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Wilderness Adventures - Jan., Week One/2014

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.

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09/01/2014 2:30 PM

Year 2014

Well, we made it to 2014, folks. I keep telling everyone that if I had known I was going to make it this far I would have taken a lot better care of myself when I was younger! Remember when we were in our 20’s and we were invincible? We could drink, smoke, party all night and still put in a good day’s work the next day. Oh well.... those were the years. Now we take our vitamins, watch our diet, and try to get enough exercise to repair all the damage we did to ourselves in our youth.
As usual, this is the month of New Year’s Resolutions and trying to keep our promises to ourselves to do better at whatever it is we need to do better at. That’s actually something I’ve never fallen into. I make promises to myself but it can be at any time of year, maybe because I think if I fail at the big ‘New Year’s’ thing, I’ll have to wait until the next year to get back on track if I’ve fallen off of the proverbial wagon so it seems simpler to make and try to keep promises to myself throughout the year.
About the only resolution we need to make is to drop the little bit of extra padding we picked up eating at restaurants down in Victoria over the holidays, and of course, get back into walking again, which we’ve done as soon as we got back. We went on three major walk/hikes in Victoria while we were down but that doesn’t compare to the walk down to the gun range every day when we’re home.
We had a great Christmas here at home but I was really looking forward to that midwinter break down on the Island and like last year, it was just spectacular. We stayed around Saanichton rather than Victoria proper so we weren’t in a traffic jam as soon as we went out the door. In fact, the place we stayed at was incredibly quiet so it felt almost like home.
We were only down for seven days and we had a couple of rainy days at first, but we got the Royal Museum, a movie and a lot of shopping out of the way on those days. That way when the weather turned nice, and it did, we could be outside.
We didn’t take our dogs with us and Andy needed his dog fix so we spent a fair amount of time down at Beacon Hill Park, which seems to be a favourite with people walking their dogs. At the same time I got my green plant fix and on one hike we even found cherry blossoms just coming out in sheltered spots on Mount Douglas. Sadly, I forgot my cameras at home so we missed getting some amazing photos of the ocean and sunsets.
We got to hook up with some old friends of mine that came down from Nanaimo to meet us at Butchart Gardens for the festival of lights, and met folks for lunch that were guests of ours this summer. We also got to go for a hike with friends from the other end of the lake that own Nimpo Lake Resort and are spending a few weeks on the Island. So we seemed to be pretty busy all the time and never did get to go see some of the historical places we had planned on. Next time, maybe. I would really like to go down in early spring some time when we have nothing but ice, mud, and Break Up here just to see everything in bloom. I can’t imagine how stunning that would be but everyone says it’s gorgeous and well worth seeing.
It was a bit of a shock driving back up the Fraser Canyon and watching the thermometer on the truck drop from 4C to well below –10C by the time we got to Cache Creek and started seeing a fair bit of snow along the highway. It was cold in Williams Lake when we got in and never got above –9C or 15F before we left town the next day. But the farther west we got the warmer it was and it was sitting just above freezing by the time we got home so as has been usual this winter, they had some nice weather here compared to the rest of BC.
It sounds like the New Year’s Ice Party went off without a hitch although it was a much smaller affair this year. Everyone I talked to said they had a wonderful time. Because of the overflow on the ice, they cleared an area just off the end of the boat ramp instead of farther out on the lake. Overflow precluded a curling rink this year but Oscar had a skating rink nearby for anyone to use that wanted to. While small, it sounds like it was a good party in any case and I’m lucky that Dawn Thompson took a few photos that I could post up on the right. Thanks, Dawn!
We have certainly fared much better in British Columbia these last few weeks than pretty much anywhere else in North America weather wise. My Mother even commented on how unusually cool it has been down in Arizona while the rest of the States has been plagued by snow and cold. All of Canada east of BC has been locked in a nasty deep freeze to –52C or –62F with the wind chill but I saw a report last week for one State that was going to be down to –75F with the wind chill. That’s brutal! Like many of the States, parts of Canada has had high winds with blizzards, and that after freezing rain and high snow falls. I dread to see how much flooding there will be in North America this spring.
I know one thing, I'm not about to gloat about how good we've had it this winter because Mother Nature could easily bite us on the butt. We have snow warnings for this weekend so we'll have to see what comes of that..
Just so you know, 2013 blogs have ended but you can find them on the menu on the left under 2013 articles starting with the last week of December or click on the link below.

Last month's blog is at December Week Three.


Anahim Lake Highway cam looking West.




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!
Heavy skies over frozen lake.
 
Three people standing in smoke from a fire.
 
Two people stand in front of an ice block arch.
 
Button leading to The Chilcotin Facebook Page.
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