Hiking the Highways 3

I last left off at Ompa Lake, with the ‘Hiking the Highways’ series of posts. So, I was back at Ompa Lake today, to continue north, on the road designated as 639.

This segment of ‘Hiking the Highways’ would take me from Ompa Lake, to Mississagi Provincial Park.

It was a cool, but very sunny day, with a fairly brisk breeze from the north. This is my favourite type of weather because I don’t overheat that easily. Today, I was dressed perfectly for the occasion, which is sometimes hard to calculate, since forecasts are not all that dependable, but I guess I just got lucky this time.


I parked the truck near Ompa Lake, and then I was off into the wild.


Some people might say, “well, you’re on a highway”, but you’ll just have to take my word for it, this is no man’s land up here. There are no hydro wires, no phone lines, no cottages, or houses, or structures of any kind. This is a paved road going through endless wilderness, and it is very lightly used.


The road stretches out ahead, and it’s quiet, with just the sounds of nature keeping me company, along with the little music player I keep in my shirt pocket.


I take pictures of things that catch my eye along the way, but it really doesn’t do justice to the remoteness of the area.


This is what my spirit yearns for, remoteness and a raw natural experience. But, at the same time, I don’t want to completely disconnect from some of the conveniences of the civilized world.


We’re on the doorstep of fall up here, and the ‘big sleep’ is not far off.


Walking this road is a lot easier than walking in the bush, but it’s not much different. The quiet, and the feel of the expansive wilderness surrounding me is awe inspiring.


A raven soars overhead, with an indifferent solitude that is captivating.


I usually don’t have a finishing point for these hikes, but today I knew that I would finish at Mississagi Provincial Park because there is a convenient place for me to park my truck for the next leg of the ‘Hiking the Highways’ series.


The park is still open, but I suspect it will close around the first of October. I’m wondering how the city of Elliot Lake made out with it’s first season of running the park. It’s not a very popular park, as far as provincial parks go, because it’s quite a bit out of the way.


Don’t get me wrong, Mississagi is a very nice park, but I never came here during my provincial park camping era just because it was hell and back from nowhere.


I sat on a rock at the gate of the park, and then headed back south.


Well, it wasn’t all walking. I did take some time to enjoy the surroundings.


There’s something about this rugged and lonely land that I can’t get enough of. Some, who have known me, would say that I’m a distant person myself, and I know that to be true. Maybe it’s just who I am that draws me here.


When I see a trail heading off into the bush, especially a lightly use one, I can’t help but wonder where it goes, although I do have to temper my desires to explore with my physical abilities, and the daylight hours available.


There was one really long stretch of uphill, coming back, that’s another reason I kept this hike a bit shorter than the other highway hikes I’ve done so far.


Sometime I’ll go a little ways in off the highway, if I feel that there’s something interesting to see. Here, I struggled a bit, through rough terrain, to get to a small waterfall. After I took this picture, I realized that I was standing on a questionable overhang, that looked like it could let go at any second, so I made a hasty retreat.


Elk tracks along the side of the road.


Blue sky and red leaves always go well together.


With no distractions, it is very easy to enjoy every second of these hikes and, in this one particular instance, I’m very content to say “I do”.


A large vein of quartz in a roadside rock.


These plants, with the yellow flowers, grow very tall, and they’re all along the roadside.


These cactus looking things are also all along the roadside.


I’d never drive this road in winter. If you slide off the road here, you’d have time to think about how much is gonna hurt on the way down.


Ahh, that’s Ompa Lake. I’m almost back to the truck.


Ompa Lake is a nice lake to paddle, although I’ve heard others say that it’s being destroyed by Crown Land campers. However, I didn’t see any evidence of that when I explored Ompa Lake a while back.


The truck waits, patiently, and all four wheels are still attached, so I guess I’m getting home today. 🙂


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