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Wilderness Adventures - Sept. Week 1/2006

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.

You can search this site for a subject of interest to you at the bottom of this page. Check out the Picture of the Day.

07/09/2006 9:25 PM

Pretty Much The Same

Not a lot has changed since yesterday other than it was a weird day for light. We had some high hazy cloud today and when you paired that with a little forest fire smoke from the south, we had a strange white day. Even Nimpo Lake kind of reflected back white most of the afternoon. Couldn't be that much smoke in the air though. This evening on our way back from a walk you could see the Coast Mountain Range right down to the snow covered peaks to the south as clear as a bell.
The fire in southern British Columbia, also known as the Tatoosh fire, is still out of control and continues to spread. Residents in the area are on evacuation alert of course. Fire officials are desperate to get on top of this fire because high winds are forecast for Saturday with a cool low coming in off the coast, and I think they know they've had it if they can't bring this thing under control by then.
There's another fire that has crossed the border near Osoyoos from Washington State called the Tripod fire and it looks like it could blow up to be a doozy as well. I'm beginning to get a little suspicious with all these American fires. Are they fanning the flames to point their fires north so they don't have to spend so much of their own budget on fire fighting? Lol. Pretty smart when you think about it. Maybe we should be doing the same.
So far, we're still hanging in at very lucky with only a small fire at Bull Canyon near Alexis Creek today. I haven't heard of anything else of any note. So far, most of British Columbia seems to have been spared the 'careless campers' of past summers and it's a real blessing!
Three beautiful little planes came in last night and stayed at The Dean from the look of it. They all seemed to have American Registry numbers so perhaps they were on their way to or from Alaska. They taxied down Nimpo Lake to Wilderness Rim this morning, probably for fuel, and then took off. Then they circled back to the bay across the lake and I thought there was something wrong with one of the planes. But nope, they all landed over at Pine Point so the new/old owner, Rollie, must have recognized one of them and called them in on the radio. It will be nice for a lot of the old fly boys that used to frequent the lake to have Rollie back in the country. Rollie used to own the Resort for years operating it as a fishing lodge and floatplane charter and has now taken it over again. It's pretty run down but he and Tammy will have it up and in good shape in no time.
Just to remind anyone interested in property on Nimpo Lake, there's a beautiful 12 acre piece over on that side of the lake with a big house, nice cabin, five building lots and a nice protected bay for floatplanes. And the new neighbour is a considerable improvement over the old.
We keep waiting for the hammer to drop on our summer/fall here. It's plenty hot enough to still qualify as summer but the leaves are just starting to turn near the lake on the bushes, wild roses and gooseberry bushes. It's neat because we've made it right to the end of the first week of September, and it's still summer. Normally we would have a distinct fall feel to the air by now and then it might warm up again for a couple of weeks later in the month. Especially with a full moon. It almost always gets really cold at night then but not this time. It can sure stay like this as long as it wants! It's so nice to be able to sit out on the deck for a few minutes with the temperature just right, listen to the birds, watch fish plopping out of the water all over a flat, calm lake, and just take in the evening.

06/09/2006 10:31 AM

Hump Day In The Chilcotin

With the long weekend just past, this week is really going fast. Hey, I'm a poet...well, maybe not.
Our skies are not yet back to normal. There's still a little haze in the air but nothing like it was and the day is another beautiful, glorious day. Just like the old days and nothing like last year where we saw nothing but rain and bugs for most of the summer and into the fall. Very unusual for this country where August and September are usually the nicest for us and the weather very dependable.
The huge forest fire that crossed the border from Washington State into southern British Columbia is still raging right along. The smoke was so thick that they actually had a 250 hectare 'spot' fire ahead of the main fire and on the wrong side of the fire guard that they didn't even know about until the wind shifted. Helicopters were not able to bucket the fire and smoke even made it dangerous for ground crews. The smoke from this fire has been of concern to the entire province because it's so difficult to spot a new forest fire in the haze that has blanketed the southern half of the province. Forest fire officials asked that everyone everywhere be very vigilant and report any new suspected smoke immediately because the lookouts in fire towers across the province were having difficulty seeing new smoke.
I don't think our haze of the past few days was so bad that the lookouts couldn't see but I don't know that for sure. You've got a pretty good view of the plateau from our local fire lookout but that first tell-tale puff of smoke might be tough to see under the circumstances so fire crews might not get on it is as quickly as normal.
The fire to the south is very close to Manning Park which apparently is as full of pine beetle killed trees as our area. If the fire gets into that they'll have a heck of a time getting control of it. Last night the Incident Officer said they were just happy that a breeze out of the north had shifted some of the smoke so they could see what they were doing. The wind must have died down though or is back out of the south because our skies cleared last night but I just took a look outside and I see the haze is building again.
I ran across my bear's tracks on a walk again. Actually, he's not my bear and I really don't want anything to do with him. But I did find where he's coming out on the same trail as we do and crossing the road onto the neighbour's land. Those folks are only around part of the time in the summer and there's a good chunk of bush there so it probably makes for a good place for the bear to access water. I had been wondering where he was crossing. I like to know where I'm most likely to run into him. Apparently, that's all along my trail.
The loons are still gathering on Nimpo Lake, so they must be liking this weather too. At least they haven't left yet. I always miss them when they do. There sure doesn't seem to be any babies this year. One of the neighbours said she saw two pair attack each other and their babies in their bay. The next day, there were no babies left. Since loon pairs seem to like a lot of real estate to themselves, one pair must have moved in on another and everyone loses. The bald eagles are no help either. I know that shortly after we got home from Alaska I could hear loons up the lake set up a ruckus with a bald eagle dive bombing them. Another eagle went whipping past our point on his way to help out his buddy at the buffet. I don't know what the end result was and don't want to know. I guess that's what they call the circle of life...
Okay, it's a beautiful day and I want to get some work done on this computer so I can sneak outside for awhile. See you tomorrow!

05/09/2006 3:35 PM

Smoke And Fog

Boy, if it's not one it's another. There's been a pervasive smoky haze on the southern horizon for the last couple of days but yesterday was the worst. The mountains were just a formless blue behind the white haze of smoke that got thicker the farther south you looked. We're getting a lot of smoke from the Washington State fires that are probably following the Coast Mountain Range up. It's negligible for us but it must be just bloody awful for people to the south where the smoke is so thick all they showed on the news was a burnt orange ball that was supposed to be the sun. I've posted the four pictures on the right with the near to bottom image taken three days ago. By yesterday the Coast Mountain Range to the south was almost completely obscured by forest fire smoke. We've had very little wind, which I prefer. But our air isn't as pristine as usual as a result. The very bottom image is what our air and Nimpo Lake is supposed to look like.
This morning I woke up to fog like pea soup. It's that time of year but it was still a surprise. We've had gloriously clear mornings day after day. It must have gotten cold enough on the water last night for Nimpo to be blanketed with fog. I was looking out the window just as it started to clear off. There was still a layer of fog laying low over the water so that a man fishing out in the bay looked like he was floating on cotton while a bald eagle flying across in front of him looked huge and completely surreal. Sort of like one of those impressionist paintings you used to see. It looks like it's going to be another beautiful day in the Chilcotin!
Every day that we can get into September without a forest fire is a good day. With nights getting cooler and longer, there's more likelihood of either frost or heavy dew in the mornings and that brings the humidity up. The aspen along the highway are turning gold now. Ours are still quite green around Nimpo Lake and probably Anahim Lake but that will be the warming influence from the lakes that we get in the fall keeping things green.
The pipe into the lake from our water pump had to be extended yesterday. The lake level has continued to drop at an alarming rate and the mouth of the pipe was only an inch or two under water. We like to have that pump for keeping everything in the yard and the buildings wet should there be a forest fire nearby.
Most of us have become quite accustomed to not having a local fire department and are prepared accordingly. I know that starting a volunteer fire department is on the agenda for the Nimpo Lake Community Association AGM this month but really, who's going to man it? There aren't a lot of muscle bound young men walking around the area and I'm not sure WCB or any insurance company is going to be keen on 60, 70 and 80 somethings horsing around fire pumps and hose. But I guess we'll see how the idea is met at the meeting.
I hope everyone had a great Labour Day Weekend. I'm back to using my regular phone line for posting articles and collecting mail. My computer doesn't seem to like the new satellite hookup much so until it's sorted out, I'm still on slow snail dial up.

02/09/2006 5:23 PM

A Little Problem With Articles

Hi folks. I've been having a problem with uploading to the Internet since yesterday. We purchased a satellite and the guys from Williams Lake came out yesterday and spent a few hours installing it. Unfortunately, they seemed to be in a hurry to get home because they didn't stick around long enough to see why my computer wasn't any faster on the high speed satellite than it is on our doggy slow dial up. Both guys came up with excuses before they left, such as satellite lag time and that my computer needed cleaning out. I don't think so Tim. I think it probably is a problem with my computer, but it would have been nice for them to run some diagnostics so we could be sure. In the meanwhile, my level of frustration last night was such that I shut the computer down without an article written, and we've spent part of the day trying to figure out what's going on. I lost my dial up for a while as well so I couldn't access the 'Net at all but that seems to be back for the moment. While it is, I'll get this up online so at least you folks that aren't sunning yourselves at the lake this fine long weekend will understand why there are no articles. There may not be for another day or two until I can figure out the conflict in my computer. Wish me luck!
Yesterday was a calm evening with the lake as flat as could be. It was a beautiful evening as is today. Hot though.
Check out last week's articles at Aug Week Three.
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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!
Little red plane between flags.
 
Smoke covering mountains.
 
Mountains with smoke in the air.
 
Haze from smoke.
 
Clear blue Nimpo.
 
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