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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


Looking west.


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


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


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


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


Some more beautiful scenery from this area.


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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