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Wilderness Adventures - August, Week 4/2012

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.


30/08/2012 2:20 PM

The End of the Hot

Sadly, we seem to have hit the end of our hot summer this past week. I think it was still nice while I was gone last week and it was certainly blistering down in Kamloops the first day. Fortunately it cooled off considerably for bringing vegetables and peaches back from the Kamloops Farmers Market and from Desert Hills at Ashcroft. Even so one 25 pound box of under ripe tomatoes went a long way towards ripening in the sun in the back of my sister's pickup. I hit a few rain squalls coming home the next day but this time with the canopy on the truck, it didn't matter.
Since then it really hasn't been that warm with one notable exception. Last Saturday was a stunning day for a friend's outdoor barbecue and birthday party, which was a great do and loads of fun. The next day was the outdoor barbecue and birthday of another friend and while not the glorious hot day of Saturday, it was passable, but you needed to get a little closer to the fire in the evening when nearly everyone had gone. We hadn't been home long when we heard thunder and then it poured the rain down. Thank heavens it held off until our friends' party was over or we would all have gotten a good dousing. I'm thankful there were only two parties. With all the amazing food over the weekend, we should have quit eating entirely this week.
Sadly, I didn't get photos of the second birthday party because I forgot the camera, so there are only pics of the first.
Since then we've both been so busy with canning all the fruit and vegetables I brought back that we haven't really had time to put our noses outside, myself even less so than Andy, since there's so much of the cutting and canning that you don't need two for. But it hasn't been too bad until the past three days when the weather has definitely turned. We've been getting sun but also cloud and quick rain squalls passing through and it is not warm! We finally broke down and started a fire last night because we were freezing our heinies off in the house. It's not that it was that cold, it's that we've gotten so used to the heat all summer, particularly in the house.
Today I had hoped to take our guests in the cabin for a quad ride on the back trails but you can't tell from one minute to the next what the weather is going to do. First the sun is shining and then it rains. Then the sun again, then rain. It just seemed easier to work on the computer today since my canning partner is helping out down at the other end of the lake today.
It looks like we should have a decent Labour Day weekend, though, and I certainly hope that's the case, not only for the sake of our guests but for everyone else that goes camping or on vacation on the last warm weekend of the year.
Leigh McAdam, whom I've referred to before, has written another post about 20 things to do along Highway 20 from which I've drawn excerpts below. How I wish she was with us on a permanent basis because she does a wonderful job of writing about our area and pointing out the neat places we have here. While I'm more than proud of our Chilcotin region, those of us that live here year round tend to take it a bit for granted at times I think, and it's nice to see a refreshing account of the area through a new set of eyes.
From Leigh's blog:
"Bring it on is what I say.
Those are the roads where the traffic is almost nonexistent and the communities along the way are delighted to see a tourist. And where the only thing you have to stop for on the road is a horse or a cow – never a stop light.
Highway 20 takes you from Williams Lake in the South Cariboo over the Chilcotin Plateau to Bella Coola on the coast of British Columbia. Along the way there is only a smattering of small communities but plenty of places worth stopping.
Here are 20 things you can do and see along Highway 20 starting in Williams Lake.
Check out the Fraser River – by car or via Jetboat. The river starts at Mount Robson and 860 miles later empties into the Strait of Georgia.
Take a short detour and visit Junction Sheep Range Provincial Park – and in particular Farwell Canyon. There’s a hiking trail that leads to the top of the hoodoos and if you’re lucky you might spot a herd of Big Horn Sheep.
Raft the Chilcotin River as it races through Farwell Canyon.
Go fishing for rainbow trout in one of the lakes that dot the Chilcotin Plateau – Eagle Lake, Puntzi Lake and Tatlayoko Lake as examples.
Go grizzly bear watching during the salmon run. You can do this around Chilko Lake, out of Bella Coola or by drifting in a boat along the Atnarko River. And the start of the season is just days away.
Hike into the Rainbow Range in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. The 16 kilometer hike was one of my best one day hikes EVER.
Take a pack horse trip into the Rainbow or Chilcotin Mountains.
Stop for a piece of pie and a look at the murals on the walls and ceiling at Lee’s Corner in Hanceville.
Stop in Anahim Lake and arrange a floatplane tour over Hunlen Falls.
Better yet, plan a multi day canoe trip on the Turner Lake circuit. You can hike in off of Highway 20 though that’s a slog or you can get dropped off and rent canoes on Turner Lake.
Pay your respects at the Native Cemetery on the south side of the highway near Redstone.
Head for Charlotte Lake, just 20 kilometers off the highway and relax for a few days at the Atnarko Retreat. Read, bird-watch, fish, kayak and swim or do nothing at all.
Drive Highway 20 all the way down to Bella Coola. That would include the eleven kilometers of steep, winding, dirt road with serious drop offs.
(See Leigh's wonderful story about this drive at
Surviving 11 Kilometers of Terror on Highway 20.)
Walk the Eagle’s Nest Marsh Trail on the southwest side of Anahim Lake. Look out for the bald eagles, white pelicans, trumpeter swans, ospreys and great grey and horned owls.
Head to Nimpo Lake, a major float plane center, to arrange a fishing trip to remote areas like the Dean and Blackwater Rivers.
In Bella Coola area choose from a variety of hikes including Schoolhouse Mountain Falls, Snootli Creek Regional Park and the trails to Blue Jay Lake and McGurr Lake in the high alpine.
Drive the streets of Bella Coola and admire the native art – totems on front lawns and murals on the grocery store.
Head to Clayton Falls Park just past the ferry terminal in Bella Coola. Take a picnic lunch and watch the world go by. And take a few minutes to check out Clayton Falls too.
(I've posted a picture of the pretty park on Picture of the Day.)
Look for the petroglyphs at Thorsen Creek in Bella Coola. Hundreds have fallen from a cliff face and lie strewn in the forest. The site is estimated to be 3500 years old. You can arrange for a tour with Nuxalk guides."

Thank you Leigh!
I must tell you all that all of Leigh's points above are accompanied by some truly stunning photographs and it makes so much more sense if you see everything in context with her writing. Please... do go to her blog at
Hike, Bike, Travel. You absolutely will not be sorry!
Oh, and just to add this.... there are lots more than 20 things to do along Highway 20!
Our summer residents have begun to arrive back on the lake much to our delight. Our neighbourhood is finally peopled by people, again. Our friends from Kelowna arrived on Monday and are already going quading with their new side by side and they too will be receiving guests for the next few weeks. I expect it to be busy now with rounds of suppers and evening campfires, my very favorite time of year. We have new residents on the lake here and there, and some of them will be staying through the winter so that's kind of nice.
Fishing has picked up considerably from what I understand, at least at the north end of the lake. Our two baby loons in the back bay still seem to be surviving and growing fast! Soon their parents will leave and they'll be on their own until big and strong enough to fly out themselves later in the fall.
Now if the weather would just shift and bring us our glorious September weather that we often get, life will be good.

This is the start of a new week so you'll find last week's blog at August Week Three.


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!
Well constructed barbecue with mountains behind.
 
People sitting around the fire.
 
Barry looking at camera while eating his steak.
 
Woman holds up a black wine glass gifted to her.
 
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