heard me talking about the blazing hot weather in the
last blog post. Only one night later we ended up with
a nice little humdinger of a thunderstorm.That evening
was the hottest yet, still at a sweltering 22C outside
at 10:30 at night. I thought man, this is going to be
a miserable night to sleep because of course, it was nearing
80F in the house and no way of bringing the temperature
down if it was just as hot outside, even with every window
and door open in the house. I was not looking forward
to a breathless, sleepless night. Our warmest
yet. Andy was just headed to bed when he saw a flash outside.
We stood out on the deck and saw another to the south
of us. It was just heat lightning a long, long ways away
without thunder but I had hopes it would hit us, although
Andy didn't think it would. I turned off the lights and
watched a small dark cloud to see which way it was going
and decided the storm might take a couple of hours to
get here, but we just might get a piece of it.
About an hour later I could hear the aspen leaves
start to move, first just a little and then more
and more until you could hear a wind sighing through the
trees. I turned off the lights again and sitting by the
dining door facing east, I could just catch the mutter
of thunder on occasion and the more general flash of heat
lightning. Then the rain started. Thank you, Mama!
The temperature dropped nine degrees in less than half
an hour and it made all the difference in the world to
changing out the air in the house. A while later I could
see lightning bolts directly adjacent to us in the east
and at one point counting showed it to be about a mile
away, and then the storm moved on. I think that we just
caught the edge of it with the worst of it being to the
east of us but friends parked over at the beach at Charlotte
Lake said that it was booming pretty wild over them. However,
even they figured that the bulk of the storm occurred
over Redstone to the south east. That makes sense because
that's the direction I saw most of the lightning.
Apparently lightning caused a number of fire starts
in the Chilcotin and a day later when a storm passed through
there, several started in the Cariboo. I have
no idea how large or serious they might have been because
the fire center doesn't bother to keep their website updated,
but I doubt if they're that big. Most of these storms
carry a lot of rain with them and though it looked a little
smoky out there yesterday and this morning, I don't think
there's anything near us.
Not only did I get waylaid finishing writing the blog
but our Internet has been down so it wouldn't have been
possible to post anyway. We have finally gotten a little
bit of a cool down. That rainstorm seemed to have broken
the hot weather pattern, but it's starting to heat up
again slowly and I think that by Monday or Tuesday, it
may be pretty hot. Unless the weatherman's forecast changes
again, of course.
Our project manager over at the West Chilcotin Tourism
Assoc. had a friend out last week that is quite the hiker.
She took in a few trails in the area including the Rainbow
Range Trail hike and I thought you hiking enthusiasts
might enjoy reading some of her observations on it as
she has kindly given me permission to reproduce parts
of her blog post here. Her name is Leigh McAdam and I
think you'll enjoy the read:
"Im in the West Chilcotin area of British
Columbia an area not many have visited or even
know about. Within this area lies Tweedsmuir Provincial
Park home to the Rainbow Range Trail and
a hike thats just about as close to hiking nirvana
as youre going to get.
Id call the Rainbow Range hike one of the
best one day hikes of my life - and thats saying
something considering how many Ive done over the
I can only describe the hike in superlative terms and
hope my photos give you some sense of just how awesome
it really was.
I first heard about the Rainbow Range after reading
British Columbias Magazine 50th anniversary issue
in 2009 Top 50 things to do in BC Before You
Die. The photo of the Rainbow Range captured my imagination
then and Id have to say that the areas beauty
exceeded my expectations.
You spend the first 45 minutes of the hike walking
through an old burn that occurred in 2009. I actually
think its made this section of the trail very
beautiful. Wild flowers have proliferated so there are
now great swaths of pink fireweed, yellow arnica and
a white flower Im not familiar with. And theyre
all set off against a black background so theres
a lot of drama.
Once youre through the burn then its
only about 15 more minutes of walking to reach the high
alpine and the start of a series of outstanding mountain
views. Interestingly horses are allowed on the trail but
in no time we lost sight of them in the expanse of the
Ninety minutes of hiking provides you with jaw dropping
views of the so called Rainbow Mountains as you look ahead;
if your turn around you get equally stunning views of
the Coast Mountains. Throw in an abundance of wildflower
filled meadows and numerous small lakes and tarns with
deep blue water and you can understand why I was in hiking
heaven. And there wasnt any evidence of bear scat
which made me very happy.
What you need to know
This is truly an off the beaten path hike. You
may not see another soul so be prepared to be self sufficient
in an emergency.
The hike is accessed off of Highway 20 shortly after
entering Tweedsmuir Provincial Park if youre driving
west. Signage is good. Its about a 40 minute drive
from Anahim Lake.
The hike is eight kilometers one way though once youre
in the vicinity of the Rainbow Range you could hike
The vertical gain is approximately 300 meters
quite civilized to get a hike of this quality. The gain
is greater if you continue past the last of the cairns.
Camping is possible with obvious campsites situated
by a small lake on the trail with a bear proof box provided
for your food.
The trail is very well marked with cairns.
This is black and grizzly bear country. Bring bear spray,
bear bangers and be bear aware.
Allow at least five hours so you have time to sit and
ponder the beauty of the place over your lunch."
I absolutely recommend that you go to her actual blog
because the photos that accompany her text are stunning
and really make all the difference in the world to the
story. Particularly the photos of the old burn. For
those of you that follow my blog you'll remember my
reporting on the fire there when it first started and
of course, the evacuations that came out of it. You'll
find Leigh's blog at Hike
Bike Travel and
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. In the meanwhile,
I didn't want to take Leigh's photos so I've added some
up on the right of wildflowers to be found here and
in the alpine.
were out of Internet again yesterday so I'm only just
getting this uploaded. Sorry, folks.
We had a lot of smoke roll in yesterday and by yesterday
afternoon we could no longer see the mountains. This
morning is just as bad but it's mixed with cloud as
well as we're seeing a few light raindrops. I've asked
around and we've been listening to the radio but no
one seems to know where it's coming from. Apparently
a bit of smoke haze showed up in Williams Lake this
morning so it's a far reaching blanket. I can't
smell smoke so presumably there is no fire close by.
Although I did smell it when we were blanketed by that
smoke from Siberia so I guess smell doesn't mean much.
Usually forestry has helicopters out flying when the
smoke is this heavy just to see where a fire is or if
there are any new ones, but I haven't heard or seen
a helicopter since yesterday and I think that's our
Initial Attack crew that's based here, so I guess everyone
that's supposed to know, knows where all this smoke
is coming from..
is the start of a new week so you'll find last week's
blog at August