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Wilderness Adventures - Nov., Week 1/2009

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.

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


05/11/2009 7:59 PM

Beyond Saturation

It would seem a forecaster's 'weather bomb' translates into a whole lot of gumbo. It started raining last night, but must have hit freezing some time early this morning because apparently the roads and highway were really icy first thing. By the time I went up to Nimpo just before noon, the road was pure gumbo. I could barely keep the truck on the road because it was so greasy with the rain saturating the surface, and probably the frost coming out of the ground underneath. It's a real mess. Even our own driveway is starting to fall apart with all the rain on it.
The temperature got up to 6.6C or 44F today and we had some sun, so that really got things thawing out as well. I didn't even go for a walk this afternoon, for two reasons. I figured I would be slipping and sliding all over the place in the mud no matter where I walked, and since we're dog sitting a short legged Cocker Spaniel with long hair, I did not want to try to clean him up well enough for him to be in the house after he dragged his coat through the mud for a couple of miles. Not to mention that by early afternoon it definitely looked like it was going to rain. The other reason was that I got an email from a client suddenly wanting calendars but with a short deadline on delivery. Add that to three others waiting for their calendars to be done and I'm knee deep in alligators, so this is going to be short.
By late this afternoon it started driving rain down again, but when I took the new dog for a walk after supper, it was more like a blizzard as the rain suddenly turned to big, fat, furry snowflakes pouring down. We've received slightly over an inch of rain in the past 24 hours which is quite a lot for us. Small wonder we have a mess. There are rain warnings out for several areas in the province so someone else is getting it a lot worse than we are.
It's still sitting at about three degrees above freezing, but I don't expect it to stay that way. I think that warm front has already moved through and our temps will start dropping again, but who knows for sure. Right now, a good freeze is the best thing that could happen to get rid of all the mud. Not that it wouldn't come back in the spring.... it always does. :-)

03/11/2009 7:59 PM

The Gorgeous Day

Today was one of those breathtaking days that you just want to freeze in time. Nimpo Lake was flat calm and the fish rolled and jumped all day. The mountains have a fresh white mantle of snow that just gleamed in the sun and even though some high haze moved in a little later in the day, because it was so still, it felt fairly warm outside. I wanted desperately to go fishing today but we just couldn't get to it and now I doubt that we will. Days like this are few and far between at this time of year and the weather forecasters say we have a weather bomb coming in.
Frankly, weather bomb is a new term for me, but one I've heard the people on the weather channel tossing around for the last couple of days. Apparently weather bombs are 'considered to be the most severe of all winter storms characterized by intense low-pressure systems with a central pressure that falls 24 millibars or more in a 24-hour period. Weather bombs are known for dumping heavy amounts of rain and snow, producing hurricane-force winds.'
Oh goody....
While our temperatures have been hitting -8C or 17F during the night and only getting up a few degrees above zero during the day, they are forecasting a high of over 13C or 56F for Thursday when this low pressure system hits. We have a lot of frost in the ground right now but if that hits and brings rain or snow, things are going to get awfully messy around here.
I guess that rain we got a few nights ago really affected Bella Coola and the surrounding mountains. I understand that the Bella Coola River was so high that it flooded over Highway 20 and supposedly, the salmon were trying to swim it. If it's high now, wait until this new system comes in. It's supposed to hit the central coast dead on.
Walking the dogs today sure was nice. Yesterday I was slipping and sliding on a couple of inches of mud sitting on top of frost, while a couple of days ago I was slipping and sliding in snow. But today, it froze hard enough last night that the back trail was still frozen for the most part and made for great walking. I can tell from watching the dogs that there's definitely something around that's been all along the trail, I just can't tell what it is. I'm thinking fox or coyote the way the dogs are sniffing and marking, but who knows. I haven't seen any sign of bear around, but I noticed yesterday that a large wasp nest that had been in a tree near the gun range was torn down and on the ground all torn up some distance from the tree. I don't know if a bear would have done that for the larvae inside the combs, or something else would have torn it down. Smart animal to wait until after several hard frosts when the wasps are nearly inert.
There are lots of ducks on the lake now, gathering up for their flight south eventually. There's still at least one loon left so far, and it looks like a young one. That makes sense because the adults leave sooner than the first years. Hopefully none will get caught in the ice this year.
The chickadees are furiously feeding on the sunflower seeds now and we're getting the odd little other seed eating birds passing through. No sign of a couple of blackbirds that were hanging around raiding the feeder though, so they must finally have moved on as have the Camp Robbers.
I reached Ken Brissard, our CO at the local RCMP Detachment, and he has kindly given me permission to use his and Clint's picture from Saturday night here on the blog. There's definitely a color clash there! Thanks to Heidy Lenz for letting me use the picture here. Enjoy!

01/11/2009 11:21 AM

Doing The Dance

The Halloween dance and fireworks display up at the Nimpo Lake Hall was again successful. In fact, it was terrific! I think that everyone really enjoyed themselves. We didn't have a huge crowd because some people just couldn't make it, but we had a great crowd and it was really nice to have the Charlotte Lake bunch attend. Thanks guys, even if we weren't able to make it to your lobster do Friday night, we sure appreciate you supporting our Halloween function. We even had guests from Clearwater Lake attend last night, which was marvelous!
There were loads of snacks, super costumes, and the fireworks display was outstanding. Thanks to Richard for putting that on and thank you to everyone that donated toward the fireworks. You folks are terrific! The same goes for the designated drivers and those of you that volunteered for clean up detail at the Hall today.
We left at about 11:00 last night because my partner just couldn't keep his eyelids propped open any longer, but the party went on for a few hours more. I guess the dancing got pretty darned good the more the refreshments flowed and I wish I had been around with my camera then.
Our CO from the Anahim Lake Detachment showed up to check things out and a few people got a great picture of him posing with our best costume wearer of the night. I just have to get permission from Ken to print it. It's great!! And that leads me to the costumes.
Clint came in a large fat lady costume, said fat lady wearing what I think was supposed to be a pink ballerina tutu. He had a little battery pack on the suit that allowed him to blow himself up to a very large size. He was representing himself as someone else, so he had a name tag on displaying the name of a local that is one of the few people in the area that is universally disliked and distrusted by all. He had the walk down perfect and the parody could not have been better. I never laughed so hard in my life and apparently everyone else got it as well, because they too laughed loudly every time Clint waddled by. We also had a pirate on board, a creepy kind of looking person in a black suit, a jailbird, a whoopee cushion among others, and Melody. The latter decided to get more than one use out of her stunning wedding dress and played Frankenstein's bride. Hey, why not. Most wedding dresses hang in a closet and never see the light of day again. Recycle, I always say.
Some of the people that had been at the Charlotte Lake lobster fest told us about something called a Swiss candle which is a log standing on end, and cut four ways from the top nearly to the bottom with a chainsaw. Then you stuff fire starter in the cracks at the top, light them and let the inside of the log burn toward the butt. So we got John to cut the torches and set them up so that they could light the way to the bonfire. Once they start burning, they really are awesome and not only are they effective lights, but a lot of people simply stood around them to keep warm while talking outside. The only problem is that John wasn't exactly sure about how many cuts to make, the logs were too small in diameter, and needed to be about five or six feet tall rather than just a little over three feet, so they only lasted a couple of hours. By the time the fireworks started, there was no longer a flame and they had started smoking. But I think we're going to borrow the idea for the New Year's Ice Party. It will be a great way to light up the ice and to keep people warm if they don't want to stand around the bonfires. We're just going to have to perfect the technique a little to make them longer lasting.
We had great weather for the party last night. It didn't rain and wasn't too cold. There was no wind so it wasn't hard to stay warm while outside watching the fireworks, which is nice when parents bring their kids by to watch them.
Today was fairly sunny for the most part but even though my thermometer said it reached 5C or 40F today, either that was in the sun or it has taken up fibbing. There was a bitter cold breeze today and you didn't stand around outside for long, even with a jacket on. Quite a contrast to just a few days ago.
I expect it will be fairly cold tonight because we've got a moon that's looking fairly full and not a cloud in the sky. There is a system moving in but it may just miss us, which suits me. I'm stuck inside with work to do for the most of this week so I guess it doesn't really matter what it does. Besides, I'm still recovering from the time change which, as always, will take me a few weeks. I'll have to remember that if I want to go for a walk in the woods now, I'll have to adjust my times keeping in mind that it's going to get dark so much earlier. Time changes. Yeeech.
It's a new month so it's a new week! Last week's articles can be found at with a October Week Three.






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!
Wearing a pink costume posing with RCMP in uniform.
 
Red firesworks.
 
Guy standing with fireworks and vehicles behind.
 
Green, red and orange fireworks.
 
Pink lines in the sky.
 
Green lines from fireworks light up the sky.
 
Multi colored fireworks.
 
2009 Halloween fireworks light up the sky.
 
Multi colored fireworks scream into the night sky.
 
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