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 - Feb., Week Two/2010
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Check out the Picture
of the Day.
I said I wouldn't be writing much this week and that has
turned out true. But for those of you who haven't
seen Avatar yet, I wanted to share my thoughts on that.
I'm pretty sure that this is the first time that Andy
and I have ever been to a movie together, my other half
having a propensity for falling asleep during movies that
we watch on the television or through DVDs. But since
we were down in Kelowna where they actually have movie
houses, and we had seen and heard so much about the movie,
we decided to go. Wow!
The movie we had planned on going to had been canceled
in favor of a Celine Dion documentary but the ticket girl
told us the earlier show was still going through trailers
so we could probably still catch it at the beginning.
Unfortunately, arriving late meant we were stuck down
in the second to last row of seats in front and we missed
the very beginning of the show, but I don't think we missed
There aren't a lot of things that scare me in this world,
but there are a couple. Grizzly bears and drowning
are in there, but a fear of heights definitely tops the
list. And no one told me this movie was all about
heights. Holy Cow! Here these blue people are skipping
along the top of ridges with thousand foot drop drop-offs
on either side and I'm just supposed to sit there. Are
you kidding me?? Every minute or so I would have
to whip my 3D glasses off and hide my head. I kept having
to tell Andy and our friend Marilyn to tell me when it
was safe to look up. Marilyn misjudged the storyline at
one point and on telling me it was safe to look up, the
very worst drop off wavered huge in front of my eyes.
Needless to say I missed a good part of the movie trying
not to look when heights were involved. And Marilyn and
Andy spent a good part of the movie enjoying great merriment
at my expense every time I ducked.
Still, the special effects were breathtaking! The
deal where people plugged their braids into something
on a creature or plant that would create an instant connection
or bond was an interesting concept to say the least. Although
at one point when there was a love scene between the two
lead actors, Marilyn piped up with something along the
lines of, "Geez, the love scene is bland. You would
think one could at least plug the end of their braid into
the other's braid for that instant 'connection'."
Well, I burst out laughing, or more like
a snigger, trying to keep it down. I'm sure the other
movie movie-goers wondered what was going on up front.
All this laughing through a tender love scene. She's right
though. James Cameron definitely missed an opportunity
there. Or were they trying to keep it at a PG 13 rating?
A lot of the movie critics were saying that the special
effects were spectacular and the movie well worth going
to, even though some said there wasn't much of a storyline.
I don't know about that. If you ask me, few movies
have much of a storyline nowadays or are as involved as
say the Harry Potter series or Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
I thought the storyline was great. How involved do you
want the storyline to be when you're so involved in the
special effects? It will be interesting to see the movie
on DVD and not in 3D to see how well the storyline holds
Yes, I know that members of a certain political party
in the US took offense at the storyline because it seemed
to be a knock on a super power like the US going in and
trying to rape a planet for its resources. You know what?
That's been going on forever. Countries that had colonies
in Africa and the far East come to mind. For that matter,
wasn't the US a colony at one time? Hm? Oh yeah,
and the strip mining in West Virginia never took place.
Face reality people. It is what it is. The chances of
a super power on Earth going in and exploiting another
planet for its resources when space travel finally allows
it, is very, very good. I don't see the human race changing
its attitudes any time in the next few hundred or thousand
years it will take us to develop the ability to travel
in space and colonize other planets. Provided we survive
that long as a species, that is.
The storyline in Avatar is an age old one.
I don't think that there was a problem so much with it
being too simplistic. I think there was a problem with
it hitting too close to home. Even Canada is not above
fault. Did not the first white explorers here exploit
Canada for her furs? Then her gold, then her fisheries,
then her farmland, (Yep, lots of that blew away in the
dust storms of the dirty thirties because of poor farming
practice.) and since then, for pretty much everything
we can exploit this land for.
Nope, I think Avatar was right on the money. It
is a sorry but true commentary on the human race.
Kudos to James Cameron for producing another blockbuster.
I admit, I really liked Titanic, although I understand
a lot of men considered it drivel. Now there was a pretty
simple storyline, and it was based on a true story!
What amazes me about Cameron is that he is always roundly
criticized for spending the money that he does producing
a movie, and most pundits swear he and the studios are
going to lose their shirt, and then they don't. That boy
makes everyone a whole lot of money. Although, it's easy
to see why.
For anyone that hasn't been to a movie lately (2001
was the last time I remember being in a cinema house)
there's some serious sticker shock involved. Over
twelve bucks to go see a movie! I mean, not to say this
movie wasn't worth it because it definitely was, but I
can tell you this, I wouldn't go see a lesser movie for
that price. Man, that's outrageous! It's a good thing
we didn't have time to buy popcorn or a drink before rushing
to our seats. I've already been told that's where the
really crazy prices kick in.
Surprisingly, my non-movie watching partner stated that
he would definitely pay to see Avatar at a movie house
again. Translate that to mean it comes with the
highest recommendation possible. But for myself,
I would love to see it again but I'll wait for it to come
out on DVD. I don't think I can do that 3D heights thing
again. I do look forward to sitting in the comfort of
my own home, with my inexpensive bowl of popcorn on my
lap, and watching the movie over and over without some
eye popping monster tearing through the screen above my
craning neck, or looking down from dizzying heights into
nothingness. At least I'll have the arm of my trusty couch
to hang onto.
If you haven't been to the movie Avatar in 3D, go!!!
The Sad Wild
went for a walk in the back woods today and came across
a sad sight indeed. It was another glorious day and I
was determined to walk farther than I have been able to
of late, so we took a cut off through the woods following
a frozen snowmobile trail. I had been watching small moose
tracks pressed into the trail and told Andy that
they were fresh enough to indicate the baby moose was
still around. Probably only a day or two old at
most. He said, "Yes, and there's the moose."
I looked up expecting to see the young moose standing
in the woods.
Alas, no such luck. In the snow just off the trail lay
the moose, back legs and one front leg folded under it.
In fact it would have looked quite peaceful had its head
not been bent back almost onto its neck. In humans and
animals this can indicate a few possible causes of death.
Disease, brain trauma, severe bleeding, meningitis, tetanus
or poisoning, and unfortunately, can also mean a long,
slow death. I hope for the sake of this poor creature
that that was not the case. There was no sign at all of
thrashing around in the snow. It just looked like
the moose kneeled down in the snow and died.
There were no critter tracks around the animal at all.
Only sign that the Whiskey Jacks and possibly ravens had
been there. There was only partial rigor mortis and judging
from the age of the tracks, the moose died only a couple
of days ago at most. It's possible that it was weak enough
that our -18C or 0F temps at night simply took its life.
Sadly, though the animal had a large head, it was a very
small bodied moose and I'm afraid that it was the baby
moose that we had pictures of on the last blog. That one
limped because its rear hoof was curled up from injury
or birth defect, but we couldn't see it under the body
of this moose to see if it looked the same. This
moose did seem to have a darker back than the pictures
of the baby moose showed, but depending on light,
cameras don't always tell the truth either.
We did find sign only a little farther along that the
moose had eliminated a very unnatural pile of scat. Something
I've never seen a moose produce but it certainly had moose
tracks leading to and from it just off the trail, and
that would indicate to me that the moose was really sick
or had eaten something poisonous. Since with the exception
of antifreeze, we don't have much that's poisonous around
here, it must have been an internal sickness or disease.
I never like to see anything die in the woods alone, particularly
our big game animals, but it's also life. Like our loons
that froze into the ice this fall, there's not much you
can do about it, and I suppose it's Mother Nature's
way of weeding out the sick and the weak. Or in
the case of the loons, perhaps the not so smart. Still,
it's sad to see and gives you pause.
The temperature didn't get up as high today as it did
yesterday, only climbing a couple of degrees above freezing
in the shade. But it was beautiful in the sun! Not a cloud
in the sky and not a breath of wind. I can hear the smiles
in the voices of people I speak to on the phone, and see
the smiles on the faces of those I see. Nothing
beats the sun to bring up everyone's spirits and banish
the winter doldrums for awhile. We do have a nasty
system coming in but hopefully it will hold off for one
more day at least.
So today the Olympic Committee and Vanoc decided that
the Canadians were not going to win in their quest to
own the podium. Did anyone ever think they would? How
could they? The Americans, Russians, and other European
power houses have always dominated gold in the winter
sports. I thought the Canadian athletes were doing
amazingly well against the Americans. We have
one tenth the population of Americans on which to draw
our athletes from and a whole lot less money invested.
Under the circumstances, I think Canada is doing great
holding fairly steadily in fourth position in the medal
standings so far. What more can you ask? But no. The Olympic
Committee would rather embarrass the Canadian athletes
now by calling attention to the fact that they have not
reached the lofty goals set for them. It's as though they
are now dismissing the efforts of athletes that will be
performing this week. Why don't you just cut the athletes'
I think that a lot more pressure than was necessary or
good for the Canadian team was put on them and my
personal feeling is that the 'Own the Podium' scam was
more of a hindrance than a help by far. There's
enough pressure on all athletes from all countries at
the Olympic games without expecting your home team to
attain something that's simply not realistically possible
for them to do. So far, I haven't seen a single solitary
thing out of any Olympic official to impress me in the
last five years. So this newest bumble is consistent with
those of the past.
Oh well.... on the good side, the Canucks have shown their
generosity yet again. As I understand it, Canadians have
thus far donated more money to Haiti per capita than any
place in the world at somewhere around 311 million including
the government match funds. However, I haven't been able
to verify that information yet. Still, not bad for a population
of only about 33 million people scattered all over hell's
I just finished watching the Canadians win the freestyle
skating in pairs. The first gold for this competition
in North America. I stopped watching skating years ago
from sheer disgust. It was sickening to see the Russians
win decade after decade, even though their competitors
in many cases were so obviously better. I was delighted
to hear a few years back that the method of judging was
going to be revamped and the judges' panels rid of corruption.
It looks like it paid off. Honesty wins after all.
Well done Canada!
everyone. I know it's been a couple of weeks since I've
posted a blog. Looking back I just realized that January
got short shrift and I'm afraid February is going to be
scant as well. We just got back from a full week
in the Okanagan. Not normally my favorite place
to be but this time I got to stay over at our friends'
place for a couple of days so that I could go to a chiropractor
in Kelowna (To attempt to fix a muscle that has prevented
me from walking much this winter.) and they made the visit
well worthwhile. They're our neighbours in summer having
taken over Lloyd Wilson's place and since we won't see
them again before May, it was a treat to see them midwinter.
We had also hoped to get down to Ashcroft to see other
neighbours but by the time the week was up it was time
to go home. Neither Andy nor I are much for a lot of people
so we can only stand it so long around the hordes and
then it's time to head back to peace and quiet.
Overall the weather was pretty decent in the Okanagan
but I can never seem to get warm there. Probably because
of the open water on Okanagan Lake and of course, it rained
while we were down there. As a result, the humidity was
high and I just freeze when it's like that. The day after
we got home the temperature was much cooler than the Okanagan
but I was outside in a tee-shirt, that's how warm it felt.
Of course the humidity in the house is only 19% and it's
not much higher outside so that makes all the difference
in the world. Mind you, that's also what seems to have
caused problems with my computer, which I had to take
down with me so I could have my very helpful computer
Brother-in-law genius have a look at it.
All last winter and this, I've had to put a rubber glove
on before plugging anything into my USB port or even touching
the computer. If I touched it with bare hands, I shocked
it into turning off and then invariably it would screw
up my keyboard and mouse and I would have to change them
out to another set before I could get the computer to
work again. There's no problem in the summer when the
humidity is higher, but around here, it's dry enough
that I can knock the socks off the cat if I touch him,
and even Andy on occasion.
So now, hopefully, the computer is fixed and I no longer
have to don doctor gloves to plug in. You can imagine
what a special sight that was! It caused raised eyebrows.
As we drove up the Connector Friday we had really nice
weather but once we got onto Highway 97 heading north
to Williams Lake we got under a fog layer that made the
rest of the drive very dreary. But as soon as we headed
west out of Willy's Puddle, we got back into sunshine.
Apparently this super high pressure system that has moved
in over the province has created an inversion layer smothering
central BC in fog. The poor buggers haven't seen
the sun in ages and aren't expected to for another day
or so at least.
We are close enough to the coast that all we've experienced
since we've gotten home is glorious sunshine, clear skies,
and warm temperatures. Except at night when it really
drops down. Actually, I guess it was like that most of
last week but at least we caught some of the good weather
and should for another day or so. Today it got up to 9C
or nearly 50F in the shade but it was fabulous in the
sun. You just didn't want to come inside, or I didn't
want to anyway. Not that there's much you can do
outside with still nearly two feet of snow on the ground
but you can just stand in the sun if nothing else. I tried
to go for a walk again today but had to shorten it up
considerably again until I can get this contracted muscle
sorted out. It's too bad. The last two days would have
been wonderful for wandering around in the woods and seeing
what new tracks are in the snow. I wanted to see if the
baby moose was still around as well.
I've noticed that our side roads are starting to break
up now wherever some dirt has been exposed to the sun.
The highway is developing new frost heaves every day and
I expect the road restrictions for heavy trucks will go
on soon unless we get a cold spell.
You can sure tell it's nearing the end of February. There's
a terrific amount of heat in that sun now, much to the
Olympic committee's dismay. It's a shame that
the warm weather has made conditions so difficult for
athletes at several of the venues, but then why Vancouver
was awarded the winter Olympics is beyond me. Practices
and regular events have had to be canceled because of
fog. Now event times are being changed to evening in order
to save the snow. Poor snow and slippery conditions has
caused injuries and falls..... I don't know who thought
this was going to work but they must have forgotten to
take the annual temperature averages for the past 50 years
before bidding on the Olympics. I just hope no one ends
up seriously injured because of the conditions and we
don't end up with a black eye internationally. That won't
help our tourism in BC at all.
Other than that, the Canadian athletes are doing
well and I hope that continues for their sake.
They've worked really hard and there's been a lot of pressure
put on them by Vanoc with this "Own the Podium"
schlep but already they're doing much better in many events
than they ever have before.
I am, as usual, backed up with work, particularly now
after losing yet another week because of the sick computer.
So, I may not be writing much this coming week. For the
guys that requested pictures of Stewart's Lodge in winter,
I apologize for not getting them up before. I had broken
down my computer for transport before I remembered them.
Sadly, I didn't take my camera with me on this trip or
I would have gotten pictures of what I consider to be
an amazing sight. There were ducks on the river
near Redstone on our way down. The black and white
kind with the fat head. Ducks! In the middle of
February! I couldn't believe it. Most of the river
is frozen over so there isn't an abundance of open water.
I don't know if they've just come in now or if they overwintered
there, but if that's the case, I don't know how they made
it through that cold spell we had for two months before
Christmas. I'm sure there wouldn't have been any open
water at all unless they were more successful at keeping
it open than our poor loons were when the lake froze over.
There were several so I suppose it's possible. I suppose
they may also simply have flown in this year but it's
way early for ducks by a couple of months. Or maybe the
birds know something we don't? Perhaps this glorious weather
will continue and we won't have any more winter. But then
some say pigs can fly.....
This is the start of a new week so the last one can be
found at February
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!