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Wilderness Adventures - Oct., Week Three/2013

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.


30/10/2013 12:30 PM

No Snow Yet!

So far our weather is hanging in there with a bit of a change today. Actually, the weathermen called for rain and snow today for most of the province but it hasn’t materialized yet, thankfully.
Yesterday I rushed around trying to do the last minute stuff including finally digging my carrots out of the raised box I had them in before they got snowed on. I guess it was a good thing I decided to get to it yesterday because I’m not sure I could have gotten them out today. I had been covering the box with a quilt every night and I’m glad I did because the center was still okay but around the edges of the box the soil had already frozen solid around the carrots. We had –9C or 15F degrees overnight two nights running so small surprise. I still have to get them washed up and put away for the winter but for last night I bundled them into a wheelbarrow under a quilt in the garage until I could get to them.
I still have tomatoes in the greenhouse and two little heaters running just to keep them until I can get to them as well which will happen in the next day or so. We don’t need to pay an electric bill for the greenhouse for any length of time, but I’ve been giving lots away and soon the numbers will be manageable enough that I can pick the rest and do something with them. Besides, one of our neighbours has said she’ll take some even if they’re green, ripen them up and put them down in her freezer for the winter to avoid buying the canned ones.
On Monday I put in three more posts for the new dog pen and had no problem with digging the holes with the post hole digger. Yesterday I put in another three posts and had to dig out the first four inches with a maddock before I could even touch the ground with a post hole digger, that’s how much of a change there was in just one night. Things have finally cooled off enough that the ground is freezing up. It also didn't help that we finally have moisture in the ground down the first few inches which will now freeze but it’s dry as a bone beneath that. We got a full half inch of much needed rain the other night but it’s not enough. I’m pulling dry dust out to two feet down with the post hole digger. It might be a little tough on trees and shrubs this winter without more moisture in some form or another.
Surprisingly, the temperature nearly made it to 9C or 48F yesterday, about six degrees higher than the two days before that. There was sun and mixed cloud, it was calm, and turned out to be a great day to work outside. We aren’t fairing quite so well today. It was cloudy last night so I don’t think it actually got below freezing down here on the lake and it was sunny this morning, but it has clouded over, it’s up to 7.7C and it looks like it wants to start raining or snowing. Andy has one more excavator to low bed down off of Charlotte Main and he’s done up there, just in time, I think. It looks like the snow is already starting to fly in the mountains.
There was snow up in the mountains the day after the last blog post but it has mostly melted on the lower mountains, although there’s still a skiff on the Itcha Ilgatchuz ranges. There’s some snow on the really big mountains in the Coast Range to the south of us but still not nearly so much as you would expect this time of year. The inversion seems to have ended a couple of days ago so temperatures at higher elevations are finally colder than down here. Snow will stick now if it comes. Still, this is the end of October and it’s just amazing that the ground is clear and only now just freezing, that I still have green lawns, and I’m just now putting my vegetable garden to bed. Crazy.
Hey, we finally got some pictures from the Halloween dance up at the community hall last week. We put the call out to some friends and so far our neighbour Lane has been able to email us one and our friend Dawn graciously gave me some to download onto my computer after reading that I had no photos for the blog. Thanks, guys! Description and photo credits on mouse rollover. Oh, and if you want to see us you have to go to
Picture of the Day

26/10/2013 8:00 PM

Overcast

I know it’s been a while again, folks, but it has to be close to ten days now that we have had just stunning weather! The sun has been shining every day with rarely even a single cloud in the sky and temperatures have averaged anywhere from 12C to 16C and it even hit 18C or 64F a couple of days. That may not seem very warm but the few weeks before that were overcast and decidedly chilly so we got so used to cooler weather that these temperatures seem downright balmy!
It has been pretty cool at night with temperatures well below freezing many nights so I’ve had to run a heater in my greenhouse because it’s still full of tomatoes. I only let them stay because the weathermen kept forecasting that this high pressure system was going to move in and hang out for a while bringing lots of sunshine and for a change, they were right.
I’m glad I kept them in there because there’s been more tomatoes ripening on the vine for the past week than I can even give away. Last night looks like it was a little rough on them though. It had clouded over early this morning after a frosty night so that by the time I went in there around noon the plants were all huddled up and I think some fruit close to the glass got a touch of frost. I threw another heater in there this evening in the hopes that we’ll get some more sun this week that'll keep them going. Otherwise, it will be time to pull them out and do something with them. Right now it’s raining out there and it hasn’t gotten above 3C or 37F all day so it might be time.
While I’m a little depressed at losing our sun and nice, warm temperatures this weekend, I am actually pleased to see the rain. We really need it because everything is just super dry. The ground is wet from the frost every morning and the grass and plants are all getting by on the morning dew, but I actually started watering my perennials a couple of days ago because I was afraid they wouldn’t make it through the winter. I was going to start watering lawns over the next few days but now I don’t have to so that’s one chore struck off the list.
We’ve managed to get out fishing three times in the past ten days and did we ever do well. We came up only one short of our limit in the space of about an hour and a half the first time out and we lost lots! We got several to the boat but they shook off before we could bring them in and one of them took my favourite fly. I didn’t have another like it so we had to put on a green fly with a gold eye and did it ever kill them and they were big and fat to boot! I got my last fish for limit just as we were heading in but lost it bringing it into the net and we couldn’t stay out any longer because we had to go to Thanksgiving dinner.
A couple of days later we looked out into our bay to see two different sets of neighbours in their boats fishing to beat the band. I told Andy we had to get out there before they caught all the fish so away we went. It was another warm, calm day so we cruised past the neighbours dragging our flies while we watched them pull in fish after fish. They limited out and went in but they must have gotten all the big ones because we got lots of fish, but they weren’t the monsters that we had been catching a few days before that. After an hour and a half we had all the fish that we wanted to keep for that day and since it was cooling off, we went in. They were still great fish and we would have considered them big for fish in the spring but for fall, they weren’t huge by any means. I don’t know what was different about that day because last Sunday we went out for our a couple more and got four beauties so we were back into big fish again. Sadly, the first fish on my line took my killer green fly so I had to go to a different one and it didn’t do quite as well but we were happy. Besides, it was another sunny, warm, calm day and there’s no nicer place to be than out on the lake fishing where you can’t do chores.
Which means of course that we still have a lot of stuff we could be doing this fall but it’s just not happening. Andy has been working driving truck and running his Bobcat for other people and I’ve been forcing myself to stay inside at least part of most days to work on calendars. I don’t think my clients would be pleased if I decided to go kibitzing outside rather than work on their stuff, although I have been trying to do a little of both.
We still have loons both at this end and the north end of Nimpo Lake, all of them babies of varying sizes trying to get their wings strong enough to take off before ice up. The first time we went out fishing I could hear this godawful racket coming from over in the bay and finally realized it was a young loon learning how to call. He sounded like a rusty gate hinge and nothing like a loon should but he worked at it all afternoon without any improvement at all. I’ve heard the youngsters off and on since and they have varying degrees of croak but no actual loon calls yet although one is starting to find his voice a bit.
I’m afraid one of them won’t make it out this year. There seems to be a pair of siblings with one almost adult size and the other tiny. While we were out fishing the bigger one would swim past us and the whole while the little one circled around and around him staying as close as he possibly could and looked almost like he was trying to climb up on the other’s back like they do with their parents when they’re little babies. At first I was afraid that they were both entangled in fishing line and so couldn’t separate but a little while later we saw the same pair and the little guy was farther afield so I don’t know what was up with the constant circling. One evening a day later over at the neighbours we could see them down on the water from the fire pit where we were all seated, and the two had been joined by another in between their size. It’s good to see three of them joined up for company and protection, but I just don’t think little guy is going to bulk up enough to make it out of here before freeze up in five to six weeks. I hate the idea of that. As usual I don’t want to see a loon frozen into the ice waiting to be eaten alive by an eagle.
Amazingly, there is still no snow up in the mountains and while Andy has been working up on Charlotte Main off and on in the past couple of weeks, the temperature has been much warmer up there than down here indicating that there has been an extreme temperature inversion. I think that’s what has caused all of the fog down on the Lower Mainland and in a lot of valley communities throughout BC for the past week or so. The weathermen were gloating over the fabulous weather Vancouver was going to get but day after day, all they could show on their tower cam was fog so dense, you couldn’t see the city. They had lots of interesting photos sent in by viewers that got above the fog and could look down on the city hidden in the blanket, but that was about it. Bummer for them. Thankfully, we didn’t get fog more than once or twice in the early morning, even though we haven’t had any breeze for a week or so. Who knows what will happen over the next few days though with all of this new moisture and cold temps coming our way. We could be blanketed in fog for the next week or so like they were.
I do expect to see snow up on the mountains by tomorrow morning. That’s okay. It’s nearly the end of October and I think this is the latest I have ever seen bare mountains in this region. It’s sure weird! You can see from the photo up on the top right just how amazing this fall has been. That is our neighbour standing in Goat Pass next to Goat Lake where we go snowmobiling in winter. Alex and Iris hiked for over two hours up the steep trail to get up there so they must have been moving pretty hard and fast. They said the hike was gorgeous and the alpine a perfect spot for a picnic. I envy them the hike and it just went on my to do list for next year. It will have to be in the fall of course because in the spring there will be too much snow and the summer would be viciously buggy up there so hopefully…. next fall will be long, nice and dry because I would really love to see it up there when it’s not under five or more feet of snow. Thanks for the photo, guys!
I can say one thing for sure…. This nice spell has sure come at a good time and it will help to shorten up winter considerably. I was getting concerned with our lousy weather in the last half of September and first half of October. A short or nasty fall sure makes for a long, long winter but we’ve definitely cut a break this year.
We went to the community Halloween dance last night. We dressed up for the first time ever and it was pretty cool to see the reactions of everyone in the Hall when we walked in because they had no clue who it was. It was really a hoot. I just wish I had photos. It took us so long to get ready and get food done to take over that we were about an hour and half late and I forgot to take a camera. It’s a shame because lots of people dressed up. More and more people are dressing up every year and some of the costumes are really awesome. I’m hoping to get photos from people that did have cameras and if I do, I’ll post them here.

Last week's blog is at October Week Two.


Anahim 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!


Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
A man dressed as a little old lady with cane.
 
A woman dressed as a cowgirl.
 
A man dressed as old Duck Dynasty guy.
 
Three people dressed up for Halloween.
 
Two people dressed as medieval people for Halloween.
 
A man in a red shirt standing in the alpine.
 
A Canadian flag near while a dock sits in front of glowing autumn grass.
 
A boat cruises out on the lake in late fall.
 
A plane takes off of Nimpo Lake in October with mountains in the background.
 
Blue, blue October sky reflected in the lake.
 
Button leading to The Chilcotin Facebook Page.
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