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 - Dec., Week 1/2009
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of the Day.
cold spell has continued as predicted. The mercury hit
-29.4C or -20F yesterday morning and even though it was
a glorious sunny day, it never got above -14C or 7F, and
that was in the sun. Yesterday evening we watched the
mercury drop at about the rate of 0.1 degree every couple
of minutes for a while. I don't know if I've ever seen
it drop that fast before. It hit -32C or 26 degrees
below zero Fahrenheit by the time I went to bed last night,
although Andy said it was slightly warmer than that when
he got up. I understand it was -34C or nearly 30 below
at Anahim Lake this morning, so they were slightly colder
than we were, but that's normal.
The lake sounds have been fantastic, of course.
It really sounds off at night as the surface of the ice
gets colder and colder, and then during the day when it
starts to warm up again. I really should be out there
with my new recorder, but it's too cold. I'm holed up
in the house and that's where I plan on staying, peeking
my head out of the door only occasionally. Thank heavens
Andy likes the cold! He and the dogs have been going for
walks in the morning, and he spends a good part of the
day puttering around outside including getting wood today.
We've lots of wood for the downstairs stove, but I couldn't
get warm today to save my soul, even though it climbed
to -12C this afternoon. Maybe it was because it
clouded over and there was no sun. It looked grim
outside and even Andy said it felt raw out there. So I
started a fire in the upstairs fireplace. I'm sure we
could have burned the regular wood in there, but Andy
looked on it as good excuse to go fall a tree and buck
it up into longer blocks, then put it through the splitter.
Of course, while that all sounds easy, in weather like
this, it's a lot more complicated doing anything than
it normally would be. First you have to thaw out
the chainsaw in the basement, and then you have to thaw
out a quad so that it will start. That means covering
it with a tarp to hold the heat in, and tucking a heater
under the tarp for a while, then moving the heater under
the tarp on the wood splitter to warm it up. In the meanwhile,
it obviously wasn't too cold for a dog adventure. The
dogs had been let off their lines while Andy was outside
but when he stepped into the house for a minute, River
decided to go for a jaunt and took Cat with him. That
meant Andy had to go looking for our dogs while the equipment
warmed up. This is a bad time of year because now the
dogs can cross the lake ice to go visiting as River is
wont to do any time he gets the opportunity. Andy drove
around to Nimpo but never was able to find them. Finally,
Lane called from up at the store a couple of hours later
to report that she had caught up both of them when they
showed up to play with their buddy Pluto. So that
means River is in jail, yet again.
Richard and Leah went out snowmobiling today with young
relatives that are up visiting for a few days. Richard
went out yesterday as well and I think he finally got
cold for the first time in his life. He said they left
Ptarmigan Flats too late in the day so that when they
came back through Goat Pass, it was getting miserably
cold. And it's true that once that sun set at four, the
mercury just plummeted. He said that they had to stop
every few miles, open up their hoods and warm their hands
and gloves over the heat of the engines, because it was
so cold, the hand warmers on the bars didn't even feel
like they were on. We all noticed that last winter when
we took Mr. Wilson up on the mountain for the last time.
Once it reaches a certain temperature, you just can't
feel heat from the hand warmers anymore.
After last year's sojourn, there is just no way
you would catch me going up on the mountain in these temperatures.
First of all, sledding to me should be fun, not miserable,
and secondly, I consider it dangerous. If anyone were
to be injured to the point of being immobilized, they
would suffer hypothermia very quickly. There's quite a
difference between going up the mountain at -25 versus
-10 or -5. Besides, it's just so much harder on your machine
running it in really cold temperatures. But, hey! If you're
young enough to go play in the cold and enjoy it, then
do as you please.
Richard asked Andy last night if he thought it would be
safe to run across the back bay on snowmobiles this morning
on their way out because it would save them time not having
to go around. Andy figured it would be all right but since
he hadn't tested the ice yet, there were no guarantees.
Sure enough, sometime near eleven we could hear
the kids' machines cross the bay. At least they
left later so it had warmed up to about -20C. I expect
they may have run into snow higher up today. A low pressure
system moved down through the central interior of BC from
up north, and brought heavy cloud with it. From here,
it looked like it might be snowing over the mountains
this afternoon. I sure hope it moves out. I don't care
about the cold temperatures if the sun is shining, but
it sure makes it raw if it's cold and cloudy.
Besides, the house doesn't warm up during the day as much
without all that sunshine streaming through the windows,
so it takes more heat to get it warmed up through the
Duke stopped by today and said he was up flying yesterday.
He says the Main Arm looks to be frozen over with
good, clear ice and asked when the lake froze over.
He was surprised to hear it froze after the last snow,
because of course, Anahim Lake froze over weeks ago. It's
great to hear we've good ice out there, anyway. There
was a lot of overflow on the inner bays around here and
the ice was formed out of that slush. But these cold temperatures
will freeze that down pretty solid and the Main Arm will
be building good quality ice at a great rate right now.
With any luck we'll get a foot of good ice before the
first thing I did after getting up yesterday morning was
peer through the binoculars. Trust me, it was with
very mixed feelings that I looked across to where the
loon should be and didn't see him. On the one
hand, I would liked to have seen him alive and still swimming,
but on the other, I was relieved to see nothing. There
was no sign of him anywhere near the pond or in my field
of view, so I thought perhaps he took one last swim under
the ice and just didn't come up. That's what I hoped,
Andy and I had to meet friends from Charlotte that will
be going back to Switzerland for the winter up at the
coffee shop for lunch and so the loon was gone from my
head for the moment. At least until the proprietor mentioned
that she wished she had a pair of binoculars in the shop
because often she could see something out on the lake
but not determine what it was at that distance. She
pointed out vague figures on the ice but it was so far
away that I guessed it might be Trumpeter Swans,
but it was only a guess. When Andy pulled up in the parking
lot a few minutes later, I asked him to bring his binoculars
in from the truck when he came in. We had to wait a little
while for the condensation to dry out since they froze
up as soon as they were removed from a cold truck into
warm air, so we sat and visited in the meanwhile.
I had forgotten about the glasses, but Andy hadn't. He
checked through them and then stated that what was out
on the lake was at least three bald eagles and they were
probably eating my loon. Of course I jumped up to check
and sure enough, at least two mature eagles, one immature,
and possibly a fourth behind were grouped up and scavenging
something on the ice. It was certainly in the vicinity
of where my loon had been but it was difficult to tell
from that distance and a different angle from our place,
just how close it was. That made me a little unhappy.
It meant my loon had probably been alive at least until
As soon as I got back home I glassed from our dining room
window where I had been watching that loon for what seemed
like days. Nothing. All looked calm and white. But as
soon as I stepped over a few feet, I thought I could see
a disturbance in the snow through the boughs of a spruce
tree in front of the house. I had to go out on the deck
to see in the direction I would have been looking from
up at the coffee shop in Nimpo.
A little to the west of the loon's pond you could see
two long tracks of disturbed snow going at an angle toward
the far shore. Not far from the shore the snow was thrown
up every which way. I didn't look any longer. I didn't
need to. The loon had half flown, half run over the ice
just as he had a couple of days before when he tried to
go airborne, but maybe couldn't get as high this time.
Because I'm certain that's what the long marks were that
extended for between 50 and a 100 feet. He must
finally have decided he could no longer keep his prison
open and maybe after the previous incident out in the
open, felt the heavily treed shore would offer cover from
the eagles. He must have made his break after
daybreak though, or the eagles would not have known nor
would they have been on him so fast. A mature loon is
a heavy bodied bird and too heavy for an eagle to pick
up I think, which is why I'm sure it will have been an
eagle that killed the loon. If it had been a fox, lynx,
or coyote waiting on the shoreline, it would have carried
the bird back into the woods to get it away from the eagles
and ravens. Nope, I think I can fairly lay the blame on
those lousy, stinking eagles. The worst part? It's doubtful
the loon's death will have been a quick one, but
with any luck he messed a few of them up first before
they killed him. I'm glad I didn't notice him
in the morning when I suspect he might have still been
alive and possibly fighting for his life. I'm sure, foolishly,
I would have been trying to figure out some way of getting
over there, thin ice or not.
Yesterday was a mixed day. Quite nice when the sun was
shining but by afternoon it had clouded over and everything
was pretty dull.
I had watched the wind shifting from one direction to
another, first from the east, then south, then north.
East generally means outflow winds and can be damned cold.
This morning the temperature was just short of -26C
or -15F after plummeting all night. The sun has
been shining all day with gorgeous blue skies everywhere
except for just behind the mountains. Still, it never
got above -10C or 14F today, sun or not, and if a breeze
did raise the flags a bit, it was from out of the north.
There is a massive high pressure system pushing right
down from Alaska driving cold arctic air before it. Our
temperatures are expected to get colder as the week progresses
with some seriously frigid temps predicted even for Vancouver,
particularly when you take the wind chill into account.
Oh well, that'll mean blue skies and good ice forming
on the lake.
Last night the lake was groaning, mumbling, and shoof'ing
with an alien spaceship sound thrown in for good measure
every once in a while as it cooled down. Today it also
made a fair bit of noise, particularly this morning when
the sun started warming the surface of the ice a little.
Some of the guys were going to go out snowmobiling
again today. I assume they went but I can tell
you that I certainly had no intention of freezing my butt
off at that temperature this morning, and Andy wasn't
any too enthusiastic about it either. Mind you, he hasn't
been overly enthused about snowmobiling at all since he
blew up his machine last year, but none of us normally
get too worked up about going out much before Christmas
anyway. There's generally just too much to do before then
for one thing, and the days are just that much shorter,
so it doesn't leave a lot of riding time during daylight
at this time of year at all. January is usually pretty
nice but February is probably my favorite month to ride.
It's nearly always sunny, usually a lot warmer, and the
days are longer.
We both also agree that Lloyd Wilson no longer being about
has really affected both of us. Lloyd was the first
to take me up on the mountain when I started riding,
and I think he led Andy as well when he
first came into this part of the country. Lloyd was the
expedition leader for so many years, even though he didn't
lead much toward the last, that it's never been the same
since he's been gone. Lloyd has probably led just about
every sledder new to the country up on the mountain for
the past twenty or more years, considering it his duty
to make sure every newcomer got to see the stunning winter
view from on top of Trumpeter Mountain.
So many 'rules' more or less came into being because of
Lloyd, most of them good ones: Lunch must
be at twelve. Down off the mountain and back on the lake
by four because his birds (wild chickadees) would be getting
hungry. If someone got stuck, everyone in
the vicinity was expected to wade through snow to help
get them out. We must always follow that trail or this,
and never, ever leave any trace of our passing behind
in the form of garbage. Drinking was discouraged or kept
to a maximum of one beer, but actually rarely occurred
at all. And while these rules may have made him seem mild
mannered, he certainly wasn't in his riding, getting more
than one bunch of riders in a jackpot that could take
hours and a lot of sweat to get out of.
Of course there were the other foibles.
He loved new people on the ride but that often meant that
if we stopped to count heads, he would get to talking
and talking and the day would have wasted away had one
or the other, usually Henry, Andy or I, not started our
machine and taken off to keep things moving. Still, it
was a habit that hung on tenaciously and over the course
of the years the stops seemed to become more and more
frequent. And really, it's not such a bad thing
to be sitting on your machine lazing in the sun, drinking
in spectacular views and conversing with your sled mates.
Truly, I'm positive snowmobile trips with Lloyd were close
kin to sitting out on a verandah in a blossom scented
evening in the South, passing the time of day with your
neighbour from down the road. And though we're so fortunate
to have young people and new friends from the Charlotte
Lake bunch join us now, there was something from those
trips with Lloyd from years past that can no longer be
The Death March
morning I got up and after learning the temperature hit
-20C or -4F again overnight and looking at a smooth white
expanse of ice, I declared Nimpo Lake officially iced
over. Andy said, "Not so fast. There's still birds
out there." I'm like....What?? An otter had broken
away from the big island and went humping across the ice
toward the point just as fast as his little legs could
take him, and through the glasses, you could see birds
Using my glasses and Andy's spotting scope, we finally
determined that there were for sure, two loons and two
smaller birds of some sort, paddling furiously back and
forth in a small patch of water. The best I could
figure was that it was probably no longer than ten or
twelve feet, and though impossible to determine how wide
it was from side to side, it for sure wasn't very because
the birds were passing each other quite closely.
Oddly enough, on Tuesday morning before the water froze
over at the point in the afternoon, I saw the small group
of birds through glasses but didn't think much of it.
I guess I just assumed that they were on a bit of open
water and would fly out when their little pond started
to freeze over. So I was shocked to still see them in
the same spot yesterday morning after such a cold night.
By the way all four paddled back and forth, either
they were extremely cold and trying to keep warm, or they
were trying to keep the ice open and judging from their
actions, I would say the latter. It was strange
watching them because they would paddle past each other,
turn around, and go in the other direction. It was like
a constant conveyor belt of four birds, although the loons
seemed a little more vigorous than the other two smaller
birds. I couldn't imagine what it must have been like
paddling like that through the long, cold night and watching
them doing it in daylight was like watching a death march.
Because unless they left, they were going to die. And
since there was a bald eagle keeping an eye on them from
above, it was not going to be a quick, painless death.
I would glass the mini flock periodically whenever I passed
by the dining table, and as the day warmed up, all the
birds slowed their paddling and the loons started diving,
presumably for breakfast. I worried that they would dive
horizontally rather than vertically and not be able to
find the small opening again, but they didn't seem to
have a problem. They actually seemed to relax as the sun
warmed them and probably the water they were in so I was
surprised at about 11:30 to see that suddenly there were
only three birds. There were still two loons and
the smallest bird, but I had no idea what had happened
to the fourth. Had he dived and not found his
way back up? Had an eagle gotten him? Or had he flown
away? I hoped it was the latter and took it for a good
I had to go up to Nimpo and as soon as I got back in early
afternoon I returned to my vigil. Now there were only
two birds. One loon and the very smallest. What didn't
make sense to me was if the birds could fly, why hadn't
they left sooner? I watched the smallest bird closely,
noting that it was moving less and less. The loon kept
going up to it which seemed strange if it was a different
species of bird as I had first thought. Then I saw the
little bird rear up on his tail and flare his feathers
just like a loon does. It had to be a baby!!
Maybe the other had been a baby loon too but not nearly
so small as this little guy? And maybe his size had allowed
him to take off from that small puddle and later the bigger
loon had done the same? My hopes were raised and I figured
that's what happened until watching through the glasses
a little while later, I realized that might not
be what had occurred.
I had just picked up the binoculars yet again to see what
was happening when I saw the loon take a run across
the water in an attempt to take off and watched him crash
chest first into the ice at the other end of his small
prison. He slid back into the water and sat for
awhile before resuming his paddling. It was still warm
in the sun but starting to cool down, and now, often when
I checked through the glasses he was making shallow dives
and standing on the water stretching his wings. I would
have to keep my glasses on the little bird for a long
time before I would see enough movement out of him
to know he was still alive.
With only an hour of light left at most and it cooling
down fast, I picked up my glasses in time to see the loon
stretching his wings and diving with a lot more purpose,
much like a runner just before a marathon. I wondered
if something was going to happen. Suddenly, the
loon came from the very back of his pond, wings outstretched
and splashing water just as hard as he could as he ran.
He made it past the edge of the water and was just airborne
only a couple of feet above the ice. I was yelling, "Go,
go, go!!!!" as he beat that air just as hard as he
could. About seventy feet away he crashed in a heap, unable
to sustain the effort required to get the air under his
wings that he needed for flight. He sat stunned on the
ice for a little while and I was afraid his wet feet would
freeze to the ice if he stayed too long. Finally he turned
himself around and was facing back toward his tiny pond
again. Suddenly he started to half fly half run back toward
the pond, almost rolling over on himself on the ice. I
realized why when I saw a bald eagle come swooping in
from down the Main Arm. The loon must have seen
him too because he made a last mighty dive for the water,
just making it as the eagle skimmed past. And that was
the end of it.... It was almost as though the heart had
gone out of the loon after that. I checked on him off
and on until dusk when I could no longer make him out,
and he was just calmly sitting in the water as though
he had resigned himself to whatever fate awaited him.
To be frozen in rather than take his chances out in the
open on the ice.
I kept watch on the temperature all night before going
to bed. Surprisingly, it never went much below the
evening temperature of -14C or 7F when it had been -19C
the same time the night before. I held out some
hope that it being a little warmer might help two birds
to keep the water open when there had been four, but I
doubted it, especially since the little bird hadn't moved
around much for the last few hours in the afternoon.
When I got up this morning, Andy said, "Check your
loon out." And sure enough, he was there. He was
alone. The little bird was gone, but the loon paddled
passively back and forth in his pond that seemed to have
shrunk significantly from the morning before. I don't
think it was any longer than six or seven feet.
I checked on the loon off and on all day but at least
tried not to be quite so fixated about it. I had lots
of work to do yesterday that didn't get done and while
you feel you have to keep vigil for a creature that you
know is going to die, knowing that and watching it is
I checked on the loon one last time just as it got dark
and he was still there, a dark spot in a sea of ice. It's
only five degrees below freezing this evening, much warmer
than it has been, so he just might make it through another
night. It must be exhausting to paddle all night long,
though. If he could keep it up for another few days to
a week, the ice would probably be thick enough for us
to make a try for him. But the temperature is supposed
to literally plummet for the next week and there is no
way he will be able to keep his little puddle open by
himself through cold like we just had this week.
In a way, I wish he would just take a swim under the ice
and not be able to find the opening on his return. It
would be a lot easier on him than being frozen alive into
the ice for the eagles and the ravens and he's way too
far away for us to be able to shoot him.
When I first saw the four birds I assumed that there was
the two loons, and perhaps one of those black ducks we
get in the fall and maybe the smallest bird was a grebe
or merganser. But those were definitely two very large
loons so it doesn't even seem all that likely that they
were this year's brood. And after watching the actions
of the other two birds, I really have to wonder if this
wasn't a set of loons that lost their first babies this
year and had a second set or perhaps they were quite young
and their babies were really, really late. I can't
see any other reason why two loons would stay on the water
until they simply ran out of water to take off of.
One injured loon I could possibly see, but two seem very
unlikely. It makes sense that it was a pair of loons that
refused to leave their young ones behind, or didn't know
better. Judging from the actions of the last loon, it
doesn't seem very likely that the other loon was able
to take off while I went up to Nimpo. There just wouldn't
have been enough water. Maybe it got caught under the
ice but who knows? Andy said he heard a loon today but
it didn't sound like it came from the direction of our
lost soul. Instead, he said it sounded like it was more
overhead. Maybe the other one did get off
and made it to the Dean where the river exits the lake
and is doing flyovers. There's still some open water there
although there won't be for long if it gets really cold.
The whole thing sure is sad to see.
I know that it's nature's way of culling out the birds
and animals that aren't survivors, and it's true that
for a loon to get caught here this late, it's probably
best. Still, you have to give credit to birds smart
enough to know that they have to keep paddling all night
to keep the water open.
There's certainly nothing stupid at all about the bald
eagles. They know what's up and they're patient. I guess
that's what Mother Nature is all about.
A few of the guys went out snowmobiling yesterday. They
said it was the best they had ever seen it and since no
one had been ahead of them so far this year, they got
all fresh powder to carve up. My neighbour sent me a bunch
of pictures that I'll post here.
He writes: "Up
the Mountain today. The Alpine was chest deep powder throughout
the meadows. No one needs to go up there anymore - we
carved up all the good ones! Conditions were excellent
and we climbed to over 7,000' to clean the ice and snow
off of the Nimpo radio repeater tower. Bill, Richard,
Logan and I took the trip today. No damages except for
a couple trees that Logan was insisting move away from
our trails. I think those trees have learned their lesson
and shouldn't be a problem any longer.
Each and every one of us worked until we did get stuck
at least once. Richard and Logan both struck trees near
the top of the Hill while Bill managed to stick at the
bottom. I dug and pulled. I finally managed to lean over
too far while carving in the meadow and dug a hole that
required help to get out. I needed the rest anyway!
Many locals have informed me that they haven't seen snow
in this quantity since the early 90's. The Mountains above
2900m have what seemed to be 20cm of fresh powder over
a 1m base of heavier snow. Perfect conditions as we saw
no open creeks and when carving the meadows tipping the
sleds did not encounter any resistance between layers
of snow. The Sunshine was warm and above zero temperatures
in the Alpine, where we spent most of the afternoon enjoying
our day. My Uncle Stu once described his big bore Arctic
Cat sled as a Cardio-vascular exercise machine and I agree
with that. Don't ever get old, get a snowmobile instead!
Even the trails from house to house down here at Nimpo
Lake are covered in 30-40cm of snow."
was truly a glorious day with sunshine and clear skies
all day and it actually made it very near to freezing
in the shade. Today wasn't quite as nice because we had
some cloud moving in and out with that system that's dropping
down from the north. It will be pulling down arctic air
and after it's gone, it looks like clear skies for some
time. Oh, and very, very cold temperatures.
About the only benefit to that will be that the ice on
the lake will freeze quickly and hopefully improve the
'slush' ice in the bay. Andy drilled it today and there's
seven inches and up just offshore.
A full moon for the last three nights lit things up so
brightly that I'm sure you could have read a book by the
light. It helps that everything is covered in snow of
course. This will be a blue moon month with another at
the end of December. It will be perfect for lighting up
the Ice Party on New Year's Eve!
Big Snow. Plummeting Temperatures.
are we getting whacked with winter in a big way!
It rained through most of Saturday night and into Sunday
morning. It wasn't really a rain or even a drizzle. It
was just sort of spotty but steady. By afternoon the rain
turned to snow. It snowed right through the evening when
Andy decided to go out and clean off the deck because
it was such heavy snow. He took off more than three inches
and he had to clear the satellite dishes because the receiver
on the television was losing connection with the satellite
and the satellite for our Internet connection was also
buried under wet snow.
Fortunately, the temperature finally dropped about three
degrees below freezing overnight and the snow got a little
drier. It was a good thing, because I measured another
six inches of snow out on the deck in the morning when
I went to clear it. That gave us a total of at least ten
inches that fell.
I figured with that heavy, wet snow Sunday evening
that the power was going to go out and it did.
Fortunately I was reading at about midnight when it went.
No bumps, no nothing. Just out. I was just thankful I
wasn't watching television at the time because the outage
might very well have blown it. We at least have backup
batteries on our computers so that's the first thing I
did after scaring up a flashlight was to go around and
shut down both computers. We were without power
for 16 hours or until four the next afternoon,
so Andy fired up the generator and we kept water, fridges
and freezers running throughout the day until the power
came back on. Then we lost our phone for a few hours so
we ran up to the store to call that in. It seems this
time it was only North Nimpo and Nimpo Creek Roads that
had power outages, but since that's most of the population
around Nimpo Lake, it still affects quite a few people.
Since it was over 13 hours after the power went out to
the time the Hydro guys got to Anahim Lake, I expect they
had their own set of issues in Bella Coola. If they got
any of the snow we did, it will have been a mess, not
to mention how bad getting up the Hill might have been.
I spent a good part of yesterday on the wrong end
of a shovel while Andy spent most of the day on the Bobcat
trying to clear the yard and our driveway. The
snow was so heavy and slippery that he was having a tough
time pushing it and got stuck once. Then we realized that
there was way too much snow stuck to the top of our canvas
garage and managed to get it punched off, but not before
it stretched the canvas and bent the poles a bit. I got
some of the snow off of our greenhouse, and we'll just
have to watch the cabin roof and the roof over the holiday
trailer to see if the snow slides off of them. Not that
it will happen very soon now the way our temperatures
After a long day shoveling snow we finally got to play
in it. We took two sleds back and forth over the back
trail to the gun range to pack the snow down. I took the
dogs for a walk yesterday but had to stick to the road
for the most part because it was a real slog through snow
on the trail. Since it was sitting just below freezing
yesterday when we packed it, the tracks should be frozen
in hard now making for great walking. Mind you,
that may not be the case. Richard and Leah came by on
their sleds late in the afternoon bearing a bottle of
Baileys to go in the hot chocolate we usually make for
them. I made them promise that they would go back over
the trail slowly so as to keep it packed and not chew
it up but I don't know if they will have remembered.
Boy, was there ever a lot of young pine trees bowed over
the trail that had to have the snow shook off them and
propped up when we made our first pass through. Some will
never straighten up again after the first heavy snow and
then this one. Still, a few might make it if it warms
up. Right now in our yard there's between 20 and 24 inches
of snow settled on the ground, but I think there's a lot
more than that in the woods. Sledding in the fresh
snow is like riding on cotton candy!
If you look at the one picture up on the right where our
lawn is surrounded by a log fence and covered in snow,
it looks like a giant layer cake with icing that dripped
over the sides. Walk in there and you'll be up to your
knees in snow!
Richard warned us that we had a cold snap coming so I
kept an eye on the thermometer last night. It dropped
hard and fast to -14C then came back up to -12C so I figured
all of the mist off the still open lake would blanket
us in and keep it from getting much colder. That theory
only works as long as there's mist. It would seem
that most of the lake froze over last night and this morning
Andy watched the thermometer dip to -22.3C or 8 below
zero Fahrenheit. This morning I could just see
a thin streamer of mist coming up off the Main Arm, but
it there is only a small line of open water there at most
with another bit of open water off the point. However,
with one more cold night, I think the lake can be officially
called frozen over if it wasn't already by this afternoon.
We're already at -15C or 5F this evening so I expect it
to get down as low tonight as it did last night. It looks
like there will be a high pressure system over BC for
at least one more day. Then it may break down for a day
or so, then another is expected to build in. That's okay
with me! Today was a true winter day with
brilliant sunshine reflecting off snow laden trees and
sparkles everywhere. The sky was clear and blue, and this
evening you could see that special lemon color on the
horizon of our winter skies. This kind of winter I can
Last week's articles can be found at November
Week Four .
Just a last word of note. Jeanette, a local lady in Nimpo
Lake, lost another son yesterday, this time to bad road
conditions and a nasty corner coming back from Farwell
Canyon. Our condolences go out to her and her family.
Her loss will affect many in the community but none more
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!