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Wilderness Adventures - Sept., Week Two/2011

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 some great contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

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Check out the Picture of the Day.

30/09/2011 12:00 PM

We've Got Babies!!!!

For everyone that's been keeping up on things.... Leah and Richard had their twins!
They are both girls and arrived just before 9:00 A.M September 28. (I know, I know .... but I've been really busy).
Kayla was 4 lbs 14 oz. And Keira was 5 lbs 11 oz. Pretty big for twins, that's for sure.
Leah is in hospital in Williams Lake and they hope to be home early next week. Her blood pressure is still pretty high so the docs figure they should keep her in for a while yet.
Congratulations to Cathy who is now a brand new Grandma and to Gail, Leah's Mom, to whom this is old hat by now. :-)
For anyone wandering around out there with a confused look on their face, I'm talking about Richard and Leah Simon, the young owners of the Nimpo Lake General Store. Since this community is generally pretty short on babies, or kids at all for that matter, twins will actually increase the population of Nimpo Lake substantially. :-) The event has been of great interest to residents around here because so many saw their kids leave and raise families of their own, and most have Grandkids and Great Grandkids. And of course, the health of the babies and Leah particularly was of paramount interest. Having Leah around is like having your own bowl of happiness and we all, selfishly, want to see it stay that way.
Funny how life goes full circle.
Those twin girls are sure going to have a LOT of Aunts and Uncles!

27/09/2011 8:00 PM

Correction regarding Police Shooting in Nimpo Lake

I was given a little more accurate information regarding the girlfriend of the victim killed in Nimpo Lake last Saturday morning and would like to print a correction here.
The girl, who it turns out was only seventeen years old, was actually expected to go to an Uncle's place in Anahim Lake on Saturday. However, apparently he has young children and she didn't feel it appropriate, nor did she want to go and stay there at his home. She wanted to stay at the store with Cathy who had been sitting with her all day except when the girl would go outside to have a smoke. Cathy has a very large heart and a lot of empathy for a person in the situation this girl was in and I think the girl was very fortunate to have had Cathy to turn to. Apparently the girl had told her closest relative, who arrived late Saturday afternoon from Williams Lake to get her, that she would be waiting for her at the store and so she didn't want to leave there, regardless of how cold or miserable our weather was, or that there was no heat or electricity.
I guess the police tried to convince her to go to her Uncle's in Anahim Lake and when she refused to do that, they pretty much left her to her own devices. Although entrusting her well being to Cathy was no mistake as she no doubt was the best untrained civilian to cope with the situation under the circumstances, I still feel very strongly that the police dropped the ball on this one, and although I can only guess at how horrible the circumstances will have been for the police officer involved, it was up to someone at the detachment to pull it together. It's fortunate that Cathy was there to take up the slack.
As for the statement issued to the media on Saturday that said Victim Services had been notified and would be arriving on the scene? Well, they never showed up.So I guess that means that the media just gets a canned statement from RCMP regardless whether it's bull or not.
It seems too that one rumour going around was that the regular on- call ambulance attendant was not called to the scene after the shooting but that another individual distrusted by the entire community was called in to quietly remove the body. That seems awfully strange since to the best of my knowledge, no body anywhere can be removed before the arrival of a coroner, so it will be interesting to see where some questions and phone calls lead to on that particular matter.
To add to this and as we find out more, Andy would like me to make it clear here that we and many members of this community are completely behind the police officer involved in the shooting as he was no doubt as much a victim in this incident as the man shot, if not more so.
As for the man shot, the 24 year old's name was Justin Zinser and allegedly, he has been involved in previous assaults on police officers.
On to the more mundane.... the weather.
We had a pretty decent, though windy day yesterday. It started out glorious and calm but by late morning the wind was up and clouds scuttled full speed across the sky all day. It even tried to spit rain now and again. Today was the same with quite a bit of sun and lots of wind. We actually made it up to 12.5C or 55 degrees today which was a nice change. It's back down to 4C right now and will probably freeze tonight because it's cleared off, but I think we've got one or two warm days coming before more crud moves in. At least I hope so. We're having guests for dinner tomorrow night and I would like to have a fire after supper. There won't be that many more opportunities this fall before it gets too cold and there's snow on the ground. Besides, it looks like we might have some northern lights this week and I would like to be outside for that!

25/09/2011 10:30 AM

Police Shooting in Nimpo Lake

We had an unfortunate incident occur in Nimpo Lake yesterday. Actually, Saturday night just after midnight. At first we understood it to be a murder, but it turned out that an RCMP member had to shoot someone, apparently in the head, and of course it killed them. At least we hope they had to. We've got some pretty good guys around here so I expect it must have been the necessary thing to do.
We'd had a hellacious night with huge, wet, sloppy snow flakes that started coming down just after 11:00 P.M. Friday night. Once I realized it was coming down like that I went running out to try and get the vegetables covered before they froze. Wish I had stayed out a little longer but it was cold and miserable, otherwise, I might have heard the gunshot or shots. Not that it would have made much difference, I guess.
Apparently a young couple were on their way to Bella Coola, planning to stop in Tweedsmuir Park to go hiking there when they were turned back by yesterday's Highway closure at Heckman Pass. It's been flooding in the Bella Coola Valley so rather than have tourists get down into the valley and be stuck there like last year, MOT chose to close the highway until they could assess the situation.
The couple came back to Nimpo Lake and got a room at the Waterfront. Apparently they were having a wonderful evening at the cabin, couple of drinks, romance.... when the girl realized suddenly that things didn't feel quite right. Her boyfriend was Bi-Polar and she had not realized until then that he wasn't on his medication. She left the cabin and went up to the pay phone at Nimpo. I'm not sure if she called anyone that time but apparently on one trip to the phone, after some negative interaction with her boyfriend, she was scared and called 911. It was probably at that time that she informed them, rightly so, that her boyfriend had a shotgun that they had brought for protection against bears when they walked in the park.
I don't know what happened after that other than the boyfriend was shot, apparently in the head, up in the parking lot between the coffee shop and the store, just after midnight. Andy was up early yesterday morning because our power went out from the heavy snow, as did everyone's. He looked up toward the highway and could see blue lights flashing through the trees and thought it a bit odd. A Hydro repair truck's lights are yellow when flashing, as are highway's, while emergency vehicles are red and blue. A little while later he had to get some stuff for me up at the store so he went up to Nimpo, only to see police tape draped from the coffee shop to a dump truck and police protecting the site and body while they waited for investigators and presumably a forensic team, or coroner at the very least.
Not sure how much evidence was preserved under five inches of wet, sloppy, melting snow.....
Andy went into the store and spoke to Cathy, and could see this really attractive, young girl in there. He said both Cathy and the girl looked badly shook up and the girl said that her boyfriend had been shot. Andy didn't want to question her any more closely because she seemed really upset, but Cathy said everything was taken care of.
The door to the store was wide open because without electricity, there was no light other than through the door. Both women were sitting inside the store shivering because there was no heat either. At that time, it was only a couple of degrees above freezing and only reached a high of 5C yesterday afternoon.
We were at dinner yesterday evening when one of our hosts told us after dinner that he had seen and spoken to the girl in the morning but had to go back up to the store at 3:00 in the afternoon and this time the girl was sitting out on the bench in front of the store shivering, holding onto a tiny little dog that was also shivering. So our host sat down with her to see if she was okay and she told him what had happened. He was really concerned about her well being and wondered who was looking after her.
This poor girl had been hanging out in the snow and cold all day because she wasn't permitted to go back into her cabin and she wasn't permitted to leave until investigators had interviewed her. When we finally got power back and could watch the news at 11:00 we saw that a standard issue statement had been released including that 'victim services' were on their way out. Yeah???? When, pray tell?
(As an added note. Victim Services never did show up. So this must be a canned statement. Of course if you look at it from another point of view... it means that whoever issues these statements has no problem with lying to the media.)
C'mon, take a look at the photos up on the right. It was a grey, nasty cold, miserable day. How come she wasn't sitting in the back of a nice warm police cruiser, or at the cop shop? A friend of mine is a psych nurse out here and when Andy called her today, she said that though she's technically not supposed to, she has made it clear to her bosses that if her services are ever needed, she will be right there. She also made it clear that if something like this ever happened again, to call her, day or night!
So why didn't the police utilize her services? It's a small town and they know her well. She was at home. Why didn't they call her???!!!! Or why not call one of the girls from the clinic? Why didn't they call ANYONE to come sit with this girl or take her to a warm place. But instead, they ignored her all day after telling her to stay put while they were more concerned over one of their own. I understand how devastating it would be for an officer to shoot someone, but you don't think it was devastating for that little girl to think she was the cause of it all, yet no one seemed to care that she was alone and needed someone to talk to???
I'm sure the excuse can be used that because of our bad weather the 'higher ups' and investigators couldn't fly in and so had to drive, which took much longer, of course. Presumably that was also the reason why someone from Victim Services couldn't get out here in a timely manner although it only takes three and a half hours even on bad roads to get here. Did the cops forget to call someone until many hours later or is it just hard to get someone out of bed on a Saturday? But that's no excuse for not using the resources we have. For heaven's sake! Had I realized that not only was Andy going to see this little girl in the morning but someone else would be talking to her in that same cold situation at least five hours later, I would have gone up there myself and either had her sit in my vehicle or brought her home and the police could damned well have come here to talk to her. But I had no idea what was actually happening until after supper last night when presumably, the girl was in a new room that Cathy provided for her.
Am I furious? You bet I am!! There was just no freaking excuse for that girl, a victim herself, to be treated in that manner. I have a lot of respect for our local police, particularly after our last Commander straightened things out here. He showed a lot of courage and fortitude. I can't say the same about the present one and in this case, someone really let the ball drop and got too caught up in looking after their own
Regular weather news for Nimpo Lake is below.
25/09/2011 4:30 PM

High Winds and a Lot of Rain and now Snow!

Since I used up a lot of space on the blog above about the police shooting, then this will have to be about our weather which has been really crazy!
It had been raining for at least a solid day when late in the evening on Thursday night I heard the wind come up in a big way. I went to check on the wind speed and noticed that we were still sitting at 9C which is still pretty warm for that late at night. A few minutes later I checked the wind speed again and the temperature was climbing. The wind was banging on the front windows and I was watching our heavy patio set chairs just vibrate out on the deck, so I decided to check the wind speed again and the thermometer was up to 15.5C. A six degree climb in less than 20 minutes!
I went out into the gale and moved one chair sitting sideways to the wind around to the back of the house and came back inside but after a few minutes, I got too worried about the rest of the chairs tucked in around the table and decided they had to be moved too. Had one blown through a front window it would have made a heck of a mess. I was just heading outside again when Andy got up and put clothes on to help me. He figured the chairs vibrating on the floor of the deck was what woke him up. That or me banging around outside moving anything that might be blown over in the wind. Although he might also have heard the wind blow one deck chair that I hadn't gotten moved yet, over onto the lawn off the side of the deck We got the rest of the chairs moved, snapped down the cover on the boat in the driveway, moved a few other things around, and I moved the dogs into the garage because if any of the trees that their lines were attached to went over, it would not be good.
By this time it was 1:30 in the morning and Andy decided he should go check on the 12 foot boat tied to the dock in front of the cabin. I went down with a flash light with him and what a sight that was! Our dock is hinged in the middle and it was rearing up in the water like a bucking bronc riding these huge waves, and rollers were washing over the boat that was already sunk. Seeing all those white capped waves coming in, the wind just howling, rain coming down, and that bucking dock, all in the gleam of a spot light, was just surreal. It was like being in a movie about a storm on the ocean.
Andy went into the water with just his jeans and shoes on and started pulling out the oars, bailing bucket, seats, cushions, tackle box, and gas can, all of which were floating in the boat getting slammed from side to side every time a wave came in. Then he struggled to get the electric and gas motors off before they got beat to death on the dock and we took everything up to the cabin and out of the wind. We tried to winch the boat out with the fourwheeler and when that didn't work, just left the boat attached to the winch and the ATV parked up on the hill.
By Friday, it had been raining steadily for a couple of days but that night it turned to snow. It was after 11:00 when we noticed that neither receiver was working on our two televisions sets and that could only mean one thing. I flipped on the light to the deck outside and there it was, a wall of big, fat, furry snowflakes pouring down like there was no tomorrow. Damn! Here we go again!
I rushed down to my vegetable garden, flashlight in hand, and tried to cover each of the big veggie boxes with plastic with only one hand, brushing as much wet, sticky and damned cold snow off the vegetables as well as I could before covering them up, just praying that I had gotten to them in time. I'm going to end up killing myself on one of these late night ventures in mud or snow yet.
Yesterday I pulled off the plastic and cut down the peas, the dill and the lettuce and spent the day getting that stuff fixed up for the freezer or eating. Tomorrow I guess I'll go see how the potatoes, beets and carrots have fared.
There are high wind warnings out for tonight for the whole central coast so I guess we'll see if we get them again. Tomorrow night there's a huge system bringing in more rain and from what I just heard, snow for us. It will be interesting to see what happens. This time of year last year we had a big dump of fresh snow on the mountains, the rains came, melted the snow and we and Bella Coola had road closures throughout the fall due to flooding. This time we've accumulated two inches of rain in the past couple of days and five inches of wet, sloppy snow with a whole bunch of fresh snow on the mountains. Bella Coola Valley is already flooding and we have another system coming in. It will be too weird if everything repeats itself again this fall.
At least today was really nice with blue skies, reasonably warm temperatures, and most, though not all of the snow has melted except where it piled up under the eaves of the house and out buildings.
Right now it's down to freezing so I expect it'll be a cold night, tonight, especially since all the stars are shining and it's as clear as a bell out there. Hope the root vegetables can hold out through the night.
Last week's blog can be found at
September 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!
Police vehicle.
Dreary grey lake and snow.
snow on a deck.
Grey lake.
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