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Wilderness Adventures - Dec., Week One/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.


07/12/2012 1:15PM

Lucky Seven

Happy December, Everyone. Although it's not necessarily that happy for those people who are remembering men, women and service personnel lost 71 years ago at Pearl Harbour. While the bombing of Pearl Harbour pushed the US into World War II for which many Europeans are still grateful, it was and always will be, a horrific event. I will probably never get to Hawaii now but the memorial above the USS Arizona was always on my list of things to see just as I'm sure the site of the Twin Towers will be on the viewing list of generations to come.
You would think that with it being the seventh today that one might expect a little luck with regard to weather but seven just isn't our lucky number today. It went down to -15C or 5 last night and never got above -5C or 23 today at its warmest. The sun was shining for a little while which really helped to warm up the house but as usual, it didn't last that long. That bloody cloud moved in over the mountains again.
We went to town on Wednesday and didn't get back until last night so we have no idea what the weather was like while we were gone, but judging by how cool the house was last night when we got home, the sun didn't shine much yesterday. Because the front of the house is all window, we can usually get a pretty good idea as to whether we got any sun or not just by the temperature in here. If it's like a greenhouse in the middle of July, the sun was shining. If it's cold in here, the sun didn't shine enough to help out the furnace while we were gone and it's going to take an evening of running the wood stove and furnace to get the temperature back up again. On our way in to town early Wednesday morning we ran into temperatures as low as -17C or 1.4F until we got to Williams Lake where it was much warmer. In fact most of Wednesday and Thursday we ran in and out of stores in shirtsleeves and without jackets with the sun shining both days, and the temperature only dropped to about -3C Wednesday night. That seems to have been the magic number in town for some time. It's quite a contrast to the temperatures we've been having. All the fun ended when we left town. It was going on dark before we even got to Alexis Creek so we were straining our eyes for deer along the highway two thirds of the way home. And of course, not long out of town the temperature dropped and we never saw it warmer than -10C once we left Alexis Creek. Standard issue for us lately out here. Andy thinks that cold air from the north is sweeping down and spreading out over the Chilcotin Plateau from east of the Fraser River to the west. That makes sense but it doesn't explain why it's pretty obvious that Alexis Creek and even Tatla lake have seen much warmer temperatures. There is almost no snow anywhere except on the very shady banks along the highway, so if nothing else, everyone east of us has seen a lot of sun in the past while.
Like last year, it's death by snowflake for us. We are only getting tiny little skiffs of snow at a time which is has actually built up to maybe two and a half or three inches now. With any melt at all we would have little or no snow on the ground but we were both figuring it out yesterday, and determined that we have had next to nothing for above freezing days. There has been just the odd time here and there where the temps might have made it just above freezing for an hour or so in a day, but it's been very rare in the past 30 days. That's probably why we have no ice on the ground at all, which is super. It's a lot easier on the heinie when one isn't landing on it all the time!
We haven't been down to look at the Main Arm in the past week but I'm going to assume that with these cold nights and chilly days, it's completely frozen over now. It will probably only be another two weeks and we might be able to start driving across to the boat ramp going up to Nimpo, on ATV's anyway. Although I wouldn't be the least surprised if it was firm enough for light vehicles as well. Then you'll start seeing the place liven up again! This is the quiet time between fall boaters and airplanes, and winter snowmobilers, skiers, walkers, ATV'ers and people ice fishing.
Soon it will be time to get our decorations up inside and lights up on the deck outside. Andy hasn't lit up the red Christmas tree yet out on the point, mainly because it still has old fashioned lights on it so it's expensive to leave lit, and no one needs a marker to find their way on the lake yet at night. Maybe if we ever get a nice day we'll get out there and change those lights over so we don't keep blowing the budget and the generators at Anahim Lake.
After Supper:
Yep, I got waylaid and just got back to this. Our temperatures started dropping early this afternoon and by shortly after supper they hit -14C or 6.8F. I'm assuming they'll keep dropping tonight, although oddly, we have had several nights where the mercury just plummets and we think, uh oh.... gotta get the dogs inside.... and then it will start rising steadily right up until I go to bed. It actually did that last night as well but must have dropped again early this morning. Something I'm sure the dogs were not pleased about. They'll be happy though because they'll be going into the garage for sure tonight, which means every fox and other night time investigator will be around the yard leaving scent for them to go crazy over in the morning.
That's the only problem with the lake being frozen over is that it gives every little critter from otters to foxes to other dogs access to our property from all sides instead of just down our driveway as it is when the lake isn't covered in ice. Result? Barking dogs when they're outside at night in the winter. I'm sure they have no idea what they're barking at but if it's a strange noise or scent, then they'll give a few yaps. Thank heavens we have no neighbours this time of year.
I don't have much for pictures from this past week. The weather just hasn't cooperated and we haven't spotted any wildlife moving around, so I've put up two photos of sunsets sent to me by Ted Hlokoff. He sent them some time back but I just hadn't gotten around to using them. Photos of the area will be a little scarce from him this winter because he's away working up north but perhaps we'll see some sledding photos from him later in the winter.
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last month's blog at November Week Three
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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!
Pink sunset over the mountains.
 
Orange sunset over the mountains.
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