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 4/2010
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.
Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture
of the Day.
had a reasonably warm day yesterday and a great one today.
It got up over 10C or 50F today and would probably have
gotten much warmer with straight sunshine and no wind,
but we had some cloud and a very chilly little breeze.
It was not comfortable outside if you weren't standing
in the sun. A lot of that chilly is probably from wind
moving over water barely above freezing out at the point
and over melting ice. That wind is probably also why the
ice is thinning so quickly. Where the ice is black it
will be absorbing a lot of heat from the sun and the wind
moving over the ice will be wicking away moisture. I'll
post a picture up on the right. You must compare it to
the one at the bottom on the right taken just a couple
of days ago.
Yesterday morning Andy brought me a chunk of ice that
he pulled off the ice shelf in the lake in front of the
dock. So I took a picture of it and you can see how furry
it is on top where it's starting to break down in the
sun and of course, the bottom is pitted but smooth. The
next picture down shows the crystalline structure after
the candles split apart. Basically you just have to roll
a chunk of ice between your fingers and the candles will
separate. That's what makes clinkers. I've
often mentioned before that you can hear the clinkers
in the lake. In the fall, it's ice that has formed and
then been broken up by the wind and is basically just
thin sheets of ice rubbing against each other. But in
the spring, the clinkers are made up of thousands of candles
(or millions I guess) floating in the water and knocking
against one another. That movement makes a really pretty
Generally, once the lake ice begins to candle, it
won't be around for long. That chunk of ice in
the picture from yesterday was about five inches long.
Andy broke off a piece of ice from the same shelf (farther
out now) this afternoon and the candles were only about
two and a half inches long, so they halved in length in
little more than a day. But, it's always a guessing game.
I guess that's why we have an Ice Off pool. You just never
know what the ice will do or when it will go off because
it's different every year, and it sure is weird this year.
It's acting totally differently from most other years
and while it sat and did nothing for the longest time,
today, it's going great guns. There's a line of
water from the point to the big island as of this evening
where yesterday it didn't go out that far from the point.
And a little pond of water has opened up in the reed bed
over in front of the neighbour's this afternoon, but there
still isn't more than just a few feet opened up along
the shore so we have very few ducks cruising in along
the shoreline as we normally do this time of year.
There have been ravens and seagulls out on the ice in
the last couple of days, picking at something. We can
only assume it's small bugs that were caught in the ice
during freeze up last fall and that they're picking the
bugs out of the now rotting ice. Everybody's enjoying
Now if the warm temperatures would just stay with us for
a little while longer, it'll be just a few more days to
blue water!! Our neighbours are also eager to see open
water on Nimpo Lake I think. They've just bought a new
boat to bring up to Nimpo and they'll be here next week.
You hear that Mother Nature???
Weather Ups and Downs
it's been a long stint since I wrote last! I've actually
had a blog in the works since last Friday but never got
it finished. It's kind of out of date now so I'll have
to start over.
We have had an incredibly mixed bag for weather
in the past week. We had to go into Williams Lake
last Wednesday and while it poured rain down on us all
day, out here it was incredibly warm and sunny. Everyone
commented on it. Naturally, we missed it. It's called
Murphy's Law. Once we got back into the Chilcotin you
could see the line of blue in the west and by the time
we reached Tatla Lake, we had clear sailing and could
watch the temperature move up nearly 10 degrees from where
we left it in Willy's Puddle. The morning we went
out Clearwater Lake was still under ice and by that afternoon
on our return, it had opened up. It was the same
with the bay that the Dean River meanders through after
leaving Nimpo Lake. There was still a lot of it frozen
over that morning but when we came back through, it was
Since then, our weather has done a little bit of everything.
We've had lots of days where it's spit rain off and on
and lots of heavy cloud. It's been pretty breezy too,
which is to be expected this time of year. Today we got
a little more sun than usual, but the wind blew as well,
although not nearly at the gale force speeds of yesterday!
You just about needed to tie yourself to the house if
you were going outside!
The past week has also been somewhat cool and it's
been getting down below freezing at night. Last
night was an exception where it remained about four degrees
above freezing after a high of over 12C or 54F during
the day yesterday. That's exactly what we need to get
that lake ice melted, and boy, is it looking black tonight!
If it stays above freezing tonight we just might see blue
water in a couple of big patches between here and the
big island and the ice is pulling away more and more from
the shore, although admittedly, not nearly as quickly
as in some years.
A few days ago we watched what looked to be an otter humping
his way just as fast as he could go across the ice from
the big island to the small island. They're sure funny
creatures to watch and you wouldn't think they could go
very fast with the way they do move, but they motor right
along. Had he tried crossing today though, I suspect he
might have fallen through the ice.
A pair of loons have been in for nearly a week now
and are hanging out down at the entrance to the Dean.
On Sunday we saw quite a sight. We were down at Nimpo
Lake Resort at the other end of the lake having dinner
when Mary noticed a fish jump out of the open water there
and land on the ice. Everyone watched it flopping around
with its silver belly flashing in the light for a moment.
Mary had just commented that it wouldn't last long before
the eagles would spot it when here came one gliding down
out of a nearby tree. He was on that fish like flies on
manure and it wasn't long before his buddy showed up with
high hopes of sharing in the banquet, not that there was
any chance of that. I guess someone down at that end watched
an eagle get a duck the day before that. They're getting
to be a nuisance in a way. I don't mind them eating fish
but our bird life is scarce enough and getting scarcer
yet with the increasing population of eagles around the
For anyone that might be interested, there's a new
category under Other up on the navigation menu on your
left called Classified
Ads. A part time visitor to the area
is looking to sell some stuff to anyone that might be
interested and most of it could definitely be handy to
this area. He'll be up in May and could transport some
of it if you're interested. Have a look at the page and
we'll see if it garners enough interest to make it worth
keeping on the site. And of course, if any of you folks
have items that you would like to list here, just let
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last week's
reading 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!