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 2/2006
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
of the Day.
Jingle Bells...Jingle Bells..
you know that I was driving through a snow storm today?
Actually, the entire three hours that I was gone from
home it snowed. It started out with a hail sleet cross
when I dove for the truck door. By the time I hit
the highway it was snowing big, fat, furry flakes and
it didn't stop. The flakes got smaller after awhile
but it sure didn't slow down much and it was sticking
everywhere except the pavement which really surprised
me, because that ground and the gravel roads should still
have a lot of heat but apparently not. I'm wondering what
it will look like up in the hills when the clouds clear
away from the mountains. I'll bet it won't be just a little
dusting of white like it was yesterday evening. The temperature
hasn't climbed much above freezing all day so you can
bet it's a lot colder at higher elevations. I should
have guessed something was coming. Yesterday the
little birds were going nuts in the trees, hitting the
bird seed hard, and even the Robins were bouncing around
all over the place yesterday evening. I haven't seen much
bird action this summer but when they get active it's
usually a pretty good indicator that something nasty is
coming down the line.
I feel especially sorry for those folks vacationing here
right now. I'm not sure there's anything more desolate
looking than an RV sitting in a snow storm with
awning sagging and snow melt dripping off the roof. The
RV'ers must be going, "What the heck...?!!!"
And of course everywhere I went today, including the restaurant,
there was a big crackling fire blazing away with people
taking turns backing up to it. We've had a fire going
since last night of course, and if things don't improve
we won't be letting it go out before spring.
Last night we got nearly a half inch of rain and
with this snow we most definitely do not need to worry
about forest fires in the near future. That, friends,
is a huge relief!
Last I heard a lot of forest fires broke out all over
British Columbia the last few days because of lightning
strikes. I believe Forestry was battling several hundred
including the two huge fires down near Osoyoos and Manning
Park. Our province doesn't have it nearly as bad as the
five U.S. States that have lost about 1,000,000 acreas
between them and many are still out of control including
those in Washington. I don't know if any of those States
got the weather system that just hit us but I'm pretty
sure most of the province was supposed to get rain so
we should be in good shape. Only a month or so to go and
most of British Columbia will be out of any fire danger.
Okay, gotta go, we've got company. I just couldn't
resist updating you on our Christmas weather!
Oops! That's Snow!
heavy lot of clouds cleared away from the mountains this
evening to reveal fresh snow. You know it
has to be coming but it's a bit of a surprise after our
long, hot stretch. Shortly after that little reveal, it
socked back in, big grey clouds rolled back and we had
a couple of lightning strikes that were pretty darned
close. The boom from the one was right overhead and the
kind that you can feel in your chest. Another followed
right after that and though not as close, I still didn't
have time to count to two seconds before the thunder boomed
again. And then came the hail. Hard, fast
and cold, it came straight out of the north and buried
the sill on the our north facing door. You could just
about watch the needle on the thermometer drop and steam
started coming up off of the lake almost immediately because
the water temperature was so much higher than the air
No walk tonite with this weather and mr. black bear
is just going to have to trundle around on his own.
Besides, we're listening in to the radio to see if the
fire lookout spots any fires started by lightning. The
sky is really low so I should think she'll have a hard
time spotting smoke at any distance, but you never know.
I'm hoping that hail storm dampened the ground quickly
enough to prevent a fire starting from a lightning strike,
but it's pretty darn dry out there.
Tonite's blog is going to be short. It's been a long day,
I'm way behind work and we've got company coming tomorrow
so writing the next few days is going to be hit and miss,
but I'll leave you with the picture of a nice sunrise
taken over Nimpo Lake the other morning. I suspect that's
the last we'll see of the sun for a while.
yesterday's title sure was a serious expression of over
- optimism. Our 'rain' left little drops in the dust.
Today, we got very little more in the way of lightning
quick showers. The upside is that it was pretty
easy to judge the freshness of our black bear's tracks
on our walk tonite. He was all over the place
this afternoon. He crossed our trail in the woods and
then I found a new place that he came out of the woods
on the same corner as we do where the tracks were a day
or two old. But once we got down to Rainbow Lodge's corner
there were fresh tracks crossing back and forth across
the road repeatedly. One set showed him running back
across the road from the lodge property and his
claws were digging in pretty deep to get purchase in the
gravel so something must have scared him or the
lodge dog put the run on him. I'm assuming that Richard,
the owner of the lodge, is still throwing the fish scraps
from cleaning his guests' fish out in a pit in the woods.
According to the neighbours, this has attracted bears
before and certainly seems to be the main destination
of this one. The only danger with that practice is that
we do all walk the road and woods and someday there might
end up being a run in. Mind you, his wife walks the same
road and it doesn't seem to bother her. A problem bear
was created last year and everyone that walked the road
ran into the same bear fairly regularly on the same corner
crossing from Richard's to the woods on the other side.
Actually, there's even a trail coming up out of a ravine
from the lodge referred to as the bear trail
because bears have followed it for so many years.
Who knows. This year may not be any different from any
other but because the dust creates such a clear
and perfect canvas for tracks it may just seem
that there's more movement on the part of this bear. I
really enjoy seeing what's out in the woods near our place.
There's a lot of real estate on this side of the lake
that is nothing but miles of forest and meadows between
the highway and Nimpo Lake so there's plenty of isolation
for wildlife. Our most common track to see is normally
moose but I'm not seeing a lot of fresh tracks this year.
A few, but not a lot. That is most likely because of the
long, hot summer. Most moose fled to higher country this
spring and won't be down until later this fall when it
starts cooling off and the rut begins.
I'm definitely seeing more deer tracks than ever before
and of course the otter tracks about a week ago. It
still seems strange to come across a water mammal's tracks
trucking down the trail deep in the woods and far from
We're supposed to be seeing cooler weather for the next
few days but it doesn't seem to be slowing down our visitors
very much. I looked out over Nimpo Lake yesterday
morning and I swear there were more fishermen out there
at one time than we've seen all summer! There
were even people out in their slickers humped up in their
boats in the rain this morning. Now excuse me, but my
daddy taught me to come in out of the rain! Mind you,
the fish were jumping way out of the water all over the
place so it was kinda' tempting...
I would really like to thank some kind folks from
Washington State for their kind email this morning.
I did try to reply and got a bounce back from their mail
server so just in case I can't get through...
I admit to getting depressed sometimes with trying to
keep this site up in the search engines so people can
find it and learn about our area. Without lots of
visitors to our communities, many of our businesses would
be lost. Sometimes trying to find the time to
write a daily article that I think might be of interest
to someone can be a real struggle too, especially in my
busy season. But when you get a great letter like I did
this morning and like I have from many of you super
people that have contacted me before, it just makes my
day!!!! And it certainly makes it all worthwhile.
So if I haven't thanked you all for awhile for patiently
coming back to read the daily blog and for your emails
of encouragement, don't think I don't appreciate it lots!
I certainly do. And sometimes it's just the lift we all
need from time to time.
maybe not quite. But it is sprinkling tonight and that's
positive. Even though what we're getting for rain
is barely settling the dust, it's more than what
we've gotten in a month and if nothing else, some of the
plants can pull some moisture in on the leaves. The weatherman
is calling for some showers over much of British Columbia
so I hope he means us as well. We can use all the help
we can get. Of course, so could those living near the
Two of the three fires down on the Canadian Washington
border are still classed as out of control. The
third is considered 60% under control. There's still some
concern that the Cathedral Fire and Tatoosh fire might
join although the newscasters say they are still six kilometers
apart. Now that doesn't seem to be very far to me...in
the neighbourhood of only four miles. So if they're saying
it isn't as likely now that the two will join as it was
before, I'm assuming they have their mileage wrong. They've
certainly had their acreage wrong for the past week.
I've heard newscasters on two different news channels
give the fire size as anywhere from 24,000 hectares a
week ago to 42 hectares tonite. That seems a little strange
if the Tatoosh fire is still out of control and growing
at a rate of anywhere from 50 to 100 hectares a day. I
don't think the people on the British Columbia news channels
have a clue as to what they're talking about when
it comes to forest fires and never have. They've certainly
never gotten the information correct when it came to fires
out in this area. That's when they bother to report on
them, that is. Then again, the Forestry Service isn't
the most reliable source either.
Things are starting to turn color at a good rate now.
It seems only in the past week that much of the grasses
and low lying bushes have turned gold or red. The nights
are much cooler now with frost a real possibility every
night and fog rolling in off the lake many mornings.
No new bear sign on our walk on the back trails
tonite so our black buddy must be laying low today.
I'm going to post a cool picture by Leah of that bear
sneaking out on the shore of the Atnarko River this weekend
on the Picture
of the Day. See if you can
Last but not least, my heart goes out to all that lost
a loved one in 911. Like most, I still remember exactly
where I was that morning. It's just too bad that those
who caused the grief haven't been wiped out yet.
You've probably noticed that this is a short post. I'm
afraid paying business comes first and it's starting to
get into my busiest season of the year, so many articles
may be quickies like this or every other day. I'm sorry
about that but just wait until sledding season. Then things
will pick up!
Close Encounters With A Grizzly Bear
promised pictures of bears are up. A young couple
that run the store in Nimpo Lake went salmon fishing down
on the Bella Coola and Atnarko Rivers this weekend.
Leah's partner, Richard, had been fishing on the other
side of the Atnarko River from her when they were told
by other fishermen that there had been a sow and cubs
over there all morning. Richard had no sooner crossed
back when one of the bears came sneaking down to the water.
Leah, who is not all that familiar with bears close up
actually got some pretty good pictures, albeit a little
fuzzy because she was shaking. I hardly blame her. If
you look at the top picture on the right, you'll see from
her arm and camera strap in the image that she was way
too close to a bear playing in the water. She had been
mistakenly told that the bear she was sharing the river
with was a black bear and was a little shocked when I
told her she'd been that close to a grizzly. If you look
at the fuzzy picture on the right, you'll see the
claws on the bear are several inches long. The
sure sign of a grizzly and one reason they have difficulty
climbing trees as adults. The silver tipped hairs, the
hump on the shoulder, shorter snout and the smaller round
ears are another tip off. Whether a black bear or grizzly,
it's not advisable to get close to either because both
can be completely unpredictable and move faster than greased
lightning when peed off. However, she did provide me with
some great pictures for the site and much better than
the ones we took last year because I wasn't about to get
as close as Leah did. I admit it, I'm chicken because
I know I can't move as fast as bears can. Anyway, thanks
Leah! I hope everyone enjoys the pics and her story as
much as I have.
Our local bear has been getting pretty cocky.
Yesterday, there was fresh bear scat full of berries on
the side of the road so I started tracking him. Sometime
yesterday morning he wandered through our two closest
neighbours' yards eating berries and although I couldn't
find tracks inside our gate, he was certainly just outside
of it. Which might explain our dog's somewhat fearful
bark the night before. It looks like the bear was just
wandering around leaving tracks in the dust as clear as
could be. I ran into the one neighbour returning from
biking yesterday evening while I took pictures of the
tracks, then our other neighbours came out to look at
the tracks on their walk. We're all hunters and all agreed
that he's a big boy. The tracks were perfectly formed
in the fine dust so you could even see the wrinkles in
the pads of his feet. I couldn't resist posting
the picture at bottom right and hope you can see the detail.
No one knows what the bear actually looks like because
he seems to be pretty shy but only one other neighbour
had been aware that he's been around for a couple of weeks
now because she's been tracking him on her walks as well.
Property In Nimpo Lake For Sale
have a new property to put on the listing with a house
but with commercial zoning. Unfortunately, I don't have
the exact acreage right now, other than it's probably
somewhere between one and two acres and located
between the motel and restaurant in Nimpo Lake with highway
frontage. The house is wood sided with two bedrooms
and bath upstairs and one bedroom and bath downstairs.
The house sits back from the highway a nice distance with
a privacy fence so I'm not sure if it has a view of Nimpo
Lake and the Coast Range but I suspect it does. There
is also supposed to be another small cabin that can be
used for storage. The main benefit of this property is
the frontage. There's easily enough property in front
of the house to erect a building for a business and still
have ample parking left over. The price is pretty
nice too at $120,000. I'll try to have the photos
and listing up on the Property
For Sale page today. The
pictures I have right now are not up to date because I
know that there have been quite a few improvements in
the last couple of years. Bear with me. When I get fresh
pics I'll post them.
There are three properties for sale in the properties
listings that will have their contact number changed.
The folks that own them are not in Nimpo Lake very much
anymore and although they have been getting messages on
their answering machine regarding the properties, they've
ended up playing telephone tag a lot. So if you
have been one of the people trying to reach these folks,
the contact number will be changed today. If you would
like to know more about the properties or view them you
can call us at 250-742-3724. Ask for Andy or Jane.
My apologies for no article yesterday. I got to working
on a project that had a deadline and then...gasp...I went
for a friendly game of Texas Holdem. We don't get out
much around here but sometimes it's a nice break to get
away from the computer.
Today has a mixture of cloud and sun and although we got
a tiny shot of moisture last night, it doesn't look like
we're going to get much in the way of some desperately
needed rain. I did talk to a girl that went salmon fishing
down on the Bella Coola River and she got some great
shots of a black and grizzly that were sharing the river
with her and her partner. She is kindly allowing
me to use those pictures on the web site so I look forward
to posting those tomorrow.
Evan, one of the fellows that I played poker with last
night and who you've seen in the waterskipping races in
this blog earlier this spring, said he had a grizzly
cross between his truck and trailer in Anahim Lake yesterday.
From what I hear, there's still a grizzly sow and cubs
hanging around the Two Mile Reserve this summer as she
does every year.
A Native lady was saying that there's a grizzly tearing
heads off of dogs up toward the old Ulgatcho Reserve and
she thinks it's one that was wounded a while back. Not
a pretty thought really.
Okay, check out the Property
For Sale page and look for
those bear pics tomorrow!
For last week's articles, check out September
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!