A Three Locations Hike

I intended to do a hike that I haven’t done before today, since we were in for a sunny, but cold, day. I have to take advantage of these days now, because winter is on the doorstep, and soon the wilderness will be locked in a cold and deep white blanket.

You’ll notice that there is no Google Map at the top of this post, and that’s because things didn’t go exactly as I intended them to. I headed over to Stanrock Road, which is a 15 to 20 minute drive from my place. I had seen a bush road going south, towards the north side of Crotch Lake, that I wanted to explore. The map shows that it goes for a long ways, past a number of lakes, so I was all set for a long hike.

I’ve passed this bush road many times before, and anytime that I passed it, there was never anyone else there, so I was confident that I would have a nice quiet hike. However, when I arrived there, I saw a car parked at the entrance to this bush road, so I decided to drive past, and check out Rooster Rock for a while. Maybe when I come back, the car will be gone, and then I can do that bush road.

So, I headed off to Rooster Rock and, as usual, there was no one there, and this, I just don’t get. Rooster Rock is an easy hike, and the scenery is spectacular. Believe me, I’m fine with being the only one there all the time, but I don’t think I will ever understand why people do the things that they do. It might be just the ‘follow the leader’ syndrome, which is very prevalent up here in Elliot Lake.

IMG_0012

With the cold comes clearer air, so that is a plus for pictures, especially distant shots. There’s always minuses as well as pluses though, and now, with the sun so low on the horizon, long shadows are a problem, especially my own. The best shots are always taken away from the sun but, in that case, my shadow will be stretching out right in front of me, so I have to raise the camera lens up higher, in order to get above my shadow.

IMG_0018

I know that it looks very comfortable up here on the Rooster today but, let me tell you, it was bloody cold. I could only take a couple of pictures at a time, before my hands became so numb that they wouldn’t function anymore.

IMG_0030

This picture may not seem all that great, but that’s Denison Lodge, and it’s about 4kms away. The shot probably would have been better if I wasn’t hand holding the camera, and also shaking from the cold. I’ll have to give it another try some time, with the camera mounted on top of my walking stick.

IMG_0021 Panorama

Anyway, I didn’t stay at the Rooster too long today. Even on calm days, there is always a certain amount of wind on top and, with the cold today, it prompted me to make a early exit.

I made my way, slowly, back down Stanrock Road, to see if that car was still parked at the bush road that I wanted to explore. When I arrived, I saw that the car was gone, so I parked the truck, and headed in.

IMG_0034

My maps showed that there was a gate, just a short ways in, on this road. This would be a welcome sight, because it stops any vehicle traffic from entering and, most people, being lazy, will not come into these places, if they can’t drive. However, there was no gate, and I could see, what looked like, recent tire tracks. Also, the ice on some puddles in the road was broken, so someone had driven in here today.

I’m keenly aware that this is hunting season, and there are a lot of hunters out there that go by the, somewhat loose rule, to shoot anything that moves. I definitely don’t want to end up as “I thought it was a Moose” story, in the local news, so I do take this into account, when I’m choosing where to hike.

With no gate, I knew that there was a good possibility that there might be hunters in here, but I decided to continue, although I was on high alert for any voices, or tell-tale sounds of people.

IMG_0035

At about 1km into the hike, I came to an open area, with a large swamp.

IMG_0036

There was a river running across the road, which I would have to cross, if I intended to go any further. In summer, I would have just slogged right through here, but it was very cold today. I’ve mentioned this before, in some of my posts, and this is a very good example, so I’m going to explain why I did what I did.

I live in a state of calm, but high awareness. I don’t get lost in my mind nearly as much as I used to. When you live life like this, you have access to what life is trying to tell you. Life is constantly giving us nudges, in this direction, or that direction. If you are lost in your mind(thinking too much), you will not notice them.

The car being there, at the road I wanted to access, was the first nudge. I had never seen another car at this road in the, more than, three years that I’d been here. Now, the river, being in my way, and not easily crossed, was another nudge. I could cross it but, it was cold, and the water was deep enough to go over my waterproof hiking boots. I certainly don’t let any obstacle that gets in my way stop me, but I have learned to recognize these ‘nudges’ that life is giving me, and I take them seriously. I decided that retreat was the most sensible course of action here.

IMG_0037

I headed back out, a bit disappointed, but I knew that this is what I needed to do.

So, now what? I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel on such a beautiful day, so I drove back out to the main highway, and turned north, intending to check out the Quirke TMA. The Quirke TMA is a very open site, where I could take advantage of the warm sunshine.

IMG_0038

When I arrived, I saw that they had created a nice new road in this site, so I decided to follow this road, to see where it went.

IMG_0039

It was certainly a lot more comfortable walking here, with the full sunshine helping to keep me warm.

IMG_0041

A pile of trees they cut down, while making the road.

IMG_0042

I wonder where this road could be going?

IMG_0043

A frozen pond along the way.

IMG_0047

It looks like there’s some work being done up here. Yes, indeed, here is what they were working on. Loud noises coming up;

So, there you have it, the new road leads to a new dam.

IMG_0051

All these ponds, or small lakes, they’ve created here, are, basically, settling ponds. I don’t understand all the engineering behind it, or why they need so many in this area, but the main idea is to get as much of the contaminants out of the water as possible, before the water is allowed to reenter the natural watershed.

IMG_0055

These walkways allow them to come out and take water samples.

IMG_0060

Here’s a better look at the whole dam. It’s quite long.

IMG_0061

The road continues past the dam, but I believe that this was an existing road that it joins up with.

IMG_0063

I could see that this road leads to the bottom of a much bigger dam, which I had been on top of before.

IMG_0066

The road ended at the bottom of the bigger dam, which left me with two choices, go back and find another way around, or climb up the bigger dam. I chose to climb. 🙂

IMG_0069

I found a ledge, part way up the bigger dam, to take a rest, and some pictures.

IMG_0071

After a bit of a rest, I made the final push to the top.

IMG_0073

That was fun!

IMG_0081

Looking back down, from the top of the dam.

IMG_0083 Panorama

This is the water that the bigger dam is holding back.

IMG_0089

I think there are more dams in this site than any other site that I’ve been to.

IMG_0090

At this point, I’m still continuing to walk further into the Quirke TMA.

IMG_0092

The dam you can see in the distance there, is the big dam that I climbed up. It certainly looks bigger from the other side, doesn’t it?

IMG_0100

Truth be told, I wasn’t feeling 100% today, mostly because of all the weather changes we’ve been experiencing, so I was beginning to think about turning around at this point.

IMG_0109

I did see tons of Elk tracks around here, as I usually do.

IMG_0104 Panorama

Knowing that this may very well be the last chance I get to hike, without snow on the ground, for this year, I pushed on, with a little less enthusiasm.

IMG_0108

However, my body was trying to tell me that it’s time to head back, and I eventually listen to it.

IMG_0111

No, I didn’t go back down the big dam 🙂 I went back the easy way, along the road.

IMG_0116

The last hill, down to the gate, where the truck is parked.

IMG_0119

Interesting place to build a nest, on top of a log sticking out of the water.

So that’s it for my triple location hike. As I’m writing this post, the next day, we’re getting a mixture of snow and rain, with the promise of snow on the ground tomorrow, and continuing into the days after that.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: