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 4/2011
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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
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!