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Wilderness Adventures - West Chilcotin Blog

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.


11/05/2013 8:10 PM

The Past Week of Summer

I'm afraid I have to eat my criticism of the weathermen in the last blog. It is exactly nine days since I wrote it and the day after, the weather they forecast finally came here and was absolutely stunning for a full week. In fact stunning just cannot describe it. We’ve had summer time temperatures that ranged as high as 26C or 79F one day but averaged between 21C or 70F and 23C or 73F most days and all that in the first week of May! Many temperature records fell around the province this past week but I’m sure if an official record had ever been kept for this area, we would have beat it many times over the course of the past week. I think that the best part of all was having a full seven days of clear blue skies with high haze only moving in yesterday on the eighth day. Normally in the summer when we get a good run of nice weather and the air heating up, within a few days thunderheads start to build and we get lightning storms, and then forest fires. This time it stayed blue and sunny and fairly calm. There was a breeze that sprang up the past couple of days but the guys were grateful for that because they were up on the hot side of the cabin roof putting new tin on and they were roasting up there.
It’s not often that you get a long run of good, reliable weather but we took full advantage of this one, I can tell you that! We've worked long, hard days to try and get as much done on the cabin as possible while we could. Our neighbour and Andy got one side of the roof strapped, insulated and tin put on in three days and then the neighbour had to go out to the real world for three days. I had already started putting the Sikkens on the logs of the cabin before he left and then while he was gone, both Andy and I worked at getting all three coats on with the sanding in between done. We still have a final fourth coat to do on one side but I wasn’t keen on working under the guys while they did the roof on that side so we’ll have to wait for another stretch of warm weather to finish that. The guys worked from Wednesday through Friday and got the rest of the roof done and the ridge cap on so she’s a leak proof cabin now and looking pretty spiffy I must add. There’s still some trim to do and the skirting to be done, and a new deck to be added, but I can’t wait to see what our first customers think of it!
The cabin has turned out to be one of those unexpected projects that ended up taking the top of the priority list of chores to be done this year. It all started out with Andy hiring our neighbour to grind down the logs on the lake side this winter where years of weather and sun had really decayed the outer layers of the logs. It looked so good when it was done and was such a stark contrast to the other three dark aged sides of the cabin that he had our neighbour do the whole thing. That was the start of it…. Because the bottom logs needed to be reached to grind them, the old skirting had to be torn off and will have to be replaced.
For the longest time I’ve wanted a new roof on the cabin for two reasons. We have new laminate flooring in the cabin and if the roof leaks, it will ruin the floor, and the other was strictly for aesthetics. Every other building on the property has the same pretty forest green tin roof except for the cabin, which had a glaring tin roof from prehistoric times. It’s nice now because it doesn't hurt your eyes when the sun is shining on it and it looks really good with the shiny and newly stained logs.
The result of putting the cabin at the head of the list of things to do this year was that a lot of other stuff got put on the back burner, but we’ve still managed to get an amazing number of things done besides the cabin. We’ve both been dragging our poor beat up bodies into the house at night for supper and then collapsed on the couch until bed time, which has been a lot earlier than usual. Hence, no blog but it’s been worth it! I only need one or two more days to get my garden pretty much whipped into shape and then I have to finish digging the dirt out of my greenhouse and replace that so I can get veggies in there this year. So I’m hoping and praying that the bugs just hold off for a little longer. Yep, gorgeous weather and no bugs if you can believe it. That will probably change soon because the weather has.
Yesterday high haze moved in a day before the weather guys predicted it, and today we were under pretty heavy grey skies. It even tried to spit rain a few times. I figured for sure that the mozzies would come out in force with cooler temps at 18C or 64F and no sun to fry them, but they haven’t arrived yet. If they could just hold off for a couple more days…. It’s been pretty amazing working outside without that misery and even in the evenings when we’ve found the energy to take the dogs for a walk there has only been the odd one. Mind you, they’re still those big, fat, lazy mosquitoes, the precursors of the lightning fast stingers, which haven’t arrived yet.
You would think we would be sad that the cooler, cloudier, and probably wetter weather has moved in but I think we’re both relieved. It means we can finally slow down a bit and working outside isn’t quite so hot. I had a bunch of transplanting to do today and it was perfect weather for that. I can’t imagine trying to do that two days ago. My plants would have been wilting left and right.
The other reason I’m not unhappy to see this weather is because of the forest fire danger. Things have really dried out fast this spring and we’ve already had fires, two of them in this area, and one south of Tatla, all of them set by people. We had one behind the Indian Reservation two days ago in a meadow where natives set fires annually to burn off the meadow grass and it got big enough that a bird dog was called in and for all I know, a tanker may have been as well. A few days before that there was a fire down at Towdystan. There is a ban on burning grass or stubble or slash that goes on in the middle of April, which makes it really difficult for any of us to burn our slash out here because we’re still normally under quite a bit of snow. This year we were lucky and though there was still snow on the ground we were still able to burn a week before the ban. However, the natives don’t worry too much about bans on burning and burn their meadows and roadsides when they feel like it. A fire often gets away as a result.
A much bigger fire started a week ago down at Choelquoit Lake but the first wind we got of it was a helicopter going to Anahim Lake for fuel with his water bucket still hanging underneath. The BC Wildfire website gave the long and lat of the fire and it looks like it started right at the campsite on one end of the lake, which is why I don’t mind seeing cooler weather and maybe some rain. Otherwise, the fire center will slap a campfire ban on and rightly so. If there are that many human caused fires this early in the season and not one caused by lightning, then the writing is on the wall. However, this change in the weather should hold that off for a while yet and for so long as our spring goes back to normal. Whatever normal is nowadays.
There has been some amazing benefits of our unnatural blast of warm weather this past week. Right now I’m seeing more hummingbirds around than I’ve ever seen this early before. The tree swallows are already occupying the house on the tree and the loons have been calling like crazy at night and even during the day. The mountains have changed dramatically from only a week ago when they had a fresh mantle of bright white with only some melt showing up. Now they look like they do at the end of June or into July with a lot of rock showing and the snow going fast. The leaves have come out on the aspen in just the past three days, up to three weeks early, and there are a crazy number of butterflies around.
The fish have been jumping in the past few days so bugs of some sort must have hatched. In fact I was out the other day and even though it was really hot out, there was a constant plop sound coming from the lake all around our point as fish jumped for most of the morning and into the afternoon. The lake level is already starting to subside and I expect the temperature of the water is much higher now than it ever has been before at this time of year between the early ice off and warm air. Just think, this time last year the ice had only been off for two days and the water was a lot colder!
Don’t forget that the Annual Canoe Race is being held this next weekend on Saturday and the Fishing Derby on Nimpo Lake is being held on Saturday and Sunday. Everyone is welcome!
Don't forget to take your Mother out for brunch tomorrow, everyone!
You’ll find the last week's of blog at May 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!
Blue skies all week.
 
Helicopter flying with a water bucket.
 
Two ducks flying away.
 
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