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Wilderness Adventures - Nov., Week 4/2011

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.


26/11/2011 1:30 PM

Death by Snowflake

You know, I think snow is going to be the death of us. Not big, heavy snowfalls, or a crazy winter lambast. Nope, it's one flake at a time. Day after day we've been getting little snowfalls, ranging anywhere from just skiffs to about an inch of snow. The exception was on Tuesday when we woke up to four inches of snow. But other than that, nearly every morning there's a little snow out there. Just enough that you have to push it off of decks and vehicles. It's shaping up to be just as it was last year, building up one little snowfall at a time, at least until after Christmas when we got heavy snow falls day after day.
Since the weather has been pretty decent, albeit breezy, I decided complaining about our little snows might not be a good idea, because after all, we've still been able to walk in the back woods. We're pushing a little snow when we walk but until today, it was pretty easy. Today it started to melt and seemed a little heavier.
Then this evening Mother Nature decided to wing us a real surprise.
The weathermen have been saying all week that it would be warm on Saturday. Though they didn't call it that, it looked like it would be a Pineapple Express coming in and sure enough, we got a real warm up today. And tonight it's still nearly two degrees above freezing and..... it's raining. Yep, raining. It's not a hard rain. In fact most of the time it qualifies more as spitting than raining, but since starting this evening it has melted the snow down quite a bit.
Rain on cold pavement means that the highway is probably just deadly tonight. If not now, it certainly will be once the temperature drops another degree or so. Even gravel side roads are going to be hairy tomorrow after that rain on the snow freezes. About all we can hope for is that it snows on top of the rain tonight and freezes to it. That will provide great traction. Otherwise, here's hoping it's warm enough tomorrow for sand to stick whenever the highways guys get sand on the roads. Driving is not going to be nice for a while.
The ice on the lake in our front and back bays has been really strange this year. A lot of water has been coming up through the snow on the ice and there are long, curving swirls of black trailing through the snow. There are also lots of spider holes. I expect after this rain tonight, all the ice will look black, or at least I hope so. If that rain takes out the insulating snow, then the ice will build a lot faster. I guess it just depends on whether we get more snow tonight if it cools down at all. So the rain isn't bad in that regard, particularly if we get better ice as a result. It just makes things really slippery for walking and driving.
The Main Arm still hasn't frozen over. We can see open water just going around the point to the west of us. You would have thought that it would have frozen over by now but we figure it's just been too windy out there for it to freeze so far.
The winter critters are starting to be out and about now. We've got a fox hanging around off the end of our driveway and in the back woods, which causes great excitement for the hound dog when she catches scent of the tracks. An otter passed by doing the belly slide on the ice in front of our place within a day after it froze up there and it made another pass through the property a few days later, going trekking from somewhere in the bush to the lake. I'm pretty sure that's what has made some of the perfectly round holes in the ice at the back but Andy disagrees with me.
We've had a grouse hanging out on the corner just a few hundred yards past our driveway all fall and so far he's managed to avoid being run over. Andy went right over the top of him when he went out this morning after the silly bird ran in front of the truck. But at least he had the brains to squat and stay still in the snow as the truck went over him because we found his tracks trundling off into the bush when we walked the dogs later. We had a ptarmigan surprise the hound dog one day and it's already white as snow. Cat tried to chase it down because it was flying so low and I'm pretty sure the bird was playing with her. She's got no hope of catching such a thing but she hasn't gotten that memo yet. There are lots of squirrel and rabbit tracks on the back trails this year so there's going to be lots of food for the fox this winter. So far it's shaping up to be a not bad winter so far. Although I admit this rain is a bit of a surprise....
4:30 PM Sunday:
I didn't get this finished last night so I'll pick it up here today.
It rained for most of the night. There was a little mini-blizzard this morning when Andy went out to feed a friend's cattle but then the sun broke through and it was really beautiful for a little while. Everything was melting out and it felt like spring! At least until the next storm rolled through, and the next and the next. It's been one little blizzard after another which has only accumulated a couple of inches of snow, but the roads are a mess. Right now it looks like it's clearing off just before dark here and the temperature is starting to drop. As a result, Andy's off now with the Bobcat to go clear the store parking lot of slush that's been pushed up by the plow trucks going by on the highway before it freezes into a permanent snow bank that you can't drive through. We're supposed to get some pretty nice weather this week and it can't come soon enough for either of us I think.
Last week's blog can be found at
November 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!
Fresh snow on trees.
 
Nimpo Lake frozen over and snow rained on.
 
Fresh white snow on the ice.
 
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