Climate Change – What the Fog?

We are experiencing wild shifts in the weather lately, as winter makes it’s intentions known. For a while, it looked like we were firmly entrenched in it.

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Just a few days ago, over at Prodan’s Pond, it looked like the dead of winter.

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There was a bit of sunshine though, which always tends to perk things up a bit.

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The trails were almost ready for snowmobiles, although these were ATV tracks here. I did see at least one set of snowmobile tracks too.

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This is always a good measure of how much snow we have on the ground.

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Horne Lake was now fully covered with ice, as all but the biggest lakes were too.

However, things can change pretty fast, if the weather decides to make a ‘U’ turn. Now ‘this’ is Climate Change and, unlike the town criers of today would have us think, it’s been happening long before humans ever arrived on this planet. And, it will continue to happen long after humans are gone from this planet.

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Just a few days later, hiking up to the Lookout Tower. Where did all that snow go?

I’ve been using my cheaper cameras in this unpredictable weather, so the pictures and videos won’t be as good as they often are.

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As I got higher in elevation, things started to get a bit misty.

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At the top. What the fog is this? It was clear at the bottom, and now we’re fogged in.

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Looks like I won’t be getting any scenic shots from the Lookout Tower today.

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That Cupola used to sit on top of this tower, and the person responsible for detecting forest fires would have to climb up to it. There are still hundreds of Fire Towers in operation today, in Canada, and the United States. Many towers are in very remote areas, and would be an excellent job for people like me, who do well living alone for long periods.

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There was just some patchy snow left on the ground, with some signs of the very short fall season we had still showing through.

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Some of the forested areas do tend to hold on to the snow a bit better than others.

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As I made my way down the road, things started to clear up again.

I guess the camera worked well enough, although I still had this one set for fall foliage, so the pictures, and videos, could have been better.

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I really wasn’t expecting to get out at all today(Monday) but I had to go and register for my new photo Health Card, and I then went to Timmies for a coffee, and muffin. I needed a nice place to sit, with my coffee, and muffin, so I drove over to the bottom of the Lookout Tower road. It was then that I decided to walk up to the Lookout Tower.

So, yes, the climate is changing, in fact, it’s changing every day. It’s not all that new of a phenomena. As I’m typing this blog post(Tuesday) we are now, once again, covered in snow, and it looks like winter has taken hold one more time. Will it last this time? No one knows, not even those highly educated meteorologists.

On another note, I’ve been giving some thought to what I might do, if I survive the coming winter, as far as paddling trips goes. Now that I have a kayak more suited for longer expeditions, I can entertain some extended solo trips, which was something I couldn’t do in my AdvancedFrame single kayak.

Of course, I will still do trips with my son, or my brother, but these trips must be ‘planned’, which is a bit limiting in some ways. An extended solo trip would be much more open to ‘on the fly’ changes, and would not be subject to definite starting, or ending dates. I would need this kind of flexibility in order to do a longer trip.

I’ve had this intention, in the back of my mind, to do an extended trip into the vast waterway known as Rocky Island Lake. It could last, one week, two weeks, or even three weeks, depending on many circumstances. But, that’s exactly why I would need to do it either solo, or with someone who didn’t have limits on their availability.

I still may have to do some more testing on this DragonFly 2 XC kayak, before I’m convinced that it could handle such a trip, but my gut is telling me that it can. I’ve made some modifications to it already, and I still have to add some flat nylon strapping to the hull, for added protection from the rugged environment I will be using it in. But, it will definitely hold the required gear I would need for such an adventure.

Having said that, here is what I am proposing for the next paddling season, should I be fortunate enough to see it;

You can double click on that map, to zoom in and, if you do, you will see that I’m intending to start this trip in, the now familiar, Kindiogami Lake. Why there? Well, if I’m doing an extended trip, that will mean that I must leave my truck parked for a long period, in a remote area. This concerns me. However, the parking area at the launch point of Kindiogami lake is a more secure area, since there are people who bring trailers in here for the season, and therefore there would be people around there all the time, while I was off exploring.

It is less likely that someone would interfere with my vehicle in those circumstances, and I would also probably be able to talk to one of those people, as we did last time we were there, and have them keep an eye on things for me, in a sort of unofficial manner. I would never want to hold anyone responsible for what might happen to my truck, while I was away. Still, I feel that this would be my best option for parking in a remote area for an extended period.

Starting the trip here, would mean that I would need to do a longer 460M portage, at the end of Mewburn Lake, and into Friday Lake, plus a couple of smaller portages, in order to reach Rocky Island Lake. However, after that, there would be very little, if any, portaging to be done. I feel that this is a pretty good trade-off, to be able to leave my truck in a more secure area, while I’m away.

I did mark my first camping spot on that map, because I know it, since me, my son, and my brother, stayed there for our last day when we did the trip here. I figured, after the drive in to Kindiogami Lake, and a short paddle, I would be ready to spend my first night at a campsite I know, and is not too far of a paddle on the first day. After that, I would be just finding suitable spots along the way, as I go. I would have the freedom to paddle as long as I wanted to, to stop early, if the weather was not cooperating, to stay at any particular campsite for as long as I wanted to, or to change anything along the route I have marked.

Since I would have no specific return date, I could make any changes I wanted to, along the way. Also, since I would have no specific start date, I could take my best guess, after gathering all the information, on what the weather might be for that period.

So, there it is, an intended trip for the next paddling season. I also have some longer hikes in mind too, that I didn’t get around to before the snow arrived. There’s always so many interesting things to do around here, if you are outdoors oriented, like I am. I’ll still be getting outside as much as I can during the winter season, but I won’t be venturing too far from home base.

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