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 - Nov., Week 1/2009
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of the Day.
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. :-)
The Gorgeous Day
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
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
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!
Doing The Dance
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
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
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!