Stanleigh Mine Site.

I had no idea what I was going to do when I got up this morning, but it turned out to be a very busy day of hiking.  First, I did my regular walk.  Then I drove up to the Lookout Tower because it seemed like a nice clear day to take some video footage and pictures.  After that, I headed over to the Stanleigh mining road to check it out.

The weather has been just outstanding for the last 3 days and, as if that’s not enough, the forecast for the next 7 days is more of the same, sunny, not a cloud in the blue sky, with light breezes.  What more could you ask for?

I’ll be posting both pictures and short video clips in this blog entry, which means that I used that dastardly Olympus camera today, but I can’t complain too much because it did perform not too badly this time.

First, we’ll go to the Lookout Tower.  I saw a tour bus coming down from the tower road today.  I can’t imagine trying to drive a vehicle that size up to the Lookout Tower.  The road is not very wide, and it’s certainly not very straight.  I’d be a bit concerned if I saw that thing coming at me while navigating up or down the tower road.

Anyway, there was hardly anyone there when I arrived at the tower, and it was much clearer than it had been the last few times I was there, so I decided to take some pictures and a short video clip too.

The bumps you can see far in the hazy distance are Manitoulin Island.  I could also clearly see the North Channel of Lake Huron, but it didn’t come across too well in the pictures.

The rolling, forested hills have quite a bit of colour in them now.

Here’s a short video clip of the view from this little lookout spot.

That’s the town of Elliot Lake you can see in the distance in this video.

As usual, pictures really don’t do justice to actually being there and seeing it.  The rugged beauty of this place is one thing, but add the colours of fall and you have hiker’s heaven.  It’s days like this that make me feel good to be alive, and also that I made the decision to stay in the Elliot Lake area.

I have to say that I have a real interest in these old mining sites.  It’s an incredible feeling to walk into these places past the steel gates, on a paved road that is showing signs of deterioration, with grass growing up through it, and small trees starting to encroach on it’s width.

Just as I reached the gate to Stanleigh Mine, one of the workers from the mining company was coming out, so he had to open the gate, since he was driving.  He just waved to me as I walked in, so they really don’t have any problems with people going into these places.  The mining companies still monitor these sites very closely, due to government regulations on decommissioning radioactive sites.  I never saw another person after that point.

Here’s the gate going into Stanleigh mine.  I actually took this picture on the way out, since the worker from the mining company was there on the way in.

The road leading into Stanleigh mine is paved for about one kilometer, and then it turns into a gravel road.

Not only was this a hiker’s heaven, but there were pictures to be had everywhere.  Normally, this kind of rugged bush country is hard to get into and, when you do,  it’s usually hard to see anything for the trees.  But the mining site opened everything up, and it was just incredible in there.

There was a small lake called Penelope Lake along the road not too far in.

There were also large open areas, which I imagine were created by the mining activities.

There were some rugged, rocky outcroppings in the open areas too, and I eventually got up on top of this one, as you will see later on.

I continued along the gravel road for a ways before I came across another gate.  I kind of wondered why they would put two gates on the same road.  This gate was different though.  It was a more formidable gate, with mesh covering any openings, and chainlink fencing on either side of it.  The funny thing is, there were no signs at all on it.  It looked like it was meant for keeping people from even walking in, but no warnings or signs at all.  I could have gotten around it, but I decided that I would go off in another direction on this trip.  There was still lots of area that wasn’t gated that I didn’t see yet.

This was an aircraft landing facility they had in there.  It was strange to see such as nicely manicured lawn in the middle of nowhere.  I can’t imagine that they land fixed-winged aircraft here, the runway was pretty short.  I guess it must be for helicopters.

I’m heading up there for a better view.

I had such a great time in here exploring.  There’s a wide variety of landscapes and this site is quite high up, so I could see all around for a very long distance.  Here’s a 360 degree video clip I took from the top of a hill.

I took a break at this point in the post and now it’s two days after I first posted it.  I meant to finish it the next day but,  the weather has been so fantastic, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside.  I’m getting a bit concerned that I might be pushing myself too hard.  I’ve been putting around a hundred kilometers a week on my feet lately and I think I might need to pull back a bit so that my body can catch up to my desire to explore.

Anyway, I’ll continue with the Stanleigh Mine post, since I still have some more pics to share from that outing.

As I noted earlier in this post, the Olympus camera wasn’t too bad on this hike but, since then, I have been out again with my Nikon camera and I’m still at a loss to explain how an older 4 megapixel camera can do such a better job than a 14.5 megapixel new camera.  I went back to read some of the reviews on Amazon, where they have 122 user reviews of this Olympus camera.  Overall, it was given four stars, but 56 reviewers gave it five stars!  It just doesn’t make sense to me at all.

I’m really stubborn when it comes to things like this, so I won’t let it go until I’m satisfied that I know the truth.  Either I’m a terrible photographer, or all of those reviewers are full of shit.

I got a passing bear to take this picture of me, just to see if he got better results from this camera.  He growled a bit, but then agreed to do it.  So, obviously, it’s not just me being a terrible photographer.

Some pictures, like this one, don’t seem too bad on the surface but, when you compare the detail to that of the Nikon, it’s no contest.

Again, this is not a bad shot but the detail sucks.  Next time I go out, I’ll have to take both cameras and take every shot with each camera so that I can do an accurate comparison.

Anyway, wordpress is really working slowly today and, since it’s two days from when I went on this hike, I feel like I lost a bit of the flow, as far as relating it goes.  But the fantastic weather continues and I’m enjoying every bit of it.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Pauleboy on October 7, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Hey mate, was thinking about making a road trip this weekend. Any plans? Not sure yet but wanted to check with u first. Would be just me, but I also have a dog (lab) . Is that kosher with u and ur living accommodations?


    Ps…..wouldn’t be till Saturday night


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