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 - Jan., Week One/2011
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of the Day.
The New Year
Thank Goodness, it's done!
Christmas, New Year's and 2010 are over and done with!
Not that it was that bad. On the contrary, we had
a wonderful Christmas. Since I've had nothing
but problems since my old computer blew up and not getting
along well with the new computer, I chose to ignore both
over the holidays. The result was wonderful and relaxing.
Until just after Christmas, anyway. Then it was
time to work on the New Year's Ice Party on Nimpo Lake.
This year we were really fortunate to have lots of our
friends and our neighbors turn out to help with setting
up for the ice party. We had help with the firewood for
the bonfires and the Swiss candles, both of which are
big jobs. As soon as we got Christmas trees into the snow
banks plowed up just in time by the Reid guys, a willing
crew showed up to help decorate them and bring in ice
cut for the ice bar.
This year the guys doing ice got a little carried away
and brought in loads of ice that they made into not just
a huge bar, but ice benches and a gorgeous Inukshuk. For
looks, it easily beat out anything Vanoc put together
for the 2010 Olympics, that's for sure!
Since the guy that we had hoped would clear the ice after
Christmas couldn't do it right away, Henry decided to
bring his new Bobcat down onto the ice and clear for the
party. Although the quality is excellent, we don't have
as much ice as we did last year and all of us on
the ice backed up farther and farther away from him as
he plowed snow. He had big Cat chains on his wheels
and they were setting up a real vibration in the ice.
Even at 200 feet away the whole pan of ice shuddered and
undulated under us. That's never a good sign. Then his
chains chipped a triangular shaped piece out of the ice
and though small, it wasn't something you wanted repeated.
Finally Andy stepped in and got Henry to take his Bobcat
off the ice and clear the parking area on the boat ramp
instead. Which was actually a huge help because
that required heavy machinery and was much safer than
having 8500 pounds concentrated in a very small footprint
on the ice.
That's where the Reids stepped in to plow the party ice
with Warren's ATV with a front end plow. After that, it
meant we could get things decorated and set up.
We had a skating rink and a curling rink again this year,
both of which had to be finished with shovels by our neighbors
who are experienced in that kind of thing. Our curling
rocks were made from an aspen tree again and Len
heated and fashioned the handles for them. We had lots
of help setting up barbecues and tables for food and lights
for people to see by.
The whole shebang was even prettier than last year. Sadly,
we didn't get the number of people this year that we did
last year. One reason was the cold weather that was predicted.
The other was that a couple in Anahim Lake were having
a New Year's Eve and housewarming party at their place
and I think that drew away quite a few people from Anahim.
Which is understandable I guess. Why drive
all that way on the highway to Nimpo Lake where you're
exposed to roadblocks if you've been drinking, when you
can sneak over Anahim Lake and go the back way to the
other place. Still, it meant I had a lot of food left
over! Mind you, I cooked for a pretty big herd of people,
so it's no surprise.
Both Barry Wilson and Richard and Leah donated a large
number of hamburgers and hot dogs and Maria Dye a lot
of buns, all thinking it would be like last year when
we got that large number of people. But since they
froze immediately in the cold, they were in good shape
to go straight into the freezer for the next party, like
the snowmobiling poker run. Or perhaps we could
have a Valentine's party on the ice or even a spring solstice
party. Why not? Everything but the Christmas lights and
cooking stuff is still there and we could make short work
of putting all that back up.
We had quite a few parents bring their kids to the ice
party to skate and they actually stayed much later than
I expected. I think it's because we didn't have a bunch
of people that had been drinking. Since we had nearly
as many kids as we did adults, Richard blew off the fireworks
all at once just after nine to make a real show of it.
It was really nice because the kids got a real blast out
of it, and after all, the party was as much for the kids
as anyone. It was so nice to see them out. That's one
downfall of having anything at the Nimpo Hall. The kids
aren't allowed into the Hall if we have a liqueur license,
which honestly makes no sense to me. What, the powers
that be don't think parents keep an eye on their kids?
It's just silly, and it sure limits family participation
at the Hall.
One good thing about moving the New Year's Party to the
ice from the Hall is all the cool things you get to do.
With a seven mile long lake you're not inhibited
by lack of room, that's for sure! We had the usual
ice candles this year but we also had a number of Swiss
Candles scattered all over and that's not something you
have a lot of room for on land with other trees around.
The guys cut logs at least seven feet tall this year and
then cut the notches in them that we could put fire starter
in. Once they start burning they're long lasting torches
and can get pretty hot. (Just a nod... we got the idea
from Daniel and Heidy over on Charlotte Lake.) Great for
out on the ice for light and heat, but you sure would
want to be careful where you put them on land. In any
case, they looked awesome as usual along with the Christmas
It got down to -20 Friday night, but we had no wind
at all. In fact, with five bonfires going it was
actually quite pleasant through the night as long as you
didn't get too far from a fire for any length of time
later on. It was clear as a bell and you've never seen
a sky so full of stars as clear as a bell. Even
the fireworks looked clearer and more colorful against
the black night sky than they do at Halloween.
There was the usual problem with keeping food that wasn't
on the barbecues from freezing through the night. Buddy
and Marie were kind enough to loan us a standing deck
heater that we thought was going to work great to keep
snackies warm, and it did for a while. But then we think
the regulator froze up because although the propane kept
burning all night, it didn't put off any heat. I think
we're just going to have to skip the snacks from now on,
and just stick to hot food when out on the ice. And really,
I'm not sure why we do fix so much food. Everyone that
I talked to ate before they came.
In any case, I just want to give my heartfelt thanks
to everyone that came out and helped over a period of
several days to make this a great New Year's Party
and to those of you that showed up to help clean up afterwards
as well. Much as I would like to list everyone here because
they certainly deserve it, I'm actually afraid to because
there were so many people and I don't want to miss anyone.
But you know who you are. Thank You!
We've had some pretty darned nice weather for the most
part over the holidays. We've certainly seen our share
of sun, and we even got a couple of nice warm days over
Christmas. Over all, it hasn't been really unpleasantly
cold, even with temperatures down to -18 and -20C (-4F)
at night, it has still climbed during the day, although
rarely too near to freezing. But at least it's not
like last year when we went days where it never got above
-20C during the day!
So far, we've been lucky with our snow as well. We've
got eight inches at most on the ground and that only where
it's shady all day. In most places on the lake there's
no more than three or four inches of snow and you can
go anywhere with cross country skis. Conditions are excellent!
The hills have finally gotten some snow and I understand
snowmobiling higher up is really good with about three
or four feet on the ground near Goat Pass. We haven't
had a chance to get out yet because of the preparations
for the New Year's party, but I'm hoping we can take a
run down to Hotnarko Falls with our neighbors this week.
I hope you all had a great Christmas and wonderful
New Year. Many best wishes to you all for 2011.
In the meanwhile, you can find the last blog at December
Because of the war I'm having with recalcitrant computers,
which they are winning and I most definitely am not, I
probably won't post another blog for a while. I'm way
backed up on work that needs to be done that I put off
after my computer crashed but at the rate I'm going here,
none of it's going to be done anytime soon. So unfortunately,
it does take priority over the blog.
I just wish computers would play nicer than they do......
because right now I could cheerfully fire both the old
computer and the new one into the lake. The only
reason I haven't is because they cost money, and I have
to drink the water.
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!