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 - Oct., Week 4/2007
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.
folks, we've got our first blizzard of the year. There's
probably close to two inches of fluffy white out there
that's fallen in 45 minutes or less. I think it started
snowing just a little later here than in Anahim Lake where
we watched fireworks at the Stampede grounds tonight.
Driving home became quite a challenge by the time
we hit our road where the snow was coming at a fast and
furious rate, making it difficult to see. You
know, those mesmerizing designs created by snow driving
into your headlights? Not conditions you would want to
be driving in if you were sleep deprived.
The Anahim Lake community got together and donations were
collected so that John Mclean from the store in Anahim
could host a fireworks show for the kids. So of course
besides kids, most of the adults turned out. Aren't we
all kids at heart? I think we were all disappointed that
there was no bonfire because standing around was a chilly
proposition this evening. And since everything in
this country operates on Chilcotin time, things
didn't start until at least a half hour late. I know my
butt was pretty chilled by the time the night sky was
lit up so we didn't stick around long. It was a good little
show but the snow started toward the end and it was time
to clear out.
At least the snow held off for all the little trick-or-treaters.
In fact, I was thinking earlier today that it was odd
that it didn't even seem to be threatening snow. I think
last year was one of the few where I haven't
seen snow on Halloween, but good old Mother Nature came
through true to form this year. So much for climate change.
This is one weather event that has been pretty
much the same for as many years as I've been in Canada.
Guaranteed snow on Halloween. That's okay. The dampening
effect on party goers always makes the cops happy. Incidentally,
that's a subject I'll probably be discussing in the near
First, I'll cover last night's meeting about a forest
fire buffer zone being cut around Nimpo Lake.
It looks like the government has made very little effort
to ease the hoops we'll have to jump through to get this
done. And there's no grant money for it. On top of that,
this couldn't come at a worse time. It will be very difficult
to make this project attractive to the two mills that
can get cutting permits for the area in view of our high
dollar and low lumber prices. Right now, sawmills
are shutting down all over the province because they just
can't make any money shipping wood across the border.
The Ministry of Forests representative that spoke to us
last night seems like a terrific fellow but he can only
do so much. Dave Bedford, another fellow that's been dealing
in this kind of thing for years, will probably be our
biggest help once we determine where we want to cut the
buffer zone. The Forestry Rep. said that a 2km wide
buffer zone means zero percent chance of a forest fire
jumping the guard. As the zone is made narrower,
the risk increases. We all see what happens with a narrow
guard. The Lonesome Lake fire had no problem swinging
around the Atnarko River and jumping numerous CAT guards
and Mother Nature was the only thing that stopped that
I think many of us are in favor of a 2km buffer and it
will be just a matter of convincing the mills that there's
enough big timber there to make it worth their while to
come in and cut. We also have to convince residents
living around Nimpo Lake that this can be done without
ruining the viewscape. And in cases where we can
see the logged off areas we all have a decision to make.
Do we want to continue to look at red and dead trees that
then turn grey and dead for the next ten years? After
which they all fall down like a pile of pick-up-stix and
create an even greater fire hazard, look terrible, and
make the area impassible to hikers, fourwheelers and snowmobiles.
Or do we bite the bullet, put up with a clear cut swath
until the young trees start growing up again? In
ten years the aspen and pine will blanket the cut in youthful
green. The alternative is to put up with miles
of fallen grey forest that won't decay or rot for at least
50 years and more likely 100 because most of the logs
will be off of the ground.
We saw the same situation at a fly-in hunt camp on a lake
where we went limited entry hunting for moose a few years
ago. A massive forest fire went through there fifty years
ago but wasn't hot enough to knock down trees. It
was only hot enough to kill them and they stood where
they died until a really harsh wind came up. Then
it knocked most of them over at the same time. This was
a mature forest with some really huge trees and when they
fell, they fell in all directions and on top of each other,
many 10 and 12 feet above the ground. The result was an
impassable forest of pick- up-stix. It's still that way
today and probably will be for another 50
years. If we allow the same thing to occur here,
we effectively close that resource to access by one and
all for generations to come. Five years ago if
someone had said, "We're going to clear cut the timber
across the lake from you." I, and everyone else would
have been tearing down doors to prevent it. Now.... I
don't see any choices here.
Our biggest danger from a large forest fire is from the
south and west side of Nimpo Lake because that is where
our prevailing winds come from. And there's some very
large, mature pine stands in that direction. If
a firestorm really got going, the lake would not prevent
sparks and burning debris from carrying across the water
to our side. However, if a wide buffer is cut
on the other side leaving a 1000 foot setback along the
lake shore that is not cut, then most of us living on
Nimpo Lake won't even see the clear cut
buffer. It's possible that fire could still start within
that 1000 foot setback that is full of wood, but a lot
of it close to the lake is spruce and aspen, and not enough
timber bunched together to really get going. Or at least
not so much that it couldn't be put out and it has no
place to go in any case.
So now we've got the maps, we know the score, and
we know we're on our own. Our committee, more
or less appointed by our Chairman/Dictator, is going to
have to sit down, figure out where a buffer is most effective
and how to utilize existing logging blocks, waterways,
natural wetlands and meadows. Then take it to the residents
to get their input, then onto the mills and try to convince
them that is an economically viable opportunity for them.
We'll see what happens I guess. Apparently though, our
best possible timeline if everything falls
into place and we get a timely consensus
from area residents, is for logging to start next winter.
That means we have to dodge the forest fire bullet at
least one more summer.
Let's see. Rainy the summer before last. Rainy this past
summer. What's the chances?
You know, I just realized how ironic it is to be discussing
a blizzard and forest fire in virtually the same breath.
Only in the Chilcotin, folks!
Quick Note On The Forest Fire Meeting
everyone. This is just going to be a really quick note
and reminder this evening. For those of you that reside
here, please don't forget there is a meeting at
the Nimpo Lake Community Hall tomorrow night regarding
a forest fire break surrounding our community.
Your attendance is important!
Our weather today was cold. It started out clear and sunny,
though chilly, but it looked like it was going to be a
nice, crisp fall day and I was looking forward to a walk.
I made the mistake of waiting until afternoon in the hopes
it would warm up a bit. Instead, it cooled down because
it clouded over and a little breeze started up. Temperatures
never did make it above 3C or 37F today and it hit freezing
before the sun went down. It's already -4C so it's going
to be a cool one tonight.
Pressure is climbing so we might see a little sun tomorrow.
It won't last though. We've got a huge system boiling
in from the Alaska Panhandle that looks like it
may slide as far south as northern Vancouver Island. It
looks to be packing quite a bit of punch, anyway.
Oddly, it was warm enough yesterday evening to rain a
bit and we woke up to some pretty white mountains today.
The Itcha Ilgatchuz Mountains got a really good dump from
the look of it. There were places here and there on the
back trails in the shade where there was snow on the ground
and the ground is starting to freeze in pretty good.
Those same mountains would be a treacherous place
to go down in a plane now. Has anyone seen the
news? Five small planes crashed or disappeared in
the last 20 days in BC and four out those five
went down in the mountains. From what I can tell, it's
unprecedented and I don't know if we've just odd weather
conditions this fall or what. In the most recent one that
occurred yesterday, only a little girl survived the crash
and that was a miracle looking at how that plane landed
on its nose. As the Transport Safety Board says, although
many pilots do have training for the mountains such as
our bush pilots, it's not a requirement and so many do
not react quickly enough or fly in unexpectedly extreme
weather when they shouldn't.
Okay, this turned out longer than it was supposed to and
I've really got to get this uploaded before midnight.
With no time to change the picture of the day you'll just
have to enjoy that grizzly for another day or so.
day folks and a very happy Sunday. I'm happy because I
have another week before the clocks have to be turned
back. You have no idea how bleeping happy
that makes me. While this weekend would normally have
been the one that lost us that additional hour of light
in the evening, we've been spared this year. Now the dreaded
occurrence doesn't happen until the first week of November,
or next weekend. Honestly, I don't know why the powers
that be don't just leave it alone! Leave us on 'Daylight
Savings' time permanently because any excuse I've
ever heard for switching has always sounded really suspicious
Personally, I haven't met anyone that would rather have
more light in the morning than in the evening. Actually,
that's not entirely true. My partner loves the mornings
and actually gets excited about dawn arriving earlier.
Whereas I, on the other hand, look at dark mornings as
just another perfectly good reason for rolling over and
going back to sleep. Why would I want it light earlier?
So I'm hoping the fact that the States changed the dates
for our time change and that Canada was forced to follow
suit means that slowly, ever so sneakily, over time, the
time change will be abolished forever. Make my day!
Today cannot be described in any other terms but dreary.
There was heavy, grey overcast all day and it actually
spit rain now and again. The temperature never really
got much above 5C and is sitting at 3C or 37 degrees Fahrenheit
right at the moment. At least there wasn't much
of a breeze today or it would not only have been damp
out, but damned cold. Yesterday if you were outside for
any length of time at all you got a chill clear through
and you just couldn't warm up, it was that raw out.
I've determined that my powers of observation suck.
I don't know how many years I've been walking over the
trails in the woods behind our place, but until today
I never noticed how much dwarf mistletoe there was infecting
our pine trees. Maybe because I never knew that's what
it was until that scientist identified it for Andy's niece
and I last winter.
Earlier this summer walking through a block of trees along
the road with Andy I found some in a couple of trees growing
close together and pulled it out. But I never thought
it was that widespread. Today, walking along the
trails, numerous small pine trees have at least one clump
of it wrapped around a branch. I wonder if it's
more noticeable now because of its fall color? The pieces
Mazy and I found on the snow last winter were a bright
shade of green and were fat and juicy looking little things.
Here's an interesting little note according to National
Geographic News. The word mistletoe derives from observations
that that the plant would often appear in places where
birds had left their droppings. "Mistel" is an Anglo-Saxon
word for "dung" and "tan" is the word for "twig," according
to the USGS. Roughly translated, mistletoe means
"dung on a twig."
According to the same source, The exchange of a kiss under
the mistletoe is linked back to the ancient times of the
Druids. When enemies met under mistletoe in the forest,
they had to lay down their arms and observe a truce until
the next day.
I realize that when the parasite is spotted in a forest
of coniferous trees it causes a lot of consternation among
foresters. But it obviously dates back a long, long time
so it can't be completely devastating to a forest. Certainly
not to the degree that the Mountain Pine Beetle is. It
would seem that the forest industry was always more concerned
about how the dwarf mistletoe affected their bottom line
because an infestation could reduce the timber harvest
by as much as half. Otherwise, some of the benefits may
be a larger variety and number of birds and more diversity
in growth on the forest floor.
The parasite steals nutrients from the tree, stunting
it and eventually killing it. Apparently one of the results
of a parasite attack on a live tree is 'witches broom'
which is another term for a distorted tree branch with
a thick clump of needles growing in an unusual manner.
Anyway, it would seem we have quite a lot of it in our
forests here and I'm not sure if anyone knew that. I always
wondered why we seem to have such strange looking stunted
pine here and there along the back trails and I'm beginning
to think that dwarf mistletoe may be the reason.
One more note. I've just received word from some folks
from Chilliwack that they've just purchased the
Batnuni Ranch, famous from Rich Hobson's books about he
and Pan Phillips' adventures east of the Itchas.
They take possession in the spring and I expect they'll
be having a few adventures of their own. I very much look
to hearing from them then. Happy move, folks!
In Fond Memory
is only meant to be an important note, not the main article
for the day as you'll find below.
Sam Whitefish died in a head on collision on the
way out here from Williams Lake yesterday evening
about where the pavement used to end at Chipman Road.
Until an autopsy is done it won't be known for certain,
but the coroner seems fairly certain that he had a heart
attack and probably died from it even before the accident
The fellow he hit is also from out here and on seeing
the oncoming vehicle in his lane, put his truck pulling
a backhoe on a trailer into the ditch, but Sam's car still
rammed the back end of the trailer.
Sam was probably one of the first people I met when I
came into this country to work at the mill in 1988. A
big, jovial man of Native background with a toothy smile
and happy laugh, I count him as my friend.
Sam and his good friends Chuck and Wendy were a three
headed team that went everywhere and did everything together.
And if you needed them for anything, they were quick to
For the last few years Sam has suffered badly from diabetes
and all the problems that go with that. He was scheduled
to have a badly needed transplant for a rare kidney match
to be donated by his brother. Unfortunately his brother
died in an accident and for some reason no one attending
the accident knew that he held the key to Sam's future
good health. With bad luck going to worse, Sam only just
lost his Mom, and even worse, was apparently scheduled
to have his legs amputated next week because the diabetes
was so bad. He was going to have to move to town and leave
his beloved Chilcotin for good.
Some things may seem pretty final, but maybe they
do happen for a reason.
Happy Journey Sam.
clear cold moon has done a fine job of lighting up the
night this week. Night before last and long after dark,
I had to go out to a storage shed for packing material
and decided to take a little walk down our road to spread
some scent around for our four legged nemesis. It was
dead calm and the moon shone so brightly on the water,
even in the back bay, that I could see a tell tale V trail
in the water. I put the flashlight beam on the head
of the little wave and was immediately rewarded with an
explosive tail slap and the beaver disappeared.
I waited around for a few minutes but there was no more
sign and so turned to go back up to the house.
On the southern horizon at the base of the mountains but
over a few miles of tree line were several twinkling orange
glows. It almost looked like the orange mercury lights
from a secret research station or isolated refinery far
out in the tundra that you see on the movies sometimes.
Totally alien to the environment. Although
I was pretty sure it was fire, it's easy to let your imagination
have fun for awhile at night in this country. Why not?
There's not a lot to entertain ourselves here....lol.
I went into the house to get the binoculars and reported
the presence of the beaver to my other half, who promptly
got dressed and brought some attitude and a light with
We walked back out to the back bay and weren't there for
more than a few moments and there was the V in the water
again. This time I could see the beaver at the head of
it but only barely. Another tail slap but surprisingly,
he didn't stay down long and continued on his merry way
within moments. To chew off more of the alders along
our shoreline, no doubt. This bugger is definitely
nocturnal and just will not show himself in daylight.
Although he comes back to his lodge and does a little
work there and continues to stash his feed bin a bit,
he's doing it all at night.
I showed Andy the orange fire at the base of the mountains
and the moonlight was so bright that you could clearly
make out a line of several huge slash fires in the binoculars.
Smoke and flame ringed a hillside behind the slash
burn and far to the west we could just barely
make out more flame and smoke just peeking above the foothill
there. Humidity was high, the air well below freezing
and no wind made it a perfect time to burn slash from
logging. I just can't remember there being any logging
over in that direction. In fact, neither of us could figure
out where that would be where it was accessed by logging
road. But it was unquestionably slash burning so no worries
there. Sure was neat to watch.
I like clear nights with a full moon. I like being
able to walk around outside without any need of a flashlight
listening to the quiet and seeing my breath in
the cold. Once your eyes adjust, more and more things
come into focus and you can hear the tiniest sound. Fish
plopping in the water, the tiny splash of a muskrat or
grebe, and the murmur of the ducks. The only thing neater
is a moonlit night in winter with snow on the ground and
in the trees. Then you could probably read a book by the
light of the moon but there's no sound at all then. It's
like everything is covered in cotton. Most birds are gone
and the lake is often frozen over so you can't hear the
bird or animal life that you can this time of year.
I woke up this morning to what I thought was an extremely
heavy frost because the ground was white. I didn't think
it could possibly be snow because the sky was dead clear
last night and it was at least 5 degrees below freezing
when I went to bed. But apparently a tiny snow squall
came roaring over early this morning and dropped just
a fine mist of snowflakes for a moment. Our temperatures
aren't going to get above 4C or 39F today and
will probably remain low for the next few days. You can
tell that the water temperature is plummeting because
the surface of the lake just doesn't move at all in the
mornings. There's sure lots of splash rings from fish
jumping out on Nimpo right now though.
This is another stage in fall when once you get the calm
after a wind, days will go by where all is quiet. You
might hear the very rare call of a young loon or the high
whistle of ducks gone sonic when they whiz overhead, but
otherwise everything seems to be waiting. Grebes, ducks
and loons float around on the water looking content and
quiet. Maybe they are. The flurry of mating, building
nests, and feeding young is over with. There's lots of
food, temperatures aren't too cold yet, and all they have
to do is get fat until it's time to make the great journey
south. Unlike us poor sods on two legs that have
to get everything winterized and get firewood in.
Perhaps there's something to be said for going south for
The back woods are starting to show signs of winter moving
in. It was slippery trying to walk on the trails yesterday.
The frost has started to drive down into the ground at
night, then sun shining on exposed spots on the trail
starts pulling the frost back out making the surface really
goopy to walk on. Many of the puddles on the trail were
frozen over and my only company besides the dogs were
Whiskey Jacks. Oddly, I'm seeing more and more of
them this year where they were rare before. I
don't know if squirrels are their main competitors and
now that there are so few around because of the beetle
kill, the Whiskey Jacks are moving in? Or do they eat
insects and again because of the beetle kill, there's
lots of insects in the dead pine? I don't know but I had
one at the bird feeder yesterday and that too is unusual,
although I did have one for the first time last year.
Hey everyone. I got another great little story from John
for your Friday night enjoyment.
brother Don BRECKNOCK was a guide outfitter for 27/28
years and his territory included the east side of the
Itchas. Thunder Mountain Outfitters I think he called
himself. He was going to sell out and I was actually thinking
about buying in. This was quite a few years ago now when
I was still in the RCMP.
Don says I better come with him on a trip to the Itchas
as he had a party of four from Florida wanting Caribou,
Moose, wolf etc. he thought I should come and learn the
territory etc. So....off to the Itchas with four dudes
and a couple of assistant guides.
Turns out I was chief cook and bottle washer, wrangler,
and any other chore that needed doing. HE WORKED MY ASS
OFF!!! Well after about 5/6 days in the sticks and working
from about 0430 hours to 2200 hours a day, a man gets
a little smelly maybe; hell no, stinks is a better term.
Anyways.... there I am in the cook tent, it's late at
night and I have just finished a huge tub of dishes and
cleaned up the cook tent. Now the dish water is still
nice and warm, I'm stinky as hell and decide to take a
little bath in the big dish basin. I put the big dish
basin on the floor of the tent. Pull up a stump. Strip
down to my Birthday suit, sit on the stump put my feet
in the dish pan and low a behold didn't I leave a fork
in the dish basin. I am picking the fork out of the basin,
wiping it off, when into the cook tent comes my brother,
Guide/ Outfitter, head honcho, and boss. I look up and
say, "Just about finished the dishes Don." If you could
have seen the look on his face! "Jesus Christ!"
he says. He reefs the flaps of the tent back down, "If
my hunters see this I'm out of business!" Well I
think we laughed for about 10 minutes. He only wished
he had that on video. What advertising that would have
made. Timing is everything.
Needless to say I had a change of heart about becoming
actually funny that John mentions re-using water.
When you have to pack water by hand and then heat it up
either over a camp fire a or a woodstove, you don't waste
it. Having spent a good part of my life without running
water, I understand John's method of conservation perfectly.
Since I used to have to pack my water for a quarter
mile in five gallon buckets while living out here
before, I would wash my hair, then use the rinse water
for washing my face and taking a bath. Wash water from
dishes was used to mop the floor if it wasn't too grubby
and rinse water from dishes could be used for handwashing
clothes or cooled and used for watering plants. It all
works. Still though, it helps if you remove the utensils
Oh, and another quick note just for fun. The earthquakes
that have been felt for the last little while near the
Nazko Cone are actually said to be coming from around
Thunder Mountain a few km west of the Cone. Do
you suppose its volcanic history is why the mountain was
given that name? Anyway, we sure seem to be hearing lots
about the other side of the Itcha Range lately. Coincidence?
Or time to write some more about Pan Phillips and Rich
The Calm After
are definitely taking a deep breath and enjoying the calm
after the storm around here. Yesterday was absolutely
wild, with winds that would blow you right off your feet.
There had been a wind warning out for the Chilcotin with
winds from 70 to 100 kph or up to 60 mph and it sure felt
like we got some gusting to that speed.
Our place faces the lake and even though it has a prow
front that probably helps to break the wind somewhat,
you could still hear the windows and roof creak with the
really bad gusts. You know, the kind where you look
at each other over dinner and wonder if the roof is going
to stay on? Actually, that happened last night.
We got a gust so bad during dinner that the very ground
this house sits on seemed to vibrate. Who knows? Maybe
it did. When you've got a bunch of trees out in the yard
that the wind seems determined to rip out by the very
roots, the ground probably is humming a
bit. It was shortly after that when the neighbour called
on Andy to help prop his power pole up. It seems it sheared
off at the base but the wires had kept it standing for
the moment. They got it propped and braced and I see the
Bella Coola Hydro repair truck just pulled in down his
road with a new pole for him.
Last night the rain started but it took me a moment to
recognize what it was from in my office. The wind
was driving it so hard that it literally smacked into
the windows. It was funny but the intensity of
the rain hitting the windows varied with the wind and
as the sound increased it sounded like someone was throwing
a million little pebbles against the glass. It would ease
off and then it would increase again. It continued like
that for a couple of hours last night and since it was
coming in sideways, I don't think much landed in the rain
Our temperature got up to 16.3C or around 60 degrees
Fahrenheit yesterday which is amazing for this time of
year so that even with gale force winds blowing,
if you could get out of it, the air was quite balmy. A
walk in the woods yesterday was quite pleasant because
you're protected from the wind somewhat. It will be a
lot cooler walking today because the cold front has made
its way in. Although the temperature was around 9C late
last night, it had dropped to freezing by this morning
and is slow to climb again, even in the sun. The air has
a distinct winter chill to it. It was warm long
enough though to melt a lot of the snow off of the surrounding
mountains. We were starting to get a good accumulation
of the white stuff up there but there's a lot of black
Bella Bella west of us and just off the coast saw eight
inches of rain yesterday. Eight inches!
That's a lot of rain even for outer islands and presumably
a fair amount of rain melted the snow on the mountains
inland. Apparently Young Creek at the foot of the 'Hill'
was running higher and dirtier than at flood stage in
the spring and all of the creeks and rivers through the
Bella Coola Valley were running extremely high. Very unusual
considering river levels are usually at their very lowest
this time of year.
I don't think there is any longer a question that
our weather is changing. Whether a natural progression
triggered or speeded up by our pollutants or not, there
is a distinct change. I don't ever remember seeing winds
like this in all the years I lived out in this country
until the last couple. In a region that sees very little
in the way of extreme weather events, we are seeing a
much wider swing now. It's quite normal for Ontario to
be basking in record warm temperatures while we are freezing
in the west, and for it to reverse as it did just these
past couple of days. The speed at which that reverse happened
though is not normal.
Perhaps the weather aficionados are right, and global
warming doesn't necessarily mean warming in many regions
but more extreme weather events. We have definitely
seen a slow progression to warmer temperatures overall
in the last few years, helping to fuel the Mountain Beetle
epidemic. But there has been nothing slow about
the amount of rain that we have received in the past two
out of three summers. Those moist summers have in turn
brought perfect conditions for record numbers of mosquitoes.
Our winters seem to be changing as well. Aside from the
coldest winter temperatures being about 20 degrees warmer
than they used to be, we seem to be hit by a Pineapple
Express more often in winter. (An unusual stream of warm,
moist tropical air coming up from Hawaii that bring Chinook
like conditions.) And there is no question in my
mind but that our jet stream seems to have gone wonky.
Where we used to enjoy crisp, cold clear blue skies in
winter now we are often stuck with cloudy, dreary days
normally reserved for Vancouver, who seems to be getting
our nice sunny days. It's as though the jet stream is
farther north in winter than it normally would be, and
farther south in summer than it should be. The farther
south it is, the more it seems to pull cold air down from
the north bringing us cool, rainy summers.
There is supposed to be a strong La Nina event this fall
and early winter that will also affect the Pacific Northwest
bringing cooler temperatures and more moisture than normal.
Although we certainly didn't mind the heavy snow of last
winter I'm not sure the Smithers area residents
really want to hear that there's going to be more snow
this year. I'm certain they've about had it with
snow. Actually, they've probably had it with rain too.
They got a big dump of both these past few days. It's
too bad we couldn't send some of that to California.
I really, really feel for those folks down there with
the wildfires. What do you do in the face of such a firestorm?
For so many homes to be lost and the numbers increasing
by the moment is unbelievable. And there is absolutely
nothing you can do to stop fires driven by winds like
that. About all you can hope is that they will die down
and eventually they will. It's just how many homes will
be lost until they do?
While the fires in California are another clear
example of more extreme weather events, I think we've
been seeing them for some time. We just haven't
been recognizing them. Until a pattern starts to manifest
itself, there's really no reason to believe the weather
is being anything but quirky. After all, that's one thing
that's never consistent. So how to you prove
more extreme inconsistencies with something like that?
Well, I guess that's what scientists around the world
have been trying to do for some time now and I for one
am not displeased to see the media attention on climate
change. We've noted that there are more and more programs
and documentaries on television of late about climate
change. And the subject seems pervasive in the manner
in which it is injected into nearly every show and the
whole thing has snowballed. That's probably not
a bad thing. Now that we recognize that we have a problem
and that humankind may be either the cause or a main contributor,
we can work on it. Kind of like an alcoholic or drug addict.
First you have to admit you have a problem.
Then you can work on doing something about it.
In the meanwhile, I see our gorgeous day is deteriorating
a bit with the wind coming out of the north and the temperature
falling. That will chase the bears into winter hibernation
in a hurry. They've been reporting a lot of bear
problems down on the Island saying they're getting really
aggressive about raiding for food in preparation for winter.
Hopefully any of our bears around here are already fat
and headed for den. I haven't seen any sign lately on
our trails in the woods. That said, I'm going to see if
I can't sneak in a walk before getting back to work.
Oh, one final thing. For anyone local that doesn't know
about it, there's a meeting with the local RCMP Members
at the Anahim Lake Community Hall at 7:00 tomorrow night
for community members from Anahim and Nimpo Lake. For
anyone that would like to air their complaints or has
some input on local policing, please attend and make yourself
heard. Bitching in the coffee shops doesn't count
nor does it do any good. Go to the source folks!
had an interesting change in the weather these last couple
of days. Saturday was a really pretty day with
sunshine and little breeze. Yesterday was pretty decent
as well until rain started in the evening. We half expected
it because we had just watched the weather at news hour
and they had rain warnings with 150 mm of rain expected
for the Central Coast and 110 mm, 11 cm or a little over
four inches of rain for Central Coast Inland.
For us to have gotten that much would have been an extraordinary
event but even so, we got a full inch of rain overnight.
It would have been quite a pile of snow if it had come
in that form.
By early afternoon it cleared off and I dove outside for
a walk before it started raining again.
The temperature climbed to an incredible 14C or around
57F today which is quite a change from temperatures
that have been dipping to -6C and not much higher than
5C in the sun. When I stepped outside today, you could
feel a warm breeze indicating we're getting
what's almost a Pineapple Express coming in from the Pacific.
That's when the jet stream carries warm air in from Hawaii
and usually occurs midwinter for us. The long line of
cloud on the satellite images is packing a lot of moisture
and it's nailing our coastline pretty much dead on. So
we can probably expect to see warm temperatures for another
day and more rain. We're also under a wind warning
with winds to 60 mph predicted for the Chilcotin.
Which is why I figured I would try to sneak a quick article
in now in case we lose power tonight or tomorrow. Surprisingly,
according to the weatherman, the same system following
the jet stream over us is associated with the high below
it that is fueling the Santa Ana winds causing such grief
in California right now. There are now 12 forest fires
that started this weekend raging in the state and it's
a real shame to see all the homes that have burned so
far and how many more are undoubtedly going to burn before
all is said and done. Thank goodness we dodged that
bullet this summer. All I know is that it's
quite a shocker to go from very chilly temperatures indicative
of an early winter to surprise spring temperatures but
I'll certainly take it while we have it.
A walk in the woods today was downright exhilarating with
a warm wind and freshly washed pine trees gleaming that
luminous green that they do after a long rain. Even the
kinnickinnick had perked up quite a bit and I actually
had a mosquito buzz past my ear. Well that's okay, he'll
freeze soon enough.
We're still at war with the beaver who absconded
with an aspen tree Saturday night that I had wrapped with
chicken wire. He simply stood up and cut the tree
down above the wire. I'm pretty sure it was deliberate.
It's not like he didn't have some unwrapped trees to choose
from. I'm beginning to feel like Bill Murray in
Caddyshack! On the losing end of the stick. He's
also made off with numerous willow in the past couple
Andy spent a good part of the afternoon over at the beaver's
lodge pulling out his food cache where he had tucked it
not just in front of the lodge, but packed it in under
the dock right in front of his lodge. Pretty smart beaver.
Not only is it harder to detect but a lot harder to pull
out and it took Andy a strong rake and considerable effort
to disentangle and pull out six huge armloads of trees
and branches from under the dock. He had taken about the
same amount out of the water in front of the lodge and
I recognized quite a few of our trees in both piles.
That beaver isn't just nailing us though.
We found the cut off trunk of one aspen much bigger than
anything we had on our property just a little ways from
the beaver's lodge and nearly all of the bark chewed off
of it. I don't know where that tree came from but someone's
going to be missing a beautiful tree from their yard.
I've got another little tale from John Brecknock about
Swede, the moonshine maker. Enjoy:
This same gentleman, Swede, used to own a store
in Nimpo Lake. Maybe the first store ever in Nimpo Lake.
He was also well known for his Home brew, moonshine and
hospitality. He was also noted to be maybe his own best
Anyways... on this one occasion Swede was entertaining
an Anahim Lake resident and sampling some of his wares.
They were both well into it when some of his friends and
frequent customers appeared at his door. They of course
were wishing to obtain some brew. Swede sent them away
saying he did not have any brew left to sell. Now these
frequent clients did not believe Swede most likely due
to his obvious signs of self-indulgence. They came back
to the door on two more occasions insisting that Swede
"share the wealth" so to speak. He shooed them away each
and every time. One more time they came back to his door
banging on it for service. This time Swede grabs his .30-30
and fires a couple of rounds through the door.
Now his Anahim Lake guest sobers up pretty quick and immediately
goes to check if anyone was hit. Before he even gets to
the door, Swede says, "Don't open the door, we'll count
em in the morning.". Only in the west Chilcotin, maybe
not!! But true.
Also gotta tell you about his arrow head sales. He used
to get chunks of obsidian from up country. He would place
them on his wood cook stove and reportedly use an eye
dropper of cold water and crudely shape arrow heads thusly.
Now I've never tried this or don't even know if it would
work. Just another story about Swede.
John! Keep them coming because I'm still up to my neck
in work for a few more days and your stories are way more
fun than mine!
You will probably have noticed that this story was brought
over from last week where there were several by John but
I wanted to keep the dates in the right week. If you would
like to read last week's stories, you'll find them at
Week Three .
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!