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 3/2010
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.
Friday Andy lit up our communal slash pile on our neighbor's
property. This has been an annual event and usually it
can be done in March, but the snow load was such this
year that he had to wait to set fire to it until the snow
had melted off the top but the pile was still surrounded
by snow. Originally started because of all the beetle
killed trees, our neighbours needed a place to put the
brush that they cleaned up so they put it on the upper
part of their property next to our road.
Over the years we had our own share of brush and stumps
and our neighbours kindly let us use their burning
pile on the agreement that we would torch it when it was
safe since they aren't here during the winter.
Then, once Lloyd died, his nephew and his nephew's wife
took the place over. They are yard cleaning machines!
They spent all last summer and fall cleaning up around
the property taking down aspen and beetle killed pine.
The property looks amazing now but they too needed a safe
place to put the brush and ended up using the communal
burn pile. As a result, we had a humdinger to torch this
year. Of course, as per burning standards, it was only
one metre by one metre at any set time. :-)
We had planned a weiner roast for Saturday and just as
well, for you couldn't have gotten close enough to roast
a dog without blistering your face any sooner if you'd
tried. But by Saturday evening it was just a small mound
of ash and enough coals for a few of us to have hot dogs
Our neighbour no longer wants us all to be putting our
brush in that spot and I have to agree that another place
for it would be nice. Since it's been right along
side the road it's kind of ugly looking. But our
Wilson neighbours have already decided we can use the
upper part of their property to start a new burn pile.
Something that would have been virtually impossible three
years ago because that whole area was covered in green
trees that all got hit by beetles. It was a regular forest
on that plot of land. Now there are only three little
trees hanging on for dear life. But there are loads of
little tiny pine seedlings sprouting up now so it will
be tough to choose a spot for burning that isn't going
to toast some seedlings.
We took some pictures off the camera near the moose
carcass again. This time a pair of dogs were on
it, a raven a few times, as well as the fox. I don't know
who the dogs belonged to but the fox was all over that
Today was another glorious day as was yesterday. It's
been ranging around 16C or over 60F at its warmest for
the last couple of days and last night it didn't even
go below freezing. That's been a huge help to the melting
and I finally got to spend the afternoon in my garden
cleaning up the dead stuff from last year. If you
had asked me a week ago if I could have gotten into the
garden area I would have told you not until May.
But the snow has been going like crazy from well over
a foot on the lawn a week ago to green grass coming up.
The mice sure took a liking to my perennials and shrubs
this winter and killed a few of them. The snow came so
thick and fast last fall that there was little frost in
the ground, so the little buggers tunneled all over the
place. I found big, comfy mouse nests all through parts
of the garden that was under a foot of snow a week ago.
At least without frost I can already dig into the ground
without any problem and was moving plants and potting
some up today.
The ice out on the Main Arm is really, really black
looking, and it has melted away from the shore
in front of our place over four feet in some places just
in the past day or so. There's no booming, or crunching,
or rumbling at all from the ice. It's as though it plans
on just simply dissolving this year. Although that won't
happen any time soon I don't think.
Things In The Night
have quite a mixed bag for this blog folks, so bear with
me. First, the moose carcass. Yes, I know, that doesn't
sound like a particularly exciting subject, but it can
After seeing what we're pretty sure were wolf tracks
on the trail into that moose carcass, we decided to set
up a wildlife motion sensor camera about 15 feet
away from the moose. It took a couple of days to figure
out the right settings before we got it to where we wanted
it. In the meanwhile, not surprisingly, we caught our
old Lab red-handed late at night exploring the area around
the carcass. She is now in jail every evening from when
she gets her supper until morning. Not so much because
I think she was feeding on the carcass, because I doubt
if she was. Both pictures that the camera took has her
circling around it, probably sniffing for tracks, not
eating on it. The danger to her is other animals.
She's getting really deaf and about half blind and wouldn't
have a chance against a wolf or pack of coyotes if she's
caught out at night that far away from home. Hence, jail
Also, not surprisingly, we caught the neighbour's big
Rottweiler on the carcass late at night, probably because
the carcass is almost across the road from their driveway
and only a little ways into the woods. The owner had wondered
where her dog had acquired two moose legs in the past
few weeks and I would say this carcass, but when we first
heard of Diablo bringing home moose legs, this carcass
was still intact. So I think he's found a dead moose somewhere
On the night we got a picture of the neighbour's
dog, we also got one of a fox on the moose carcass, as
well as a picture of a coyote just after the sun came
up the next morning. We didn't get the camera
back up that evening so last evening was the first since
then that it's been up. It will be interesting to see
what we get, but I doubt if we'll see a wolf. We've been
back and forth in there too many times this week and I
expect a wolf will give the area a wide birth now. Certainly
I haven't seen his tracks since that first day early last
week. It's too bad. I would love to have gotten a picture
Unfortunately, the camera does not produce very good images.
It's digital rather than film and a very poor resolution,
at least compared to the wildlife motion sensor camera
pictures I saw ten years ago that required film. They
were actually quite good in comparison. But if you want
to know what's around, this digital camera will tell you
that. Partly, anyway. We had a few pictures with no animal
in them and can only assume a bird set the camera off,
or there was movement from an animal that set the camera
off but was too far out of range for it to show up at
that poor resolution. In any case, we finally got some
good use out of a present given us this past Christmas
by family. I'll post a couple of the images up on the
right and try to cut out the carcass for the squeamish.
Yesterday was an amazing day, again. It
was warm and sunny, at least until some haze moved in
over the sun in the early afternoon again. But it still
stayed warm. I was giving driving lessons to a neighbour
on our road and out on the highway all day, and since
it was mostly slow going, it was a nice way to enjoy a
sunny day. Kind of like a perpetual Sunday drive. :-)
Andy heard the first loons yesterday morning. He said
they were flying over the lake so they're probably looking
for open water. There's none to be had except out at the
point and down where the Dean exits Nimpo Lake.
While going down the highway yesterday with the girl I
was teaching to drive, a moose crossed the highway
in front of us just outside of Nimpo. It looked
healthy enough, but its coat was pretty rough looking
and it wasn't the fattest moose I've ever seen. This winter
must have been tough on it. My neighbour sent me some
pictures last night of some caribou that crossed highway
20 in front of him on his way to Williams Lake and they
look to be in really good shape. We've only ever seen
them along the highway twice. Once was down where the
seal coat used to meet pavement at Chilanko and once south
of Towdystan. Besides that occasion and seeing caribou
down in the meadows at Caribou Flats one winter, I've
never seen them close to the highway. So thanks Ted. I'll
post the pics here and on Picture of the Day.
For the last two days our temperatures have ranged
as high as 14 to 17C or over 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooler temperatures at night have slowed melting in the
mornings, but the mercury only dropped a couple of degrees
below freezing last night and that could make a real difference
today. We've got heavy haze that the sun is trying very
hard to burn through but even without sun the temperature
was 10C or 50F before lunch time. Now if we just got some
clear sun, today could be a real barn burner!
I just have a couple of miscellaneous items today.
Summer neighbours and friends of ours have been down in
Las Vegas this past week and went to a place called Ci-Ci's
Pizza. Now I normally don't do advertising for businesses
without a reason, but I'm a great believer in a pat on
the back for one that makes what I consider an outstanding
effort in this day and age of 'get you in and get
you out with a lighter wallet'.
My friend can't eat anything with gluten in it so eating
pizza was out of the question for her but her husband
really wanted to try the pizza buffet. She managed to
get a salad but on inquiring about the sauce used on the
pizzas, was overheard by the manager who went over to
their table to talk to them. She stated that this was
not normally a place she would ever come to because she
couldn't eat anything with gluten. He asked what she would
have ordered on a pizza back in the days when she could
still eat it. A little while later he brought a crustless
pizza to her table loaded with everything yummy and no
gluten. She was in seventh heaven!
This particular pizza place is near Henderson south of
Las Vegas but there are other locations. This manager
told my friends that their customers come first so they
will cater to diabetics, gluten free, all kinds of allergies
and diets. He also said they had won some award for being
in the top three of healthy places to eat in Men's Magazine.
As Marilyn said, "Can you imagine, a pizza
place that won an award for healthy eating?"
Be that as it may, she was mightily impressed with the
way she was treated. Since we have so many people from
BC that go to Vegas in the winter, it seems worthwhile
to pass this on. Especially nowadays where people are
watching what they eat, and so many people have found
they have food allergies.
On the same note.... sort of.... our friends were down
there to check out a condo timeshare for her elderly relatives
that got talked into buying it a little while back. Marilyn
is now attempting to sell it for them at less than half
the original purchase price. It is for sale for $10,000
or best offer. There is a $700 yearly maintenance fee.
It allows for one week a year in Vegas but since it's
the Marriott, you can trade for a longer period of time
elsewhere or take points in exchange instead for some
years. This will allow you to stay at a Marriott along
the way to a different location. Or that's how I understand
it, anyway. If you think you might be interested in such
a thing, contact me at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
and I'll pass your name along.
I've started yet another week. (My, this month is flying
by!) You'll find last week's musings 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!