Snowshoeing Lacnor

Today was another fantastic sunny day, which has really thrown me a curve, because last winter was the exact opposite. Not only was it sunny, but it was also very mild, with light winds, so fantastic doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Another unlikely fact about today was that the forecast was actually correct. I guess they have to be right sometime. Even a two-year-old would be right sometime, given enough chances. Anyway, lets not dwell too much on things we have no control over.

I did, however, have control over what I was going to do today and I decided to try out those snowshoes that I’ve had since last year. The testing grounds would be the Lacnor Mine site, where I have been many times before, but I was taking a different trail this time.

Since we’ve had a good dumping of snow this year, not many people venture into the Lacnor site because the snow is too deep to walk comfortably, so I was almost assured of a very quiet walk.

Sometimes I really can’t believe how blue the sky gets around here. Must be the lack of air pollution or something.

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Here you can see my snowshoe tracks, as I started my trek into the wilderness. It was a bit of a rough start though. While I was putting my snowshoes on, I broke one of the bindings and I had to jury rig it so that I could use them. Fortunately, I’ve always been really good at making broken things work. I guess it must be from lots of practice.

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As you can see, I’m not sinking into the snow too much here, and the walking was fairly easy, although I do have bowed legs, which causes my snowshoes to overlap on the inside somewhat. I knew this when I purchased these snowshoes, so I got the narrowest ones I could find.

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If you have a keen eye, up top there, you can see that lone hydro pole that I often refer to.

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This is Lacnor Ridge, which runs all the way through the Lacnor Mine site.

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There were lots of animal tracks around. These were probably fox, or maybe coyote tracks. I know they were not dog tracks because there were no human tracks around. Another way of differentiating dog tracks from wild canine tracks is the fact that wild animals will put their rear paws into the tracks made by their front paws, in order to conserve energy. Domestic dogs have lost the need to do this, so their tracks will be all over the place. Also, wild animals will tend to walk more in a straight line than domestic dogs.

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So far, the snowshoeing is going okay, but the snow is getting softer and deeper here.

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You can see from the map, that I went down one road and then circled around and came back. The snow down that way got real deep and, even with snowshoes on, it was quite a workout walking.

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Looking back at Lacnor Ridge, as I’m walking farther away from it.

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Wait a minute, I thought that motorized vehicles were not allowed in the mine sites? I guess what the authorities don’t know, won’t hurt them. Anyway, I’m not really one for obeying every sign I see, so far be it from me to cast a stone. By the way, that’s Dumbell Lake there.

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As I’ve said many times before, the quiet in these sites is as mesmerizing as the scenery. Here’s a short video to give you an idea;

I was now able to walk on the trail left by that snowmobile, and the going was much easier. In fact, I did run into the guy riding the snowmobile, once when I was going in, and then on the way back too.

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Into the bush we go.

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I passed another small frozen pond along the trail here.

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They do mark the trails around here very well. However, I won’t be going that way today. That goes up to the Lookout Tower. Just two days ago, which was also a beautiful sunny day, I did walk up to the Lookout Tower, so I’m getting my fair share of exercise lately.

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I’ve seen these signs at most of the mine sites. They put these signs here because they control the flow of water through the lakes that contain mine tailings, and the water levels can rise and fall accordingly. It’s just foolish to go out on the ice because everyone should know that moving water will not freeze as well as still water.

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I do take these signs seriously because, if you fall through the ice out here, no one is coming to save you. This is exactly why every year we hear of snowmobilers being killed. For What?

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A beautiful scene beside Westner Lake. Actually, the map shows this lake as Spillane Lake, but I guess the old name was Westner Lake, and it’s still being used around here.

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Back up the trail from Westner Lake. It wasn’t too bad walking uphill with snowshoes on, besides the fact that I’m bowlegged.

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I only met that one guy on the snowmobile during today’s walk, so it was pretty quiet most of the time.

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It’s really great that we’re getting these sunny days spread out in between the snowy days. It gives me a chance to get outside to get some fresh air and exercise.

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Slowly but surely, I made my way back along the trail, stopping now and then to take a picture.

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It wasn’t cold at all, and I carried my gloves for most of the walk.

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Once again, you can see that lone hydro pole sitting up on top of the ridge, and also some light, thin clouds now moving in from the left side.

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Look at that style! This guy is obviously a full-blooded Eskimo.

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Down the home stretch.

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And back to the truck.

So, my report on snowshoeing goes like this. I do things, these days, to enjoy them. I don’t find snowshoeing to be enjoyable. It’s too much like work to me. If I had to go into deep snow for some reason, then I would wear them. But, I don’t think I will ever be going snowshoeing to enjoy it, because I wouldn’t. For most of the seven kilometers I covered today, I could have walked with just my boots, especially where I was on the snowmobile trail. There were places that I really needed the snowshoes, but I think that I’d rather just avoid those types of places and enjoy the walk with just boots on.

So, it’s just as well that the binding on my snowshoe broke. I don’t think I will be fixing it anytime soon. There are tons of snowmobile trails around here to walk on. Who needs snowshoes.

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