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Wilderness Adventures - Sept., Week One/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.

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Check out the Picture of the Day.


20/09/2011 4:15 PM

Summer Winding Down

I know that it's been a little skinny on blogs everyone, but that high pressure system I talked about in August brought us some pretty glorious weather this month. We had about ten days of straight sunshine and high temperatures this September. It actually felt like summer!
It was an amazing run of good weather and even in the last week or so after that high pressure system broke down, it hasn't been bad. A little windy though and a lot of mixed cloud and sun.
The only downside of all that sun and heat was that we had a horrible algae bloom on the lake. It was just awful. There was the green stuff that looks like pieces of grass and some kind of green and turquoise blue gel. It was all clumpy and looked thick enough to walk on. It also stank to high heavens. We went out fishing one night and as we came back toward home the wind shifted and blew the smell from the bay west of our place right at us. Phew! Both our neighbours on that bay complained of the smell and that part of it lasted for at least a week. Even our water from the hot water tank smells swampy, much like it did this spring when all the flood water from surrounding swamps came into the lake. It's not surprising and I actually expected an enormous algae bloom because of all the nutrients that washed into the lake, I just didn't expect it to be quite as bad as it was.
A few days ago we got an all night rain and it spit off and on the next day. It only amounted to a little over a quarter of an inch, but it was cold and just enough to sink the algae. A couple of very windy days have turned the lake over and it looks as good as new now. Which is fortunate because we kind of looked at that soupy water and wondered if we really wanted to eat a fish that came out of that. I'm sure the whole algae experience wasn't particularly pleasant for the fish, either.
The day before last we had a cold, nasty day. The wind was howling and cold and big, dark clouds scuttled across the sky. It felt like it was going to snow. I told Andy, “Are you kidding me? What??!!! Winter's already here?” It must have been depressing for everyone because I was up in Nimpo yesterday. It was calm, clear and beautiful and everyone was so relieved and commented on how nasty the day had been before. I think we all feel so cheated out of summer this year that absolutely no one is ready for winter. I know I'm not looking forward to it at all!
Thankfully that little spell of hot weather helped out my greenhouse a lot. I was beginning to think that all I was going to pick this year were green tomatoes but they've finally started ripening up. My first two cucumbers are ready to pick and I have a zucchini that's a whole four inches long. We've just started picking peas in the past week and the beets look like they might actually grow big enough to not need a microscope to see them. The beet greens have been good though. They're still nice and tender.
The kohlrabi, spinach and Swiss chard have done squat and my purple cabbage seems to exist for decorative purposes only because it's going to be another couple of months before there's any hope of seeing a head form and I expect several killer frosts will have come and gone by then, but who knows?
I tried something new with the potatoes this year and so far, the results have been really, really disappointing. I tried those canvas bags that you can put on a deck if you want and a large metal wash tub instead of tires this year. There weren't a lot of potatoes in any of the containers when we dug them out yesterday. I just don't think there was enough heat or sun this summer for them. I still have a huge box of framed 2x6's of potatoes that also replaced the tires that I think I'll leave for a while. Maybe if I can protect the tops from freezing down any potatoes in the box will grow bigger. Right now all I've accumulated is only enough for a few meals, although we had some of the baby potatoes fried up last night and yum, were they good!
If it turns out that the stacking box doesn't yield much then I think I'll definitely go back to using car tires in the future. They do a great job of drawing the heat.
We've had several frosts already in the past two months, but the other night I think it got down to about -5C or 23F away from the lake. We haven't seen anything below -2C yet where we're located but I expect we're due for a really cold one soon.
Andy, the neighbour and one of their friends went out for a quad ride the day before yesterday. They only went up on little Kappan to the lookout because the friend had never driven an ATV before. Andy says the back trails are finally just drying out and the ride was great except that on their way back they had to buck up some trees that had fallen in the wind between the time they left and the time they returned.
None of the guys have been going out this year as they have in the past just because the back trails have been so flooded in places, particularly where the trails go through meadows or low spots near a creek. Hopefully though, things will continue to dry out. It's funny that everything is still so wet because we haven't had more than half an inch of rain total in over two months, but we figure between the flooding in the spring, the cool summer, and the lack of pine forests that used to use up the water, it's just not drying out.
I haven't heard anything about the status of the dump grizzly that was shot and wounded a little over a month ago. Since no one has seen him it seems that he either wasn't severely wounded and cleared out, or as is more likely, simply crawled off and died somewhere. Several people have mentioned to me that they think there's a different grizzly in the dump now but I haven't seen any myself, although the warning sign is still up at the dump.
We've got so many grizzlies and black bears in the Chilcotin now, we're overrun by the bloody things. Certainly they seem to be moving into human inhabited areas more and are being seen in places they've rarely been seen before, including in Williams Lake. I suspect that the forest fires we've had for the past two years have displaced a lot of bears, and the floods in Bella Coola last fall forced a lot of the bears there to move up onto the plateau here. It doesn't help that there's been a moratorium on grizzlies for several years now. With nothing to keep them in check, including human hunters, their population has exploded and they will start keeping their own population under control through disease and killing each other as well as the black bears.
Due to my dereliction of duty, as per my husband, I can't say last week's blog is at this link but last month's blog can be found at
August Week Two..





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!
Black bear eating grass.
 
ATV parked in front of a telecommunications shack.
 
Lake in a meadow as seen from above.
 
ATV with forestry lookout in the background.
 
Nimpo Lake as seen from the Kappan forestry lookout.
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