Meltdown Madness

I’m really impressed with the progress of the, much awaited, meltdown here in the Elliot Lake area. It’s amazing what a few milder days can do, in terms of bringing us from a long, cold winter into, what seemed like, a spring that didn’t want to arrive.

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Here, on Horne Lake, you can see that the ice is weakening, and snowmobile travel has come to a screeching halt. The snowmobile trails are not much better either. There are bare patches on the more travelled areas, although there are still a few die-hards looking for places to get in a final run before it’s too late.

The ice fishing season is also winding down, and all the huts are off the lakes by now, although I’ve seen some ice ice fisherman still walking out and drilling their holes.

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Here are some of those ice fishermen, on a favourite spot, where the river from Horne Lake comes into Elliot Lake. I see them here at this time of year every spring. To me, this is risky business, since this is the first place that the ice breaks up, due to the current of the river. If one of them was to go through the ice here, it’s quite possible that the current would sweep them underneath the ice into the abyss.

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It was only about a week ago that I was along here, and the snowmobile trails were just fine, in fact the groomer was still operating. Now, the trails are done for the season.

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Some spots are still in fair shape, as you can see here, but you can also see, from the tracks, that the ATV’s are now using them.

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You can tell how much snow is still on the ground though, and it’s probably even deeper in the bush, so it’s only the travelled areas that are somewhat open at this point.

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The flowing rivers will be the first areas to break free of ice, and there is some open water on those rivers already.

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This will be the first place the ice opens up, going into Elliot Lake. Behind the trees, again, you can see those ice fishermen.

I went for a drive today, into some of the areas that I normally frequent in the warmer months, just to check the conditions. The roads were all clear, but there’s really nowhere to park off the roads, and walking in the bush is out of the question because of deep snow. However, at the rate the melting is going, it won’t be long until I’m back on the trails, and into the lakes once again.

I just started putting together our spring paddling trip, with my son and my brother. We’re looking at the last week of May, and a definite location is yet to be determined. I’ll probably be out in my kayak before that though, as soon as the water opens up, and the exploring will begin once again.

Also, just a quick update on the ebike battery situation. I’ve now finished testing all 270 lithium cells that I harvested from the dead laptop battery packs, and 216 cells are good and useable. That’s exactly 80% of all the cells, not bad.

If I had to buy new lithium cells, those 216 cells would have cost me at least $1296.00, taking $6. as the average price of a half decent new lithium cell. As it is, it cost me around $86. to buy the laptop battery packs on ebay, so now you know why I’m building my own ebike battery.

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