Amazing how quickly Nimpo Lake froze up. I realize that it might get a little tiresome getting weather reports from this part of the country, but Mother Nature fascinates me. Each year is different. Not just a little, but a lot. Only yesterday our strange little birds from the north were bobbing around on the water in front of the house. The same birds are now bobbing around several hundred yards away. The lake froze right out to the islands last night. Other than little open riffs here and there, the only open water this morning is on the main arm. Usually it takes its time freezing out from shore by degrees unless we get a real cold snap, but we've had a pretty cool fall and that water has been cold and sluggish for some time. Last night it dropped to -10C or 20 degrees with no wind and that was just enough to present a different world this morning. Of course that could all change. If a wind comes up it will knock the ice back considerably but it won't be long now. We all just hope we get a good hard freeze before we get any snow now. It would be nice to have some good quality clear ice. Last year was a little scary at times. Not many people drove on the main arm and even cross country skiing across the lake didn't give me that warm fuzzy feeling it usually does. The main arm never built up a good layer of ice before we got snow. Then warm weather and a melt rotted the ice even more. All the pilots commented that they had never seen spider holes on Nimpo Lake for the entire winter before. I know, I crossed a few of them skiing. We even had a few good ones on the back bay so although I drove over it to get the mail up at the restaurant a few times, I didn't make a habit of it. No one did. This year the back bay looking toward the Itcha Mountains and the outlet of the Dean River, is completely frozen over already. Unfortunately, with a freeze this early, the lake ice may be worse than last year. There's a better chance of getting a good dump of snow before getting really cold weather to develop the ice. Hopefully, that won't be the case. Nimpo Lake is a busy winter meeting place when the ice is good. I often meet several people driving on the ice road when I'm out skiing. Or in February when the weather is clear and the sun is warm I'll meet other people walking, skiing, bicycling, snowmobiling or skating and there's always an opportunity to wave at a plane overhead.
The year before last a young couple even came up from Anahim Lake because they heard the skate skiing was so good on the ice road. They went flying past me down the road to the other end of the lake and back. Boy, can they move out! Although I realize conditions have to be just right for skate skiis, you can sure cover a lot of ground in a short period of time. It seems it would take a fair bit to learn the technique though, or at least to keep from falling on your head. It sure looked like a lot of fun anyway.

13/11/2005 2:44 PM

Little Snow, a Little Sun

Finally got a really nice day today. November isn't known to be the nicest month in this country usually, but it's shaping up not too badly so far. Started snowing really fine flakes last night but quit very shortly. Started again early this morning but only ended up with about a half an inch on the ground. It melted pretty fast off the deck because that sun has a lot of heat in it yet, but the roads are frozen on the surface now so the snow sticks.
There was quite a bit of ice on Nimpo Lake freezing from shore in front here this morning. A breeze came up and took most of it out but the back bay is half frozen. It'll take some pretty good waves to take that out so it's there until spring now.
Saw a nice sized fish jump in front of the house a while ago. Like, darn, the boat is up on shore and the dock is over in the bay but boy would I like to go fishing. It's not much above freezing so it would probably be a little cold out there.
Our funny little water birds are still with us. I don't know what kind they are, but there are a few different types. They're usually here really early in the spring before the ice goes out paddling around on a little tiny bit of open water, and they're the last ones to leave in late fall. I don't know where they go in the summer. Presumably up north. They don't mind the cold obviously so I'm sure they would find it too warm for them here in summer.
I had to include the picture at the right of a floatplane moving a dock to a protected bay on Nimpo Lake. Normally, you would use one or two boats tied alongside the dock and move it slowly to its winter resting place. But there are other ways of doing it as you can see from the picture. And for a floatplane pilot that loves to be in his plane, any excuse will do, even if it isn't exactly flying.

12/11/2005 11:35 AM

Remembrance Day

I'm still a little busy, hence the irregular stories. Once things are back to normal in another month or so, the articles will start becoming a little more regular I think. I would like to go on with the rest of Rich Hobson's books and get started on Ralph Edward's book, "Crusoe of Lonesome Lake". But business gets in the way as usual. It's that 'have to eat' kind of thing. I'm a little slow wading through my calendar orders this year. I value my clients highly but some of them sure like to change their calendar design every year. Designing new logos, or cards or just changing things around is very time consuming, and I seem to have gotten an inordinate number of changes this year. That's life I guess.
Remembrance Day yesterday was a poignant reminder of those soldiers that died in all the past wars fighting for our freedoms at home. In this family, both our fathers were soldiers so we always watch the ceremonies on TV and observe our moment of silence. It was nice to see all the young faces in the crowd at different ceremonies in Vancouver and Victoria. The veterans talk about there being a resurgence of interest in recent years by young people. It may well be that the Iraq war has brought home the miseries of war to them. This is no war buried deep in dusty school books but one they see on the television every day.
There was quite a neat story related by a feisty veteran on tv yesterday. He was fueling up his car last week at a gas station when a young fellow walked past him and noted the Veteran license plates on his vehicle. He asked the old soldier if he was the veteran. When told yes, he said "Thank you for my freedom!" and left. When the older fellow went in to pay for his gas he was told by the cashier that his gas had been paid for by the young fellow that had questioned him about his plates. At the cost of fuel now days, that's quite a gift. But then, so is our freedom.
The war in Iraq has made us all more aware of our soldiers I think. I have a brother that came back from there last spring and I only hope he doesn't get called back. We all held our breaths for the entire year he was there, worrying about him every time the television showed another suicide bomber or attack by insurgents. He was on a gun truck in a fairly targetable position and he's never been the type to keep his head down. More like he would volunteer for every convoy going out because he hated sitting around base. In other words he'd rather be shot at than be bored. Took after his father way too much.
I may not necessarily agree with the continuance of the war in Iraq, but I can understand the awkward position that the Bush Administration is in. I think Bush stepped into a lot deeper pile of camel chips than he or anyone else expected and it's beginning to look a lot like Vietnam. Pull out now, and which tyrannical faction takes over? I sympathize with his position, but I sympathize a lot more with all the families waiting for their sons and daughters to come home.
However, since I enjoy my freedoms and don't care to be converting to Islam any time soon I can only thank my brother, his father, and all the other men and women of the armed forces for every war ever fought to preserve ours and the freedoms of others.

09/11/2005 8:17 PM

Wild Winds

Some pretty wild weather has hit us in the last 24 hours. Well, wild for us anyway. The temperature started climbing at about supper time last night. We haven't seen above freezing temps for a full 24 hours in probably about a month, but we sure have today.
Wild winds started rocking the house last night and the power went out at 5:04 a.m.and didn't come back on until 11:30 this morning. Power outages are starting to become pretty common here lately. That's not surprising considering the number of beetle kill trees out there now. And November is typically a rotten month all round, but particularly for wind. We've been getting rain squalls coming in which is disappointing. Snow would be much better and hopefully this warm front isn't melting our nice snowmobile base up in the mountains.
There are a few odd little ducks left here and there on Nimpo Lake paddling around in the very, very cold water, probably diving for shrimp and filling up on chow before heading south.
A bird flew over us the other day when we were out fishing and I've only now had a chance to look at the picture. Unfortunately, a digital camera still won't pull in great detail at a distance but you can get an idea of what it looks like anyway. I'm frankly not sure what it is. When it went over it had the long sweeping downstrokes and slow flight more like an owl, but the head just isn't big enough and the coloring is wrong. The tail seemed more like what you will see on some hawks but the bird was way too big, and the head shape and the coloring is similiar but not quite right for an osprey. An osprey has white breast feathers. I can only assume that it is an immature bald eagle, it just doesn't look like the ones we usually see and it flew with a lot more direct purpose than they usually do.
We're still waiting for the weather to settle down enough to disconnect and move our dock over into a sheltered bay and stow the boat for the winter. One doesn't want to get caught with ice freezing in too solid around the dock before it can be moved. That happened to a resort across the lake a couple of years ago. They tried to move the dock after too much ice was on and could only move it so far into the bay. That was as far as it would go. They ended up having to leave it out in the lake where it froze in solid for the winter. Unfortunately, it ended up being quite a dangerous obstacle for snowmobilers at night, especially after it was covered with snow. The moral of the story is that you don't want to push Mother Nature too far in this country or you can be caught with your pants down.

08/11/2005 6:42 PM

Sloppy Canada

Sometimes I just have to comment. Most of the time in my nice little world at Nimpo Lake I can let most of the world's woes wash like water off a duck's back. And I try not to air my frustration at politics or any other subject on this blog because this site is about being happy, on vacation, enjoying the country and the great people. But sometimes, the world stupidity just gets to me, and what the heck, it is my blog. But first, this is the start of a new week, so you will find last week's article at November Week One.
Two items on the block tonite. An 18 year old kid has been held as a terrorist by the Americans at the base in Cuba for three years and was just today charged with murder and attempted murder. Now he was 15 when he killed a medic and badly wounded another American soldier including taking his eye out. His father is a known Al Quaeda operative and Osama bin Laden attended the wedding of this kid's sister. I would say that he is not only affiliated with terrorists, 15 or not, he is a terrorist.
The kid was injured after killing the one medic and wounding the soldier. There are eye witnesses to the act. There are also witnesses and photos showing that the remaining medic worked very hard to save this kid while other soldiers waited for help. So are we clear on everything here? Because you aren't going to believe the rest of this.
His family immigrated to Canada. He and his family left Canada to go fight on the side of the terrorists and join the jihad against the wicked non-muslims (that's us).
When things got a little hot for them they moved to Pakistan. Good place for them except things got a little hot for them there, so they brandished their Canadian passports and back to Canada they came. So now, the mother is screaming at the Canadian Government for not doing anything about her son being charged with murder.
Excuse me??? Did I hear wrong here?
This woman's son is a terrorist. Period. And Canada is supposed to bail him out because he made a conscious decision to kill non-muslims? That's us, remember?
I am so sick and tired of the Canadian government being filled with a bunch of bleeding heart panty waists and it is no wonder the Americans accuse us of harboring terrorists. I don't care if this woman and her entire family were born in Canada, which they were not, their passports should be taken and they should be thrown out of the country bodily. And the bleeding hearts in Parliament shouldn't even be giving this woman the right time of day. How dare these people proactively set out to murder non-muslims, to join in jihad who's sole purpose is to expand sovereign Muslim power, and yet skedaddle back to the very country who's entire social structure goes against everything in the Muslim faith! This hypocritic - sorry for the language folks but nothing else is appropriate here - bitch should be thrown out on her ear!!
Even the media, as far left as they are, seemed to be outraged. They actually gave both sides of the story and hunted down photos and those who could give an eyewitness account of what this kid did and aired the information. But some of the useless liberal wastes of skin in Ottawa are still backing this woman. Unbelievable!
Ok, that rant is done even if I am still steamed. Here's the next one.
I do not like the gun registry, and never have. I have always been suspicious of any country that claims to be registering guns in order to cut down on crime and promises that honest gun owners will never have to worry about losing their guns to confiscation.
Unfortunately, most of the city dwellers who don't hunt, aren't collectors, and don't use guns for self protection in the bush, swallowed that bull hockey and allowed the ruling Canadian government of the day to push through gun legislation.
I hunt, I live in bear country, and I own rifles that have been passed down through my family for generations, but since I am a law abiding citizen I registered my guns.
However, it seems that now the city of Toronto is pushing an initiative to confiscate guns from all gun owners in the city citing that no one needs guns, not even collectors. So if you registered your guns, they know you have them. If you registered them, it stands to reason that you are a law abiding citizen and are highly unlikely to ever use your gun illegally. I guarantee you that the unlawful citizens of the city of Toronto did not register their guns. Therefore, no one knows they have them, so how can they confiscate them? That now leaves law abiding citizens defenseless in the face of the lawless. More break ins, more assaults, more robberies because the lawless know that no one is going to be shooting back. Why? Because the guns have all been confiscated from the good people.
Canadian government stupidity. Oh yeah, and broken promises. So if this initiative spreads from the city of Toronto to the rest of Canada, the trip that we are taking next summer to see Alaska may also be a property buying expedition. Because friends... no one is taking my guns.

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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!
Snow on the new ice
The sun reflects off the new  ice on Nimpo Lake
Nimpo Lake freezes up right to the Dean River outlet looking toward the Itcha Mountains
Moving a dock with an floatplane
Last of the birds filling up on Nimpo Lake before leaving for warmer climes
Which flag will fly highest next year?
nknown type of bird flew over us while out fishing
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