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Wilderness Adventures - January Week 2/2008

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 stories like 'Lake Monsters' - 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.

12/01/2008 11:41 AM

The Ice Road

Hi everyone! I apologize for the absence but you know the tax gotta serve him first!
Well, it looks like come hell or highwater, or in this case, overflow, we're getting an ice road one way or another.
You know, you keep hearing about the 'collective consciousness' and although I'm not entirely sure what that means, I think you could say it's in action this week around Nimpo. Suddenly, people around the lake have decided they're going to have an ice road.
We didn't have one last year because the ice on Nimpo Lake was not good and there was a tremendous amount of overflow, and Terry B. wasn't here much. He's got the plow truck and he's always done it, even a little early some years, maybe. I guess we're all struck with ennui sometimes. You know, "Terry's always done it and since he's not here to do it, I guess we won't have one." Well, he wasn't able to be here this year either, but....
The other day Rob, our neighbour, pushed an ice road from the boat ramp on our shore to the boat ramp on the eastern shore just across the bay. He was a little concerned about being first on the ice with a plow because he drives a diesel truck and they're a little heavy in the front end. But that bay has been frozen for months with lots of good ice and he got the job done. The only problem is that everyone has been driving with snow machines on the other ramp and the highways guys had pushed up a big snow bank so there is no way he could break through that.
Andy was going to load up his Bobcat and go around by the highway, offload and push out a road, but another neighbour across the lake volunteered to bring his big loader down and plow the road. He wasn't able to do it until yesterday evening, but it only took him a couple of swipes with that big baby last night and the ramp was clear.
Just prior to that the neighbour's kids came over to verify with us where the ice road normally goes because they were going to help Rob push one down the Main Arm today. Andy told them he had an appointment this morning and to wait until he got back. We have a repelling rope and auger, and Andy and the neighbours can ride their machines ahead of Rob and check the ice. Then they can follow Rob at a distance once he starts plowing and that way, if he goes through, they're right there. That's also why you plow with your window down and your seatbelt off.
This morning I looked out and the neighbour, Bill, who has been trying to break a trail across the Main Arm from his place for the last couple of days with the plow on his fourwheeler, finally reached the boat ramp this morning. He was in the long, slow, process of widening the road when I saw Rob drop down off the boat ramp with his plow truck and start winging a wider track to Bill's place. Now he's come back and is widening the track to our side so it's beginning to look like everyone's got ants in their pants and want to get going on the main project. If Andy doesn't get his heinie back here they're going to start without him, which would not necessarily be a good idea. This will be the first time a heavy diesel is used to plow out the ice road and although it should be safe, Terry has gone through the ice with his lighter truck on the Main Arm and there are a couple of iffy spots out there where we think there are underwater springs. However, Jamie, one of the neighbour's kids, checked the ice out in front of their place on the Main Arm yesterday and found ice up to 15 inches thick and nothing less than 12 inches. Which should be lots as long as it's good ice and not mush from that heavy snow that arrived just after the Main Arm froze up.
Once the ice road is put in and kept clear of snow, then the ice grows thicker because it doesn't have the insulating value derived from a snow blanket.
Our weather took a really strange turn last night. Yesterday it was really nice out with a slightly hazy sun and temperatures right around freezing. Yesterday evening it dropped to about -9C or 16F. The next time I looked at the temperature it had started to come up a bit. Within about two hours the temperature climbed more than 8 degrees Celsius and it was just barely below freezing when I went to bed. This morning it's above freezing with lots of sun and just a bit of a breeze out of the east so I guess we must be catching a piece of that Pineapple Express coming in off of the Pacific. It's a nice change. Melting snow just creates icy conditions but right around freezing is a nice change from the long stretch of chilly weather we've seen for the past few months.
We've had a pair of Whiskey Jacks that moved in on the bird feeder a couple of days ago and though they don't have much interest in the seed, they're pretty keen on the suet. So yesterday I put out some fat and scraps from some pork on the feeder and watched them swoop in on it today. Actually, the one didn't catch on that it was there and headed for the suet but the other saw it right away and nabbed a piece. Check out the picture on the right.
3:40 PM
Well, I saw Rob firing back down the Main Arm, plow down and throwing snow so I figured we had us an ice road! Not to be, however. Andy said they found an area down on the last point just before you round into the North Arm that had a wide, deep section of slush that goes right across the lake. It may well have been a crack that opened up there today in this warm weather and water boiled up through it, creating overflow. They spent quite a while tracking back and forth over it with their machines compacting the slush in the hopes that the frost will drive down into it and freeze it up tonight. In the meanwhile, there's a beautiful ice road to that point, anyway, so everyone along the Main Arm can drive on it to Nimpo. You just can't get out at the other end toward Anahim yet. It's kind of taken a combined effort from a lot of people but we'll have an ice road yet!

10/01/2008 10:10 PM

No Blog

Hi everyone. A late order tonight and taxes will keep this really, really short.
I've just been starting on my books way early because I have to pay provincial sales tax to at least two provinces. But I can't figure out what I owe them until I figure out what I've paid, what I have for credits, and get it all totaled up. BC's tax is nice because it doesn't come until April when I already have my books done but unfortunately, Saskatchewan comes in January and you don't get a lot of days to get it sent back.
I just got started on that today when I got a call from a client that absolutely needs a job done yesterday, and his stuff is really, really ugly to get done right. So that's my evening. As a result, the blog is going to be about this long....
Actually, I will give a quick weather update. The temperature came up to just below freezing today with mixed cloud and sun today and it's only about -4C or 25F right now. We've got a warming trend coming in which is really nice. I finally got to go for a walk again today and if the weather is going to stay decent for the next couple of days, I'll be able to get out again, hopefully.

09/01/2008 7:48 PM

Food For Thought

Yesterday I mentioned gun control and by chance a friend sent me an email today that has some very interesting statistics. Since no one has sent me any stories lately, it was a grungy day outside, and the most excitement in my day has consisted of working at the computer and sitting on the phone, I thought this might be a good day to post a copy of this email, especially in view of who is running for president in the Democratic Party in the U.S. right now.
"No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session." New York State Surrogate Court Judge Gideon Tucker - 1866


. . . In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated
Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated' people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.
It has now been a few years now since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.
Following are the results from the first year:
List of 7 items: Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!
In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note, that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!
While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.
There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDER LY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort, and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.
You won't see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.
Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.
So the next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson.
With guns, we are 'citizens'. Without them, we are 'subjects'.
During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!
If you value your freedom, Please spread this anti-gun control message to all of your friends. --

"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security
." Benjamin Franklin.

I can't vouch for the truth of all the above figures but I've certainly seen some of them before and know them to be true statistics.
The scary part about gun control is that not only does it not work, but it really does seem to make things worse.
When gun control was brought about in Canada a few years ago, (and is still in the process) a lot of people turned over their guns. Now, in the Lower Mainland, gun crime is way, way up! Higher than it's ever been before. A member of the new gang task force was commenting on it during the news last week. They've never seen so many guns on the streets of Vancouver, and of course, none registered. Gee, whatever could have gone wrong? After all, if we have gun control, it should be impossible for kids and criminals to get guns! Yeah, right. Anyone, anytime, day or night, can purchase an illegal gun on the streets of Vancouver. You just might have to wait a day or two if your order is an exotic one. And because far more criminals than honest, law abiding citizens are armed, crime is way up.
Gee....I wonder how that happened?
Think about it. Gun control only helps the criminal element and no one else. 99% of gun owners or people in North America with easy access to guns do not go on killing rampages or use their guns for anything but hunting, target shooting, or self protection. But when you take those guns away, you leave the honest citizenry helpless and you turn them into 'prey'. On the other hand, if you don't have gun control and you haven't removed guns from the honest citizenry, then the criminals don't know who has a gun, and who doesn't. If you're a thief, you're far less likely to break into a home if you're unsure whether you're going to be looking down the wrong end of the barrel of a gun, aren't you?

08/01/2008 7:36 PM

New Property

I've listed a new property on the commercial property page. A couple actually. The first consists of three outposts (cabin) on different lakes that all come under a recreational lease. Now whether that means only a resort, lodge, outfitter, etc. can continue to hold that land as a commercial recreational lease or if a private person can, I don't really know. You would have to inquire of the owner of the leases. All three are accessible by floatplane, hiking or snowmobile in winter. The first lease listed has a fully furnished cabin that sleeps six, has boats and can be reached by a boat or canoe with a portage. At $79,000, this package is a very good value.
The other fairly recent listing, also under commercial as well as residential, is a nearly 17 acre lakeshore property on Eagle Lake about seven miles east of Tatla Lake. The main house is newly renovated while there are also cabins and a new shower house with rental units, washrooms and laundry. Fabulous view of the turquoise lake and mountains and listed at $589,000.
I didn't get out today because it was cold again at around -20C or -4F at 9:00 this morning just before the sun came up. It warmed up a bit this afternoon when some cloud moved in but it still isn't exactly balmy. Now it's a different matter in the East where it hit 15C in Ontario today. Boy, wouldn't I like to be there! We haven't seen temperatures like that since....I don't know....September, maybe? On the other hand, with temperatures like that we would definitely be in danger of flooding like many towns back east are.
Temperatures hit record highs Monday in 140 cities across the Plains and Midwest spawning tornadoes in January, a rare event for many of the States. The Sierras got pounded again and in the Reno-Carson City area, where my brother lives, blowing snow Tuesday turned already slick roads into ice rinks which meant vehicles were skidding out of control all over the place. A lot like the repeat bumper car performance in Vancouver this morning. There's a place on the way from Reno south to Carson City called the Washoe Valley that is really prone to wind and we've been down there when they have signs flashing and actually forbid big trucks, trucks with campers or trailers to cross the valley floor. This is a major highway and you can't get through, which seems nuts. Apparently the hazardous conditions were so bad today, there were numerous accidents and vehicles off the road. Finally, they had State Troopers escort traffic across the 10-miles stretch at slow speeds all day to cut down on the danger of traveling that stretch of highway. I've never figured out why they don't build a perforated barricade on one or both sides of the highway to slow and redistribute the wind.
Ah, the joys of winter. And global warming. Which, incidentally folks, does not mean our winters are necessarily going to be warmer. What it means is that weather events are going to be more extreme than they used to be.
I got a book for Christmas from a brother on the extreme right called 'If Democrats had any brains, they'd be Republicans' by Ann Coulter. Now I won't say I'm entirely against what she has to say because I can be pretty extreme right on some issues too - gun control being one of them - and I agree with some of what she says. I also disagree with some of what she says because I am actually capable of having an open mind about many things. Something she most obviously is not capable of . But her stance on the possibility of global warming just proved what a nitwit she is and how truly ignorant. Whether or not global warming exists because of man or because of a natural cycle, I don't think there's anyone out there that believes it doesn't exist. Except for this particular idiot. Her words, "In 2004, former vice president Al Gore gave a speech on global warming in New York City on the coldest day of the year. Warm trends prove global warming. Cold trends also prove global warming. This is the philosophy of a madman. - Godless p.190." Ann, put down your martini, shimmy out of your cocktail dress and into a jumper, and go back to school. You might have an overly cutting tongue but you're not too bright about some things.
One final note for the night. We've had more than one person call to find out if Andy and his machine are all right after I posted those great pictures yesterday. Yes and yes. Not a scratch on either and trust me, this is not the worst predicament I have ever seen Andy or one of his machines in. Now where did I put all those other pictures of Andy and his tree magnet....?

07/01/2008 7:50 PM

The Other Side Of The Mirror

I've started a new week because there's lots to cover in this article, not least of which is a copy of an email sent to me by one of the readers of this blog. In fact Michael kindly sent me a great picture of he and his buddy, and their great rainbow trout catch last year. It's posted on one of the blogs but please don't ask me which. I still have to put a decent search function on this site first to find it, remember? Actually, I think I found one last night that will work. I just have to do some research on it and get it set up.
The reason why I asked Micheal for permission to reprint his email is because he makes many valid points and I believe in fairness. I think that everyone has a right to their opinion, and I agree a good deal with what Michael says. However, that being said, I did send back a book sized answer explaining why I have used this as a forum for our community's discontent with the local police force.
Michael's letter follows:

- "I really enjoy your site especially since I can only get to Nimpo to visit my friend Frank (former owner of Crazy Bear lodge) twice a year. Well, three times last year.
I also once contributed a set of photos of our day's catch, which to my amazement, many city people have commented on seeing. So it's true your site and its news does get around.
I own a medium sized business in Delta and take a lot of interest in the goings on in the business community and property values at the two lakes, Nimpo and Anahim. Last summer I went up and stayed one week at Stewart's. Great, great time just being pampered. The summer before I sent my sister and her friend to the Dean for a week, because I had Frank's place to myself. I have horseback (ridden) with Miriam from Bill and Darlene's place (Escott Bay). I had ridden with her several times in fact, with some of the riding up behind the new property at Towdystan. I have hiked, hunted and fished many, many of the lakes, mountains and forests in your area.
I truly do enjoy your news and blogs, with one exception. I'm not sure that I don't mind the reporting and the issues, it may just be where and how it's placed within your site.
First , let me tell you, I am a law and order sort of person, and I would rather have police than not have police. However, like many Canadians, I have grown to mistrust the police. However, I think that mistrust is misdirected because the fault or blame lays with our politicians. They seem to not want to set up a separate, national, with legislative backing, civilian Commission, to look into complaints about the police. It is my opinion that the Police of Canada should not be investigating themselves or each other. Now, why then don't I like your continued rant about the local RCMP?
Selfish reasons actually. I see "my" Nimpo area as a haven, kinda like heaven? My escape-to place! A destination to get away from all the daily grinds of real life, i.e. Stephen Harper, Gordon Campbell, Mayor Lois Jackson, George Bush, etc. etc. etc.
Plus, and I'm not sure, but from a local business owner's point of view, i.e. if I owned the Dean, or the Store or Stewart's, etc., I'd like that "negative" (even if honest and truthful stories) on a site to promote the Chilcotin.
I am not telling you to stop. Don't misunderstand my point of view. But since the fall, many of the times I have clicked on it, a good portion of the blog has been devoted to the continuing saga of the RCMP. Perhaps a news section on the site might be more appropriate, rather than front and centre?
Your site is seen by others who are looking for that same "escape", I seek. Especially Americans and tourists who perhaps don't understand the dynamics of daily life in the Chilcotin. Something I am only in a minor way aware of. Anyway, Happy New Year to you and I won't stop looking at your site, but others might. Regards from Delta BC."-

For the most part, I agree wholeheartedly with Michael, and had I another forum in which to voice local concerns, I certainly would. But most importantly, I agree that this is "my" Nimpo (Anahim) too, and I don't want it ruined by a bunch of bullies.
Just to point out that Michael was not aware that there is actually a whole site devoted to the Chilcotin and that the home page and the other pages on the site actually have only a small button going to the daily blog. He had the blog page saved and it wasn't until he did a search that he realized that this blog is not the main focus of the resortsbc site and being the gentleman his is, he was quick to apologize and return the email with the following notes:

-"Sometimes continuing a response to a particular article only provokes others and prolongs the story.... With regards to them getting another office, (I was just informed yesterday that a seventh police officer is being posted to Anahim Lake) perhaps it's management's staffing as a result of the ruling that two officers must respond to every remote complaint. Maybe it's as simple as that. I guess I'd want to meet with and speak with the detachment officer to see what the reasons were for the road blocks, what things can the citizens do, etc. I don't know. I have sat on Justice institute police type boards here and I know there are always two sides to a story and two ways to deal with a problem. Also I have to apologize, because I have your site saved with the blog first. The description of a blog is just that, someone's opinion. And only when I used Google to find "you", did I realize that you have a home page, which comes up first and that one has to click onto the blog." -
There you go. A fair opinion and a fair assessment. Michael may be quite right in pointing out that I and others may well be at fault for provoking a response. He is also quite right about there being two sides to every story, and here and now, neither side seems to be hearing the other. But my greatest frustration lies in the fact that there never used to be two sides. We, the police and the local citizens, were always on the same side at one time. What happened to that?
Okey Dokey. On to better and more fun things!
First on the list, the weather. It was -26.6C or nearly 17 degrees below zero Fahrenheit at 8:00 a.m. this morning. Yep, it was a surprise all right! Especially for those people that were planning on going snowmobiling at 10:00 this morning when it had only warmed up a few minuscule degrees. It was put off until 11:00 and the riders arrived back home safely after a great day, other than a few stucks and Andy landed his machine in a tree. The proof is in the pictures and Logan was kind enough to send the evidence to me almost immediately. Don't you just love digital cameras and email?
Here's Logan's take on the day:

- "We went snowmobiling again today, had a real great day playing in the snow, broke a new trail up a mtn, saw lots of interesting critter tracks, lunched in the sun (it warmed up to a balmy -15 by this aft) and had a ball doing hillclimbs and big drift jumps, etc.
Snow conditions are great for the most part, but there's always some surprises in the mtns of course. I was gonna get a pic of my new sled in its intended environment but didn't get around to that. I did get a pic of Andy trying to climb a tree with his sled tho.
Andy and I like to pack down the edges of the trails (widen 'em) so there's some maneuvering room and you don't have to ride in the same ruts as everyone else. Poor ol' Andy got too close to the edge and got sucked into the soft snow and down into some small trees. He tried to make a big circle through the obstacle course to get back up on the main trail, but when he hit a creek he had to goose it and his sled jumped out'a the creek OK but then there were these damn trees he couldn't avoid. Just imagine the fun!! No injury, no damage. Andy is a good rider, which is why he had confidence to do what he did, but the main laff was on him today.
The tree was sacrificed, the sled righted, and he finished his circle back to the trail. We were just getting started!! This is what some folks call fun. Everyone gets stuck once in awhile, it's part of the challenge, and we all help each other and laff at each other. I think we had more fun than those Vancouver commuters sliding in the snow today!!" -

Boy, isn't that the truth. There's no better giggle than watching bumper cars in the streets of Vancouver on television. Well, unless it's the weather person issuing a snow warning for Metro Vancouver for 5cm of snow (About 2 inches.) Even she had a sheepish laugh when she reported it.
One last thing. I got a response from a gentleman who is going to check further on the Rimarko property. Thank you sir!
Oh yeah! I almost forgot. Check out the picture on the right. Our hardworking neighbour kindly plowed the ice road from our boat ramp to the one across the bay while the guys went out to play. Now Andy just has to clear the ramp on the other side with the Bobcat and we'll have a partial ice road for 2008! That'll help out half the residents on the lake anyway.
This is the start of the second week of January, 2008 so if you want to read last week's articles, you'll find them at January Week 1.

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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!
Plow truck on Nimpo Lake with mountains behind.
Fourwheeler plowing snow off of ice.
Three men on snowmobiles on the lake.
Large machine plows the snow from the road leading to the ice.
A whiskey jack has fat in his beak in flight.
Two men in snowmachine suits dig out a machine.
Snowmobile ski partway up a tree trunk.
A black and yellow skidoo stuck in the trees.
Snow flies up from a plow on the lake.
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