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 - Sept., Week One/2011
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Summer Winding Down
know that it's been a little skinny on blogs everyone,
but that high pressure system I talked about in August
brought us some pretty glorious weather this month. We
had about ten days of straight sunshine and high temperatures
this September. It actually felt like summer!
It was an amazing run of good weather and even in the
last week or so after that high pressure system broke
down, it hasn't been bad. A little windy though and a
lot of mixed cloud and sun.
The only downside of all that sun and heat was that
we had a horrible algae bloom on the lake. It was just
awful. There was the green stuff that looks like
pieces of grass and some kind of green and turquoise blue
gel. It was all clumpy and looked thick enough to walk
on. It also stank to high heavens. We went out fishing
one night and as we came back toward home the wind shifted
and blew the smell from the bay west of our place right
at us. Phew! Both our neighbours on that bay complained
of the smell and that part of it lasted for at least a
week. Even our water from the hot water tank smells swampy,
much like it did this spring when all the flood water
from surrounding swamps came into the lake. It's not surprising
and I actually expected an enormous algae bloom because
of all the nutrients that washed into the lake, I
just didn't expect it to be quite as bad as it was.
A few days ago we got an all night rain and it spit off
and on the next day. It only amounted to a little over
a quarter of an inch, but it was cold and just enough
to sink the algae. A couple of very windy days have turned
the lake over and it looks as good as new now. Which is
fortunate because we kind of looked at that soupy water
and wondered if we really wanted to eat a fish that came
out of that. I'm sure the whole algae experience wasn't
particularly pleasant for the fish, either.
The day before last we had a cold, nasty day.
The wind was howling and cold and big, dark clouds scuttled
across the sky. It felt like it was going to snow. I told
Andy, Are you kidding me? What??!!! Winter's already
here? It must have been depressing for everyone
because I was up in Nimpo yesterday. It was calm, clear
and beautiful and everyone was so relieved and commented
on how nasty the day had been before. I think we all feel
so cheated out of summer this year that absolutely no
one is ready for winter. I know I'm not looking
forward to it at all!
Thankfully that little spell of hot weather helped out
my greenhouse a lot. I was beginning to think that all
I was going to pick this year were green tomatoes but
they've finally started ripening up. My first two cucumbers
are ready to pick and I have a zucchini that's a whole
four inches long. We've just started picking peas in the
past week and the beets look like they might actually
grow big enough to not need a microscope to see them.
The beet greens have been good though. They're still nice
The kohlrabi, spinach and Swiss chard have done squat
and my purple cabbage seems to exist for decorative
purposes only because it's going to be another
couple of months before there's any hope of seeing a head
form and I expect several killer frosts will have come
and gone by then, but who knows?
I tried something new with the potatoes this year
and so far, the results have been really, really disappointing.
I tried those canvas bags that you can put on a deck if
you want and a large metal wash tub instead of tires this
year. There weren't a lot of potatoes in any of the containers
when we dug them out yesterday. I just don't think there
was enough heat or sun this summer for them. I still have
a huge box of framed 2x6's of potatoes that also replaced
the tires that I think I'll leave for a while. Maybe if
I can protect the tops from freezing down any potatoes
in the box will grow bigger. Right now all I've accumulated
is only enough for a few meals, although we had some of
the baby potatoes fried up last night and yum, were they
If it turns out that the stacking box doesn't yield much
then I think I'll definitely go back to using car tires
in the future. They do a great job of drawing the heat.
We've had several frosts already in the past two
months, but the other night I think it got down to about
-5C or 23F away from the lake. We haven't seen
anything below -2C yet where we're located but I expect
we're due for a really cold one soon.
Andy, the neighbour and one of their friends went out
for a quad ride the day before yesterday. They only went
up on little Kappan to the lookout because the friend
had never driven an ATV before. Andy says the back trails
are finally just drying out and the ride was great except
that on their way back they had to buck up some trees
that had fallen in the wind between the time they left
and the time they returned.
None of the guys have been going out this year as
they have in the past just because the back trails have
been so flooded in places, particularly where
the trails go through meadows or low spots near a creek.
Hopefully though, things will continue to dry out. It's
funny that everything is still so wet because we haven't
had more than half an inch of rain total in over two months,
but we figure between the flooding in the spring, the
cool summer, and the lack of pine forests that used to
use up the water, it's just not drying out.
I haven't heard anything about the status of the
dump grizzly that was shot and wounded a little over a
month ago. Since no one has seen him it seems
that he either wasn't severely wounded and cleared out,
or as is more likely, simply crawled off and died somewhere.
Several people have mentioned to me that they think there's
a different grizzly in the dump now but I haven't seen
any myself, although the warning sign is still up at the
We've got so many grizzlies and black bears in the
Chilcotin now, we're overrun by the bloody things.
Certainly they seem to be moving into human inhabited
areas more and are being seen in places they've rarely
been seen before, including in Williams Lake. I suspect
that the forest fires we've had for the past two years
have displaced a lot of bears, and the floods in Bella
Coola last fall forced a lot of the bears there to move
up onto the plateau here. It doesn't help that there's
been a moratorium on grizzlies for several years now.
With nothing to keep them in check, including human hunters,
their population has exploded and they will start keeping
their own population under control through disease and
killing each other as well as the black bears.
Due to my dereliction of duty, as per my husband, I can't
say last week's blog is at this link but last month's
blog can be found at August
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!