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 3/2010
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of the Day.
May Lion or Wimp?
haven't yet decided if May is going out like a lion or
a lamb. Or does that saying only apply to April? I'm pretty
sure it has spit rain every day for the past week, and
I mean spit. We're rarely getting rain that amounts to
much, just rain of inconvenience. You know, you're
outside wrist deep in dirt or in the middle of a job or
even conversation out in the driveway with a neighbour,
and it starts spitting on your head.
We haven't seen much sun lately, but it's been quite warm
during the day and super muggy. We haven't actually gotten
a whole lot of wind in the past few days so that's probably
I thought I was down east there for a little while today
with all that mugginess, and then late this afternoon
a breeze kicked up and wow, what a difference. Suddenly
the air just felt fresher and cleaner. It helped to put
the run on the bugs too.
I didn't get this finished off last night so I guess I'm
into a new month whether I want to be or not. :-)
The temperature actually dropped to just a couple
of degrees above freezing last night, and that's the first
time in ages. As a result, there was heavy, heavy
fog this morning but it has cleared out to reveal bright
sunshine behind it. We'll see how long that lasts....
usually only for a couple of hours in the morning and
then clouds start rolling in.
I've finally managed to finish planting out about a gazillion
tomato plants in both the neighbors' greenhouse and my
own. So if any of them set, I'll be up to my eyeballs
in fruit this fall. I've given away over a dozen plants
and still have at least that many sitting in pots. Fortunately,
I got a call from a neighbour down the lake that heard
I had plants and she'll take most of the rest today. I
don't know why all my seeds decided to germinate. Of
course I didn't have the heart to pinch off all but the
strongest seedling like you're supposed to, so I just
kept dividing and transplanting to bigger and bigger pots.
As a result, I'm overrun with the things and there's no
room in two greenhouses for much of anything else.
We'll see if I have any better success this year than
I did last with tomato plants in the greenhouse. Since
my dearest partner bought me a book on greenhouse growing
for Christmas and I bought myself one this spring on tomatoes,
I shouldn't have any excuse now. I just have to remember
to be cruel and vicious. According to the books, I've
gotta strip those leaves off and pinch the tops off before
the plants get to 12 feet high and I can't reach the tops
anymore. At least until they start growing back down again.
(Which they did last year.) So we'll see how that all
I understand the morel mushrooms are out now.
It seems awfully early yet to me but apparently people
have been bringing them in by the bucket load to the buyers
since that last rain. I roared out onto the back trail
last evening when I heard but saw nary a one. I was really
looking forward to going out and getting a bunch this
year because we had so many forest fires last year and
they like to grow on fresh burns. But I've only two days
left and a lot of things to do before I leave for the
Okanagan on Thursday so it will be tough to squeeze a
mushroom hunt in before then.
Which brings me to giving notice that I won't be writing
for about two weeks at least. I'm going down to the chiropractor
for a good length of time to see if I can get this hip
thing sorted out. It's interfering with my summer work.
:-) So enjoy your first two weeks of June blog free, folks!
Today's Work Party
would have to call the work party at the Nimpo Lake Community
Hall today a great success. Loads of people showed
up and quite a lot got accomplished actually. Len brought
his excavator down so that meant the risers could be put
on the sewer caps and the dirt built up around them by
nearly two feet. That should solve the problem we've had
with the sewer freezing up in winters that we don't get
a big snow load, which insulates the caps from cold air.
That was a job that needed doing a long time ago and thankfully
it's now done.
The door was repaired on the outhouse (for those that
prefer the old fashioned way) and Andy repaired the hole
in the roof created by the chimney that fell over in the
snow winter before last. (You notice things don't
always get done quickly around here. :-) Lots
of people raked and carried stuff and old wood left behind
after all the beetle kill was knocked down by the processor
a couple of winters ago and piled it on the fire. It was
a little difficult to keep the fire down to size but most
of it had burned up by the time I left and Len was going
to dig a hole and bury what was left of the coals before
leaving tonight. The area around the hall is much improved
in looks now.
We had a good barbecue lunch with hot dogs and burgers,
salads and cake and then poof.... everyone was gone.
Everyone was done within an hour and a half of arriving
and decided to head home forgetting that there was supposed
to be a Directors meeting today. Or maybe they're smart
and they didn't forget about it but I certainly did and
the new Chairman did until after everybody left. It was
kind of funny actually. It wasn't that important I guess
but I wanted board approval to pick up new tables for
the Hall when I go to Prince George in a couple of weeks.
The only thing that didn't get done today that was fairly
important was we needed new screen mesh over the holes
in the soffit because the existing screen has all been
drilled out by Flickers. But since we had bug screen but
not stucco mesh, that didn't get done today. It will as
soon as the latter is picked up in town by someone.
It's been overcast every day with some hazy sun
on occasion, but it's been really, really warm and muggy.
As a result, after that little rain we had a couple of
days ago, the bugs have finally arrived in earnest. It
was nice because they were a little later this year than
last but I think they're going to make up for it. There
aren't that many mosquitoes yet but the black flies are
vicious, so that's going to be the end of yard work for
a few weeks. Maybe that's why everyone pulled out of the
community hall so fast. They couldn't stand the bugs any
longer. I know they were driving me crazy so I imagine
they were everyone else as well. That's the problem
with those darned little black flies. Bug repellent deters
them not at all. It wouldn't be so bad if they
would just land on you but they circle around your head
and eyes and get caught in your hair. Then you have to
listen to this frantic bzzzzg in your ear while it's there.
At least their season is a lot shorter than the mosquito
season! Still, I wonder if that was the hatch that the
fish were after today. Just before I left for the Hall
the fish were feeding like crazy on the lake. Not jumping.
Just feeding. And the surface of the lake was covered
with water rings. Two sets of our neighbours went out
fishing today and caught fish, but it's still not quite
as fast and furious as it will be in another couple of
went down to Bella Coola Wednesday and broke our old record
for bear sightings with nine. We saw a big old brown black
bear going down the Bella Coola Hill in the morning and
again going up the Hill in the evening, so technically,
we only saw eight different bears. Still, we've only seen
eight in the same day once before and we don't know how
many of those we saw twice.
The brown bear was not in the least bit afraid of anyone,
that's for sure. He was sauntering up the Hill toward
us as we came down and stopped to take pictures.
He meandered over to the ditch opposite us to partake
of some luscious dandelions and only moved up the side
of the hill a little when a car came up the road, stopped
beside him and the occupants proceeded to take pictures
as well. He was farther up the road when we came back
up in late afternoon and no less hungry for dandelions
than he had been in the morning. He definitely wasn't
shy in any way, shape or manner which may have explained
why he was so fat. He just never bothered to run anywhere.
A friend driving ahead of us said he saw a sow black bear
with two brown cubs not far from there that morning so
I'm wondering if the big boy we saw was the daddy.
We didn't see any more bears going on into Bella Coola
but Andy got some pictures of a gorgeous buck up in the
rocks at the bottom of the Hill. The rest of the
bears we saw coming back from Bella Coola that afternoon,
all black bears with the exception of a grizzly between
Heckman Pass and Anahim Lake. Unfortunately, he
deked off the road as we came up on him and all I got
were fuzzy pictures of him through the buckbrush. I would
dearly have loved to have gotten as clear a pictures of
him as I did of the other bears.
The day we were in Bella Coola was probably the nicest
day we've seen in a long, long time. The weather has been
disappointing to say the least and we're all whining about
it. We're getting a lot of overcast, a lot of wind, and
not a whole lot of sun. The only good thing I guess is
that it hasn't gotten particularly cold at night, but
you still need a fire because it's cool and damp.
After that warm spell we had weeks ago when everything
really started popping, everything kind of went dormant
again. The leaves on the aspens have been the same size
for ages now. They just stopped developing until the last
day or so, and that was because we finally got rain. I
don't mind grey overcast days if you have something to
show for it. But that wind has just sucked the moisture
out of everything and there hasn't been anything to replace
it. Yesterday morning started out with some soft spitting
and it eventually turned into an all day rain. We
probably accumulated a good 3/4 of an inch, or so says
the rain gauge. Everything just started greening
up immediately and the aspen leaves have finally started
Today it spit off and on and it remained overcast all
day but at least the wind wasn't blowing for a change.
The jet stream is way south of us and doing some really
wonky things. As a result, up in the Yukon hundreds of
miles north of us, it's really warm while the rest of
the province has way below normal temperatures. In the
east, they're under heat wave warnings and lightning strikes
have started numerous forest fires in Quebec overnight.
It would be nice if the east shared a little of that hot
weather with us. Although I'm sure Alberta would
appreciate it even more. They got a whack of snow yesterday
I haven't checked with the guy that organized the fishing
derby last weekend yet to see how many people turned out
for it, but we and our neighbour went fishing on Sunday.
The morning started out beautiful but as is the case with
most of our mornings, it rapidly deteriorated to a cold
wind and spitting rain. Still, it was fun getting out
on the water. We didn't do all that well because we kept
catching little guys or spawners, all of which had to
be thrown back. But we got four between the three of us
and though not the fatties the trout will be by September,
they were still respectable. The lake level is still quite
high so we were able to take the big boat out for a nice
comfortable change in ride. Normally we can't put it into
the water because our dock is in water that's too shallow
through the summer. But Andy has just finished a plum
dock on the north side of our property that is in much
deeper water. That will allow us to keep the big boat
in all summer and be able to tie up floatplanes.
You'll find previous articles at May
Week Two. And yes, I know, I
can't say last week's blog because I completely missed
last week. When the weather has been really rotten
I've been trying to tie up loose ends in my office so
that the summer will be my own and the rest of the time
I've been trying to get stuff done outside before the
bugs come. Right now I've got tomato plants on the window
sill that threaten to strangle anyone that sits at our
dining room table so the next couple of days will be tied
up trying to get those planted into ours and our neighbours'
greenhouse. The growing season is upon is even if summer
isn't. So I'm sorry folks, but the blogs will probably
continue to be as irregular as they have been this spring.
For you locals. There's going to be a clean up party and
barbecue at the Nimpo Lake Community Hall on Sunday at
2:00. See you there!
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!