Foiled Again – Stanleigh

I’m beginning to think that life just doesn’t want me to go into the Stanleigh mine site. In early spring, when the snow was still on the ground, I attempted to do a hike at the Stanleigh mine site, and was turned back by a sign that I had never seen before, prohibiting hiking. However, I was later assured that this was just a temporary closure, because of work being done in the site.

So, today, I decided to try that hike again, and all looked well for a while.

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This is the first gate at the Stanleigh mine site and, even though it does say Private Property on the sign, it is well known that they do allow hikers in here. Other signs around the perimeter actually say No Trespassing but, again, hikers are allowed.

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This is Penelope Lake, which was still frozen when I came here in early spring.

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This is the second gate, and the one which had the No Hiking sign on it the last time. As you can see, no problems this time, and I felt that I was surely on my way to a nice long, and enjoyable hike. In fact, I had noticed that the local hiking club had just done this hike the other day.

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Off I went, feeling that the completion of this hike was a sure thing today.

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I had hiked this far once before, and I remember it as being a very long and scenic hike.

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I came to a smaller side road, cutting off from the one I was on, and it had this sign on it, again, a sign I’ve never seen used in these mine sites. However, I wasn’t going that way anyway, so I wasn’t too concerned.

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I hadn’t gone too much further, when I noticed two more signs, and these ones were on the road that I was on. I don’t believe this. Did someone know I was coming, or what? Am I going to have to turn back again? I thought about just continuing, but I do know that they come in here all the time to check things out, and I didn’t want to get on the wrong side of these guys, since they do allow us to hike in here, and they don’t have to.

However, I did have one other choice.

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There was a smaller road, going off to the right, just before these signs, almost as if they were giving me another way to go, so I took it.

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I had never been on this road before, but I had my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 GPS with me, so I was confident I wouldn’t get lost. But, from the direction this road was headed in, I quickly figured out that I knew where it was going.

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Is that another gate down there? Yep, it certainly is, and I had a pretty good idea what this gate meant.

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As I got closer to the gate, I noticed something. This was the inside of the gate! I went past the gate, and looked back.

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So, I’m not in the Stanleigh mine site anymore and, from the direction I was going in, I knew that I had to be headed for the Milliken mine site now. I’m not a big fan of hiking in the Milliken mine site. It’s a great site, no doubt, but it’s also the favorite haunt of dog walkers. I don’t like running into dog walkers when I’m out hiking. From my experience, they are a very irrational bunch, and many times their dogs are way ahead of them.

It wouldn’t be the first time if I came across a dog that saw me as the enemy, and treated me as such. I’d rather run into a bear to be honest. At least if I have to hit the bear over the head with my walking stick, I won’t have to deal with an irrational ‘owner’ just behind it. Dog ‘owners’ typically seem to think that ‘their’ dog wouldn’t hurt a fly, and it must be me that did something wrong to the dog. I kid you not, this has happened to me, more than once.

Nevertheless, I kept on course, and continued down the road.

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Like I said, I had never been down this road before, and I wanted to see what was on it.

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Looking back on the road I had just walked.

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Another, smaller, road going off into the bush, but I wasn’t going that way. These mine sites are riddled with roads, some of them going nowhere.

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A river running through the bush.

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So far, I hadn’t seen anyone else on my hike today, and I wanted to keep it like that.

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I started to notice features that I’d seen before, and I knew now that I was in the Milliken mine site. Time to start looking for an inconspicuous way out of here.

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Ah yes, a hidden trail that I knew would lead me back out to the main road, because I’d used this trail before, for exactly the same reason.

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Going into the last stretch. Looks like I’m home free. I know what a lot of people might think, so much concern about dogs? Well, here are the straight facts, read them and weep. For every one person killed by a bear in North America, there are 25 people killed by dogs. And, for the record, I’m not really concerned about being killed by a dog, I can take care of myself. I’m more concerned about dealing with the irrational ‘owner’ who will almost certainly blame me for whatever happens to their dog, when, in fact, they are to blame for not keeping their dogs on a leash. Just sayin’

So, the hike today wasn’t as long as I wanted it to be and, again, I didn’t get to finish the Stanleigh mine site hike. Maybe another day. Still, it was nice to get out there, into the quiet wilderness, for another nice bit of exercise.

My hands are feeling much stronger now, so paddling is imminent, just waiting for the right weather conditions.

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