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Wilderness Adventures - July, Week Two/2013

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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Check out the Picture of the Day.


30/07/2013 9:00 PM

It's a Barn Burner!

Hi Folks. I figured I had better try to get a blog up before the end of the month arrived. As is the case with most of our summers, it has been a busy one. Actually, I think this has been our busiest spring and summer in years and I don’t see it improving that much in the next month or two but I will try my best to post a blog periodically. Thank you to all of you that have been so patient about the absence of regular blogs.
Two weeks ago we decided we both very much needed a break from our seven day a week work days and particularly from the bugs. I had a little ten day window between guest bookings so we decided to take off for a week or so. We headed down to the West Kootenays to the Brother-in-law’s place on Slocan Lake and stayed there for about three days. We actually left in the late afternoon to go the back way over to Kelowna in the hopes that the last part of the trip would be cooler for the dogs. You never saw two animals so grateful to get out of the truck and head for the creek bed at our friends’ place in Kelowna even though we wet the dogs down throughout our trip and gave them lots of water. They’re Chilcotin dogs. They’re not used to that southern BC heat. Then again, neither am I. I actually wore sandals with no socks and sleeveless tank tops for the first time in years because those people have no bugs. That was heaven! Sitting out on an open deck overlooking gorgeous Slocan Lake evening after evening and not a bug in sight. Geeeez.
While in the Silverton area we hiked up on Idaho Peak one day. I would highly recommend the hike to anyone because the view from the top is breathtaking. I just can’t say a lot about the road to get up there. It’s very similar to the Bella Coola Hill in that you’re looking over the edge to a long drop off for a long ways but it’s only one lane, so meeting traffic is a challenge. Fortunately, our host had the forethought to suggest we go up early in the morning so that we were only meeting people coming back down and downward traffic has the right of way, which was nice. I also would not have wanted to be hiking up the side of the mountain in the well over 30C or 90 degree heat we had by the afternoon. I did hike up to a working hard rock silver mine in those temps later that afternoon on the same mountain with the dogs and I can tell you that River the Rottweiler was dying on his feet and I wasn’t overly enthused about the heat myself.
We have been so busy and the bugs so bad at home here that we haven’t been able to take the dogs on their daily walk for at least six weeks. It wasn’t until Andy went to lift River into the truck the morning we left here that he realized just how fat the dog had gotten. River is the kind of dog that can look at dog food and get fat. We don’t dare feed him much more than what most people feed their cats and he does quite well because he’s just what horse breeders call an ‘easy keeper’. Most of the time with walks every single day of a mile and a half to three miles we can keep his weight just right but somehow we let his weight get away from us this summer and he paid for it. He’s also getting old for a Rotty at over 12 years of age and that didn’t help. Nor does the fact that he still has most of last winter’s coat that includes an incredibly dense, fine undercoat of fur. It seems that Rottweilers don’t lose all of their winter coats until November when their new winter coat starts to grow in so he gets pretty hot. On the other hand, he can lay in the yard on the gravel in full sun in the heat of the day and loves it. He’s just not used to heat and exerting himself. Exertion isn’t exactly in River’s vocabulary. Which is why I thought I might have to carry him up the last bit of hill to this working mine. He made it on his own but barely and only because he could smell water…..
It didn’t help that Andy and the Brother-in-law drove past us in the truck going up the hill and yelled as they went by that it was only a little farther or I would have stopped them and put River in the truck. I’ll tell you, if looks could kill when the truck kept going on by that dog instead of stopping, Andy would have been dead at the wheel. :-) I have never seen River mad but he sure was at that moment!
In any case, if you ever want to check out some nice country, that West Kootenay region is really pretty and the people are incredibly friendly. And any time you can get up high or out on the water, the views will blow you away. Oh, and no bugs….
Kelowna, our next stop for a few days, was hotter than Hades. It doesn’t help that there’s too much pavement and too many people and that it’s semi desert. We’re so fortunate that our friends live on a street where there are huge trees and lots of shade and it must be about 10 degrees cooler than it is downtown. We always seem to have a bunch of shopping to do when we get there because there are stores in the Okanagan that aren’t in the Cariboo and thank heavens for a hostess and host willing to run around with us to do it. I keep wondering though what it would be like to just relax, visit, and not have to face that heat in the downtown core.
One pleasure that I always look forward to when we visit Kelowna is going with our friends to the movies. It’s not something Andy and I ever get to do otherwise and he wasn’t sure he was going to go this time because the movie I wanted to see was panned so badly by the critics, but in the end, we were all glad we went. I don’t know why anyone listens to movie critics. They’re always wrong. We went to The Lone Ranger mainly to see Johnny Depp because I haven’t seen him in anything yet that I didn’t like. You can be sure he’ll put some kind of hinky spin on his part and his performance as Tonto was more than up to par and funny as heck. As usual, his Tonto and the old Tonto didn’t resemble each other any more than Jack Sparrow resembled a pirate but like Pirates of the Caribbean, his acting made the movie. It was a treat to be able to see it.
We had to leave Kelowna at night as well for the sake of the dogs and ended up parking the trailer at about two in the morning and sleeping along the highway before getting up early and heading home. Williams Lake was also hot and we made our way out of town as soon as we could to head for home. Apparently it was hot here as well while we were gone and the heat seems to have made quite a dent in the mosquito population. They aren’t nearly as impossible to deal with as they were before we left two weeks ago. We got home last Thursday and they’ve just gotten better every day. They’re still there, especially if you’re watering or out in the evenings but I can live with their numbers now. It helps too that it’s been chilling down a lot for the last few nights with a temperature of only three degrees above freezing the other night. I think that might change now though.
It’s been pretty warm but it’s supposed to get really hot from today on and I don’t see it cooling down that much at night. It was up to 24C or 75F in the shade today and we had quite a bit of cloud rolling through. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be completely clear and hot at 27 in Williams Lake and 31 in Bella Coola. Since we’re in between the two places…. Burn bugs, burn!!!
I haven’t checked with anyone to see if the fishing is still good but I heard lots of fish plopping out on the water this evening and I watched loads of them jumping yesterday evening. While we have been fortunate to have very interesting and just awesome guests this summer, none of our recent guests have been after fish. But folks we had stay early in July did extremely well and those that we are expecting later in the month should have a field day with the fishing.
The Cariboo Fire Center is putting a ban on campfires starting on Thursday for the Cariboo Chilcotin. I figured it was coming because most of the Fire Centers to the south of us planned on putting fire bans on before the August long weekend coming up if they didn’t have them on already. While we aren’t quite as hot and dry as the regions to the south, we’re getting there. There has been little in the way of rain in the past month and this country never takes long to dry out once the rainy season is over with.
Surprisingly, this summer is shaping up to be just like it was last year. Long hot spells but no thunderstorms building up so we’re not getting the lightning strikes that would normally be associated with hot weather. Just not enough moisture in the air to generate thunderstorms I guess. It suits me. I love looking out over the lake with the air still clear and the blues from the lake and sky still vibrant. Although it did look a little hazy over the mountains this evening so there might be some smoke to the south …
The Vancouver area officially broke all records today for the longest period without rain. I think that the weather people are also hoping for a new record for the first whole month of July without rain but they have to make it through tomorrow and there’s a low coming in over the Lower Mainland tomorrow evening. Good luck to them!
There have also been a few more temperature records broken throughout BC in the past week or so and you should see the temperatures in the northern part of the province! I think that they will be seeing more forest fire starts up there, particularly around the Yukon where they’ve had warm weather for several months now. And a tornado in Italy today! If this trend continues I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’re seeing climate change in a big way. As I’ve said before, climatologists measure climate over a long term so nothing can be proven for years yet, but I’m seeing a variation of weather reported all over the world that I’ve never seen in my lifetime, even if you take into account that weather may take a more predominate position on the news now than it did 30 or 40 years ago.
The future just might hold a wild ride!

You’ll find last wee's blog at July Week One.


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!
Rock sticks up out of beautiful lake water.
 
Ferry working its way across the lake.
 
Moss covered rocks and waterfall.
 
Long lake between a deep valley formed by mountains.
 
People in the creek with a black dog.
 
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