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Wilderness Adventures - Feb., Week 4/2011

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.


28/02/2011 12:05 PM

The Poker Run

The Poker Run went off without a hitch yesterday. I didn't go, both because my machine is still broken, and I was looking forward to getting a lot of work done with no one around. Still, a good group showed up from Anahim and Nimpo Lake and I think everyone had a great time. 18 sleds and 20 people left the Nimpo boat launch a little while after the start time. Wendi blew a belt out on the lake in front of our place on her way in but they all got away okay. I thought it a pretty grim day but Andy said once they got up on Ptarmigan Flats on the other side of Goat Pass, there was some sunshine and they were tucked away into a sheltered little spot with a bonfire. There were hot dogs and smokies and I heard Dawn's blueberry bannock and Leah's Chilcotin tiger prawns were the hits of the party. Andy said it was really nice in that spot and they spent quite a lot of time there. Mind you, they had to work on Donn's machine for a little while. I guess it wouldn't start and they took the belt off in preparation of towing it back down the mountain. Andy suggested Donn try starting it one more time and it fired up, so back on with the belt and away he went.
I guess there was all kinds of snow and a few, though not many stucks. Andy said he got to jump a few creeks and all in all, it was a great day. He even won $25 for his poker hand. I couldn't believe it when he showed me the card with his hand and one he had bought for me. I'm looking at it trying to figure out how in heaven's name he could have won any money on these horrible cards until he told me he had won the money for the worst hand! First place hand won a $100 and then there were cash prizes for the second and third place hands.
The organizers sure got lucky with the weather! We had a cold snap right up to two days before the poker run and then the temperature dropped like a stone last night, so they only had a small window. Considering this was planned a month ago I'm thinking someone had a horse shoe somewhere. The riders did hit a mini blizzard out at Dot Island coming back but that was the only nasty weather really and they were only minutes away from the bonfire John started for them where the ice party was on New Year's Eve.
The temperature came up to just above freezing midday yesterday about when I went for a walk on the back trail to the gun range. The wind had died down too so it was actually really pleasant walking, especially since the trail is fairly nicely packed now. We'd had a little skiff of snow in the morning and I kept my eye out for wolf tracks but saw nothing. About a week or so ago when I Andy and I walked the back trail one day we ended up following what I'm certain were wolf tracks. While not as ridiculously huge as the track I saw two years back, these tracks were still definitely much bigger than any dog we have in the area. There was a fresh rabbit kill on our road so I think, judging from the tracks, that the scent drew in critters of all sizes from all over. I've heard wolves howling on two different occasions this winter so I know they're around.
On my way back just outside the gate to our road we came across a mouse in the middle of the road. I have no idea what it was doing there but River found him first because the other two dogs were back at the last driveway checking out the local marking post. He started playing with it and it was the funniest thing you've ever seen. A big Rottweiler gently playing with a mouse. It was hilarious. At least until he pushed it toward me, so I put my boot out and it scooted back toward River. Then Cat came running up. There sure is a big difference between a lover and a killer. It only took seconds and Cat had it pretty much mangled so I had to step on it to finish it off. I have no clue why it was out in the middle of the road with snow banks on either side and no place to go. I'm assuming it got dropped by a hawk or owl. It certainly would not have lasted long before a bird will have gotten it again. There seems to be a hawk hanging around right there because Andy and the dogs came across a fresh rabbit kill with a hawk on it last week. We've still got that small owl hanging around too. Every once in a while he sits in a tree and eyes up the birds at the feeder.
It started blowing fine snow yesterday evening with a pretty good wind behind it. Between temperatures that went to -25C or -13F and the wind, we ended up with snow drifted in over our wood pile under the deck and it pushed off in sheets from the surface of the deck. It really packed and as Andy said, would make great snow for building an igloo. Not that I intend on braving even our present temperature of -17C to go build one today.
The sun keeps trying to break through the heavy overcast but just can't quite make it, which is probably another reason our temperatures are staying down. The mountains are socked right in and it definitely looks like it's snowing over on the Hooch so we may get more snow yet. Boy, winter is not letting loose her grip at all this year. I guess the only consolation is that everyone everywhere else is getting it too, unlike last year where we seemed to be the only ones that got winter.
Happy last day of February! With any luck we only have two more months of winter ahead of us.
You'll find last week's blog at February Week Three..





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!
Donn.
 
Poker run riders standing around bonfire.
 
Group of riders.
 
Rider on a snowmobile jumps a creek.
 
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