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 - Nov., Week 4/2011
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Death by Snowflake
You know, I think snow is going to be the death of us.
Not big, heavy snowfalls, or a crazy winter lambast. Nope,
it's one flake at a time. Day after day we've
been getting little snowfalls, ranging anywhere from just
skiffs to about an inch of snow. The exception was
on Tuesday when we woke up to four inches of snow.
But other than that, nearly every morning there's a little
snow out there. Just enough that you have to push it off
of decks and vehicles. It's shaping up to be just as it
was last year, building up one little snowfall at a time,
at least until after Christmas when we got heavy snow
falls day after day.
Since the weather has been pretty decent, albeit breezy,
I decided complaining about our little snows might not
be a good idea, because after all, we've still been able
to walk in the back woods. We're pushing a little snow
when we walk but until today, it was pretty easy. Today
it started to melt and seemed a little heavier.
Then this evening Mother Nature decided to wing
us a real surprise.
The weathermen have been saying all week that it would
be warm on Saturday. Though they didn't call it that,
it looked like it would be a Pineapple Express coming
in and sure enough, we got a real warm up today. And
tonight it's still nearly two degrees above freezing and.....
it's raining. Yep, raining. It's not a hard rain.
In fact most of the time it qualifies more as spitting
than raining, but since starting this evening it has melted
the snow down quite a bit.
Rain on cold pavement means that the highway is probably
just deadly tonight. If not now, it certainly will be
once the temperature drops another degree or so. Even
gravel side roads are going to be hairy tomorrow after
that rain on the snow freezes. About all we can hope for
is that it snows on top of the rain tonight and freezes
to it. That will provide great traction. Otherwise, here's
hoping it's warm enough tomorrow for sand to stick whenever
the highways guys get sand on the roads. Driving is not
going to be nice for a while.
The ice on the lake in our front and back bays has
been really strange this year. A lot of water
has been coming up through the snow on the ice and there
are long, curving swirls of black trailing through the
snow. There are also lots of spider holes. I expect after
this rain tonight, all the ice will look black, or at
least I hope so. If that rain takes out the insulating
snow, then the ice will build a lot faster. I guess it
just depends on whether we get more snow tonight if it
cools down at all. So the rain isn't bad in that regard,
particularly if we get better ice as a result. It just
makes things really slippery for walking and driving.
The Main Arm still hasn't frozen over. We
can see open water just going around the point to the
west of us. You would have thought that it would have
frozen over by now but we figure it's just been too windy
out there for it to freeze so far.
The winter critters are starting to be out and about
now. We've got a fox hanging around off the end
of our driveway and in the back woods, which causes great
excitement for the hound dog when she catches scent of
the tracks. An otter passed by doing the belly slide on
the ice in front of our place within a day after it froze
up there and it made another pass through the property
a few days later, going trekking from somewhere in the
bush to the lake. I'm pretty sure that's what has made
some of the perfectly round holes in the ice at the back
but Andy disagrees with me.
We've had a grouse hanging out on the corner just
a few hundred yards past our driveway all fall and so
far he's managed to avoid being run over. Andy
went right over the top of him when he went out this morning
after the silly bird ran in front of the truck. But at
least he had the brains to squat and stay still in the
snow as the truck went over him because we found his tracks
trundling off into the bush when we walked the dogs later.
We had a ptarmigan surprise the hound dog one day and
it's already white as snow. Cat tried to chase it down
because it was flying so low and I'm pretty sure the bird
was playing with her. She's got no hope of catching
such a thing but she hasn't gotten that memo yet.
There are lots of squirrel and rabbit tracks on the back
trails this year so there's going to be lots of food for
the fox this winter. So far it's shaping up to be a not
bad winter so far. Although I admit this rain is a bit
of a surprise....
4:30 PM Sunday:
I didn't get this finished last night so I'll pick it
up here today.
It rained for most of the night. There was a little mini-blizzard
this morning when Andy went out to feed a friend's cattle
but then the sun broke through and it was really beautiful
for a little while. Everything was melting out and it
felt like spring! At least until the next storm rolled
through, and the next and the next. It's been one
little blizzard after another which has only accumulated
a couple of inches of snow, but the roads are a mess.
Right now it looks like it's clearing off just before
dark here and the temperature is starting to drop. As
a result, Andy's off now with the Bobcat to go clear the
store parking lot of slush that's been pushed up by the
plow trucks going by on the highway before it freezes
into a permanent snow bank that you can't drive through.
We're supposed to get some pretty nice weather this week
and it can't come soon enough for either of us I think.
Last week's blog can be found at November
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!