Checking Quirke

Sunshine was the name of the game today, and I wasn’t going to waste it sitting inside. I decided to go over to Quirke Lake, to check the ice, and snow, situation, even though I know that Quirke Lake is one of the last, in this general area, to give up the ice.

Before I got to Quirke, I was passing the road that goes into May Lake, and I thought that I might take a look in there, to see what the conditions were like.

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After walking in a few hundred yards, it was clear that this was going to be a long slog through the snow, so I put the kibosh on that idea. It’s funny, you never know what conditions will be like in any particular place, unless you go in and see.

So, I continued on my way to Quirke Lake.

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At the Stanrock mine site, the main road going in was clear, because the workers need access to a pumping station inside the site. However, the way that I needed to go still had snow on the road.

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So, I headed for the hills, where the snow coverage was much less.

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Soon, from the high ground, Quirke Lake came into sight, still locked in ice, as expected, but weakening ice nonetheless.

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Something comes over me when I’m in these places. I feel more alive, and free from the insanity of the society we live in. It’s an amazing feeling.

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The quiet beauty, and simple being of the wilderness is so refreshing.

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The stillness, and quiet whisper of nature’s breath against the distant trees allows everything to be as it is.

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I look out over the lake, and the islands, with a bit more familiarity, now that I’ve explored most of it in my kayak.

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However, I still need to explore the northeast side of the lake, which I might get around to this summer.

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Check out the contrast in snow coverage here. One side is completely covered in deep snow, and the other is clear.

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I don’t usually put myself in pictures because I feel that it distracts from the true beauty but, it does add some perspective in cases like this.

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It was a beautiful sunny day today but don’t let that fool you. There was a fairly cool breeze blowing, and my hands got cold real fast when they weren’t in my pockets.

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You see the wet looking patches at the bottom of this picture? Some of that was clear ice, so I had to keep that in mind while walking close to the edge, so that I didn’t become a permanent fixture down below.

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I was all alone up here, as I usually am. The only time there have been some other people up here, when I was here, was when I brought my brother up here last year.

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The locals call this bear valley, because there is a lot of grass down there, and grass is one of the first things that black bears eat, when they come out of hibernation in the spring.

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Looking over to the east side of Quirke Lake, I remember that I did run into a bear, while checking out a portage there last summer. He was none too happy to see me, so I had to make a quick exit, after all, it’s his home, not mine.

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Right down there, in the middle, you can see the concrete cap on the Stanrock Two mine shaft.

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Looking west.

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I stayed on the high rocks, making my way back out.

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Much easier than walking on the snow-covered road, which you can just see to the far upper right.

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It’s much nicer than walking on the road anyways.

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Now I can get back on the road, because there’s no snow on this section, and I’m almost back to the truck.

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Some more beautiful scenery from this area.

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Time to roll. I’ll head over to Timmies in town now, for an after hike coffee and muffin. I know, it’s a tough life, but we all have to do our part, don’t we?

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