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 3/2010
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.
The Shortest Day
Whoo Hoo!!! It's the shortest day of the year, folks,
and I'm a happy camper! It can only get better from here.
Funny how people are so varied in how they think. I went
to lunch with a friend today and she feels exactly the
same as I do about this date, expressed with the same
holler when I met up with her in fact. For those of us
that suffer a little with the lower amounts of sunlight,
this is a pretty special date, while lots of other people
take very little notice of the date and could probably
Not I! I start waiting for this date from about
June on when it's the longest day of the year.
Yeah, I know, weird. I'm pretty sure I'm getting weirder
My computer crashed a week ago. I have actually had a
new computer with Windows 7 on it sitting here since early
last spring. It was built by my Brother-in-law with virtual
Windows 2000 Pro and Windows 98 computers installed on
it so that I could continue to use my software without
having to purchase many thousands of dollars worth of
I was slowly getting some stuff transferred
over until summer and the growing season hit. As you all
know from how lax the blogs are, I'm not
inside and I'm not on the computer. Then
my calendar season hits in the fall and there is no way
I have time to work with a new machine, although I did
try. The virtual 98 messed up my calendars so badly that
I switched back to my faithful old machine..... which
apparently isn't that faithful, because she blew on me.
Although it probably wasn't the machine's fault.
I installed some Kodak image management software as a
favor to friends, and when I uninstalled it, and
it prompted me to reboot my computer, I did and it didn't.
Fortunately, my Brother-in-law was willing to spend hours
on the phone with me on Sunday helping me to recover my
data files and move them over to the new computer. We
got that done but then there's the little matter of program
files which all have to be reinstalled. But first
I have to hunt down the license keys for each and every
bit of software I have purchased off the Internet for
the last five years, and there's lots! Now I know where
all my money has been going!
Needless to say, it's been a nightmare and I'm not
even close to being done, but I thought I would
try posting a blog from the new computer tonight. So far,
because of reinstalls and trying to figure out how to
use new programs, it's taken me an hour and a half just
to post the new Picture of the Day page. Never mind the
blog yet! So please don't be surprised if you don't see
a blog for awhile. I've already had to turn down clients
for work to be done because I can't imagine being able
to do that until sometime after the New Year. It will
take that long at least to get things back in shape again.
The only reason I'm far enough along to even post a blog
is because of Andy's brother who has been trying to drag
me kicking and screaming into the techno future, without
much success and a high level of frustration on his part,
I might add. Under the most recent circumstances and considering
I should have been on the new computer months ago, he's
been extremely patient. So though I may not be overly
religious, may the Powers That Be bless all good brother-in-laws
I can't describe the weather as anything other than icky.
Well, that's probably not the best word. It's been grey
for the past few days with some pretty cold temperatures
at night down to as low as -18C and not getting that warm
during the day. Sometimes it hasn't made it above -12C
or 10F during the day, probably because we're not seeing
the sun. We have been lucky enough to catch the edge of
a system coming in from the south that has kept us from
getting really, really cold as the rest of the province
has been. Unfortunately the cloud that's kept us
warmer kept us from seeing much of the full eclipse last
I'm sure you all heard that a full eclipse on the shortest
day of the year won't occur again for another 400 years
so I was really looking forward to seeing it, even going
so far as to set my camera up on a tripod. By the time
the eclipse started, we could see the moon and the eclipse,
but it was obscured behind cloud. It wasn't until I was
banking the fire that I noticed the moon coming out of
the eclipse and that it was much clearer than it had been,
but by then I was tired and didn't care.
We're supposed to experience a bit of a warm up
in the next couple of days, which would be a nice change.
Because of the combination of high pressure system sitting
over the province and low trying to push in from the south,
we've had steady flurries for the past week. It hasn't
built up to more than a couple of inches of snow at the
very most, but as I said, it's been grey. We saw a little
bit of sun today and it was like seeing a long lost friend!
I don't know if I'll get another blog written and posted
before Christmas. It hasn't been easy doing this one since
I have to write it on the new computer and then copy/paste
it to the virtual 2000 computer and my keyboard is pretty
jumpy. I'm going to have to figure that problem out, because
I do a lot of typing.
In any case, I would like to wish each and every
one of you that have been patiently following the blog,
or lack thereof for the past year, a very Merry Christmas.
We'll be spending every moment after Christmas getting
things ready for the New Year party on the ice so if I
don't get a chance to write before then, have a wonderful
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Sorry about not getting to the blog for a few days, folks.
We went to Williams Lake on Monday and that always sets
things back a bit. Or as we say, requires recovery
time. Going to town always does. First you have
to take time to make sure you have everything you need
the day before going including coolers, boxes, lists,
warm boots, etc. in case of a break down. Then you shoot
a whole day down from daylight to well past dark getting
into town, doing the shop, appointments done, and getting
back home. Winter roads tend to slow the travel end of
it somewhat and then you still have to unpack and put
away everything you bought including a month to six week's
worth of groceries, dry goods, dog food, etc. The day
following a trip to town is just one that you kiss goodbye.
In the meanwhile, you add stuff to the 'list' for
next time that you forgot to buy this time.
We went on a walk yesterday in search of a Christmas tree.
No luck. So if Andy can't find something along the
road tomorrow, I think we'll be pulling out the doober
in the box in the attic. It's just a little one
foot or so tall fake tree with some lights on it, and
tends to look worse for wear when you pull it out of its
old, dog-eared box, but it'll do. We don't have a lot
of room for a tree anyway and since we're going to have
company for dinner a couple of times over the next week
or so, we're going to need all the room we can get.
I went for a cross country ski today. It's the first
time in two years! I only went a total of about
two miles to the far western shoreline and back because
I didn't want to push the hip, but even that little trip
was enough. There's not much snow on the ice so you can't
use the poles to help you out because they just slide.
But my track should set up by tomorrow and will make things
a little faster.
There's quite a bit of overflow when you near the other
shore and several spider holes, so if I go any farther
on the next trip toward Dot Island, I'll stick closer
to the middle of the lake.
I crossed several otter tracks crossing from the
Big Island to the point where that truck went in last
year, two of them older, four of them made this morning.
I didn't want to get too close to the point but it looks
like at least one otter is attempting to keep the ice
open there. I saw an otter on my way back at the Big Island,
but couldn't tell at that distance what he was doing.
It almost looked like he was digging up a berm on the
ice. Or he's digging into the bank. I'm not really sure
and I couldn't see him from the house. I'll have to keep
an eye out for him tomorrow as he crosses from the island
to the point.
This year we have had otter tracks all over the
place from the back bay to following our point around
and then over to the James' bay. I don't know
if a couple of young otters got frozen out or kicked out
of their existing home and are on the hunt for another
or what, but they are definitely a traveling duo. I don't
know how long otters would be safe on the island. Andy
says they're mean enough to fight off attack from most
animals, but I don't know how well they would fare if
a coyote pack or couple of wolves caught scent of them.
The tip of the island and the point are a few hundred
yards apart with open ice all the way, so otters
would be taking their chances trying to make it to open
water. But perhaps they're trying to build new
home on the island where they'll be safe. I'll have to
ski a little closer over there and see what's up.
We have had a mixed bag for weather but it seems pretty
darn stable and nice compared to Ontario.
Whew! Anyone catch the news?
A major blizzard swept over Highway 402 Monday stranding
386 vehicles in drifts and in ditches on the highway.
By yesterday evening police, military in helicopters and
locals on snowmobiles managed to rescue 300 of the motorists
24 hours after they were first stuck there. The rest were
truckers that stayed with their rigs and locals took them
out hot coffee and sandwiches today.
Semi trucks were overturned by the wind and many
cars were nearly buried by snow drifts up to ten deep.
Plows got to work today to try and clear some of the snow
from around the vehicles trapped in it. Some people were
taken back out by bus to their vehicles today but many
didn't have a hope of getting their cars or trucks started.
Under the hoods, the motors were completely encased in
a layer of drifted snow and ice and the only way they
were going to move was by tow truck. The aerial photos
and videos of the whole thing were just unbelievable!
The Canadian East coast is just a mess after a huge
storm there dropped 200mm or 8 inches of rain causing
massive flooding and power outages from downed trees.
Many States took just as hard a knock from violent weather
or from snow, and it looks like Florida's citrus crops
may not fare well this week. At only 5C or 41F in Miami,
I don't expect holiday goers are enjoying themselves much
and my brother in Jacksonville will have his winter woolies
on and be looking for someone to blame for this. I guess
he can blame us. Canadians I mean, seeing as how
it's a good old made in Canada arctic front that has contributed
to the freakish weather.
Well, the climate guys did say that climate
change would cause more extreme weather conditions. While
the east got slammed, the west wasn't let off so easily.
The Lower Mainland and Islanders have been drowning in
their own sorrows, with continuous and heavy rainfall
causing some grief down there. So I'm going to try to
not sound smug when I say I'm still pretty happy with
our weather. It gets pretty cold at night but most days
the temperature comes well up and it's quite pleasant
to be outside for awhile. Today it got up to just a hair
below freezing and while there was a small breeze out
on the lake while I was skiing, the sun was shining for
most of the day and it was pretty darn beautiful.
I'm not going to trade it in for anyone else's weather,
that's for sure!
We still haven't gotten much for snow with only a slight
skiff the other night. In fact, I think we've gotten way
less than folks in the Okanagan have. I know their snow
keeps melting so it's hard to tell, but just one
of their recent snow falls has exceeded what we've accumulated
this winter so far. It makes the local snowmobile enthusiasts
unhappy, but the snow will come eventually, although I'm
not sure what's left up on the mountains. The Rainbow
Range and Kappan Mountain for sure have less snow now
than the last time I saw them. There's no question
that we're seeing a lot of temperature inversions this
year. You wouldn't have believed the temperature
differences we saw going into town on Monday! Unbelievable!
We saw temperatures ranging from +1 to -17 going in and
+3 to -12 coming back out. Every time we went down in
elevation it got cold and up in elevation it was warmer.
Monday morning it was -14 in Alexis Creek and when we
hit the top of the hill just above Alexis Creek at Lee's
Corner, it was -3. Monday evening on our way home it was
+2 starting into the reserve at Alexis Creek and in the
space of a few hundred yards it had dropped to -9.
It seems that the valleys, especially those near still
open rivers or lakes, really suffer from cold, especially
when fog develops and blocks the sun for a good part of
the day. Without the sun they just never warm up, while
a higher elevations the sun often burns off the fog. We've
been stuck in the fog from Charlotte the odd day here,
but for the most part, we've been lucky and have seen
quite a bit of sun so far. And hey! We're only six
days from the shortest day of the year and it all gets
better after that!
For those of you that knew Gloria Folsom, there will be
a Celebration of Life for her at the Nimpo Lake Community
Hall on December 28 between one and three. All friends
and family are welcome to attend. We're sure gonna miss
her around here!
You can find last week's blog at December
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!