A Beautiful November Day

There can’t be all that many days left now before the snow hits so I took full advantage of a nice sunny November day to head into the bush for an excellent hiking adventure.

Since it was a Sunday, there were some people around on the trails and, as I drove around, I took note of where the cars were parked so that I could find a nice quiet route.  When I got to the entrance going up to the Lookout Tower, I noticed that they had closed the gate for the winter.  However, you could still walk up if you didn’t mind the uphill workout.

I decided to take a hike up there, since I knew that it would be nice and quiet.  As usual, it was not a very clear day.  It was also quite breezy at the top.  I took a few pictures, but I won’t spend a lot of time with this location since I’ve already posted about it a couple of times before.

The deserted Lookout Tower parking area.  I doubt that too many people will be walking up that hill now that the gate is closed at the bottom.

Like I said, it was pretty hazy again and, with all the leaves gone off the trees, it looks a bit drab.

I headed back down the Lookout Tower road.

I thought that I might check out another fine-looking precipice that I’ve had my eye on for a while now.  There is a lone telephone pole way up on top of this rocky cliff so I figured that there must be a way to get up there.

Here’s the pole I mean.  I took this photo from the Lookout Tower road, which is quite a long distance from the top of this cliff.  I used full 30 times zoom and it’s very hard to get a clear shot while holding the camera at that distance.  It’s obvious that this pole is no longer connected to anything, since you can see wires hanging down from it.

Anyway, I hiked in past the mining road gate and then took a side road towards where I thought there might be a trail to the top of that cliff.  I got to a point where it looked like I might be able to bushwhack my way up to it but, as I started up, the sun was right in my eyes and I couldn’t really see where I was going.  I decided that maybe it wasn’t a very good idea to leave the gravel road and headed back down.

This may not be the easiest way to get up there, so I continued on the gravel road, even though I knew it was probably heading away from the cliff with the telephone pole.  I did, however, come across another nice lookout spot which I remember that me and my brother had visited a few weeks ago.

If you look closely, you can see my truck parked in that clearing at the bottom of the Lookout Tower road.

Another angle from that same spot.

Only the evergreens have colour in them now, everything else is a drab grey.

It’s not often that I take pictures of myself but here I am in the natural surroundings where I feel most at home.

This is where my multi-purpose walking stick comes in handy.  It has a sharp steel point on the end of it, so that I can stick it in the ground, and it has a screw on the top of it that can connect to the bottom of the camera.

Anyway, after my stop here, I continued along the same gravel road for a while.

This is such a ruggedly beautiful area and now, with all the leaves gone off the trees, you can see through the bush much more clearly.

It was just after this point that I ran into a very interesting fellow.  It was an older man, I think he said he was 76.  He used to be one of the miners who worked in these uranium mines in the Elliot Lake area.  He was a wealth of information, since he knew all the trails and mining roads around here.  We talked for some time about the area and other things.  He told me how to get to the top of that cliff with the telephone pole, so that will be on my agenda for another day.  He also told me that he ran into a very large bear on the Horne Lake trail, so they are around, I just haven’t run into one yet.

I decided to continue on the way that I was going and soon I came to a lake.

This is Sherriff Lake.  I did a post before about Sherriff Creek and this is the lake that the creek runs into.

None of these lakes in the mining sites are accessible to boating, mostly because you can’t drive in here.  I haven’t seen any signs that say you can’t boat in these lakes though, so I’m assuming that you can, if you can get a boat in here.

It is my intention to get an inflatable kayak in the spring, so it might be possible for me to carry it into these locations and do some paddling around these remote lakes.  That would be a real treat for me.  In the mean time, maybe I can do some more research to find out if this would be allowed.

There are so many lakes in these mining sites, some quite small and some quite large.  These are all remote lakes with no cottages or road access, just pristine wilderness surrounding them.

There are many small, rocky islands in these lakes to explore too.

I’d been walking for quite some time now and I’d made some twists and turns to the point where I wasn’t really sure where I was anymore.  What I mean is, if I had to retrace my steps to find my way back the way that I came in, I’m not too sure that I could.  Sure, I was on one of the mining roads but this place is riddled with mining roads, and some of them go for miles and miles only to come to a desolate end in the middle of nowhere.

Fortunately, I had thought to bring my GPS enabled ipod.  I was able to pinpoint my position with no problem, and I used it a few times when I wasn’t sure which way to go.  It worked flawlessly each time.

This is a dam at the end of Sherriff Lake.  I’d say it’s about a ten foot drop into the river below.  I made a short video at this point, so I’ll post it here;

There was lots of debris at the bottom of the falls, logs and stuff that had been pushed over and were piling up there.

There was a nice scenic area after the falls, where the river flowed onwards.

Looking back to Sherriff Lake from the dam.

I can never get enough of these kinds of places.

Unfortunately, pictures can never really capture what it’s truly like to be here.

A crushed rock berm leading up to the dam.

The somewhat deteriorating road continued along the river for a while.

Looking back, along the river, to the area after the falls.

Looking ahead to where the river is going.

There’s a picture to be had everywhere you look around here.

At this point I continued deeper into the unknown, now that I was certain that I could find my way back out using my GPS.

The road went on……

and on…….

and on…..

After taking some GPS readings, I realized that this road was actually leading over to join up with the roads in the Stanleigh mine site.

It was a beautiful area but it was hell and back from where I had parked the truck.  I had been walking for hours at this point, so I decided to try and navigate my way back to Milliken Road and from there I could walk back along the paved road to my truck.

I can’t deny, I was having a fantastic time out here but the days are getting shorter, and I would not want to be caught out here in the dark, so it was time to find a road back to civilization.

Using my GPS, I found a road that seemed to lead in the direction I wanted to go and it turned out to be quite a scenic road also.

Of course, I would have to document this scenery, and there was no shortage of it.


and more…..

and more…..

I came across another small lake with no name, where it was very apparent……

that the beavers were hard at work.

They didn’t mind tackling larger trees either.  They even tried to saw this one off in logs.

There was a birds nest in one of the trees beside this small lake, but I don’t know if the bird can count on it being there next year, the way the beavers were going.

I continued to head in the direction where I was sure I would find the main road.

The trouble is, there are so many roads in here, and many of them are not even shown on my topographical maps.

I took, what I felt was surely, a wrong turn, and came to this beautiful open area.

After drenching myself in the serenity, I backtracked a bit and found, what looked like, a footpath that came out to the paved road.  All that was left now was to walk a kilometer or so back up that road to my truck.

There was some nice scenery along that road too.

So, that was my hike for today.  I was out for most of the day and I really enjoyed it a lot.  Of course, I hit Timmies on the way back and then parked at the Miners Monument at Horne Lake to enjoy my coffee and muffin.  It’s a tough life but I’ll make it ok. 🙂




2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Avril on November 7, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Al…….. it’s just beautiful there ……… aren’t you glad you started this trek????


  2. Hey Av;

    I am certainly glad that I decided to stay here in Elliot Lake. There are so many places to explore and, as you’ve noted, the scenery is unbelievable.


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