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Wilderness Adventures - March, Week 2/2012

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.


18/03/2012 8:15 PM

The Fundraiser

Last night I took a couple of salads to a fundraiser we attended at the Anahim Lake Community Hall. The Anahim Lake Community Association and other members of the community arranged for a potluck dinner and auction for Sid Blackwell. He's a neighbour of ours just a few driveways down from our place and has been diagnosed with angio sarcoma, a rare and serious form of cancer. He has hit the end of the road with doctors in Canada and has gone to the States looking for more advanced treatment there. Sid is a pilot and was working for Lakes District Air out of Burns Lake.
The fellow he's flown for the last couple of years, Nick Hawes, got the ball rolling a few weeks ago with an online donation page that has already raised nearly $20,000. Unfortunately that's only a small percentage of the $250,000 the family needs for Sid's treatment. Last night was a wonder, though, and truly shows what a small community can do when it puts its mind to it.
After we got home we added up the auction sheet and cash donations made at the Hall and it totaled around $15,000. We guessed at another $2,000 at least for door tickets and drinks profits based on the number of people there and our own experience at putting on dances at the Nimpo Hall. So there should be a good $17,000 coming out of last night's event alone. I'm proud of the people that pitched in last night to help Sid and his family out. There aren't a lot of jobs out here and a very small population, but even in tough economic times it's amazing what the people here can do.
For any of you that know Sid and would like to help out, you can click here at http://www.gofundme.com/fdf6o? site and it also gives more background on what's happening.
Or if you like, you can mail a cheque to Sid Blackwell at one of the following addresses.
Canada: C/O Nick Hawes 1810 Hwy 35 Burns Lake BC V0J 1E2
US: C/O Warren Bean 1905 SE 10th Ave Portland, OR 97214

It was pretty cool being at the Anahim Lake Hall last night. It's been some time since Andy and I have gone to a 'do' there. Probably because we don't get out much anywhere, including here in Nimpo.
A huge portion of the Anahim Community turned out and I got to see a lot of familiar faces. I was just kicking myself for forgetting to take my camera, though. There are a lot of ranchers in the area so cowboy hats and boots were prevalent. Henry's garb is always my favorite because he's just plain spiffy looking when he's dressed up to go out with his black hat, scarf, cowboy shirt and finely carved leather cuffs. His girlfriend, on the other hand, wears her favorite hat and it's just about the scruffiest thing going. I'm sure it's seen just about everything that a cow or horse can produce. Somehow she makes it look good and she's still a lot better looking in her cowboy hat and Leatherman than any runway model I've ever seen on T.V.
It was good to catch up with folks and you never heard so much laughter resounding around that hall as there was last night. Everyone was definitely having a great time during the auction with Nestor clowning around as a spotter and poor Cam as auctioneer trying to keep up on the rattle of bids as they were called in. We were gunning for a bundle of fence posts and a couple of other things but the bids went too high for us. The whole evening was so much fun that even we left a lot later than we normally would.
Our weather has been its usual funky self. Typical spring weather, I guess. We do see some sun but there's been a lot of heavy cloud too so we're just not getting the day long heat from the sun that we need to get things melted. It also doesn't help that we get a skiff of snow nearly every day. That fresh white snow does a remarkably good job of reflecting back the sunlight that we do get. It also does an amazing job of hiding ice. I landed on my butt hard yesterday morning going out to the truck and have a pretty black and green elbow and bruised hip to show for it. It feels like I stretched a few muscles on my rib cage too when I went down. At least I managed to keep from wiping out my face on the bumper as I slid under my truck. I was not a happy camper, I'll tell you that! Unfortunately, the ice is so hard and smooth in the yard now that absolutely nothing will penetrate it, so we just have to wait until it melts, which might take a month or so.
Our temperatures have been a little mixed as well. While it usually makes it up to freezing or higher during the day, it has been rocketing to the bottom at night. Last night it went to nearly -18.5C or -2 below Fahrenheit which can't have made the dogs very happy. We weren't expecting it to drop like that or we would have put them into the garage before going to bed. They get to go in there tonight since it's already -12C. I guess what's so irritating is that every single night it clears off and gets cold, and then it clouds over during the day. It did it again this evening. It cleared off by suppertime before the sun set with only a couple of wild anvil shaped clouds perched over a mountain in the Coast Range, but I'll bet we'll have mixed cloud and sun at best tomorrow.
I've been watching for northern lights every night for the past week but there's been nothing spectacular yet. March is usually a good month for seeing them and there was supposed to have been that big burst on the sun's surface last week. Andy just came back from walking the dogs and says the sky is glowing and it's greener to the north, but there are none of the dancing beams we're accustomed to during a good show.
Central Canada has certainly been doing well with their weather for the past week or so, and are expected to continue to have warm temperatures for another week. Today there was a place in Ontario that got up to 26C or 79F. 79 degrees, people! Good grief, would I like a piece of that! Just a little piece! Winnepeg, Manitoba of all places has also been enjoying temperatures in the 20's. People have been out golfing and sunbathing..... small wonder with summer time temps like that and no snow. I admit to being jealous.
Oh well, we should be seeing that by August, I hope.
At least the first Trumpeter Swans have shown up. Andy pointed out three of them sitting on the ice between the island and the point yesterday morning. That's some sign that spring is coming. We've had our first red-winged blackbird show up as well this week so that's another sign.
We were down in Bella Coola on the Friday before we left for the Okanagan and took note that there was a heck of a lot of snow at Heckman Pass. Coming back we stopped and I took pictures of the outhouse up at the parking lot for snowmobilers at the top of the hill. You couldn't even access the little building by the stairs. Rather, people had been climbing the snowbank and going over the railing. You can see from the photos its mushroom cap of snow and apparently it's even higher now. (I took photos of the Hill as well which you can see on the right.)
On Sunday, two days after we went to Bella Coola, we received five inches of snow and probably as much again through the week that we were gone. I can't imagine how much snow that translated to up at the top of the hill, but everyone is talking about how much there is. The highways maintenance guys are having to use a loader to push the snowbanks back because the grader can no longer do it. Friends of ours were up snowmobiling in the Rainbows yesterday and said the amount of snow up at the parking lot now is amazing.
People are saying that the Bella Coola Valley is expecting to flood out again this year and folks down there are getting ready for it. If there's that much snow on Heckman Pass, then there will be that much on all of the mountains surrounding the Valley.
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last month's posts at March 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!
Mushroom cap of snow on building.
 
Yellow highway truck on the Hill.
 
Sun yellows the snow on top of two mountain peaks.
 
Three swans huddle on the ice.
 
Winter sky with a summer cloud.
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