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 - May, Week 2/2009
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of the Day.
had the big job done on the greenhouse the other day,
but today we finished it off completely. The door
is built and mounted with a drop down panel and all that
has to be done now is staple some screen over the opening.
Two roof panels and trim are installed and Styrofoam inserted
into the openings between the glass in the roof. The front
panel is hooked up to the little hydraulic gizmo that
opens the door when it's too hot inside. That was a pain
to get working right. And that's all we can do now until
the metal ridge cap and two metal roofing pieces come
from Williams Lake, but hey, I can plant it now if I wish.
Now it's just a matter of seeing how the temperature
holds overnight and if it drops below freezing, will it
stay above freezing inside the greenhouse?
Today was a pretty nice day. The breeze is quite cool
so that even though it got up to 13C or 55F today, if
the sun went behind a cloud, it chilled right down. Of
course once it came out from behind the cloud, you were
shedding clothes again. Typical spring weather....
I think that tomorrow is supposed to be even nicer with
more sun and warmer temperatures. That would be terrific!
It means I can peel the plastic off the dirt in the greenhouse,
dig up some of the weeds growing in the beds there and
hopefully they'll roast, root up, in those temps. I also
want to start transplanting my veggie jungle from the
house to out there, but I'm not sure how well they'll
do in cool night time temperatures without being hardened
off first. The neighbour has kindly offered the
use of her greenhouse for the summer, and since it's a
much warmer one than mine, I may take her up on it.
We got some lime on the lawn today so if it's a warm day
tomorrow, I can put some water on it because it could
really use some. It's just that the water coming out of
the lake is so darned cold now that I don't want to water
the lawn unless it's a warm day or I'll give the
Andy got the first section of his dock in today so now
he can work on the second section, put the boat in, and
we can actually go fishing when it warms up. There were
about three boats out there today, but I think it would
still be bloody cold with that chilly wind we had. I hope
it warms up considerably for the fishing derby this weekend
or we'll be weighing blocks of ice rather than fish. -:)
actually had snow today. Nay.... we had a blizzard.
I'm serious! It didn't look like a very promising day
when I got up, it wasn't much above freezing, and there
were some pretty low clouds out there. We went through
a mini snowstorm while out walking but it didn't last
for long and it was relatively still out for most of the
walk. I had to jump in the truck and run quickly to Anahim
Lake on business and halfway there I went through this
unbelievable blizzard.... No other word for it, I could
hardly see the road because the snow was driving in sideways.
It only lasted for a short distance and then I was back
on completely dry pavement, but it was sure something
to see! Not that I haven't seen snow and hard frost
in every single month of the year in this country,
so a little snowstorm in May isn't that unusual.
I don't feel that badly about today's weather compared
to elsewhere. It was pouring rain in Vancouver, snowing
in Williams Lake, there was a blizzard in Saskatchewan
at a friend's place with three inches of snow already
on the ground and more coming, and there's a warning for
20cm or 8 inches of snow in the mountain passes overnight.
Cold temperatures last night and coolish ones today
sure set the bugs back. I didn't see a single
mosquito out in the woods, or much in the way of any other
bugs, for that matter. Up until yesterday we've had bumble
bees zinging around and lots of other little flying creatures,
but I didn't even see a bird scratching around in last
year's flower beds today. I think they all holed up for
It blew me away to see a boat with three people in it
hunched up in the cold and hail fishing out on Nimpo Lake
today. That is some seriously dedicated fishermen!
We've seen boats a couple of other days this week but
not during such dirty conditions. They can have it! To
me, half the point of going out fishing is as a forced
absence from computers, phone calls, and work. You want
to sit in a boat in the sun and relax, watch the loons
and grebes paddle around the lake, and see eagles and
planes take off and land. Catching fish is just a bonus.
Another dock went over to the far shore today and it looks
like the air charter service's docks are gone, so there
aren't that many left in the back bay now. The shore around
Nimpo Lake has been abuzz with activity this week with
a couple of resorts working hard to clean up all the downed
trees from that wind storm last fall and repair cabins.
We haven't been the only ones making noise associated
with carpentry, and of course there's always the sound
of a power saw here and there. There will be for as long
as we have red trees.
I expect the pace will pick up, especially for the
resorts, because tomorrow looks pretty darned nice weather
wise. They've got a lot of stuff that has to be
done before their first guests start arriving for the
season, and of course the rest of us just always seem
to have work to do. It seems the more projects you complete,
the longer the To Do list grows.
I've decided I like how unique this country is and how
you can just do your own thing your own way. I was talking
to a friend in Saskatchewan that I haven't had time to
speak to in a long, long time. Of course right away she
asked what we had been doing. "Well,"
I said, "We had to use the Bobcat to put a new mattress
and box spring upstairs." You could hear
this long silence on the other end and then she laughed.
Having seen our house, and having lived out here before,
she understood immediately. It's not every day that you
have to use a piece of heavy equipment to move your bed,
but when you have a narrow set of inside stairs up to
your loft bedroom and then have to turn ninety degrees
through the doorway with a railing limiting your range
behind you, you find alternatives. That, or else
your brand new mattress looks like a pretzel by the time
you get it into the master bedroom. Using the
Bobcat's bucket to lift the mattress and box spring above
the level of our porch roof and then dragging said goodies
through the French door into our bedroom worked like a
hot damn. It's just that you don't realize how unusual
that method might seem in the city or the 'Burbs until
you stop and think about it. Since not everyone would
use a Cat to move their bed.... I can just see the looks
on faces of fitness aficionados jogging past the house
in the suburbs..... "What!!!????"
Chill From The North
definitely got that chilly weather predicted by the weather
forecasters for today. It made it to 9C or nearly
50F today, but it sure didn't feel like it! This
morning wasn't bad at all because there was still quite
a bit of sun and that makes all of the difference in the
world but by this afternoon it felt much colder. The clouds
won and there was a wind shifting from every direction
including north. For us it doesn't matter, with water
on three sides, if there's a wind it's going to be cold.
At least it wasn't raining or snowing, though, as it was
doing in Williams Lake.
I went for a walk this afternoon and it was a little warmer
out on the road and in the woods away from the water and
you can tell with the mosquito population. I was talking
on the road with a neighbour that was in his truck and
it didn't take long for the mosquitoes to find us while
we still haven't seen one here on the property.
We're working now to clean up the last few things
on the greenhouse. Or I should say Andy's working
and I do a lot of standing around and watching with paintbrush
in hand where needed. If you look at the small, open square
on the front in the picture on the right, that's where
a door has to be constructed that will be operated by
a heat sensitive hydraulic automatic door opener. We were
also in the process of building a door for the back big
enough for a wheel barrow to fit through. It will have
to have a hinged panel on it that can be dropped with
screen in the opening for air flow. The metal roof cap
and the rest of the roof should be coming out on a truck
on Thursday and that will pretty much finish the building
off. Now it just needs to warm up so I can move plants
out there. I'm positive some of the tomatoes put on about
three inches of height just since yesterday.
Just a reminder to you fishermen that will be in
the area on the May long weekend (coming up), there's
a fishing derby on Nimpo Lake Saturday, May 16
and Sunday May 17 for the best five fish by weight. No
spawners, please! Registration is $5 and will be at the
boat launch as well as the weigh in. Lots of donated and
cash prizes and with ice off so recent, the fishing should
Big Job Done
missed wishing the ladies out there a Happy Mother's Day
because we were busy working all day finishing a big project
we started last year. The greenhouse is finally
done and damn, does it look good! There's nothing
like marrying an electrician, plumber, mechanic, truck
driver, equipment operator and a meticulous carpenter.
While I may get frustrated at having to wait for a project
to be done, I'm fortunate in that if my partner has anything
to do with it, it will be well done.
So now I look at this beautiful building that looks like
an outdoor sunroom and envision all sorts of uses for
it, including, guess what, as a sunroom. The way the beds
are built inside, several sheets of plywood would make
a solid floor on top of the beds on which to sit and relax
in the sun in winter. I'm thrilled about my new toy and
I can't wait until there's a door and roof cap on and
the automatic window is in so that I can plant my veggies
out there. Right now we've a jungle of plants taking over
the front window in the house and some of the little starters
are going to die if I don't get them transplanted and
find more window space for them.
We had an awesome day yesterday. Because
there was very little breeze, it was quite hot down in
our little heat sink where the greenhouse is. Aside from
sweating every six foot piece of glass that had to be
carried out of the garage, down some steps, across dirt
and gravel, around last year's tiered bed, and hoisted
into place in the greenhouse, we were also sweating the
heat down there. That was fun.... praying that we didn't
break any glass because we had only enough sheets for
the greenhouse. One break and we were hooped,
so we were high stepping pretty carefully with that stuff.
As with anything, we bumbled our way through putting the
greenhouse together because we really weren't sure of
what we were doing. But amazingly, by the time we got
to the far side, we were so organized that we got four
sheets up on that wall in a half hour. I wish all before
had gone so quickly but it worked out. I have a greenhouse
in time for spring. I'm happy!!
I think it got up to 15C or 59F at one point yesterday
and took a long time to cool down overnight. This
morning it was still and looked like it wanted to rain
but the sun made its way through the cloud after it got
windy this afternoon. I think it made it to 10 or 11C
or 50C today but the breeze is cool. Right now it's really
black looking outside with some wicked looking orange
and white clouds that look like they're full of snow or
We're supposed to see a real chill down for the next two
days as well as some rain. I would definitely welcome
some moisture or I'm going to have to get serious about
watering, and that isn't easy when it's still freezing
at night. It means any hoses you lay out have to be disconnected
and drained downhill again before nightfall.
Just a little local news of note. Pilot's, the restaurant
and lounge at The Dean on Nimpo, opens up tomorrow so
we've got eats back in town. Also, the owners
of the Nimpo Lake Bakery and Cafe are back from their
month's holiday and you can get pizza, great lunches,
and fresh baked goods from there. In addition to that,
we have two Espresso type coffee shops opening up in Nimpo
Lake. One will be serving ice cream as well and the other
baked goods. Both will be opening up in June. Get on out
there and support these two new establishments as well
as the two existing restaurants in Nimpo Lake as much
as you can folks, or we could easily be in the pickle
we've seen several times in the past couple of years.....
no place to eat at all.
may have noticed that I just got the story below (Friday's)
posted on the 'Net this evening. Starting a new
week is always a bit time consuming but I had it all written
and only needed to add some pictures when company came
knocking. Our newest neighbours came in last night and
since their phone had still not been hooked up, they needed
to use ours. Course you have to have a glass of wine or
two to celebrate their arrival and that meant no more
story. And since I haven't been near my computer all day,
it was tonight before the blog went up.
Now we're just awaiting the arrival of two more sets of
summer time neighbours and the spring season and our neighbourhood
will be complete!
Well, the city folk certainly couldn't complain
about finishing up a work week only to have bad weather
on the weekend. If Vancouver's day was anywhere
as nice as ours, it was a real treat. I got up this morning
to an absolutely stunning view. The water was blue, the
sky was blue, the mountains just popped, and the sun was
doing its ultimate best to try to warm up the air from
the chilly little -6C that it dropped to last night.
We got to work on the greenhouse this morning and by this
afternoon we had all the glass in the roof on one side,
and half of it done on the other. I had an appointment
to go to or all of the roof will have been done. The
greenhouse is built in a real little heat sink so when
the sun is out you're peeling off clothes because it's
so hot down there. We were actually fortunate
because it did cloud over somewhat toward afternoon so
it gave us a bit of a break from the heat fairly often.
Otherwise, we probably would have had to quit. There's
quite a contrast though when a cloud does move in over
the sun. It cools right down in a hurry and you're putting
clothes back on again. That always happens this time of
year because the lake water is still barely above freezing
and we definitely feel that influence. Although it was
11C when I got home at five and could easily have been
as high as 14C or 57F today. I just didn't have time to
I was over at Anahim Lake today and they still have
quite a bit of ice on yet. I guess they haven't
been getting the winds that we have and that has a lot
to do with how quickly the lake breaks up.
We've seen the odd hummingbird buzzing around for the
last week and finally a feeder put up for them. Hopefully
there's enough sugar in the syrup for it to keep from
freezing at night. Right now I'm looking out my office
window and there are two of them arguing over the feeder
so it didn't take them long to find it. The tree swallows
are all still arguing over the single bird house as well
and there are several other varieties of song birds and
water birds that have arrived. Last night was awesome
because we had a full moon and at around ten the loons
started up around the lake. It was one of those evenings
that just make you glad you're alive.
Now we just have to get our dock in so we can go fishing!
As soon as the greenhouse is done. And the cabin.....
and some other stuff.....
Official 'Ice Off'
at 2:45 this afternoon, the last sliver of ice went off
of the bay down on the North Arm. That's only
one hour and forty five minutes before the time my mother
put in for the ice off pool so she kicked my butt. Had
it been six before it went off, then I would have won.
Since we were the only ones that put in for today's date,
it was just between me and her. Wouldn't you know it!!!
:-) The beauty of it though is I just talked to her and
she'll donate the entire pool to the Community Association
rather than take half, as it was set up to be.
Thanks to Mary at Nimpo Lake Resort for keeping
an eye on the last bit of ice on the lake and making phone
reports to our judge, Richard. And thanks to everyone
else that kept an eye out on the lake ice and duly reported
its status. As I mentioned yesterday, next year will be
different and hopefully we'll have found an easier way
to judge on ice out.
Richard and Leah have ordered a plaque with name plates
from town for the first annual 'Ice Off' pool since about
1995 or so. I know it's been a lot of years since the
last one, anyway. The plaque will be displayed at the
store all year with the winner's name and the date and
time the ice went off. What's kind of neat about that
is that now we'll have a public record on display. If
one of us wants to know when the ice went off of Nimpo
Lake on a certain year, you drop by the store and check
Leah ordered 30 little metal name plates for the plaque
because she figured they would be here for 30 years. Now
that's cool! How many young couples in their very
early 20's can tell you that they plan on being in a backwoods
place owning and running the general store for the next
30 years? Yes, of course, we all know things can change.
But how many young people do you know that even
know for sure what courses they want to take in University,
much less that they will be living in the same place,
running the same business, raising their kids and living
in the same community for 30 years? In this day and age
that kind of certainly is a rare thing, particularly in
a community like this where young people are few and far
between. Most people their age want to be out partying
with kids their own age, to see and be seen. Here they're
stuck socializing with mostly over 50's and enjoying every
moment of it one way or the other. It helps that they're
young, enthusiastic and bring a vivacious attitude to
all of our gatherings, or that they're often the instigators
behind any of our social outings. Nimpo Lake is
darned lucky to have them!
So the ice is barely out in our bay and already the docks
are moving. Two resorts moved several of their docks from
the protected bay behind us back to their moorings at
the resorts. I expect more will move over the course of
the next few days. It seems that this year there's a sense
of urgency in the air. Everyone is eager to get at the
outside work because we all know the season is short and
the mosquitoes haven't arrived in force yet.
Today wasn't exactly breathtaking, but it wasn't windy
and the temperature rocked between 10C and 12C or around
the 50's this afternoon. What breeze there was ended up
being quite chilly just because it's moving over water.
But it was a good day to work outside.
After Andy got back from doing some backhoe work for other
folks and doing a little welding repair on his Bobcat,
we got to work on the greenhouse. It's kind of a learn
as you go experience, but we did get the glass up on the
front and it looks stunning! I told Andy that I'm going
to pack up and move out there. It'll be a great set of
digs and be just like living in a sunroom!
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last week's
articles at May
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!