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Wilderness Adventures - October Week 1/2007

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.

Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture of the Day.


04/10/2007 3:57 PM

October Snow

No summer and now it would appear that like it or not, winter is going to come early this year.
It started snowing late last night and we got up this morning to about an inch and a half of the sloppy white stuff. It looked like it was going to clear there for awhile this afternoon and a lot of the snow melted, but it's started snowing again and doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon.
Anahim Lake only got a skiff this morning and there's no snow on the Hill or up in the Rainbows apparently, but the farther east you go, the more snow that fell. I guess there was as much as five inches between Tatla Lake and Williams Lake this morning. I expect that was a bit of a surprise to the highway maintenance crews. I don't think they even put full crews on until the end of October. Although not unheard of, snow this early is a bit unusual but I guess that's because we've become more and more accustomed to nice falls in the past few years. And I guess it doesn't hurt to have moisture in the ground before freeze up.
This is one of those days when you're glad you're not out in hunt camp sleeping in a soggy tent. Snow on the ground is nice for tracking animals but extremely unpleasant otherwise.
Surprisingly, there were about three fishing boats out on Nimpo Lake today. Maybe not so surprising. The trout were jumping pretty good this afternoon and fishing may be excellent.
Vagabond's owner moved their big dock today. He picked a good time with the lake flat, no wind and between snow storms. There's a few people that still have docks out but I expect this snow will hurry things up a bit. A lot of them will be shutting down their lodges and summer residences for the winter fairly quickly now and then it will get pretty quiet around here. Already has actually. The charter floatplanes haven't been going out nearly as much this past week and I imagine Tweedsmuir Air will be pulling their planes out of the water pretty soon. After all, the season's over. Sadly....
I just looked out the window and realized that we have another pine close to the house turning yellow. It's happened only in the last day or so because I've only just noticed it. Or perhaps it's easier to see the color change against the backdrop of white sky. Either way, it means we're still losing trees to the pine beetle. I had really hoped we had seen the last of them, especially with spraying the tree trunks every couple of months.
It was only just a week ago that I noticed fresh beetle holes in the trunks of a couple of our pine trees so it would appear the beetles had a late flight again this year. Small wonder the entire Highway 20 corridor was infected with the Mountain Pine Beetle. The beetles would have been dropping off of logging trucks long after it was presumed safe to transport the infested logs. And here the forestry industry was assured for years by biologists that the beetle only flies in July. Of course we realized the first year we got hit that they were wrong. Unfortunately, that small error may well be the main reason one of British Columbia's biggest industries will die. Not hauling logs during flights would not have stopped the beetle epidemic from occurring, but I don't think they would have spread nearly so fast throughout the province had they not been transported.
But if you think about it, our world is changing every day because of transportation. How many alien species of plants, animals and insects have been introduced to North America via ships and freight boxes? For that matter, how many alien species hitchhike a ride to our area on the motor homes, boats or vehicles that are driven here by summer visitors? How many dandelion seed heads caught in a bumper can you carry or seaweed caught in your boat motor from Okanagan Lake? Not only have I heard of a Black Widow Spider arriving here from the Penticton area in a vehicle but have seen it myself. I suppose it's possible that many regions will eventually lose their unique identity in plant, animal, bird and insect life as species foreign to some areas slowly populate those areas where they can survive. It's when this happens and the species' natural predator didn't come with them that you have a problem. Mind you, do you supposed anything ever evolved that could keep the dandelion in check?

03/10/2007 9:30 PM

Hail, Hail, October!

Or should I say snow, snow, October? It's trying, that's for sure. You will probably have noticed that it's been some time since I last wrote. I'm right smack dab in the middle of that season when I spend all of my time manufacturing fridge magnet calendars for my clients so expect the articles to continue to be irregular. I'm sorry about that but I'm afraid the bread and butter stuff does come first. The worst part about being stuck in my office all day and most evenings is that I don't get out much for walks on the back trails. Which right now, is probably not a bad thing.
The weather hasn't been really pleasant for the last few days. Not that it's been really bad, either. Just kind of iffy and very much from one extreme to the other. For example, the other day was quite cool, but then a really strange wind came up in the night and the night time temperature actually ended up being much higher than the day time temps. One night it will hit freezing, the next it will be 5C. Night before last I came home from Nimpo, the stars were shining and it was really cooling off. The next thing you know, it's clouded over, warmed up and it's raining. By early morning, it had cleared off again and hit well below freezing. Weird.
Every day more snow falls on the mountains. No longer covered by a delicate layer like powdered icing on a pound cake, The mountain tops are looking pretty white and the higher mountains look like they may have several feet of snow already. The Itcha and Ilgatchuz Ranges finally peered out from under their heavy layer of cloud today only to show they're now under a heavy layer of snow.
As is usual this time of year in our part of the country the autumn winds have begun to blow. Switching around from time to time they always seem cold no matter what direction they're coming from. I know, it's all in my head. Fortunately our leaves have been slow to turn this year so not that many have blown off the trees yet. Soon, though. Speaking of that, check out the picture of Sad Sack before he was cut down. That was the pine I spoke about that danced on its roots whenever the wind blew. It's gone now and most evidence that it had ever been there since Andy removed the stump the other day.
I watched a really wild and woolly snowstorm only a few miles away at the foot of the mountains today. Actually, I watched several, but this one looked almost like a crazy rain squall like what you would see in a midsummer thunderstorm when temperatures are high. You could tell from that cold white in the cloud though that it was snow or hail. I'll post a picture up on the right.
The colors are just wild out there with lots of brilliant yellow on the aspen. It's funny what a different perspective you get when your landscape has changed. Every once in awhile I would catch this bright blast of yellow light out my office window and without thinking just assumed the sun had broke through the clouds and was lighting up the tree line to the west. Except that it happened day after day, even on cloudy days. Finally I pulled back the sheer and actually looked out the window. There's a line of huge aspen across the bay over at the neighbour's and they are dressed in a bright, flamboyant yellow. So bright that every time I caught the color out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was sunlight. I wondered why I had never seen that before and then realized that it was because there was that small forest of pine trees just outside my office window. Now that they've been removed, I've got a whole different world to look at out there. It's easier to notice when it's snowing too.....lol.
It's that time of year again. Eliguk's big dock made its slow, ungainly way to where all of the lodges store their docks in the protection of our back bay. Oddly, they left the framework from the canopied tent they had set up all summer attached to the dock. It looked almost like one of those Biblical illustrations of tales of Egypt. You know, Egyptian royalty reclining on silken pillows on a reed raft protected by a canopy of palm fronds, floating slowly down river while a steersman stands at that back with a whopping big pole to control the direction of travel. I know, my imagination hath gotten away from me again. In any case, the docks being moved is probably the best indicator of all that Fall has come rushing in with winter close on its heels.
I know I'm a little late but I've finally started a new week. You'll find last week's articles at September Week Four.


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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!
Trees and bushes covered in snow.
 
Long resort dock moved by boat through the water.
 
Grey squall clouds dump snow on the mountains.
 
A floatplane banks steeply in blue sky.
 
A sunrise colors the clouds a deep orange.
 
Pine leaning over house roof.
 
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