Mining Roads

I went out today with the intention of heading up to the Lookout Tower to take some spectacular pictures of the fall colours.  Unfortunately, when I got up there, I found that it was too hazy for long distance photography today.  It turned out to be a very mild and humid day, so I scrapped the Lookout Tower shots and started doing some exploring of the mining roads in the area.

On the way back down the Lookout Tower road, I did stop in a few places to take some pictures but I have to say, once again, that I’m extremely displeased with the performance of this Olympus camera.  I used the Olympus exclusively today, since I wanted to give it a fair chance after I changed the settings.  Needless to say, it failed miserably, and I won’t be depending on this camera again.

However, I didn’t want to waste all the pictures that I took today, which numbered over 100, so I will post some of the more passable ones here.

This is a section of the road going up to the Lookout Tower.

A small pond along the side of the road.

After the mines were closed, the MNR took over the responsibility of overseeing the use of these properties, and anyone who thinks that they don’t bother coming around better be on guard because, when I was there today, they were all over the place checking on who’s doing what.  It seems like such a remote area but there are government workers who’s only job is to patrol these places.

There are a lot of restrictions on these properties but, surprisingly enough, you are allowed to either walk in or ride a bicycle in.

Most of the mines in the Elliot Lake area were Uranium mines, so radioactivity is of some concern.  I’ve had a look at a map showing radiation levels around Elliot Lake and most of the area has relatively low levels, but there is a fairly large area around one of the mines a little bit northeast of town that has levels above 200 ppm.  I haven’t been up there yet, so I don’t know if there are any special warnings posted.

Nearly all of the mining roads are gated, so you can’t drive into them.  I hung over the gate to take this picture and it does look like a neat place to either walk or ride a bike into.  I don’t know how far the pavement goes though.  I wasn’t prepared for a hike today, so I’ll be coming back some time to head in there and see where it goes.

These disclaimers are all over the place in case anyone breaks their ass or gets attacked by a radioactive bear.

There’s certainly no shortage of signs in this area.

Seconds after I got back in the truck and pulled out of here, the MNR showed up to see what was going on.

This is another mining road a bit south of Elliot Lake.  The road got quite rough as I was driving in and then I came to a pool of water that was almost the complete width of the road.  I couldn’t see how deep it was, so I just edged forward very slowly into it and my front wheels kept going down further and further, so I decided to back out and not take any chances.  Also, this is the same area where I was told there was a 600 lb bear hanging out.

This is the same road farther in.

There’s no shortage of scenic spots up here.

My Mini-RV.  You’d never know by looking at it from the outside, what lurks within.

I’d like to get on top of those cliffs in the background, they were really high and straight down.

Everywhere you look around here, there are trails going into the bush.

Another trail heading into the bush.

And another.

I was really surprised that this shot turned out.  I took it from about 30 feet away with full 30X zoom.

A nice little waterfall I found hidden in the bushes.

I took a short piece of video footage at this waterfalls too, and I was surprised to see that it turned out quite good.  I may try to upload it to YouTube and post a link to the video on the blog.  ***Note;  Here’s that link.  My first video attempt;

Wow, I didn’t know that the video would show up here.  I thought that just the link to the video would show up.  So, I guess I will be able to post videos after all with no extra cost.

So, that’s it for today.  I intend to come back to those mining roads prepared to do a little hiking at some point.  This was just a reconnaissance trip, to see where the access points are and what they were like.

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