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 - October Week 1/2007
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Check out the Picture
of the Day.
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
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
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?
Hail, Hail, October!
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
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
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!