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Wilderness Adventures - Feb., Week 1/2010

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 stories like 'Lake Monsters' about the Lakesounds just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

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08/02/2010 9:44 AM

Event List

Hi Everyone. Just a quick note to list a couple of upcoming events. The dinner and auction for the 139 Kid's Fund is on this Saturday at the Anahim Lake Community Hall. Anahim and Nimpo Lake contribute a great deal to the fund through this event. And yet for being such small communities, they are actually one of the bigger contributors in the Cariboo. So, keep it up folks!
There is a crib tournament on at the Hall just a couple of days after but I'm not certain of the date. If you're interested, keep an eye out for posters locally.
Saturday, February 27 is the date set for the Annual Poker Run starting at the Nimpo Lake boat launch at 10:00 a.m. SHARP. C'mon folks, lets work a little harder at being on time this year. Waiting for up to an hour for straggler sledders isn't fair to those that show up on time. $5 per poker hand and food donations would be greatly appreciated. I understand Lunch will be at McLean's on Charlotte Lake where Chris and Linda will have the barbecues fired up. Yum. We're still trying to decide if we'll finish up with supper on the lake where we had the New Year's ice party or up at Len's shop. I guess it's going to depend on the weather. In any case, anyone with a sled and five dollars burning a hole in their pocket is welcome to participate. There is no limit to the number of poker hands you can buy. Well, I guess if there's a huge turnout you're limited by the number of cards we have, but I think Leah is going to make sure there's lots.
Last, but not least.... The Ice Pool is on! As of the first of February you can pay your five dollars and put your name in for the time and day that you think the ice will come off of Nimpo Lake. I'm not sure, but I think the pool closes before the end of March so make sure you get your name in. You can do that up at the Nimpo Lake store. Half the funds go to the Nimpo Lake Community Association, the other half to the winner and you get your name on the great plaque Richard and Leah bought last year for that purpose.
While it's been dropping down pretty good at night, the last couple of days have been marvelous. Sunny, warm, and above freezing. At long last, we're having the nice days our Chilcotin winters are known for. I don't know how long it's going to last, but I'll take it while I can get it. Yesterday it got up to 5C or 41F and while it makes the snow a bit sticky for skiing, it sure didn't stop lots of people from being out either walking on the lake or side roads. Which reminds me, watch out for the spider holes out on the lake, folks!
We haven't seen the baby moose for the last day or so, but there's sign that he's eaten some of the hay Andy put out for him. Here's crossing our fingers that he makes it and thanks to Duke and Winnie for donating the hay bale.

05/02/2010 3:26 PM

Back From The USA

Hi Folks. I'm back from Quartzsite, Arizona to the good old Canadian North. I was actually back a week ago but had so much catch up to do that a blog just couldn't happen. Still do, in fact, so blogs may not be all that regular in the near future. It's just that I have a major project to work on now and not enough time to get started on it today, so it seemed like a good time to post an update on what's been happening.
I was down in Arizona for two weeks, partly in search for some warmer weather and to visit family. The first couple of days that I was down it was really nice out. Then while collecting cactus from neighbours for my Mom's cactus garden, I managed to get a cactus spine in my eye. It filled up with blood pretty fast that day and the pupil was really dilated that evening, so we decided I ought to go into Blythe just over the California border to emergency the next day. Of course it was a Sunday and Martin Luther King holiday so no clinics were open. As a result we cooled our heels in emergency for about five hours while I tried to talk the emergency room doc out of sending me to Phoenix (over two hours away) to a specialist there. The only way I could do it was to promise that I would come back to emergency the next day so he could take a look at my eye and make sure it hadn't gotten any worse. Of course he gave me a hard time about not wearing protective eye wear while moving cactus because HE ALWAYS DOES! How was I supposed to know? I'm from Canada, we don't have cactus where I live. Needless to say, after a Tetanus shot, antibiotic pills, antibiotic gel for my eye, and the emergency room visits, I was thankful Andy purchased medical insurance for me before I went down. Having to put the gel in every six hours for ten days kind of put a blanket on the holiday only because I was seeing the world through a blurry eye for five out of every six hours every day, but fortunately, the weather took a turn for the worse so I didn't miss much.
The Sunday in emerg was the last nice day. For the next three days it was overcast and a little rainy and cool. Then on Thursday the region experienced the worst rainstorm and windstorm they had seen in at least 20 years. The 27 foot RV I was staying in was blown off its jacks. Numerous Saguaro cactus (you know, those big cigar shaped cactus that often have arms sticking out of them?) hundreds of years old blew over from a combination of rain saturated ground and wind. A couple of them blew over into people's houses and did a lot of damage. They're really, really heavy things. Some tiles were lifted off of roofs and lots of trees blew over.
The huge swap meet that goes on in Quartzsite was on while I was down there. A lot of tents covering stalls blew over and many were flooded. There's a huge tent that is set up for two weeks and I understand they had to evacuate everyone from it and then tie as many big, heavy trucks to it as they could find.
Quads and vehicles had to be tied to any planes and ultra lights parked outside to keep them from taking flight in the area I was staying. We lost power in the afternoon for a few hours, and a lot of roads were flooded. It was pretty interesting. I don't think I've ever seen rain come down like that and the winds were clocked at 60mph.
I spoke on the phone to my brother that is based in Iraq and told him about the storm and weather for the past week. Of course I told him the same thing happened up north in the Yukon this past summer. They had been burning up for months with forest fires all over the place and the night we arrived it started raining and pretty much rained for the whole eight days we were there. My brother decided that I could be hired out for a lot of money to drought stricken countries. Just go on a holiday there.
I have to admit that friends and relatives were looking at me with some suspicion while I was down in Arizona and it was whispered about that perhaps I should change my plane tickets and return to Canada post haste, and take the rainy weather with me. :-) However, for the last couple of days the weather was really nice and warm and sunny, so I caught a break at the last. It was wonderful. At least until I landed in Williams Lake where I promptly started chattering from cold, even though it wasn't much below freezing. My, how fast we acclimatize to warm weather.
Andy had reported dreary grey weather for the past week before my return but I figured it would clear up by the time I got home. It's rare for us to have heavy overcast for more than a few days. Not so this year! It's been grey ever since I got home with heavy low cloud and yet I suspect it's been clear and sunny a little higher up, which was proven when the guys went out sledding on Wednesday and got into sunshine as soon as they got up off the plateau. I can only assume that El Nino has been the cause of this overcast. At least the temperatures haven't been all that cold. Last night was the coldest but that's because it finally cleared off and we had sunshine today. The temperature even made it up to 4.5C or 40F today, the highest in months and everyone's mood reflects the warmth and the sunshine.
One of my neighbours was kind enough to send some sledding pictures for the blog while I was gone, since I haven't been around to take any. Ted also sent me a picture of a moose calved last year peering into a sliding glass door while his wife Deana talked to it from the inside.
Today another neighbour came over to get me and my camera because the calf was down in front of their place and not going anywhere. Little guy was parked in some bushed just on shore watching the comings and goings, apparently not minding the sound of a snowmobile or a snow blower clearing an ice rink less than a hundred yards away. I walked over to try and get a picture as did Andy, and I was probably less than 50 feet away. Baby just watched me so I didn't get any closer so as not to frighten him, but I couldn't get much of a picture either. He was well camouflaged. The four of us stood around talking while standing on the ice for a long time and the baby never moved. Perhaps he's smart enough to know that sticking as close to human habitation as possible is the safest thing for him to do. Neither coyotes or wolves will come in that close. I think it's pretty obvious that his mother has been shot, most likely by natives. This is their favorite time to hunt when they can run the animals down on snowmobiles. I only hope he'll make it to spring but because he's so small, he might not. We'll try to help as much as we can by not giving him any reason to fear humans. We'll keep our dogs tied up and if I walk, I'll make sure they're contained. I can only hope that other residents will do the same. Obviously should anyone or anything be stupid enough to come hunting him, there will be dire consequences, I can promise them that.
While there isn't much of it, January's blog can be found at January Week One . I'll do what I can to keep up the blog a little more than I did last month but no guarantees folks. My desk is piled up so high with stuff to be done that I kind of feel like I'm sinking into a nest of alligators here.
Thanks, Ted for all your photos.

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!
Moose calf hidden in brush.
Moose calf outside a house.
Human hand on one side of the glass. Moose calf on the other side.
Snowmobiler in red jacket jumping over a cornice.
Snowmobiler pulling a sled up on its tail.
Snowmobiler in red jacket going over a hill.
Carving snow.
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