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The Dean on Nimpo is an all season accommodation in the West Chilcotin
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Wilderness Adventures - May, Week 2/2009

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 stories like 'Lake Monsters' about the Lakesounds just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

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14/05/2009 7:14 PM


We 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 grass frostbite!
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. -:)

13/05/2009 7:25 PM

May Snow

We 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 the day.
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.....
12/05/2009 6:59 PM

Chill From The North

We 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 be excellent!

11/05/2009 11:07 AM

Big Job Done

I 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 hail.
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.

09/05/2009 7:54 PM

Stunning Saturday

You 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 check.
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.....

08/05/2009 7:05 PM

Official 'Ice Off'

Today 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 it out.
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 Week One

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!
A pair of Goldeneye ducks on on Nimpo Lake.
Duck sitting on the dock.
Fisherman tries to bring a trout into the boat.
Orange clouds full of hail or snow over the lake.
Brown painted greenhouse with smoked glass.
Stunning spring view of lake and mountains.
Short dock in the middle of the lake.
Long dock on the lake.
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