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 3/2012
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Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture
of the Day.
lake is pretty much frozen up everywhere except out on
the Main Arm part way down the lake now.
We went for a walk the other day to see where the ice
ended and the water began and it's probably a quarter
of the way down the lake from our end. Today we drove
down to the north end of the lake on an errand and the
lake was frozen out as far as the eye could see right
around the corner and to Dot Island. So that means
that there isn't much left open on the Main Arm.
Andy drilled into the ice out in front of the house here
and there is already five inches of ice but we've been
frozen over here in this bay for some time. It looks like
the lake is right on schedule to be completely frozen
over by the 5th of December, which is the average date
that we use. It's odd that no matter what kind of wild
or calm, warm or cold summer and fall we've had, the ice
on and ice off times are pretty consistent within a week
or two so we haven't been too drastically affected by
climate change yet.
Unlike Greenland and the Arctic.
Did anyone see the item on the news the past two
days about Greenland's ice shelf melting five times faster
than it did 20 years ago? According to the scientists,
that translates into a 10 to 11 centimeter or 4 inch increase
in ocean levels over 100 years. While they claim that
is not a lot, it could increase the devastation caused
by events such as hurricanes, cyclones, etc. I buy that,
mainly because they know a whole lot more about it than
I do. But I think they are wrong in their projection.
I don't think it's going to be just a 4 inch rise in the
next hundred years because I think that climate change
is exponential. I believe that as the climate changes,
it speeds up the change. In other words, it's the accelerator
of its own process. I think that in five or ten
years, scientists will come back with a much higher number
and in 20 years, a higher number yet.
I believe I have mentioned before that we're avid television
watchers when it comes to Discovery and History channels,
and we pay particular attention to scientific shows about
climate change past and present. It seems there are periods
in our 'recent' past that indicate extreme climate change
that may have had devastating effects on civilizations,
particularly those living in a marginal agricultural environment.
The Mayans come to mind. If you can follow scientific
explanation, it sounds like climate change starts out
slowly and then speeds up, speeds up, speeds up, until
it reaches a point where it reverses itself. Perhaps a
new glacial period begins. I guess we'll see. I certainly
think we'll see some measurable and long term extremes
in my lifetime. It will be an interesting show, that's
Global warming or general climate change, or own
local weather is pretty mundane right now. Actually, it
kind of sucks. It's not super cold which is nice
on the one hand, but on the other, we get clear blue skies
and sunshine generally when it is really cold. But it's
not pleasantly warm either. It never got above -4C or
25F at the warmest part of the day and the sun never quite
made it through a thick shroud of fog today. I think it
was fog and not cloud because every once in a while you
would see this perfect white disk trying to make its way
through the grey. We didn't even go for much of a walk
today, mainly because it was raw and gloomy out. Yesterday
it was snowing and the sun was trying to shine at the
same time which brought a little hope, but then thick
cloud moved in for the afternoon and that was it. I
can't wait for November to be over. Maybe once
these waterways freeze up we'll finally see less fog and
more sun. Wow, listen to me. Whine, whine, whine. You
would think it was mosquito season!
The Dean River still has a pretty good flow coming
out of Nimpo Lake which is really surprising.
There was hardly any water running in the river this fall
and yet it's going great guns now. Where the heck would
water be melting from I wonder?
We've accumulated another half inch or inch of snow since
I last wrote so while it's a little bit white everywhere,
you can still get around fairly well. The snow has stayed
really fluffy and light because it's been below freezing
for the most part and at least that means we're not dealing
with the ice everywhere that we were last year. Man, I
do not know how many times I busted my heinie going down
last year and I wasn't the only one. I'm glad I'm not
so old yet that I could break a hip because some of those
landings knocked the breath out of me!
Oh yeah, regarding the middle photo up on the right, go
check out the Picture of the Day for the explanation.
weather has finally changed ever since the new moon. It's
gotten much colder at night with temperatures dipping
as low as -18C (-17C or 0F last night) and a little chilly
during the day. Although at least for the last couple
of days it's been rocking around freezing and a little
above at the warmest part of the day and we've actually
seen some sun! Friday was glorious pretty much the
whole day with warm temps. Saturday we went for
a walk earlier in the day than usual because it looked
like there was some cloud building over the mountains.
Sure enough, it had moved in and blocked the sun by the
time we got back from going down to the gun range and
Today is amazing with sun, not a cloud in the sky and
everything coated with frost reflecting back the light.
It's still pretty cool out there at -9.5C or 15F but it's
going to warm up fast with this sun and since there isn't
a breath of wind so far, it should be a great day to get
Right now the lake is making noise, sounding like
a creepy 'woo woo' wind under the ice. It was
frozen past the islands and right to the other shore on
the Main Arm when we got up Thursday morning and presumably,
it's freezing down the Arm itself now. It sounds pretty
active anyway. Yesterday when we topped the little hill
on our driveway a jet was going over and the noise from
the lake was vying that of the jet. It sounded like someone
blowing over the rim of a bottle except that it was really,
It should be pretty cool in the next week or two listening
to the lake freeze up. I love the monster sounds
but it changes from year to year depending on how quickly
it gets cold. The faster it gets cold, the faster
the ice grows, and then you just can't hear the sounds
as well anymore. But we have a full moon coming up and
that seems to make quite a difference too.
The last I saw of any birds was probably Tuesday morning
just outside the line of ice at the island, the same two
I saw in the bay the day before when there was still open
water. Hopefully they've found their way out of here and
on to warmer climes and at least we didn't have any birds
frozen in sight of us this year, which is very much a
relief. I think it must be because we had that cold spell
in October and then some pretty cold nights in November
before the lake started to freeze. Maybe that's
the warning that clicks something in their little pea
brains to get the heck out of here, because if
I recall, the times that birds, particularly loons, have
been frozen in here before, the weather had been reasonably
warm and pleasant right up to freeze up.
We still have only a small amount of snow on the ground.
Maybe two inches or so in the back woods and less in the
sun. I like it that way because it makes walking so much
easier and getting wood as well. Andy's been bringing
it in for the past few weeks on his own but I think we'll
both be going out to get some today. I'm finally done
my graphics stuff so I can help for a change. We could
have gone out yesterday but a pretty wild wind had kicked
up by the time we came back from a walk, making it both
miserable and dangerous to fall trees.
We went out for wood just after lunch today. Andy knocked
down one tree that we got loaded up and the brush cleaned
up, and then he knocked down a big old schoolmarm. For
those of you that don't know what that is, it's a tree
that has split into two trunks. The split can
be up high or down low, the latter being more dangerous
to fall because on occasion the tree will split apart
as you are falling it and one butt can kick back. The
odd person has died that way but Andy's pretty careful...
most of the time. Sometimes the A type personality can
get in the way. This one had the split trunks up fairly
high but turned out to be a pretty big tree with a very
large butt end. I was having to heave to get the last
couple of blocks up onto the tailgate of the truck. But
it's almost all split up and loaded into the woodshed
and down under the deck so with a walk with the dogs in
the back woods in there as well, it turned out to be a
pretty productive day.
The sun disappeared behind cloud moving in from
the west again so by the time four rolled around we were
both pretty chilled. In fact, I still am. It's
surprising how much heat that sun has even this time of
year, and how much you miss it when it's gone. It's already
-4.6C and it's not even dark yet, so it looks to be building
into a cold night. How cold will depend on whether it
clears off or continues to cloud over.
You can sure tell winter is moving in. It's really quiet
of course. The only sound today was the sound of our chainsaw,
ATV and the truck. Oh, and the odd burble from the lake.
Otherwise, it's as if we're the only people that exist.
It gets dark early now, (it's only 4:30 yet it's
nearly dark) so with the shorter days seems to come shorter
work days. In the height of summer we're both
outside doing stuff all day sometimes stopping only long
enough to grab something to eat, a drink of water, and
off we go again. But this time of year, you kind of laze
around inside doing a little of this and that waiting
for it to warm up enough to go outside. Then you go out
for a little while, and it's time to come back in. Andy
is out mucking around a lot longer than I am during the
day in winter, mainly because he's a lot more tolerant
of cold than I am, but even he's usually never out for
more than two or three hours. In winter, that's a work
day unless we're working on projects in the house. I think
that's the case for everyone here that doesn't have a
full time job. You just kind of semi-hibernate.
Everything slows down, including productivity. :-)
Silly as it may sound, I imagine it's been that way for
most cultures through the ages. Until the industrial revolution
and the rise of factories, most farming cultures probably
went like hell through the summer putting in crops and
putting them and their meat animals down for the winter
using different storage methods. Once winter came, other
than for getting wood or fuel for heat, they probably
worked inside preparing leathers, patching or making clothes,
repairing or making tools and weapons. But they probably
didn't venture outside much other than to look after their
animals. The same probably applied to nomadic cultures
that may or may not have had domesticated animals to look
after. They would have spent spring, summer and
fall hunting, fishing and gathering, and preparing foodstuffs,
furs and leathers and their abodes for the winter.
Once winter comes, what else would you do? Do some hunting
and gather fuel for heat but that would probably be the
only outside activity. Hm. Life hasn't really changed
much, has it? But now instead of everyone around a fire
passing on stories, legends and the family lines of your
ancestors, everyone sits around and watches TV, or they
play on their X-boxes, iPads, and spend the evenings texting
their friends. Or in this house, one half writes a blog
so that the other half can read it. :-)
This is the start of a new week so you'll find last month's
November Week Two.
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!
the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!