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 - June, Week 1/2014
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of the Day.
Good Spring Weather
has been an inordinately long time since I wrote a blog
and every day I think about it, waiting for rainy weather
so that I cant go outside. But every day before
we left for a few days last week was perfect for working
and every day since weve returned has been beautiful
with few bugs and lots of sunshine, not to mention pretty
decent temperatures. Yesterday it was at least 22.6C or
73F at one point when I stopped into the house but it
may have been warmer.
Im not sure how it is weve been so lucky
with the weather since long range forecasters and the
almanac insisted that we were going to have a long, cold,
wet spring and then a hot summer but that hasnt
really been the case in the past two weeks. Weve
gotten very little in the way of rain since those big
boomers and that hail storm when I wrote the last blog
and quite a bit of sunshine, mixed with cloud, of course.
It hasn't been overly breezy and night time temperatures
have been really warm. None of this explains why we have
few mosquitoes so far. Theyre coming. Oh yeah,
they are definitely coming, but they havent gotten
beyond being able to deal with them so far. In
fact, its only in cooler shaded spots or in damp
areas that Ive seen many of them, but we havent
been out in the evening. It could be that they are much
worse then. They started to get pretty nasty about the
May long weekend when the bigger slow mozzies came out
but then we had a couple of nights of good hard frosts
and that seemed to knock them back a bit. Now its
the small fast ones that have started to come out and
their bite is way nastier.
For the last two mornings Ive put on bug dope before
going for my walk but Ive seen few mosquitoes in
the back woods other than a couple on the dogs nose.
This morning was different and I hadnt gone far
before Holeee! I was spraying top to bottom
and walking fast at the same time, but it was also overcast
and spitting rain just before I got back so that might
have brought the buggers out as well. I expect that
in another week it will probably be pretty miserable outside
but Im hoping to get more projects done before that
At least with this sun and some warmer temperatures, things
have finally begun to green up and grow. The aspen trees
have filled out in their bright spring green and my perennials
have finally decided to get a move on. The lawn is starting
to look much better and winter killed spots are slowly
recovering, although Ill probably have to reseed
where mice ate the roots down to nothing in parts of the
new lawn. My rock garden is starting to bloom with prairie
crocus and basket of gold and even a few of the bearded
iris has decided to pop.
I bought some plants down in Kelowna that I have
been wanting to try in our zone and finished a new 40
by 40 foot perennial garden to put them into.
I also have to move a bunch of old established plants
from their spot where I hope to put the new outdoor room
to the new perennial garden or somewhere nearby. Unfortunately,
some of them have roots that go to China and its
getting late in the season to move plants that size. Cloudy
days like this would be ideal for transplanting but
my face near the dirt and mosquitoes don't go together
well at all. Which is why Im in here procrastinating
and writing a blog.
Yesterday I nearly finished a project building a wall
along the front of our trailer shed in which to store
bikes, rototiller, tires, lawn mowers and where our scaffolding
is already hanging. All I need now is three more sheets
of plywood to complete the job but Ill have to wait
until Andy goes to Williams Lake with the one ton. Which
leaves the perennial bed. Hmmm. Maybe the sun will start
Last week we drove down to Mission in the Lower Mainland
with our old Award holiday trailer to a vintage trailer
meet. First of all, if youve never seen an
Award then you havent seen odd. Actually,
when we bought it in 2006 second hand from a friend to
go to Alaska, we didnt think it odd at all. It wasnt
until many miles and numerous people that asked to step
inside it or made a cranking motion with their hand and
had a question on their face when we passed them in the
street with our RV that we realized our trailer was considered
Our trailer is 30 feet long but very, very low to the
ground with a rounded, streamlined front and top. It looks
kind of like a bullet except that its white. Unlike
the great walls of China on wheels that we pass on the
highway, this trailer has no basement,
that massive storage space underneath most modern RVs
that cause them to sit so high in the air. The result
is that in comparison, our trailer looks like you might
have to wind it up on top like an Alaskan camper or camper
van to get the height required to stand in it, when in
fact my 6 8 tall nephew can stand up in it
Because we are so low to the ground, our trailer
looks like a little midget parked among all the walls
in an RV park when we go travelling even though 30 feet
is quite a respectable length for any RV. So when
we arrived at the vintage trailer meet at the Sons
of Norway campground, WE were the ones to look like a
traveling wall and in fact, other than an Airstream of
equal length, we were the largest trailer there. It was
really embarrassing because from being a little wiener
trailer where we camped the night before among the big
boys, we were suddenly the largest in the park and
looked downright ostentatious next to the group of little
Bolers parked nearby. In fact, even having a toilet
and shower put us out of the league of most of the trailers
there much less having a separate bedroom and two big
easy chairs at the front. Like I said, an embarrassment
of riches. So when the open house on Saturday
required you to throw open your door and let people see
what the inside of your trailer looked like I was a little
hesitant. We didnt really qualify as a vintage trailer
being one year short of the 25 year rule, but the trailer
is just rare enough and strange enough that people actually
did want to peek inside it.
Unlike the numerous other trailer owners in the park,
we have done nothing to our trailer except to add the
easy chairs from the house, but the work done on
many of the vintage trailers is nothing short of amazing
from sprucing up the original design to a complete tear
down and renovation of many of the different ages and
styles of trailers there. In fact we were only there to
see what others had done with their old trailers because
weve acquired a 1964 trailer with an awkward layout
for camping around the Chilcotin, and I wanted to get
some ideas on what could be done with ours.
I was flabbergasted by many of the ingenious, space
saving ideas by owners of many of the trailers
but I was even more impressed by some of the really old
trailers that had simply been rebuilt and refinished by
the owners to the trailers original condition, taking
years of work and fine woodworking.
One of the most interesting trailers was a 1948
Aero Flite Falcon that looks like an airplane with a mohawk.
It had gorgeous aluminum and woodwork on the entire inside
completely redone to specs of the original trailer. It
took the owner three years just to do that and the trailer
is 66 years old. Can you imagine?
It was impossible to pick a favourite, or even to tour
all of the trailers in the three hours we had to do so,
but it was loads of fun.
It also made me realize that you could spend a pile of
money on a project like that and Im not sure that
I want to. I had in mind many things that we could do
with our old find to fix it up even before going to this
meet that would easily have made it worthy for such a
show. But in the end, this vintage meet made me
realize that all we really wanted the trailer for was
to bang around the back country here in the Chilcotin
where we cant take our odd low riding Award.
After were done with it, then I think its
obvious we can find a good home for it with someone that
wants to put the effort into fixing it up like those folks
at the meet. At least it wont have to go to the
The very best part of this trailer meet was just being
there in an atmosphere like that of the old days when
everyone was outside of their trailer sitting in chairs,
visiting from trailer to trailer, with children zooming
among campers with their bikes, playing baseball or throwing
a football, and nearly everyone with a dog. There was
cocktail hour on Friday and a potluck on Saturday night
where everyone brought food, breakfast and a large campfire
for everyone to sit around in the evening. I cant
remember seeing a trailer park or campground that looked
like that in years!
When we pull into an RV park or campground we get unhooked,
take the dogs for a walk, and Andy likes to speak to folks
as he goes. Some answer back and sometimes you have a
conversation but for the most part
Normally we watch the huge fifth wheels or motor homes
pull in, get parked, down come the jacks, out comes a
popout or two, youll hear the whir of the satellite
dish, blinds come down, a rug goes out at the base of
the step, and other than a wiener dog in the window that
needs to be taken for a short walk now and again, you
might not see the owners of the RV again until they get
ready to leave. It isnt always that bad but nearly
so. Yes, the odd bunch that might be traveling together
might sit out under an awning together with happy hour
drinks but even smelling barbecue is a rarity now. Not
so at this trailer meet! Many of the folks wouldnt
have been having supper or breakfast if they hadnt
had a gas stove or barbecue sitting out on a fold up table.
And just by nature of having no bathroom youre bound
to meet people on the way to the central washroom or showers
or kitchen to clean up your dishes and dump your water.
It was much like when I was a kid when a blackened coffeepot
went on the fire in the morning and cast iron skillets
were brought out for cooking breakfast and dinner. You
lived outside all day and only climbed into your tent
or trailer to sleep or get in out of a downpour. Ive
camped and hunted the same way for many years since but
usually in solitary out of the way places and it wasnt
until the last few years when weve gone traveling
with the trailer that Ive realized how isolated
people have truly become, even in a crowded RV park, or
Provincial or State campground.
I suppose its even worse now in many campgrounds
with WiFi, cell phones and texting but I have to say,
I didnt see any sign of that at the vintage meet.
Instead I saw ladies having fun dressed in vintage 60s
clothing, silk sheaths and high heels, sporting teased
and pouffy hair, while many of the guys leaned over the
fenders and peered under the hoods of glossy painted vintage
cars that had dragged the vintage trailers there in the
first place. The kids pelting around on bikes were polite
and energetic and I didnt see a cell phone in the
hands of a single one the entire weekend. Amazing!
And talk about social! Those kids knew exactly how to
act and respond around adults, little adults themselves.
I was impressed, and I dont even like kids.
Maybe I just dont like the new kids
that can barely raise their eyes from their phones or
their games and acknowledge the existence of anything
outside their four inches of flat screened world. Good
luck to them in their future where they will have missed
out on the delights of worms and mud and bugs and puddles,
exploration and competition and dirt and fun, and most
importantly, direct interaction with other people of all
Whoops! Now I've gotten maudlin and on top of that, Ive
written a book which will make Andy very unhappy because
it will take him more than a moment to read it.
In any case, if this gathering that we attended is any
example, I can highly recommend a vintage trailer meet
for anyone of any age that likes to be around people.
Sometimes you dont know that youve missed
something until you find it again, and I havent
seen this kind of camping social interaction in many years.
It was certainly fun!
I'll cover our interesting little route home on the next
blog. It's worth seeing!
month's blog is at May
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!
the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!