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Wilderness Adventures - Oct., Week One/2013

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 some great contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

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03/10/2013 4:00 PM

Where The Heck Did September Go?

Well, folks, I’ve completely missed the month of September and the last part of August on the blog, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. But hopefully I’ll be back at it now. I’ve even missed posting Facebook updates for the past few weeks because we were away for over ten days and we’ve had a lot of catching up to do since we got back, not least of which is stuff that has to be done before Fall progresses too much further. We’re in the season now when snow can hit any time and although the last few years it hasn’t stayed on the ground until November, I still have a bright, clear memory of years past, so we’re not taking any chances.
I had to get the RV cleaned up so that Andy could clear the lines and put the trailer to bed for the winter. I had to clear out a bunch of green from the greenhouse because it got a little too moist in there while we were gone and mold was starting to get a foothold. Not to mention that the squash and zucchini had to be picked and put away, with the greenery from that pulled up as well as a whole lot of beets that needed to be picked. I got the greens washed, blanched and put down in the freezer but I still have beets in a paper bag out in the cold room that I haven’t gotten to yet as well as a whole raised box out in the garden that still need to be picked. Same with the box of carrots, Swiss chard, and a greenhouse full of tomatoes. However, I’m still hoping for more warm weather and sun to carry the garden on for a bit yet. It’s not looking very promising right now but you never know.
Andy’s been on a dead run clearing hoses, pumps, and getting numerous things put away as well and he helped me can for a few days. We scored some fabulous grapes from my sister’s garden in Williams Lake as well as some crab apples, and managed to put down a number of jars of crab apple jelly and grape juice. There are also jars of applesauce and antipasto that we just got done, not to mention loads of jars of tomatoes and peaches, and peach jam that we put down a few weeks ago. I think that’s about it for the canning now other than for those bloody beets! I know one thing, I’m going to go down and check my pantry out before planting any seeds in the garden next time. I definitely don’t need to plant a garden next year!
Our weather this summer and for most of September was absolutely spectacular! We got very little rain so it required lots of watering, but there was lots of sun and heat. Even this fall we saw temperatures hit 32C or 90F, a mind numbing heat wave in this part of the country! The Chilcotin is not known for its heat, more for its cold in winter and cool temperatures in summer, but I don’t think anyone was complaining. Other than our neighbours and their helpers that were trying to put a new roof addition on their house in the heat and sun in the middle of September maybe. You can’t blame them. Roofing in the heat is never fun but I guess it’s a lot better than doing it in the rain. :-)
It was absolutely marvelous to visit with friends over a campfire a few times this fall after the camp fire bans came off. It’s nice when the evenings are warm and the bugs are gone and more than once we’ve sat past bed time visiting around a fire hoping the northern lights would come out. Sadly our close friends and neighbours from Kelowna weren’t able to make it up this summer so we missed out on some belly busting laughs and the good times we’ve become accustomed to with them for the past five years.
We’ve had no time for fishing this summer or fall but from all accounts the fishing was terrific and the trout bigger and fatter than usual this year. I think that everyone that went out did well and I’m hoping we can get out on the lake one day. We have no fish left in the freezer at all so we need some to take us through the winter. Right now we’re waiting for warmer temperatures because it is Fall now! Brrrr.
I would not want to be out on that water right now without some sun and warmer air, even if there were a few boats out there yesterday. It was below –4C or 25F this morning which means it was probably twice as cold away from the lake. We’ve had our first cold casualty today. Andy brought in a brass valve that splits water from a tap to two hoses that we had on the cabin. It’s got a three way split now from freezing last night so it’s toast. I’m hoping my irrigation in the garden is still okay but I guess we’ll see later once it warms up and see if it can be blown out. I know better, of course because of past experience but the last few Falls have been long and warm so I’ve gotten a little complacent about getting stuff picked up and put away from my garden this year. But this year the cold is coming in a lot faster.
I think that up away from the lake there has been freezing temperatures at night for a month now but it still hasn’t been too bad here, mainly because of cloudy nights. But there has been a definite temperature change since we got home a week ago. Day time temperatures haven’t made it above 11C or 52F at best and if it makes it above 8C or 46F today, I’ll be very surprised. I finally got tired of waiting for the fog/cloud to clear and started a fire on last night’s coals this morning. The last two nights there’s been a lot of hard frost frozen to the ground in the morning and it’s been freezing by late evening so the cold all night long is what tends to damage water hoses and such. We have also had a decidedly chilly breeze since we got home last week and I'm sure that makes the air feel much colder than it really is.
We left hot, sunny weather here in mid-September to go down to Slocan lake for a few days, then over to Kelowna and then back home. We took our own sweet time going down and did very little except some exploring and hiking while we were down in the Kootenays and not even much of that. Mostly we just relaxed. I had an appointment in Kelowna and we decided to go down a week early and have a little break. If we stay at home, we do nothing but work. When you’re away from home you can’t work, so we decided to get away from home, even though the weather was great here and we could have gotten lots of chores done. But I’ll tell you, the little break away was just what we needed to refuel after one heck of a rock and roll summer. I don’t think we’ve worked that hard for that long in years and while the feeling of accomplishment is nice, it sure is tiring!
We were lucky and had a couple of nice days in the Kootenays and then it started to rain, especially as we headed to Kelowna and then the days there and then home. But we were just travelling so it didn’t really matter. But that rain heralded a big change in weather and it has been darned cool since. We have had some rain here too but not really enough to set everything in well for the winter yet, so I’m hoping we’ll get our fall rains soon or I'll have to start watering again.
This summer was our best yet running our guest cabin as a B&B or just as a cabin rental, and we got to meet some really terrific people. Our first guests in June were a couple of gals that were headed down to Bella Coola to do some hiking and they were wonderful to have meals with. One lady was 70 and is a dragon boat racer and the other is 76 and retired but she now manages condos down on the Mainland. All I can say is, Wow! I want to be like that when I grow up! Other favorites were a family from Switzerland whom we really enjoyed getting to know, a couple from California that were so sweet we became immediate friends, and a couple that we met from Victoria that we just hit it off with as well as a couple from Williams Lake who have become regulars and that we love sitting around the camp fire with. There were many others as well that we either were so busy we couldn’t get to know them, or they weren’t B&B and looked after themselves so they kind of kept themselves busy doing their thing and we ours. Especially since we were both gone so much this summer with Andy working over at Charlotte and me down at the end of the lake on the bathroom reno. It was a great summer for the cabin and I’m glad we got it finished on the outside because I was really proud to rent it out to folks.
Even the new lawn took and hopefully will make it through the winter. It was a little awkward explaining to people that it couldn’t be driven on or walked on while it was new and it had to be watered a lot but our guests were very understanding.
Over all this has been a productive year with great weather and after my calendar season this fall I’m looking forward to a break this winter, although being stuck back in my office chair isn’t necessarily my favourite place to be. I expect Andy is looking forward to the break even more although we have some minor kitchen renovations to look after indoors but other than that, he can start having naps again. He’s been working even harder than I have and he’s supposed to be retired!
I’m hoping that this also means I will get more blogs and Facebook posts done and I really appreciate everyone’s patience waiting for something to be uploaded. A few folks that read the blog that are part time residents here stopped in this summer to say hello and it was a pleasure to meet every one of you. Although I suspect that in some cases the visit might have been a subtle reminder to get on with the blogs again, it's nice to get to know those folks that check in for a new post from time to time.
I’ll try my best on more regular updates. :-)
I’ll explain the three lower photos on the right since they obviously don’t fit in with anything around here. One photo is of the women’s salon in the paddlewheel boat SS Moyie that is now a museum in Kaslo, BC, and the only complete remaining ship of its kind in Canada with everything intact, including engines. We popped over to Kaslo from Silverton one day simply because neither of us had ever been there before and it’s a really pretty little community with a lot of amenities. We toured the little town as well as the boat, which is now a fascinating museum and the oldest of its kind in the world open to the public. Everything on the boat had been carefully and faithfully restored to its heyday when it was first built and put on Kootenay Lake in 1898. The men’s smoking lounge and bar was very interesting and I spent some time crawling around on the floor taking photos of the underneath part of the circular bench. It’s ingenious and I want to copy it for my future gazebo.
The ladies’ salon was beautiful and decorated in the light woods and heavy velvets of the period as you can see from the photo on the right. They sure knew how to build things in the old days! The other photo is of Slocan Lake and the mountains as seen from my Brother-in-law’s fire pit deck at his summer house in Silverton. I think that fall there is also the best season because it’s super quiet and as pretty as it is here.
I would definitely suggest a visit to Kaslo and the SS Moyie if you’re ever over that way and if you’re on a motorcycle, you’ll find the winding road from Kaslo to Silverton to be hog heaven!

The month of September has been missed but you’ll find August's blog at August Week One.

Anahim Lake Highway cam looking West.

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!
September photo of Nimpo Lake.
Sunflowers with bright blooms before the lake backdrop.
Flowers and deck overlook lake and mountains.
Interior of a paddle wheeled ship.
Round branch curved bench in a ship.
Button leading to The Chilcotin Facebook Page.
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