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Wilderness Adventures - April, Week Two/2013

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.

Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture of the Day.


15/04/2013 8:20 PM

Slash Burn

Our weather is as up and down as a roller coaster right now and has been since the end of the Easter long weekend. Yesterday was a really good example of that. We planned our first wiener roast of the year based on the best possible weather forecast, which was for a little sun on Sunday and minimal snow. I guess we got lucky because at least there was very little wind for most of the afternoon, although fitful little breezes would spring up and blow the smoke from the fire here and there so that we all smelled like a smoked salmon by the time the day was done.
For the most part, the temperature was pretty comfortable until a chilly little breeze out of the north sprang up about the time everyone was pulling out at around four and a blizzard moved in. About that time a few young people showed up but with the snow falling thick and fast, they didn’t stick around long. Neither did we. It was time to come home. The fire was burned down enough to not be a danger to anything and Andy checked on it periodically through the evening anyway. There were still enough coals left for us to roast a couple of dogs for our lunch today but otherwise, the neighbourhood slash pile is gone for another year. Or at least until our neighbours start building it up again and we know that won’t take long! :-)
It’s always nice to have a little bonfire at the end of winter when everyone can get together, catch up on what each other has been doing, particularly those that have been gone for the winter, and generally just have a good old BS. Oh, and eat. You can’t forget eating! We’re fortunate that you can go to these things with your vehicle, or show up on an ATV, which was the case with about half of our visitors. And in summer, you can show up in a boat as well. We have folks that come from the other end of the lake so it’s nice if they don’t have to drive. Not quite the same as in an urban area. For our closer neighbours, we can always just walk over to someone’s fire so or they to ours, so that’s even better. Anyway, for right now, I think we’ll wait for better weather for another fire unless we go to Weldon’s Pond sometime for the first wienie roast of the spring there.
I am reasonably sure that it has snowed every day for the past 10 days. In fact, I’m almost certain of it. It’s actually starting to get a little tiresome. The only good thing is that thankfully the ground has warmed up enough that most snow melts when it hits the ground and if it’s cool enough overnight for it to still be white in the morning, the snow is usually gone by afternoon. Our weather was a whole lot warmer and a whole lot nicer two weeks ago! We had a lot of sun then too whereas we are getting some sun, but a whole lot more cloud and our spring winds have definitely started now. And boy, are they chilly! Not as cold as they will be once the ice is off the lake but cold enough. The benefit is that the wind is drying things out and keeping our road drier than last year. Aside from the ground being saturated from the year before, and getting rain at the worst possible time, last year we had no wind at this time of year, which was really unusual, so we didn’t get the drying that we can normally expect from that. No worries this year. With the wind, there's lots of melting and lots of drying and our road isn’t in too bad a shape. Let’s put it this way, at least we’re not walking this year like we did for over five weeks last year. Nor is anyone having to walk for six weeks at the other end of the lake like they were having to last spring.
It helps that there isn’t as much moisture around this year as there was last. Our swamps aren’t full to overflowing like they were in early 2012 and even the woods aren’t nearly as wet. While we did get that big dump of snow this spring, overall, our snow levels were much less than they have been for the past three years when we’ve been looking at accumulated snow over five feet each winter. It kind of put a wrench into snowmobiling this year but it sure has helped to dry the country out for a change! Mind you, so did having a hot summer last year, once it warmed up and got going. Now if we could just have another one of those….
We saw a pretty interesting incident on the lake about a week ago. For those of you that check out the Facebook page, you will have seen a couple of the photos. An Eagle landed on the lake ice in front of the house with something that he was starting to tear at. I didn’t even bother grabbing the binoculars, and grabbed the camera instead because within moments, there were more bald eagles wheeling in than you could count. The first dude had just started enjoying his rainbow trout he caught out at the point when an eagle landed and immediately took it away from him. Two more eagles swooped in and the thief protected the fish with his wings while the first eagle just tried to duck. Another mature eagle and an immature joined the fray and somehow, the thief managed to make off with the fish while everyone else was circling or landing. I was never able to get all six eagles in the same frame at once but there sure were some shenanigans going on. It’s funny but everyone talks about bald eagles like they’re some sort of sacred bird when in fact they’re just a scavenger on about the same level as a raven or a seagull, and apparently have no honor even amongst themselves. I’ll post some photos here and on the
Picture of the Day. It was kind of fun to watch, even if it did all happen pretty fast. Unfortunately, none of the photos are of the best quality because I had to take most of them through our picture window. Not only did I not have time to get out on the deck at first, but when I did go out there, the eagles wheeled right on out of there with only one returning with the ravens to pick at scraps on the ice.
Even though our weather has been inclement, at least the temperatures haven’t been bad for the past week. We often make it up to between two and four degrees above freezing during the day, and with the exception of the other night when it dropped to –12C or 10F, it hasn’t dropped to much below –3C at night if it goes below freezing at all. I think that has gone a long ways to melting all the snow. It just doesn’t take as long for the air to warm up during the day.
There is still snow in the back woods in places but the trail has the most because we packed it all winter for walking. As a result the snow has turned to ice and it's pretty hairy walking. We’ve been using our walking sticks Andy got me for Christmas and I’ll tell you what, they work! They’ve saved me from more than one fall on the ice or from sliding down the hills on soft and slippery snow. We have actually walked this year at this time more than ever before because of the sticks, I think. Normally, when it’s this muddy, icy and dangerous for walking, I quit taking the dogs out for a couple of weeks until the trail improves, or stick to the road. This week is the first time I’ve missed much in the way of walking and it’s only because the trail is still hard on the ankles even with the sticks, but mostly because it's been windy, cold, and snowing. I would highly recommend them for anyone that likes to walk in rough country, and I look forward to doing some hiking with them this summer.
Just to let those of you that will be around here know, there will be a Bingo at the Nimpo Lake Community Hall this Saturday, April 20, starting at 1:00. Proceeds to go to the Hall. And for those of you coming in to the area in May…. Clint is still holding the annual fishing derby on Nimpo Lake on the May long weekend this year, but it will be the last. After this spring, all derbies will be held in the fall. Proceeds from that also go to the Association. I’ll have to check it out but I expect the Annual Canoe races will be held on the same weekend so it’s going to be good time to be here, folks!
You’ll find the last week's of blog at April Week One.


Anahim Lake Highway cam looking West.




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!
Several people stand or site around a fire.
 
An eagle swoops in on another with a fish on the ice.
 
Four eagles on the ice or flying above it.
 
An eagle flies off with a fish while three others look on.
 
Five eagles in the photo.
 
One eagle calls to the sky while the other stalks off.
 
Four eagles including an immature eagle group around fish scraps.
 
Button leading to Facebook business page.
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