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 2/2007
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.
folks. This is just to update you on what's happening
the next ten days. Or more to the point, what isn't happening.
I've got company coming in tonight so no guarantees on
when I'll be writing an article in future. It depends
on how much fun we have. My friends are keen on
fishing so I expect that will be the main activity
for the next while. That and tipping the odd glass, but
I won't say too much about that!
Quick update on the weather....no change. Rain,
then sun, then rain, then sun. Pretty much the
same old thing. We got about another 1/2cm of rain, which
doesn't amount to much but it keeps the dust down and
the fish biting. We're supposed to be seeing some
nice weather next week if a big high off the coast
builds in as predicted. However, we all know how often
the weatherman is right so I'm not going to hold my breath.
It would be nice though.
Have a great week, all!
A Typical June
not necessarily the case every summer, the
weather in June is typically unsettled in this part of
the country and that's certainly holding true for this
year. Actually, I should probably rephrase that and take
out 'this part of the country'. Pretty much
everywhere I have lived, June is an unreliable month weather
wise. It can vary from cool, cloudy, rainy days to blistering
hot and dry year to year...or day to day, for that matter.
Today started off the same as a long string of them this
month, where you have absolutely no idea what you're going
to get throughout the day. Our temperatures topped
out at around 15C or no more than 60 degrees Fahrenheit
today and depending on whether the sun was out
or not, or whether a cool breeze off the lake had kicked
up, you alternated between roasting and 'freezing'. It
seemed pretty humid today as well, which might have been
the reason why I couldn't make up my mind whether I was
hot or cold. The mosquitoes and black flies couldn't decide
either. One moment all was peaceful, and in the next you
were being swarmed.
We've got some heavy black cloud moving over us now that
was over the mountains only an hour ago, indicating a
mish mash of systems coming in off the Pacific. I
like being able to look clear across to the Coast Range
and watch long black streamers of cloud dragged down by
moisture looking like mini tornados touching down.
I guess if I lived in Kansas and knew they could be
tornados I would feel differently. Then again, maybe not.
If I lived in Tornado Alley I think I would probably be
one of those tornado chasers. I love extreme weather.
Lightning storms, hail storms, ice storms, snow storms,
it doesn't matter. I don't think there's anything more
awe inspiring than Mother Nature kicking up booty. Of
course, I can see the wheels turning and more than one
person out there is saying, "Yeah, but you've
obviously never been caught in a disastrous act of Mother
Nature!" Maybe not, but it was never for
lack of trying....lol.
There's less and less news about possible flooding
throughout British Columbia on television now
so I guess the stories are no longer sensationalist enough
to suit the networks. As a result, we're back to the sorry
soap opera stories that our BC networks like to eat up
the news hour with, most of which have absolutely nothing
to do with news and effects maybe one or
two people. But it's cheap to produce, doesn't require
any journalists to actually use their brain, and cuts
back on expenses incurred by them and camera men out in
the field. It also leaves lots of air time for commercials.
In fact, the news hour is so bad most of the time nowadays
that the commercials are often the only thing worth seeing.
I'm sure that makes the advertisers very happy. In any
case, although I'm glad fewer British Columbians are going
to be effected by flood than previously expected, I'm
going to miss the news. It was nice to see real
BC people being interviewed by the networks. Real,
honest, down to earth people slogging around in their
rubber boots, filling sandbags, faced with a problem that
they were doing their best to deal with, and doing a damned
fine job of it.
Quite a contrast to most of the drek you see on
television now. I swear, I think the networks
have a small pool of actors for the news hour that they
keep putting in different clothes, in front of a different
building, and give them different lines from story to
story. One day they're an enraged parent because their
kid's Kindergarten class has stopped offering free milk
and cookies at recess, the next day they're protesting
the closing of their local Day Care, the next is outrage
over a sex offender released from prison, the day after
that they're a street person, and so on. Even the
cops used as information officers for each city all look
the same. Just different stories. It might not
be so bad if the networks didn't keep going back and revisiting
what was already a lousy story the day before. But no,
we can't just hear about it once and that's it. We're
going to hear about the same news item all week, just
with a different spin on it.
Everything the media serves up is the same old garbage,
day in and day out. In fact, if you had to rely entirely
on the news hour to help you to understand people as a
culture, I think you would lose complete touch with reality.
The crap served up on television from 5 until 7
every night has absolutely no relation to those people
that are out there in the real world. How many
amazing stories have we read or heard over the years about
new immigrants that did a wonderful job of learning the
English language, and understanding the North American
culture, by fanatically watching television and using
it as an educational tool? About all I can say is heaven
help anyone trying to do that now! You'd end up creating
a monster by accident. Or a complete moron. I'm not sure
Okay, that's my rant for the day. I'm afraid I don't
know how you folks up in Smithers and Terrace are doing
with the flooding because the Vancouver news networks
have forgotten about you already, but I hope you're
hanging in there.
I can't change the Picture of the Day because someone
hasn't had a chance to see the Hotnarko Falls image yet,
so it stays until tomorrow. Have a good one, Folks!
we did something very rare for us. We took the afternoon
off to visit the Hotnarko Falls on the other side of Anahim
Lake. And they were a spectacular sight to see,
With the tremendous snow melt from higher elevations this
spring we thought there might be a high volume of water
in the falls right now and if you look at the pictures
on the right, you'll see just exactly how different they
can look from one season to the next. The top picture
is one we took yesterday and although I understand that
the falls are pretty all the time, yesterday they were
As we crossed the huge double culverts under the road
where the water flows to the falls nearby, you could
hear the thundering roar of it as it dropped over the
cliff and a long ways down where it continued
frothing in a narrow channel out to a wider, calmer, black
Hotnarko River squeezed in at the base of steep cliffs
on its way toward the Atnarko. There's a small parking
spot next to the culverts and it's only a few steps from
there on a trail to the top of the falls. You can
follow quite a neat trail around the top of a cliff of
rock, low juniper and the odd twisted bonsai tree
to a point farther away from the falls with a better viewpoint.
From there you can study the deep mesa topped canyon
created by eons of flowing water that blasted through
lava rock and left behind exposed basaltic pillars.
Farther along you'll find a small circle of stones where
more than one person has had a campfire and maybe a picnic
lunch. With good, open exposure on the cliff face, there's
a breeze to keep the bugs down while before you
sprawls a magnificent view that includes a snow topped
mountain in the distance. From the map, I'm guessing
we were looking at Hotnarko Mountain, nearly 7,000 feet
high, but I would need someone that knows the area well
to go over a map with me to be certain of that.
There are a few ways to reach the Hotnarko Falls, which
means that except for the last little bit, you can actually
take a little circle drive and not have to repeat your
route. Coming from the east on Highway 20, we turned onto
the Kappan Road just before the highway works yard and
followed it for about 6km or slightly less than 4 miles.
When you hit the Beeftrail road, turn right and follow
it until just after you see the yellow 19km marker, just
before the gravel pit. Turn left and follow the trail
in until you cross a huge double culvert where there's
a pullout. You can't go any farther than that because
the road has been blocked off. Along the way you
will climb what I'm sure has to be an exposed glacial
morraine composed of every kind of rolled stone,
after which you'll see an old homestead down on your right
hidden in the trees and sitting on a lush, green meadow.
It sits along an old trail which may explain its presence,
or it might simply have been a trapper or outfitter's
cabin from a long time ago. It was a long, long
ways from nowhere at one time though, that's for sure.
Once you park, take the trail along the creek and around
the top of the cliff face, but I would recommend taking
bear spray, wearing good hiking shoes or boots, and be
careful where you walk. Don't forget your camera and for
heavens sake, don't forget your bug spray! You'll need
it in the parking area. My only regret about our trip
yesterday is that I didn't have sun for pictures and I
surely wish I had.
When we left the falls and followed the trail back out
to the Beeftrail, we turned left instead of back the way
we came. Just up the road I scored some awesome rocks!
Some people go shopping for shoes, electronic gadgets
or other stuff. I go shopping for rocks.
I love rocks. And they're usually free. The only thing
is that the dogs usually have to share space with them
in the back of the truck going home, but they tell me
they don't mind.
We followed the Beeftrail out to Highway 20 about 6km
and turned east onto the highway, following it about 10
miles back to Anahim Lake. It's a nice little drive and
although gravel or rock, the roads are in reasonably good
condition, even for a bigger rig. So if you're visiting
the area, try to make this a must see stop.
Our weather is still a little iffy with thunderstorms
rolling through yesterday morning and a hailstorm and
the odd rainstorm today. We accumulated about a 1/2 cm
of rain over the last two days, which isn't a lot, but
it keeps things damp. I haven't decided if that's a good
thing or not but at least we don't have to water right
While Nimpo Lake is going down, Anahim Lake levels
have been rising. I kind of wondered about that,
but while talking to the owner of Escott Bay, he told
me that Corkscrew Creek has been up to the bottom of the
old bridge for some time now. Corkscrew empties a lot
of mountain range to the east and since snow has
been melting off the Itcha/Ilgatchuz Mountains at great
rate lately, it explains the higher water levels in Anahim
Lake. I think that mountain range tends to melt
off quickly, since you see a lot more black sooner than
you do on the Coast Range, so I expect levels will peak
and begin to drop soon.
Here's an update on events. The snowmobile waterskipping
races will be happening on June 16. They're a
lot later this year but I expect organizers have been
waiting for water levels in the Dean River to drop or
a few riders could end up drowning. The Anahim Lake
Stampede starts on July 6 and I believe that's
the same weekend as the British Columbia Floatplane Association
holds their AGM at Nimpo Lake. So there you go. Things
The Space Shuttle
were fortunate last night to hear on the news what time
the space shuttle was expected to pass through the night
sky in Vancouver. They said to look for it at
10:45 in the north sky travelling west to east, which
is where we were looking for it at that time. I had just
stepped back in the house while Andy kept a watch for
it when it occurred to him that north for Vancouver might
be overhead for us. Just as he started scanning a different
piece of sky he spotted it and sure enough, it was overhead
if not slightly to the south for us. It was pretty
thrilling to see it, even if all it looked like
was a fast moving star, speeding from one horizon to another
in less than three minutes. It was thought to be too cloudy
in Vancouver to see it but we were lucky enough to have
very clear skies and the sun just down so it was dark
enough for us. I wish I'd had time to grab a pair of binoculars
to see if we could identify what it was, or if it would
have just looked like a bright bit of light. Pretty cool,
anyway. I've never seen a shuttle before, although Andy
has. He follows them pretty closely on the computer when
one lifts off.
Our weather yesterday was actually very nice with
a lot of sun and the bugs weren't entirely unbearable.
Unlike today, which started off with rain and the air
too still to make it possible to work outside. Mosquito
heaven. It's turned sunny and a pretty brisk wind has
started up this evening though, keeping them on the
move. There's a wind warning out for the south
and central coast which seems to be stretching
inland far enough to get us and our temperatures remain
The danger from flood seems to have subsided for
most areas, although I understand Golden has
declared a local state of emergency and Terrace and
Smithers still seem to have a battle on their hands.
Their rivers have peaked and water levels may even have
gone down slightly so things have improved somewhat
for them. However, as the one weatherman said, that
could change quickly if temperatures heat up or a lot
of rain moves in. The same for most areas with
a heavy snowpack until around the end of June. In any
case, it looks like we've got 'can't make up its mind'
kind of weather for the next few days. June can be like
that in this region and it's always good to have lots
of stuff that can be done indoors if the weather turns
outside. I certainly don't have a shortage of computer
work to do but I'd much rather be working outdoors this
time of year.
I took a bunch of pictures of ancient looking cowboy hats
at the Anahim Lake Trading Store the other day and I thought
I might post some of them up on the right this week. Some
belonged to some pretty colorful characters in the area,
some who's names you'll recognize from Rich Hobson's books
about Pan Phillips. I'm pretty sure I recognize
a couple of the hats while worn on the heads of those
very same people years ago. Mind you, one of them looked
a lot like the flea bitten old felt hat
my Dad wore for years. You never throw a good, comfortable
hat away which is why many of those in the pictures look
like they've been to Hell and back. It seems ironic that
hats like these still worn by nearly every cowboy
in the country look like they have for hundreds of years,
and yet you can look up at the sky above the range those
boys worked, and see a shuttle moving overhead. Our world
is truly amazing.
I've started a new week so if you would like to read
the articles for the first week of June you'll find
them at June,
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!