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 - April, Week 2/2007
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.
You can search this site for a subject of interest to you
at the bottom of this page. Check out the
of the Day.
The Day After Friday The 13th.
presume everyone made it through Friday The 13th okay.
We did all right but I wasn't too sure just before midnight
I was working on the computer when all of a sudden the
dog bellowed, the Christmas tree lights started slapping
against the front of the house, covers on the snowmobiles
started flying all over the place and the flags were pulled
straight out and skinny! A wild wind had just come
straight in like a freight train out of nowhere. Sounded
like it too. The branches on the few trees we
have left near the house were whipping like crazy and
I saw a piece of something go flying past the dining room
So here I am, in the middle of the night right out in
the teeth of this wind, reattaching the Christmas lights
to the barbeque, (Tying your lights to the hinge on a
barbeque so that they won't flap around is a Hillbilly
invention. Don't ask.) securing the snow shovel on the
deck, (Yes, we still need it because it's only April and
we're good for a few more snowfalls yet.) and planting
blocks of wood on top of the light snowmobile cover on
Andy's new machine to keep it from blowing off.
The wind is just howling around me like a banshee and
I'm thinking to myself, "You know, I didn't go anywhere
today, didn't even get out of my office except for a walk,
so the creepys have come here to get me instead."
Actually, I know that makes me sound superstitious, and
I'm not really. Except for maybe Friday the 13th.....
Talked to a friend last night about some stuff I'm doing
for her and she said she had just come back from snowmobiling
to recover a couple of machines up in the Rainbows. Stating
it had been a long, horrendous day, she said, "And
do you know I just found out it's Friday the 13th? There's
no way I would have gone up there if I had known that!
I wouldn't even have gotten out of bed much less spent
12 brutal hours up on the mountain if I'd known that!"
So she's a bit more superstitious than me, although maybe
with good reason. I guess her partner went through the
ice into water and they had spent some time lost, and
it snowed the whole time they were up there.
I don't know what it is about Friday the 13th. but it
just never seems a good day to go out the door. Like I
said, I'm not particularly superstitious. I don't mind
black cats crossing my path because I've owned a few and
trust me, they can't help but cross your path when they're
tripping you up winding around your legs. I don't mind
ladders...other than I refuse to go up them but that's
a heights thing. And I don't throw salt over my shoulder
because that means pulling out the vacuum cleaner and
I dislike that thing about as much as I do ladders. Me
and Martha Stewart don't have a lot in common.
It's not like anything drastic has ever happened on Friday
the 13th. I just don't like to go out or travel on that
day. Last year in January when we were headed down to
Arizona for a week was a good example. We Hit a
vicous snowstorm. Mind you, that went on the whole
way down and the whole way back where roads and passes
were closing one after another right behind us so maybe
that can't be blamed on a specific date. Still, if I don't
have to go out on that day, I don't.
I did go for a walk yesterday, not that
I got far. I haven't been going for a while because with
all the beetle kill we've been knocking down I'd be lucky
if I could drag my bottom end down the driveway and back
much less go for an actual walk. I tried to go
on the back trail yesterday but ended coming back out
on to the road after awhile. The snow is soft on the trail
and very difficult to walk on but a few more days of melt
and I'll be able to walk in the woods on either side of
the trail. No animals and no fresh tracks but I did see
an interesting bird that I've never seen before. White
with black markings on its back, it sounds like a sandpiper
and protects its nest in much the same way but doesn't
look anything like one. I don't know if it's a bird
that changes color from winter to summer like a ptarmigan
does but I'll have to look it up and see what
Oh, and just to let you know, the Chilcotin hicks do
win out on occasion over the city types. If you recall,
I was on a rant last week about having to have a residential
address in order to get packages from some companies or
a telephone hooked up. Well, our cell phone arrived with
the local courier out of Williams Lake and was dropped
off up at the Nimpo Lake store just as all packages
are, and the fellow that was trying to get a phone
without having a residential address, did. He says they
(I'm not sure who 'they' is, but I'm assuming government
of some sort.) have now addressed all the residences on
that road. However, from north to south and all on the
same side of the road the addresses run in this order.
2040, 2015, 2020, 2030.
I guess it makes some kind of sense to someone....
it's not that bad but you can certainly tell there are
a lot in use right now. Listen outside from just about
anywhere in this country and you'll hear a chainsaw going
in the distance. Whether from our place on the lake, from
up in Nimpo, or go anywhere in Anahim, and there's that
The first topic in the Chilcotin has always been
the weather. Now it's pine killed by the Mountain
Pine Beetle. No matter who you talk to they've either
put down up to a hundred and eighty trees (the highest
number I've heard yet) last year or this year, are in
the process of taking down trees, or will be getting started
soon, before forest fire season starts. That's when the
weather comes back into the conversation. Will we get
a dry spring as well as dry summer? Will the wind continue?
Because, of course, that all has a bearing on how much
the country will be affected by forest fires this summer.
We had one of those 'April' days today when you're not
too sure what you're going to get. A little sun, some
cloud, first warm then cool with a pretty brisk breeze
that cut into cutting down any more pine after the first
one this morning. That's okay. We both need a body break
and a little time to relax. We can see the end of the
tunnel now so the tree problem doesn't bring with
it quite the same sense of urgency that it did even a
To me, our place just looks awful now with all the stumps,
piled and un-piled firewood and the junk. You know, all
the 'good' stuff that you've collected over the years
that was neatly hidden by trees? Now you notice things
that you never saw before, like power lines and that most
of the buildings need paint or upkeep of some sort or
I thought our place was the only one that had suddenly
gone from cozy chalet on the lake to the new 2007 stylishly
drab cutblock chic. However, when I went down
to a resort at the south end of the lake today where the
owners have had a big push on this spring to clean up
their beetle killed pine, I didn't feel quite so bad.
Like the resort at the north end, they're now plagued
with a whole lot of stumps and way too many empty spaces.
Like our place, every little sign of age or lack of paint
on a building shines right through all that open real
estate. You just can't get away with cozy little places
hidden among the trees anymore. Everything's going to
need a good spit, polish, and shine.
On the positive side, I'm looking forward to finally being
able to grow some lawn. While great at camouflaging
a little wear and tear on the place, those water sucking,
sun blocking lodgepole pine can kick butt on a nice green
lawn any day! Or anything else that tries to share
real estate with them. And boy, do we have sunshine now!
We've got more sunshine than we know what to do with.
When the sun's shining, that is.
I've discovered that if I want to work in my office in
the afternoon now, I'm going to have to purchase blinds
for the window next to my desk. Without the thirty or
so trees on that side of the house to block the sun, I'm
blinded for a couple of hours each day. That or else I
need to try growing a couple of tall cacti in my window.
Our driveway on the north side of the house that has snow
on it all summer and usually doesn't dry out until fall
(well, maybe not quite that late. :-) is already seeing
sun in the afternoon, even this early in the year. And
I would have to say that nude sunbathing may now be out
of the question in more than one quadrant on this property
because the resorts across the lake can definitely
see a whole lot more than they could before!
Going to have to do some tree planting....lol.
A big nasty weather system is following the Jet Stream
in off of the Pacific packing high winds and a fair amount
of moisture for the south coast, as well as us. So I guess
we'll see if we cut trees down in the next few days.
My apologies for no blog yesterday but spring seems to
have arrived and things just need to be done outside so
the daily blogs may not be quite so daily for the next
Welcome To Our Newest Listing
delighted to introduce you to Graham's Inn located
in Tatla Lake. Don & Bobbie Bonneteau purchased
the Inn a little while back and have done wonderous things
with it. Located on its own bit of waterfront in Tatla
Lake, it overlooks an absolutely stunning vista with the
Coast Mountain Range front and center. This 1920's heritage
home has an old fashioned covered deck loaded with baskets
of flowers and looking out over a rolling lawn down to
where the geese, ducks and Trumpeter Swans play around
in the water. Here you can sit and have your morning coffee
or afternoon tea served from one of the best known restaurants
around with a reputation for great food and generous portions.
As well as an informal restaurant the Inn has a
very special, private dining room that will take you back
in time with period pieces including lighting, and an
exquisitely set table. If you're traveling to
Tatla Lake this summer, it will certainly be worth your
while to stop off for a good meal and a little relaxation.
The Graham Inn offers restful accommodations, terrific
hosts, and nearby conveniences, all in a truly beautiful
setting as you can see from the two pictures up on the
right. You can find more information at Tatla
Today was another work day but at least it was in our
own yard with another four trees down, but since one was
a three way schoolmarm and a huge one at that, it was
actually seven trees. That's a grand total of 79
trees knocked down on our property alone. I know,
because I counted the stumps tonight. I wanted to know
why we're both stumbling around like a couple of stodgy
We got most of the limbs burned up today but couldn't
do it all. The wind came up so we had to let our burn
pile die down. We did get a weenie roast out of it though.
It got below freezing last night but warmed up to not
a bad working temperature today, at least until the wind
came up and it felt like a lot of arctic cold coming in
suddenly. We're expecting it to warm up tomorrow and hopefully
we'll see some sun. That was a hit and miss thing today.
Done One, More To Go.
just watched three moose take off running from the island
in front of our place across the lake to the other side
while having our supper. I really didn't think there would
still be moose this low down with so much of the snow
gone but Andy said he saw a small moose in nearby meadows
yesterday and today. I suppose it's much like all the
caribou we saw last week, which were also at a much lower
elevation than I would have expected this time of year.
But it's possible that there's still way too much snow
higher up for the animals to get around in. Although
if you look at the mountains across Nimpo Lake it's amazing
how much black has shown up on them in just the last few
The weather has been incredibly warm this weekend and
temperatures have never dropped below freezing at night.
A lot of snow has melted and the lake has been covered
in water for days, as our boots can attest.
We had fires on the lake for the first two days that we
were burning but there was so much water on the ice that
you got a good soaking every time you carried brush to
the fire. We started moving up the hill by the second
day and decided to make our fires on dry land and closer
to the felled trees shortening up the distance we had
to carry dead limbs.
Logan took his plane on skis out yesterday and I don't
even know how he could see through the water coming off
of his prop but so much water was coming off of his skis
that they looked like floats.
I know that the other evening when I looked out at a house
light reflected on the ice and then the moon, I thought,
"Hmm, something just doesn't look right here."
Of course, while we had been down at the other end of
the lake working all day, the snow and ice on the lake
had been melting so that when I looked out and saw lights,
they were no longer reflected on ice, but on water, making
them look the way they would in summer, not winter or
spring. A bit disconcerting.
Our weather finally quit on us this morning, bringing
snow, sleet, rain, hail and a very chilly wind.
It didn't take long for all of us to become soaked to
the skin and stuck with wet boots from slogging around
in mud churned up by the Cat. But the job down at the
north end of the lake is finally done and my Mom and Terry
B. have enough firewood for the next fifty years or so.
My sister's husband and son will be stopping by here tomorrow
to give us a hand falling a couple of tricky trees that
we have, and then they can finally return to Williams
Lake. I'm sure they will be thoroughly relieved to get
out of this dead pine country, but am I ever glad they
came out because did they ever do a nice job cleaning
trees up. The skill and speed they displayed falling,
skidding, limbing and bucking up trees was just amazing!
Like us, they were dragging their heinies at the end of
the day but they certainly got lots accomplished.
We're supposed to see a bit of a cold front coming in,
which will certainly make working outside more pleasant
and slow some of the melt down a bit. Right now where
frost is coming out of the ground you can just about sink
out of sight. A fast breakup will make a real mess
of things, and of course, many areas in British Columbia
are in dire danger of being flooded out. Right
now it's estimated that there is up to 150% above normal
snow pack in the mountains so a fast melt is going to
cause a nasty mess in low lying areas. I think if I lived
on a flood plain or near a creek or river as many in British
Columbia do, I would start filling sandbags now.
As you can see, I have started a new week so you can see
last week's articles at April,
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!