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Wilderness Adventures - Mar., 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.

Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture of the Day.


14/03/2013 4:30 PM

The Warm Up

Hey everyone, sorry about the absence but we had to go down to the Okanagan for more appointments and we decided to make our run down and back as quick as possible. It all depended on the weather of course so it’s nice when you can be flexible, but we did a 1000 mile round trip in four days which my back did not like. However, a couple of glasses of wine and a night back in one’s own bed can fix a multitude of things.
South and central British Columbia is in the bulls eye for a Pineapple Express that’s been streaming in all the way from the Hawaiian Islands for the past few days and it’s had an interesting effect. It was downright balmy in Kamloops when we hit there on Sunday night and the temperatures were equally as warm on Monday when we got to Kelowna, but that night rain turned to snow and there was an inch or so on the ground when we got up. Let me tell you, we were not popular because I’m sure our hosts figured we had brought the weather with us. However, it melted and where we were didn’t get hit nearly as hard as Vernon and other nearby communities. We chose to fire back home Wednesday because it looked like roads would be good all the way home and they were.
It was pretty apparent as we drove that the Chilcotin had also been in line for the warm weather and when we came back on the main road to our driveway, we were sliding around a bit on the loon crap that coated the surface of the road. On our own driveway the truck was breaking through the snow and ice as we drove up to the house and got backed in to off load dogs, sundries, and groceries.
It was still 4C or 39F when we arrived and it never did go below freezing overnight, probably because it stayed clouded over.
Today it got up to over 7C or 45F when we went for our walk which wasn’t long. We had to stay on the road which was muddy and slippery and no way could we go onto the back trail. We would have been up to our knees in soft snow because the trail just falls apart when it’s this warm. If it cools off again and freezes it will be a nice hard surface to walk on but it definitely would not be great if there were these great two foot deep boot prints frozen in from us trying to walk on it now when it’s soft.
It has stayed cloudy all day but we’ve had a good wind blowing which is great for taking away moisture from the snow melt. I can’t imagine how much snow would have melted today had the sun been shining but it was radical enough as it was. From our driveway going out with the dogs I saw a great mother of a spider hole in the lake ice just off our shore. Boy, never mind that thing swallowing a person, it’s big enough for a vehicle to go through! It’s probably a good thing the ice road was closed when it was because a lot of those things have opened up in the past week and they are not small this year. So much for cross country skiing again. Actually, I don’t know if I would even go out on that lake with a snowmobile right now even if there wasn’t overflow. Not until it got a lot colder, anyway. Right now when you look at the snow on the ice, it's got that sickly wet look.
The weather forecasters have predicted another couple of days of this warm air and then it’s supposed to cool off on Sunday. It may happen sooner for us. There is a decided line between the warm front and a cold front positioned just north of us over Prince George. They are getting way colder temperatures and snow up there and it’s common for cold air there to slide down over the Chilcotin Plateau. That means we would probably get snow here because right now, it’s trying to spit rain out there if you can believe it. Geez, Break Up is such a mess. But hey, it’s not 20 below out there right now and that’s always a good thing. It sure is a far cry from lawns greening up and flower bulbs popping their little green leaves up down in the Okanagan, though. I feel sorry for the poor people in Calgary. Yesterday their temperatures were at 8C and by today they were going to be at -8C with snow with it getting colder throughout the day. That's a little drastic.
Just to let any of you know that like to guess on the date of ice off for Nimpo Lake, the cut off is the end of March so get your five dollars in to Leah and Richard up at the store before then.

09/03/2013 4:30 PM

Dirt!

We have had quite a mix of weather in the past week since we got home from the Okanagan. It took a few days before we received that sun that the weather forecasters had been promising for some time but when we did get it, wow!
Yesterday dawned with a clear blue sky and temperatures that made it to about 4C or 39 degrees Fahrenheit but today we hit a whopping 8C or 46F. Admittedly when the sun went behind a cloud for a while, it dropped to 7.5C but that’s still quite amazing. It shouldn’t be. After all, we are going into the second week of March, but frankly, with all of that fresh snow on the ground, it really doesn’t feel like we’re anywhere near spring yet. Although a wind did come up this afternoon that definitely felt like one of our spring winds, but I think that it was also what was bringing in that exceptionally warm air.
I remarked yesterday on the Facebook page that I got to walk on dirt yesterday. Yep, actual bona fide dirt. Well, clay and gravel actually because that’s what’s on the surface of our main road. Yesterday our road started to thaw out on top and in places where there was a good crown, it was even semi dry when I walked back on it from the gun range. Today when I drove out to Nimpo, I noticed that the road is breaking up more in these warm temperatures and getting a little muddy. On the one hand that’s the benefit of the grader keeping the snow cleared off of the roads through the winter…. The road dries out faster when spring comes, but first you have to get through break up. I think we’re all hoping we don’t end up with the mess we had last year where we and people at the other end of the lake were walking for over a month. There’s two reasons why that shouldn’t happen again this year. For one, the highways maintenance guys did a good job of building the road surface up where it collapsed last year and for another, we had a long, hot, dry summer last year so even though we had rain in the fall, the ground was not nearly as saturated as it was the year before. So, we shall see.
I just know that it’s wonderful to look out my office window and see water dripping at a very steady rate off a great gob of snow that’s overhanging the eave on the house. Make my day!
It’s actually surprising that it’s warming up during the day as much as it is. While nights weren’t too cold there this past week, for the past two nights the temperature has dropped quite a bit at night. Last night it went down to –18 or 0F and if the sun weren’t shining, I’m not sure it would have warmed up as much or as quickly as it did.
The temperatures are still playing hob with the lake. Neighbours had to come back early from the poker run and even though they were riding the berm from the ice road, they got stuck. I don’t know what everyone did this morning for the poker run. I guess the participants were lined up over at the boat ramp but I didn’t know that until Andy mentioned it after they were gone. I didn’t even hear them cross the lake as I normally would have so I didn’t get any photos. While we might have considered going on the ride, we were both loaded up with so much stuff to do today that there was just no way we could get away. I'll hunt down some photos from the past few years maybe to post up on the right.
First thing this morning Andy had to run the Bobcat over to a resort owner’s place across the lake who had come in from the Okanagan planning to cut ice this weekend. Andy told him a week ago that a lot of overflow was on the ice and that he would go over and try to clear it off just before they tried cutting. Well, he went, and he came back. There was absolutely nothing that they could do so they’ll have to hope that either all the snow on the lake melts and then freezes hard, or forget about ice for their ice house this year. There’s a lot to be said for cutting ice in February like Wilderness Rim does before overflow becomes a problem on the lake, something that seems to be happening earlier and earlier each year when we have heavy snow.
We have our time change this weekend. Don’t forget for those of you that switch to Daylight Savings Time, we move our clocks forward an hour tonight. Right now it’s 5:00 and I’ve got a sun that’s still fairly high in the sky shining right on the side of my face through the window in my office. Tomorrow, the sun will still be shining when we have supper and I love it! As usual, it will be the war of the roses in this house for the next week. While it always takes me about two weeks to get used to the time change, I take great joy in the fact that it will still be dark early in the morning when my other half gets up at his usual time, just as he takes great joy in me bemoaning the time change in the fall when suddenly evening dark comes an hour early. That’s what happens when you mix a night person with an early morning day person. We find weird things to bug each other about.
I have a heavy schedule and some commitments this next week and so I will not be posting a blog for the next four days, but if you want some interesting reading I am going to post the address for a page of this blog from back in 2005 about bears. I had an inquiry recently from a reader that is thinking of moving to Bella Coola, which as many of you may know, has a very high black bear and grizzly bear population. I’ve done a little research and lots of reading over the years about bears and kind of formed my own opinion about the creatures. Back in 2005 I wrote articles over the course of six days about bear attacks and the types of bears that may be involved in them, as well as a couple of personal stories. You can find that page at Bear Attacks. Just remember that the page has to be read from the top to the bottom rather than bottom to top as is the case with most of my blogs.
Have a good weekend and Happy Time Change, everyone!
You’ll find the last week's of blog 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!
Black spider hole in the lake ice is water radiating out.
 
Water laying on the ice road.
 
Overlooking the Rainbow Range from where we snowmobile.
 
Adult flexes his muscles for a kid at the snowmobile poker run.
 
People stand around a smoky fire on the snowmobile poker run.
 
Snowmobile riders stopped to pick cards.
 
Button leading to Facebook business page.
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