Beaver Mountain

Today I decided to tackle Beaver Mountain but I wasn’t exactly sure where the trail started.  I knew there was a trail, because I had read about it on one of the local hiking clubs website, but they didn’t specifically mention where the trail started.  So, I just headed over there and started to walk around the area to see if I could locate the beginning of the trail.

I walked in on an ATV trail that I thought might lead up to the top but, after a while, I turned back thinking that I had already passed the point where a trail might start heading up.  I also discovered, at this point, that I had forgotten to bring both the battery and the SD card for my Nikon camera.  Fortunately, I had brought both cameras, so I still had my Olympus to use.

I went back to the truck to leave the unneeded camera there, and then I started to walk back towards another ATV trail that I thought might lead to the top of Beaver Mountain.  As I did, another person with a small dog headed towards the same trail, so I decided to walk down the road to where I knew that this particular ATV trail came out.

I got to the point where the ATV trail came back out onto the road and started walking in.  I wasn’t too far in when I saw this same guy and his dog coming out, so I asked him if he knew where the trail going up to Beaver Mountain was.  He said that it ran off this ATV trail and that I was headed in the right direction.  So, I continued on, keeping a close eye out for anything that looked like a trail.

The forest floor was now covered with a carpet of fallen leaves, so it wasn’t easy to spot any kind of foot trail.  Even the ATV trails were getting harder to see.

I would have never seen the trail if it wasn’t for the markers that they put on the trees, but I did find it.  Here’s what it looked like;

Anyway, I was glad to find the trail entrance, so I started walking along the trail but there was no way I could see it, I was completely dependent on the trail markers because the whole forest floor looked the same.  At this point I realized that I should have brought my GPS just in case, but I didn’t.

I think you can see from these pictures what I was up against.  Without the trail markers I would have been lost.  I should also say here that my brother might be a bit thankful that he had left the day before I took this hike, for two reasons.  The first being, that it wasn’t an easy hike, in fact, I was sweating like a pig on the long climb to the top.  It was much harder and longer than the hike we did to the top of Stone Ridge.  I’ll save the second reason for the way down.

The scenery started to change a bit as I gained some altitude.

Some of the shots I took were a bit blurred because I was shaking so much, trying to catch my breath as I went higher and higher.

Eventually, the foot trail led to another ATV trail, and then to the top of Beaver Mountain.  It was a long hard haul, but I was rewarded with a fantastic view, although I have to say that it won’t come across in pictures too well, since it was very hazy today.

When I got to the top, the first thing I did was take my shirt off to dry, and to let the nice cool breeze up there evaporate the sweat on my body.  After my hands stopped shaking from the strain of the hike, I took some pictures of the incredible vista before me.

As I said, it was very hazy out so no camera could have taken very good shots today, so you’ll just have to allow for that.  Pictures never really capture the awesomeness of actually being there anyways.

Here you can see my shirt hanging up to dry, and my hat on top of my walking stick.  That’s Elliot Lake in the background, both the town of, and the body of water.

That straight stretch of road you can see there is Hwy 108, which is the main highway running through Elliot Lake.

Here, again, you can see my hat sitting on top of my walking stick, and Elliot Lake in the background.

There’s a big dead tree that sticks up right in front of this lookout spot.

One of the neat features of this Olympus camera is the powerful telephoto lens it has.  I zoomed in a bit on the Municipal Boat Launching area in this shot.

This is a rock out in the middle of Elliot Lake.  It’s two kilometers away!  If it wasn’t for the haze today, this shot would have been much better.

Some people in a boat on Elliot Lake, again, about two kilometers away.

Anyway, those were the pictures I took from the top of Beaver Mountain.  While I was there, an older guy on an ATV came up to where I was.  We talked for a while, and I asked him how far it was back down the ATV trail to the road.  He didn’t know if it would be any shorter than the trail I had come up, so I decided to head back down the way I had come up.

So, away I went.  At least this was all going to be downhill, which was somewhat of a relief, after that long, hard climb up.

At this point I came to the second reason my brother might be thankful that he was not here for this hike.  I was about a half a kilometer into the descent, when I was stopped in my tracks by a large, black furry animal on the trail, about a few hundred feet ahead.  Of course, this being prime black bear country, it was not totally unexpected.  It clearly didn’t see me, and my first thought was, not to run, but to get a picture of it.  I waited cautiously as it slowly sniffed its way along the trail.  Then it suddenly turned away from me and I saw a bushy long tail.  It was a large black dog!

Still, it had me going for a while, especially since there were no sounds of people around.  I climbed up on a big boulder nearby, to see if I could see anyone on the trail ahead.  After a minute or so, I started to hear faint voices.  It took them a while, but eventually two elderly gentlemen appeared coming up the trail with the big black dog.  These guys had to be in their late seventies, or even older.  One of them appeared to be having some kind of convulsions, and he would stop every couple of feet to hang onto a tree and catch his breath.  The other one was sweating so profusely, he looked like he had just walked across the Sahara.

We exchanged a few words as they passed by, and then I continued my descent.  It was very difficult to walk because the trail was rough, but you couldn’t see where the rocks were because of all the leaves.  It wouldn’t be hard to injure an ankle in these conditions.

Which way do I go?

I’d bet money that this little cave is a bear’s winter den.  By the way, I didn’t go up and look in.  Nothing like being slapped in the face by a paw with two-inch claws on it.

Anyway, I did make my way back down to the ATV trail that I had started on.  I had to wonder though, what happened to those two old guys I saw heading up.  They still had a fair bit to go when I passed them and they looked near death at that point.  I have to give them credit though.  A lot of folks their age wouldn’t even attempt such a hike.  As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather die in beautiful forest setting like this than in a hospital hooked up to all kinds of machines.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Pauleboy on October 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    HAHAHA!!!!!!! I would have soiled myself right where I stood! Then I would’ve made the old buggers pay for having such a stupid dog!

    Odd that they would risk a coronary to go up there. Maybe they mistook the name!!!

    Pauleboy

    Reply

  2. Well, like I said, I would rather die like that than in a hospital, so maybe they were thinking the same thing,.. Or who knows, maybe they were on their way up to throw themselves off and end it all. Either way, going from how they looked the last time I saw them, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they got their wish.

    Reply

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