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Wilderness Adventures - January, Week 2/2006

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.
You can search this site for a subject of interest to you at the bottom of this page.

10/01/2006 10:18 AM

Chilcotin Laptop

I may have a solution for going away that just might work. Although I'm sure there is little about a trip to Nevada and Arizona that would interest those of you reading this blog, I have been looking for the opportunity to continue the adventures of Rich Hobson and Pan Phillips. We just don't leave home very often and so I haven't had to take into consideration how to continue these articles outside of my home office. If I utilized the same 'blogging' software as many, any computer with an Internet hookup would do. Since getting each article up on the Internet in this format takes quite a few steps and several programs, a laptop is about the only way I could continue the project.
Or maybe not...
We were going to take an extra computer down to my brother in Reno and get him hooked up on the Internet this trip. Instead, my mother decided to donate her computer for the project since she's purchasing a new one. Unfortunately, its dependability is dubious at best and it often seems to have a mind all its own, on about the level of a spoiled three year old child's. So just in case, we decided to take our old computer down south with us so that we could use it in place of my mother's should hers decide to have a tantrum. Our thinking was that if we didn't need it for my brother, I could continue writing stories for this site and upload every day or so as long as I had access to a monitor, keyboard, etc. and the Internet.
In other words, my computer tower would be my Chilcotin laptop!
I know, I know, I too have visions of young kids of the '80s walking down the street with these huge boomboxes on their shoulder blaring out music as they went. But until I can invest in a laptop (which is going to involve some research because I haven't even thought about the need for one before) I'm going to be stuck packing around my computer tower.
Last night was spent loading the software programs into the computer that I would need to write these blogs and testing the whole thing. I think it might work, but I'm not willing to bet any money on it. In any case, if you don't hear at all from me for the next few weeks, you'll know my Chilcotin laptop didn't work or I had to sacrifice the computer to my brother after all.
For those of you that might access this blog through an RSS feed (since that's what it actually is) such as on My Yahoo or My Msn, you may not get updated headings - but the actual html page "Wilderness-Adventures" will be updated. I use FeedForAll for updating the RSS feed for the search engines and have loaded a copy onto my Chilcotin laptop, but using it may just confuse the issue and I might skip that part. For those of you that have bookmarked Wilderness Adventures , you won't have any problems. Provided I don't of course.
It's snowing lightly again today and did part of the night as well. It really hasn't built up to anything but will probably make travel a little miserable because most of the province is getting heavy wet snow. However, away we must go.
Me and my Chilcotin laptop
...lol.

09/01/2006 11:09 PM

Hard Slogging

On many fronts, not least of which was cross country skiing today. After that good bit of snow that we received, Nimpo Lake has been loaded down pretty well. I've been seeing neighbours slogging past slowly on skies and wondered why they looked as though they were working pretty hard. Well, let me tell you...it is some tough going out there now. Breaking trail will require much more than one day because the nature of the snow is such that it falls back into your trail behind you. So much for that quick run back home over smooth tracks that makes the initial trail breaking so worthwhile. Needless to say, I only went a couple of miles at most and was thoroughly beat by the time I got back!
Our new neighbours from Ashcroft have been up the last few days and sure seem to be enjoying the beautiful weather. They purchased a cabin just down the lake from us and plan to spend quite a bit of time up here. We're a little disappointed that we won't see more of them this trip. We leave for Arizona this week, and no it isn't our idea of fun. We're fulfilling a promise made last spring and regret it heartily now in view of the hassle and massive expenditure of driving a very large truck with camper down and back in the space of only a couple of weeks during prime snowmobiling season. Putting on a minimum of 4500 miles with existing fuel prices is not a pretty thought. However, a promise is a promise....sigh. And all that beautiful snow just outside the window.
On the upside, we're very lucky to have such good friends and neighbours in this community, especially those willing to stay here, house sit our cats and dogs and keep the home fires burning. Leaving your place empty in the dead of winter isn't always a good idea in this country. Temperatures can drop quickly and to drastic lows here and should the power go out or a water pipe bust in the middle of your holiday, the resulting mess can be pretty ugly. Friends of ours across the lake had this happen to them. They own one of the most beautiful, and beautifully decorated houses on the lake and they had just finished it. While gone in winter their hot water tank blew a line and gushed water at a great rate all night until a woman renting their cabin checked on the house the next morning. By that time the water had damaged both the main floor and basement very nearly beyond repair. It took months by professionals to get the house back into shape and it isn't a problem I would want to face myself. Hence, a caretaker. The alternative for many part time residents is to design their water system so that it's easily drained and antifreeze added wherever water might be trapped.
We've been trudging back and forth packing things up for the trip and getting house and camper ready. I'm still duking it out with my computer and Norton Antivirus and its recalcitrant firewall that still will not allow me access to my email. I'm just in the process of verifying that I have a backup cd with Norton on it, and then I am going to slamdunk that puppy right off this computer as soon as I upload tonite's article. Wish me luck. If you don't hear from me by tomorrow, come looking for me...lol.
It is snowing yet again outside. We couldn't be luckier...if we were just going to be here. Hopefully, all the snow will still be here when we get back.

07/01/2006 1:44 PM

Snow - And Lots Of It!

Winter finally came with a bang. From the last article on Tuesday you will have gathered that there wasn't much for snow at that time. We went out for wood again on Wednesday which leaves us sitting pretty now for a couple of months and it was a good thing because on Thursday there was about three inches of beautiful fluffy snow on the ground. Unfortunately, it started to rain on top of it and the temperature climbed way above freezing. Then just as suddenly, it stopped and the sun came out. It was a gorgeous day but since we had already decided we weren't going snowmobiling until Friday, my brother went up with some of the guys Thursday. He brought back some great pictures and video on his digital. I would like to reduce the size of the video and if I can, I'll put a link on this page. Some of the guys like Archie are pretty awesome riders, and can climb some pretty steep hills. My brother said they still got stuck quite a bit because our three inches of snow down here translated to better than eight of the fresh fluffy up on the mountain on top of what was already there. Pictures at the right show you both the right way and the wrong way to snowmobile. Traditionally, they aren't intended to climb trees...but I'm not going to say much because I've been known to climb a few myself.
By yesterday morning another four inches had landed (which meant at least another eight to ten inches on the mountain) and we were late getting started waiting for the weather to lift. There isn't much point going up on the mountain snowmobiling if you can't see where you're going.
We went up yesterday with my brother and put him on one of our machines, a little more powerful and faster than the one my mother loaned him for the week. It may have been a mistake because he wasn't used to the machine or the power and that 583 really needs to be ridden. Which is what he was doing, but he was getting stuck quite a bit and we were getting exhausted digging him out! We met a couple that are excellent riders at 24 km on Charlotte Main and they had just come down off the mountain. Actually, they hadn't made it all the way up but only through the pass. They too had spent a good bit of time stuck trying to break out a trail that we were going up which left me with that sense of foreboding of, uh oh...we could be in trouble here.
My brother isn't that experienced a rider and this was my first time out this year but the powder was beautiful. In fact it was spectacular! Just as long as you didn't mind getting stuck in deep snow and dropping off up to your waist when you tried to dig out. We didn't quite make it to Goat Pass because we needed to make it back down in time for a dinner date but all in all, it was a good day. As the lady we met coming down at 24 km stated, we got our exercise for the day...and then some!
The same couple went cruising by on cross country skiis on Nimpo Lake this morning, which is nice for me. A trail already broken in with this kind of fresh snow on the ground is a thing to treasure, indeed!
Everyone is giddy over the new snow. We normally get most of our snow before January and it was beginning to look like this year might be a bust. Barring any ridiculous warming spell, we should be able to ride until April and not have to worry about trailering our machines to the mountains. We're all so spoiled and accustomed to snowmachining right from our front door to wherever we please that we all get a little temperamental when we can't.

You can find last week's articles at January Week One.
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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!
Two snowmobile riders
 
Snowmobile in the air
 
Snowmobile stuck in a tree.
 
Snowmachine jump
 
Snowmobiling
 
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