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Wilderness Adventures - October, Week 2/2008

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' about the Lakesounds 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.


15/10/2008 7:48 PM

Another Short

Hi everyone. I apologize but this is going to be yet another short one. I'm still going to beat the band on printing and am doing that while I write. Since that's the equivalent of walking and chewing gum for me, I won't be at the writing part for long.
It was yet another cold night last night and my flowers are really starting to suffer. Most of the annuals have had it, between hard freezes at night and cold temps during the day, except for the pansies of course. They're amazing little buggers. They always look half dead covered under a heavy layer of frost in the mornings, but are bright, perky, and still blooming like crazy by afternoon. Most of the perennials are looking pretty ragged too but they held out for quite a while there. I guess that's to be expected but it still saddens me to see the plants going. That, and the light. Boy, is it ever getting dark early now and we haven't even gone off Daylight Saving Time yet!
We had a really pretty day with sun and some high haze. It only got a few degrees above freezing but at least we didn't have more than a light breeze so it didn't feel quite as cold. There was some powder up on the mountains yesterday just as though someone had sprinkled a little icing sugar on them, but it was gone by this afternoon. Maybe it's warmer at upper levels than it is down here again.
Tweedsmuir Air's Beaver was up and down on the lake this afternoon. I thought the owner had taken it home because the other one had been put ton bed for the winter and I'm sure I hadn't seen the second one tied up at the dock lately. But I may have missed it or he may have taken it somewhere to have work done on it and brought it back here to check it out. It didn't look like he was loaded and he landed and took off a couple of times, circled and did it again. I don't know if he was doing touch and goes, training someone, taking out hunters, or what. But it sure was nice to see it still flying. Winter's not here yet!
It's definitely chilling down tonight! There's a big old, fat, orange moon rising and though there's some high haze, it won't be enough to keep the heat in. Every morning now the ground is frozen solid. The rain we got the other day was just enough moisture for it to freeze. Unlike last year where it snowed before the ground froze. From the looks of the weather forecast tonight, it looks like we're in for some truly nasty weather tomorrow. While Bella Coola is expecting a deluge, I expect we'll get snow unless it warms up substantially. That doesn't seem likely with as far south as the jet stream is dipping. I suppose I should go dig out some snow shovels, eh?
I was going to talk about our Canadian election tonight but I don't have the time and I'm still PO'd at British Columbians. So rather than ruin my good mood I'll pass on the rant for today.


14/10/2008 9:33 PM

Shorty

This is going to be quite short tonight, folks. I'm on a roll with printing my calendars today after being sick for the last few days, and don't really want to take too much time out.
I got an email from a reader who would like to track down a lady that used to live in the Chilcotin and with her permission, I am reprinting a portion of it here. For any of you that live here, used to live here, or know some of the background on the Chilcotin, any help or knowledge you can impart would be much appreciated!
- "I needed to ask you about a family that lived out your way. I don't know just where they were, and the daughter that I know is now living in Italy with no email so I can't just drop her a note and ask. Anyway, here's the story as I know it... My friend Georgie Adessa (I never did ask her her maiden name) grew up on a remote ranch in the Chilcotins. An airplane would drop in school supplies once or twice a year, and in good weather her mother would get on a horse once a month and take a week's trip to get some supplies and mail out the lessons. My own children were home schooled, but in the Sr High years we did straight correspondence courses from the province's home school headquarters so that we could be sure the kids got University entrance. One year we read in Social Studies about cattle brands and one of the brands they mentioned was my friend Georgie's family brand. I can't remember what that brand was or I could track it down. Since you were raised upcountry I thought I'd see if this means anything to you, if you may know any of these people or have any idea where they were. If not, it's an interesting story, at least to me, a country gal living too close to civilization!
Sharron" -

Thanks ahead to anyone that can help. Just drop me a line through the contact page and I'll pass it on. Geez, this is almost like message hour when I was a kid!
There was definitely the predicted weather change overnight but not quite what I had hoped for. It dawned bright, beautiful and ruddy cold this morning and never did make it up above 4.7C or 40F today. Some really high haze moved in preventing the sun from ever really heating things up and a cool, brisk wind didn't help matters much either. It was just as well. I have lots of computer work but if it had been warm enough, I would have been outside today painting.
I waited until I figured it was as warm as it was going to get today before going for a walk with the dogs in the back woods. thankfully, no more carrion or offal along the trail but the pup sure has a nose on her! It was still tough to get her away from the site even with everything cleaned up. It was a good walk, anyway as long as I stayed out of the wind.
There's a full moon tonight with a high haze reflecting the light, but I think it's going to be another cold one. It's already -4C and I've got a fire rocking in the wood stove.
I don't have time tonight to change the pic of the day so it'll stay the same as yesterday.
13/10/2008 1:45 PM

The Back Trail

It would appear that stupidity still reigns supreme in the world. It was a gorgeous morning and I was looking forward to taking the dogs for a long walk today. We had just gotten to a junction where all the trails meet when the dogs went nuts and I couldn't call them off of whatever it was they were on. When I got up to them it looked like they were on a deer carcass and most of my concentration was on getting them away from it.
As we continued down the trail, me trying to keep their attention on me rather than where they really wanted to be, I got more and more furious. I figured someone had shot our local deer that had been hanging around. Unfortunately, you can't prevent that from happening. We don't, after all, own the wild animals and disappointing as it would be to know a neighbourhood animal had been shot, there's not much you can do about it. But what was even more infuriating was that someone would leave the carcass where everyone walks. While it's not exactly Stanley Park, it's akin to it in that it would be just like someone dumping a carcass right in the middle of a trail in Vancouver's jewel. However, it's a lot more dangerous to do so here.
Bears have an extremely sensitive nose and we have a big one hanging around a meadow not far from that trail junction. There is nothing more deadly in North America than a bear on a kill. Since many of us in the area, more than half of which are women, walk alone on that trail, whoever left it is putting us all into serious danger. I had already concluded it would have to be cleaned up as quickly as possible, so I stopped at the neighbour's on the way back home to ask for help. Being a hunter myself, I'm aware of how heavy the innards and hide of an animal can be and it would be a lot easier getting it into the back of my truck without puncturing the gut bag if I had help.
Alex and Iris, who also walk that trail were quick to help and rode back to the site after I got my truck. Alex noticed right away that there was way too much gut for it to be a deer and that there was no blood around. I hadn't even had time to examine the site when I was trying to get the dogs away from it but he was right. On closer examination we realized that it was the innards, and hoofs of several animals. We rolled the gut bags and innards of five different animals into garbage bags and a small swatch of hide that had long, white hair. We figured it to be goats, but not wild mountain goats. Rather, someone had probably butchered the animals and then chose to dump the rest of the carcasses on the trail.
That makes the person even more of an asshole. Because to dump it there means they live here and were too lazy to take it to the dump. They're also too freaking stupid and very obviously inconsiderate to realize that they're putting our lives into danger. It's not uncommon for people to leave carcasses out in the woods when hunting, but you don't dump where people and bears are going to meet. Am I pissed? Absolutely! Man, there's some brain dead people out there!
On the brighter side, our weather is holding. It started raining yesterday just after I got the lawns cut and sprinkled into the night. When I woke up this morning it was really beautiful out, but you could tell some clouds would be rolling in from over the mountains shortly. That's why I decided to go for a walk earlier than I normally would. Sure enough, the wind has really picked up and there are some clouds, but that may mean a weather improvement. I watched the weather last night and it looks like there's a little high building off the coast that might actually last for a day or two.
Andy and his brother, who lives in Kelowna, have been going through their own saga. One of Dick's much loved dogs has been really sick for the last day or so and they had to do an emergency run into the vet's at 3:00 a.m. this morning. They nearly lost him and it's testament to a fantastic vet that's willing to bail out of bed at that time of the morning to save a dog's life. So far it looks like the dog might pull through, so if you need a good vet in Westbank, let me know. It sounds like this is the guy to have. Jeez, try to get a doctor to come out at that time of night to save your life. Not likely!
Alrighty. I've shot down most of the day already and really need to get some work done. Happy turkey day everyone!

12/10/2008 2:30 PM

The Inversion Layer

We had a strange thing happen with our weather yesterday. When I got up in the morning, it had tried to spit rain which immediately froze on the deck. The most it got up to was 5C or 41F and it struggled to do that. Yet all day I could see that the snow was melting really quickly on the mountains and the higher they were, the faster it was disappearing. That's pretty unusual. I figured that snow wouldn't be melting before next summer. Had the temperatures up high been the same as we had down here, there's no way that would happen, so I think it was raining up there the night before and the temperature was at least 5 degrees warmer at higher elevations than it was here. That happens sometimes when you get an inversion layer, but it's not common. I hoped that meant we would see warmer temperatures today and we certainly have!
It's already over 13C or 56 degrees Fahrenheit and still climbing. It was an absolutely glorious morning which surprised me because we had a lot of high cloud last night, but it's starting to cloud over pretty good now. I haven't seen the weather forecast for a few days but I sure wouldn't mind seeing at least one or two warm sunny days in a row. There's a lawn out there calling my name but I don't know if it's going to get cut before snow hits and stays.
I joined friends in setting off some fireworks last night. That was pretty cool. We were a little concerned about starting early but it's definitely pitch black by 7:30 and the moon stayed hidden behind clouds so no worries there. The store owners acquired a bunch of fireworks for a Halloween party to be held at the Nimpo Lake Community Hall on Friday, October 31st. as well as some for New Years. Of course, nothing like being a kid at heart. Both Leah and I were eager to test some of the smaller ones out and the guys set them up out in the driveway up at the car wash. Definitely a cool show. I can't wait to see what the big ones can do. So don't forget to turn out for Halloween folks! It's only $5, you can dress up if you want and there's a dance after so it's a fairly inexpensive night. I'm pretty sure you can't go to the movies on that anymore. Fireworks start at 8:00, the dance at 9:00 and donations toward the fireworks would be appreciated but is not expected.
The number of docks in the back bay have increased substantially in the past two weeks. We still have nearly two months before freeze up, but for those resorts closing and folks leaving for the winter, it's best they get them moved and parked now. As for us? I'm hoping to go fishing some nice day next week so our dock will be in for a while yet. The fish jumping all over the lake is just too hard to resist and I noticed that several people have been out in the last couple of days. Our neighbours were out a couple of days ago and did very well. I would dearly love to put some fillets down in the freezer for the winter.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends out there. Some of you will be eating a turkey dinner tonight, and others tomorrow night. And if you're really lucky, you'll score both nights, so here's to feeling fat, sassy, and full!
I have finally started a new week so you'll find last week's articles at October Week One.






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!
Frost coats all in front of National flags.
 
A white boat pushes a dock through the water.
 
Fisherman fishes for trout in Nimpo Lake.
 
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