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Wilderness Adventures - West Chilcotin Blog

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.


06/08/2012 3:30 PM

Hot August Nights

It's been blazing hot for these past few days in the Chilcotin and around the province for that matter. Apparently a few temperature records have fallen over the last two days around British Columbia with the little heat wave we've been getting. Fortunately, today is supposed to be the last hot day and while the rest of the week is supposed to be sunny and warm, it will be closer to normal temperatures. It suits me. We've been within spitting distance of 30C or 85 degrees Fahrenheit for about three days now and it was pretty warm for the week previous other than one cloudy wet day.
It's tough putting in a day's work when it's this hot which is why I'm sitting at my computer this afternoon but the bonus is.... THE MOZZIES ARE GONE!!!!!!
Yep, burnt the little buggers right up. There's still the odd one floating around here and there in super shady, cool spots and probably the odd one in the evening, but it looks like our summer can start now. Yoo Hoo!! We were down at the north end of the lake for dinner last night and even late in the evening with the screen door open, there was nothing for mosquitoes and the dinner company noted that there hadn't been any mosquitoes down at the south end of the lake for the past week or so.
I think our place was probably last on the list to clean up, again I think it's because of my garden and that we've let so much of the brush grow up around our place, but we began to remedy that today. Andy took the chainsaw to several aspen, willows and other large shrubs along the lakeshore down in front of the house, as well as took some really low branches off of a big spruce tree. Voila! Suddenly there was a breeze off of the water through the hole he had created and I started cleaning up all the cut down trees and shrubs. I've already taken four huge dragging truckloads to the burn pile and the truck is half loaded again, but I had to quit before finishing it and at least one more truckload after it. Suddenly, it just got too hot for hard labour and I had to move onto something else. Hopefully tomorrow it will be cooler and we can continue with the land clearing.
It's funny how you can just klutz along in life and not realize vast changes that can occur in your environment. While Andy and I have done some minor clearing between the house and the cabin once before, and he's done it previous to my arrival, we haven't done anything of the kind in the last four years or more. In that period of time we've seen three rainy summers and the undergrowth has grown like crazy. Before we used to fight off the beavers to keep them from taking our few aspen. Now, the aspen grow like weeds. We have one in our lawn that's grown nine inches high since the last mowing and often where you cut one down, another will grow in its place.
We both commented just yesterday on how this part of the Chilcotin always looked in most places in the past 20 plus years. Lots of pine with only pine needles on top of the poor, thin soil, kinnickaknick, and sparse soap berry bushes with the odd wild rose here and there and wild lily of the valley in the shadier spots. Since the pine trees are no longer soaking up vast amounts of water, the understory is changing all over with more variety and larger number of shrubs and plants. And the water lovers like the willows and aspen have become ferocious!
With the ground saturation of the last two years, and large ponds where there had never been any before, there is just so much more moisture in this country and it's beginning to change. I think I mentioned before that all over both large and small aspen have fallen over, roots and all, because the ground is too wet to hold the roots anymore. There are lots of places where the small pine trees have turned orange and will die now because their feet have been in water for too long. Both winter and summer temperatures are higher now than they were in the previous fifty years and so I think that we are going to see some amazing changes in flora and fauna in the Chilcotin in the next ten years if this trend continues. We'll be growing bananas before you know it! :-)
We have a pair of loons in the back bay that have finally produced and raised a pair of babies that are, remarkably, still alive and getting bigger every day. It's been a real pleasure to watch the babies grow in the past couple of months and even more of a pleasure to know that they're probably too big now for the eagles to kill.
We're thinking that the loon pair at the back are actually a new couple to the bay and are probably just younger and simply more successful at raising babies and protecting them from eagles. For the past two years the pair that had been there had not even raised babies, and previous to that, when they did, they would lose first one and then the second while they were still quite small, most likely to the eagles. However, the dinner company last night did note that there seemed to be far fewer bald eagles around the lake this year and now that we think about it, it's true. There are way fewer around this summer than in the past five or six years, so it's possible that it is the same couple as before but since they would be getting old, it makes sense that a new pair took their place. There were some shenanigans this spring between two sets of loons in front of our place before the ice melted in the back bay so maybe the original loons lost the power struggle for the prime space at the back. In any case, it's wonderful to see a pair of babies that are big enough to be left on their own now and able to fend for themselves.
I've been afraid of writing about them before for fear of jinxing the little guys but they should be good now.
The floatplanes have been going great guns this weekend and it's nice to see both charter services getting people out there. While this is a long weekend or statuary holiday in Canada, it was busy last weekend as well, so perhaps our visitors are coming back again, even with the global economy still in such poor shape. This is still breathtaking country to see from a floatplane and since our air is so clean and clear right now with absolutely no forest fire smoke at all, it makes for great photography opportunities. Speaking of which....
Andy and some of the guys went up above 24 kilometer and the Lonesome Lake burn to try and access the top of Repeater Mountain so that Terry B could fix his radio repeater. Only Andy and Terry actually made it to the top on their machines only putting them on their sides in the rocks while Logan actually rolled his several times in the attempt, but Andy said the wildflowers up there were absolutely amazing! I just wish he had taken the camera with him.
Depending on how late the spring is, July and August are the months to experience the remarkable wildflowers up in the alpine so if you want to book a hiking trip, that's the time to do it. Some photos can be found at Alpine Flowers.
I don't have photos of wildflowers for the blog, but I am going to post some of my own garden that I finally get to enjoy.
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last week's blog at July Week Four
.


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!
Immature loon baby.
 
 
 
Rocks and flowers.
 
Red Oriental lillies.
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