Treatment Plant Road.

It rained all day yesterday, so there were no extra-curricular activities to report on, but today made it worth the wait.  As always, I’m checking the maps to see where possible access points into the surrounding wilderness might exist.  There is a road called Treatment Plant Road on the south-west side of town, and from my maps, it looked like there was a road coming off that road, and heading into the bush.  It’s hard to tell because the maps don’t seem to differentiate between roads that vehicles can drive on, and ATV trails, which, for the most part, are too narrow for vehicles to navigate.

Anyway, I thought that I would mosey on over, and do a visual survey of the area, while getting some much-needed exercise along the way.  I started walking down Treatment Plant Road, and then came to the place where a dirt road splits off into the bush.  It was just inside this dirt road that I came upon something that will probably send kids screaming to Mommy and Daddy.  Yes, it’s true, Santa Claus is officially dead, so there will be no Christmas this year!

No winter would be nice too, but since the bears only ate his body, I think this is a sign that there will, in fact, be a winter, just no Christmas.  Can you see the fear in his eyes?

After that gruesome discovery, I moved on down the dirt road a ways, and I felt that I had finally found what I was looking for.  No, not a dead Santa, a road that I could use for wilderness access that was reasonably close by.  The scenery started to pick up a little bit, as you can see;

That’s the town of Elliot Lake you can see back there in the distance, where I had started my trek for the day.  The paved section of road you can see is Treatment Plant Road, and the dirt road has no name.

Farther along the dirt road, I came to this big open area, with a large sand deposit, and a swamp nearby.  This would be a excellent place for viewing wildlife from.

As I continued along the dirt road, it started looking more remote, and this section was very sandy.  A good place to look for tracks.

Just what I was looking for, bear tracks.  I wonder if this is the one that ate Santa?

The front and rear tracks of a bear.

And if the bears don’t get ya, the hunters just might.  Not a good place to be wearing a fur coat.

This is what I love, wide open wild spaces, no fences or No Trespassing signs, and free for all to enter.

Eventually, I came to a lake.  This is a smaller section of Esten Lake, on one side of the road.

The larger part of Esten Lake is on the other side of the road.  I made my way along the rocky shoreline for a while, and got some great shots.

The dirt road goes as far as Esten Lake, and then it turns into an ATV trail, which can easily be walked on, but not suitable to drive on.  However, there is a nice size parking area where the road ends, and a dock to put boats in too, so I could always drive this far, and then go further into the back country on foot, which is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

The butterflies were enjoying the sun but, by this time, I was starting to feel the heat a bit.  It was only 20 degrees when I got  back, but with the humidity, I had to hang my shirts up to dry.

Anyway, it was a very enjoyable walk, and I’ll certainly be back this way to continue farther into the hinterlands.  Total distance covered today was around 12 kms.





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