Hiking the Highways 2

Today, I got back to the point where I left off last time I was ‘Hiking the Highways’ which was the Quirke TMA(Tailings Management Area), right at the beginning of highway 639 north. It was another beautiful sunny day, with cool temperatures, so it was perfect weather for a little walking exercise.

Here is the route that I followed today;

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I parked the truck, and headed north.

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Of course, I’ll be taking pictures all along the way. In fact, today, I took a total of 168 pictures. Good thing cameras don’t take film anymore.

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As you can see, this highway(and I use that term very loosely here) is quite a bit different than 108, which was the first section I walked. There are no lines on the road, and there are no guard rails along the side. It’s more like a paved side road.

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The road passes many scenic spots that most people just zoom by, with hardly any chance to really notice them.

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Logging trucks come flying along here during the week but, since today is Sunday, there will be no logging truck activity today. However, you can imagine what it would be like, with the road not being all that wide.

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The road winds it way into more rugged country. Again, this is not a busy road, even when the logging trucks are running, there might be one an hour.

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You don’t see too many of these anymore. Reminds me of a boss I once had. He used to wear glasses as thick as pop bottle bottoms.

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Lots of cones on the top of this big tree.

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I’ve seen this sign before, a walleye fish hatchery run by locals in order to improve fishing. Thing is, I’ve never seen anyone, or heard of anyone, catching a walleye around here. I’ve also watched the MNR statistics for stocking lakes, but I’ve never seen them stocking walleye. So, where are these fish going to is my question?

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This is the site of a logging truck crash that I passed by last year. He was lucky, the drop was only around 10 or 12 feet off the road here. Many other places can be over 100 feet.

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A small river by the side of the road.

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An ATV trail going west into the bush. Sometimes I’ll follow these for a while, but this one wasn’t calling my name. However, a bit farther north, I did see, what looked like a well used gravel road on the east side of the highway, so I followed it for about 200 yards, and this is what I found;

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I don’t know if this was washed out, or if it was taken out on purpose. It looks like there might have been a bridge here, because I saw pieces of wood down there. The road did continue off into the bush on the other side, but I didn’t follow it this time.

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It’s really nice to see big trees like this, since there’s not all that many of them left. Most areas around here have probably been logged at some time or other.

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This is definitely a land of rock, trees, and water.

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A couple of turtles taking in the sun while they still can. Those guys sure have a long sleep coming pretty soon.

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A lightly used trail going into the bush. I went in here and found a cleared area not too far in. Looks like it could be a hunting camp. I did hear some shots being fired today, which is a familiar sound at this time of year.

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In my experience, this is a sign that can be ignored. The MNR have too much to do already, without going around in the bush to check peoples citizenship.

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Wow, check the colours this little bush is flying.

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This is Lake TwentyThree, on the east side of the highway. There’s a nice little pull-off here , that could be used for an overnight spot.

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Here it is. There’s also a makeshift boat launch here too.

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It’s a good size lake, and it might be good for fishing.

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Moose tracks along the side of the road.

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A better view of Lake Twentythree. The MNR actually gives all the lakes with no names a number, but this lake has taken that a bit more seriously and is officially designated on maps as Lake Twentythree.

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This is the spot where I put my kayak in one time, when I came here to paddle Ompa Lake.

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Here’s Ompa Lake. This lake is stocked, by the MNR, with Rainbow Trout. However, I didn’t catch anything when I came to fish here, earlier this year.

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Mushrooms growing in the sandy gravel.

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So, this is as far as I’m going to go for this segment of ‘Hiking the Highways’. Next time, I’ll park the truck here, at Ompa Lake, and continue my next adventure on the highway to the north.

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I still have a long walk back to the truck, so I’d better get started.

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Another shot of Lake Twentythree.

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I sat on top of a high rock cut, along the side of the road, to have something to eat before the long walk home.

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Looking north.

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Looking south.

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It’s a long way back. Feet don’t fail me now.

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Flowers along the way.

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Won’t be long until these hills are on fire with the fall colours. It’s an amazing sight to see. Pictures just don’t do it justice.

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Some trees are getting a head start.

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Even the caterpillars are colourful this time of year.

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The weary traveller himself.

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I remember this pond. I’m almost there.

And so ends another segment of ‘Hiking the Highways’. Maybe there’ll be even more colours the next time.

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