Fall Hiking, Kayaking, Camping – Part One

When good weather, in the fall, happens, I take advantage of it, and sometimes that leads to a flurry of outings very close together. This leaves me no time to post about them so, in this post, I’m going to try to kill two birds with one stone.

It’s all about the weather window and, if you miss it, you could be out of luck for a few days, a week, or, in this case, a year. Late fall can be very fickle, so it’s wise to take what you can get, when you get it. Sunny, calm days in the fall are a treasured item to me, and I definitely jump on them, because I know that there may not be another before that big bad old man winter takes hold.

Take it from me, you can’t trust the weather forecasts, you have to take the bull by the horns, and do your own forecasting, by learning to read the radar and satellite information. Sure, you can also look at the forecasts but, when you start to do your own forecasts, you will soon find that all that technology doesn’t do any better than your own common sense.

I’m going to try and do two posts in one here, because I did two consecutive outings in rapid fire, and I really don’t want to make two separate posts about them. The result will probably be a longer than normal post. If it comes down to it, I may even do a two part post, because I don’t like backdating posts.

In this first part, I’ll take you on a hike with me to Lacnor ridge, and then on to Dumbell Lake. Since I’ve been so active this late summer and fall, I decided that I didn’t want to go too far for a hike, so I chose to do the Lacnor ridge hike, since it is close by, and I wanted to explore some different places on the ridge.

Having said that, Lacnor ridge might not be far to drive to, and it’s certainly not the longest hike I’ve ever done, but it is a fairly difficult hike, due to the change in elevation. In other words, there’s a lot of difficult uphill hiking.

I didn’t have my GPS running for this hike, because I know the area well enough, but here’s an overview of the hike that I laid out on Google Maps;

You can see the part that goes up to the top of the ridge, from one bush road, and then down the other side, to join up with another bush road. That is all bushwhacking, with no trails. It’s the most technical part of the hike, both going up, and coming down the other side. Sure, coming down seems like it might be easier, and in one way it is, but never underestimate a rough downhill descent. This will be the one that bites you, if you do.

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So, here we go. The first short section, after you enter the Lacnor mine site, is paved, but that doesn’t last too long. You can see that a lot of the trees have lost their leaves now.

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The pavement ends, and I continue straight in. It’s along this section that I head to the left, and into the bush, to make my way up the ridge. However, I wanted to get some shots of Lacnor Ridge from below, now that most of the leaves are off the trees, and you can see the ridge much more clearly. I decided to go past my usual ascent spot, and take some pictures of the ridge, and then come back to head up.

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It was a beautiful, bright sunny day, with cool temperatures and, if I’m addicted to anything, then this is it.

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Up there, on top of the ridge, you can see that lone, disconnected hydro pole, that I often refer to, right beside that dark green tree.
Soon, I’ll be heading up there, but not just yet.

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The road leads to an open, grassy field, where I can get some pictures of the ridge. When I take a panorama with this wide angle lens, on my Canon SX40(RainDrop), it tends to curve the picture. However, Lacnor Ridge is straight, not curved, and it continues much farther than this picture infers.

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That deep blue sky really makes a difference in colour contrasts.

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So, there ya go, a few shots from the bottom of the ridge, now lets go back down the road a bit, and find the spot where I get up on top.

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On the way back, I found the Service Shaft, for the main Lacnor Mine Shaft. This is the first time I’ve seen this, so I took a picture of it.

From here, I went back and found the place where I go up. I don’t have pictures of the ascent, because it’s just too difficult to take pictures on the way up.

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Looking to the north, off the top of Lacnor Ridge, again, you can see how many trees have lost their leaves.

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Looking to the west, that’s Elliot Lake there, and the line through the trees is Milliken Mine Road, which I came in on.

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Looking down on the south side of the ridge, where I came up from. Of course, this is directly into the sun, so I’ve cut out most of the sky in this shot. I’m still waiting for my polarizing filter to deal with these situations.

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Now, looking to the south east. That’s what I like about this ridge, it has a 360 degree view of the surrounding area.

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The view along the top of the ridge.

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Moving along the top of the ridge to new areas, that I’ve never hiked before. I will also be finding my way down on the north side of the ridge, also, something I’ve never done before. I don’t need my GPS for this, even though I do have it with me. I know this area pretty well, and I know that there is another bush road on the north side of the ridge that I can intersect with, when I reach the bottom of the ridge.

I can’t believe how low the sun is in the sky these days. It’s only around noon, and look how long my shadow is. The days are much shorter too, and a few times I’ve found myself running out of daylight while out hiking.

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Climbing up to a higher spot, to get a better view. This is very rugged terrain, and you really have to watch your step very carefully. These rocks can be slippy, especially were there is moss growing on them.

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Places like this, where the rock slopes over the edge, and has moss on it can take you for the ride of your life, which could end up being the last ride of your life. Reminds me of Peggy’s Cove, where there are similar rocks, and people fall into the crashing waves all the time.

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There are so many smaller lakes in the bush, some with no name, and you can see them in these pictures, but I’ve given up on trying to identify all of them from up here, because it’s hard to tell which one is which from this vantage point.

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On the way down the north side of the ridge, almost to the bottom when I took this shot. It’s too difficult to take pictures when I’m higher up, and hanging on for my life. As I mentioned, I always find the descent more difficult, technically, than the ascent.

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I picked up a bush road, not far from where I came down, and headed back out to the south side of the ridge.

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There’s now a carpet of leaves on the ground and, pretty soon, there will be a white, and deep, carpet on the ground, which is not hiking friendly.

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Back out, below the ridge again, I’m feeling pretty good, so I decide to continue the hike, and head over to Dumbell Lake.

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This bush road will take me right to the narrows of Dumbell Lake, so there will be no bushwhacking involved.

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Looking back at Lacnor Ridge, as I depart that area.

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When I go on any of my hikes, I rarely see another person. I didn’t see anyone today either, and that suits me just fine. This area is a paradise for me and, part of what makes it a paradise is getting away from all the insanity of humanity.

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Some trees are still, stubbornly, hanging on to their leaves.

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I don’t remember this gate being here, the last time I came this way. I think this gate is just separating the two different mine sites, which would be the Lacnor, and Nordic mine sites.

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Just through the gate, is Dumbell Lake, which was, obviously, given that name due to it’s dumbell shape. This road runs through the narrows of the dumbell.

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This is the north side of the dumbell because, shooting to the south is going to cause reflection problems.

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This is as far as I will be going on today’s hike and, after doing some exploring along the shoreline of the lake, I start the trek back out.

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Just in case you were curious to see the south side of the lake, and why I didn’t shoot it.

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One last panorama of Lacnor Ridge, as I make my way back to the truck. Part Two, coming right up. 🙂

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