Hikeaholic – Sunday at Stanrock

Planning things is so overrated. Letting the chips fall where they may is much more adventurous, and more satisfying too. This is the way life was meant to be, not with every second of the day ‘scheduled’.

As I was hanging out this morning, after breakfast, I decided that I would buy a real minnow trap, the galvanized mesh kind. I had seen how other people in the area were just leaving these minnow traps at different locations, where they could easily drop by and pick up some minnows, when they were on their way to go fishing.

So, I went over to Can Tire and bought the trap. I then needed a place to put it, which was both a good location to catch minnows, and a convenient location to pick them up on the way to my chosen fishing spot. Since I know this area pretty well now, I had some places in mind, so I decide to hop in the truck, and go check some of them out.

I was thinking along Milliken Mine Road would be the most convenient spot, and there were a number of spots that one could set a minnow trap. In fact, I’d seen people do this along here, so I wasn’t the first one to think of it. After a bit of cruising, I stopped at, what I thought would be, the best spot for me. It was at a place called Prodan’s Pond.

I hopped out of the truck, and started looking along the shoreline for a more concealed location for the trap. After all, I didn’t want anyone to discover where it was, and then make it their own. I went into some bushes along the shore, where there were trees right next to the edge of the water. This would surely be the best spot, since no one would think of looking in here.

As I bent down to check for places to tie up the minnow trap, I see this yellow nylon rope tied to the bottom of a tree. Yep, you guessed it, it was someone else’s minnow trap. However, this minnow trap was caked in rust. I could tell that no one had used this trap for years, although there were some minnows, and also some crayfish in it. My guess is that the crayfish were there because, eventually, the minnows would die in this trap, and the crayfish would clean up the mess.

Anyway, in the end, I just left that minnow trap there, and I will just come there to pick up some minnows, should I need them. I can drop by the day before, and put some bread in the trap to attract more minnows into it. The ones that are there now probably just swam in naturally, not after any bait.

I didn’t check to see if I could open that trap though and, since it was so rusted, it may not open, so I guess I’ll find out the next time I go there.

Since I was already out in the truck, I thought that I might head up to Panel Mine Road, to see if they had finished the construction yet. I wanted to do the Strike Lake route in the Panel mine site, and I did bring my hiking stuff with me, just in case. So, I drove up there to check it out.

On the way up, I looked in my rear view mirror, and saw that there was another car coming, and I like to drive slowly, so that I can see everything along the way, after all, I’m retired and I’m in no hurry to get anywhere. So, I decided to pull off onto Stanrock Road, to take a look at the possibility of setting a minnow trap at Flag Lake, which is just a short way into Stanrock Road.

Well, this car, that was coming behind me, turned at Stanrock Road too, so here we go. Anyway, to make, what could be, a long story short. I just ended up pulling over to the side of Stanrock Road, and letting this car pass.

As I was sitting there, on the side of Stanrock Road, I thought, why not just take a drive down to see Rooster Rock, at the end of the road. I had my camera equipment with me, and it’s not a very long hike. So, that’s what I did, and here’s the tour of that hike. By the way, I’ll say right now, I forgot all about checking out Panel Mine Road, which was the reason that I drove up this way in the first place. 🙂

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It was another dull, cloudy day, which we’ve been seeing all too much of lately. Not a good day for pictures at all, but I did the best that I could, under the prevailing circumstances.

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I don’t walk in on the road anymore, I head to the high country right away, because I find it more scenic. As I was walking over the bare Canadian Shield, I noticed that, in many places, the moss on the rock had been disturbed. It looked like some animal was digging up the moss, probably to find food. As I continued walking, I saw this same peculiar disturbance all over the place.

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Again here. I don’t know what was doing this, and I had never noticed this behavior before, so it remains a mystery.

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Some old steel parts left on top of a boulder.

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The weather did look threatening, but it didn’t rain for the time I was here today.

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Now I’m coming out, onto the Rooster’s back. Quirke Lake ahead.

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You’ll notice, in this panorama, that I’ve tried to cut as much of the sky out as possible. It’s very difficult to find a compromise between the bright white sky, and the dark ground. If you get one looking natural, in the picture, the other is either too dark, or too bright. This is something that I’m not too good at yet, but I’m going to try some different filters to fix this anomaly.

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Of course, I’ve taken pictures from up here many times before, on much better days, and I do intend to come back later in the fall season, when the Rooster is in full colours.

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In the bottom left you can see the Stanrock Two Mine Shaft, in an area that the locals call Bear Valley.

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Zoomed in on the Stanrock Two Mine Shaft.

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Soon, many of those trees down there will be on fire with colour, and this is one of the best places around here to see the fall colours. However, many, if not most, will be satisfied just driving along the road to see the colours.

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As I’m standing up here, gazing at the quiet beauty off Rooster Rock, I hear some kind of flapping in the wind. I was looking all around, trying to figure out where that sound was coming from.

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Then, out from underneath the Rooster, comes this sailboat. I’d never seen a sailboat on Quirke Lake before. I hope he knows where all those widow-maker rocks are, waiting just under the surface of the water to ruin your day.

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I took a lot of pictures of this sailboat but, it was far away and, with the dull conditions, the more I zoom, the worse the pictures get.

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I’ve never had much of an interest in sailing, but it is a very natural way of travelling on water, if you know what you’re doing. This person seemed very good at it.

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Through the narrows.

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As I continued along the edge of the Rooster, almost to his head now, the wind really started to pick up.

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I came across this interesting array of rusted steel hooks along the rocks.

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And this fire pit that someone had built. I often thought of spending a night up here on Rooster Rock. Camping is not allowed in any of these mine sites but, on a clear night, with a full moon, bending the rules a bit might seem to be in order. 🙂

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It would be nice to try some night photography too, although today’s light is not far from it. 😦

This was a real workout for my wind noise baffles and, while they were working pretty well, I do tend to be a bit of a perfectionist sometimes, and I might try to eliminate all the noise at some point.

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Well, I’m right on the Rooster’s head now, and the wind is howling at gale force. I had some concern for that sailor out there, and I looked around to see if I could spot the boat again, but no sign, not that I could have done anything anyways. There’s no cell coverage here, and I could hardly get down there to be of any assistance.

Not only was the wind howling, but it was quite cold now, so I started to head inland a bit more.

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A large piece of quartz I saw along the way.

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As I came inland, to a more open area, I caught a glimpse of this pipe sticking up out of the long grass. It reminded me that I have not yet located the Stanrock One mine shaft, even though I’ve been to this site a number of times.

Like I’ve often said, it’s not my number one priority to locate the mine shafts, but it is a point of interest, so my first thought was, that this pipe might indicate the Stanrock One.

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Nope, this was a ventilation shaft, but it did get me thinking that the Stanrock One was close by, so I went searching in the bushes.

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And, I found it.

So, there ya have it, the Stanrock One mine shaft. My guess is, if you fell into this shaft, you wouldn’t hit water for a few hundred feet, since this shaft is so high up from the water table.

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There were some wooden boards on both sides of the shaft, that seemed to have been put there for a purpose. Not sure what that would be, and I didn’t move them to find out.

As I looked around the area of the Stanrock One mine shaft, I saw another pipe sticking up out of a grassy area not far away, so I went to investigate.

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I expected this to be another ventilation shaft, but it wasn’t.

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It was a Service Shaft.

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Like I’ve said before, I’m definitely no expert in mines, but this shaft seemed bigger than the average ventilation shaft, and I’m thinking that there might have been an elevator in this shaft too.

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Anyway, after all that, I headed back out to the road, and started back towards the truck at the gate.

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It’s a nice, fairly level walk, and most people could manage it without a problem.

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I headed off road again, as I did on the way in, opting for a more scenic route than the road.

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There’s the truck waiting at the gate, but I wasn’t quite ready to call it a hike. Instead, I headed off to the left, to explore an area I’d never been in before.

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There are some colourful areas around, and I’m wondering if we’re going to get a real colourful fall, or if it will be more like last year’s fall, which was more orange/brown/yellow, and not so much bright reds.

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I crossed over a number of bare rock knolls, making my way deeper into the unknown. I didn’t have my GPS with me, so I had to be a bit careful that I remembered which way I was going.

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I came across this open area full of core samples, which are long round pieces of rock that have been drilled out for testing purposes.

They were originally in special wooden boxes, with long rounded grooves to accept the samples machined into them. You can see some of the remains of those, now disintegrated, wooden boxes here too.

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The samples are all in smaller pieces now, and I don’t know if they would have originally been in one, intact, three foot piece, which was about the length of the wooden boxes that contained them. Or, when drilled out, they may, naturally, break apart, and the grooves in the boxes would keep the separate drillings in one place, so that the people testing them would know that this sample was from the same hole.

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Here you can see how the samples were laid out in the boxes, and how the boxes had rotted away over the years.

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Further along, I came to a small, no name, lake, and I walked along the high, rocky shoreline for a short distance.

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However, as I mentioned earlier, I did not have my GPS with me, and I knew that it would be foolish to go too much farther without it.

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So, I headed back towards the road, and came out a short distance from where the truck was parked.

On the drive back out Stanrock Road, to the highway, which is about ten kilometers, I remembered that I was driving by an area one time, and I saw a path going into the bush. I wanted to check that path out, so, as I was driving, I was carefully looking for that path.

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And here it is. I parked the truck on the side of the road, and headed in. I was kinda thinking that it would lead me into a lake that I haven’t explored yet.

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It did lead to a lake, but there was a very wide, swampy shoreline, and I couldn’t get anywhere near the edge of the lake, so I’m not sure why this trail is here, unless they use it in the winter time.

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I headed back out the trail, and this time I was homeward bound. Not bad though, since I only came out to find a place to put my minnow trap. 🙂

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