The Wakening

I had already completed a fair distance hike the day before, but the weather waits for no one, and today was looking like the nicest day yet this year. So, against my intentions, as of yesterday, I could not hold myself back from taking advantage of another beautiful, quiet day in the bush.

I knew that the Cinder Lake entrance to the Denison Mine site was not a well used one and, since today was a Sunday, everyone and their dog would be out, but not likely here. When I arrived at the gate, I was proven correct, and there was only one truck, with a trailer on it, at the gate. However, I could tell that this person did not go into the site. They were on an ATV and the tracks went off in a different direction.


The main road in here was plowed during the winter, but there were still some sections of soft ice on the shady parts.


It was nice to see some bare ground, and flowing water for a change.


The humungous Denison dam. I’ll have to get on top of that to continue my hike, but I can’t take my regular route because there is still too much snow that way, so I’ll have to take the long way around Denison Lake.


This section of the road was dry, and nice, but that would turn out to be the exception, rather than the rule on this hike.


Another shot of the dam, as I make my way around the frozen Dension Lake, to get up on top.


As you can see, there is some open water starting to show and, with the temperatures that we had today, the big meltdown is surely underway.


Here’s the owner of that truck, and trailer, that I saw parked at the gate, getting some late season ice fishing in. I’m not sure I would be so brave riding an ATV out on that ice, although it’s probably still pretty thick… places.


So far, things are looking very pleasant. It’s very hard to determine the appropriate dress for the occasion at this time of year. I didn’t wear a coat, or jacket today, for the first time this year, and I wasn’t sure if I’d made the right decision.


However, once I got into my hike a bit, I was actually starting to feel a bit warm.

IMG_0027 Panorama

Then, when I got up to the top of the dam, the wind was blowing pretty good, and I decided that I had dressed perfectly for the conditions.

I called that Stollery Lake, but it’s actually Denison Lake, and I knew that, but my old, feeble mind wasn’t firing on all cylinders. Stollery Lake is also at the base of this dam, but a bit further along. As you can tell, there was an issue with wind noise here, but I don’t think any kind of baffle would prevent that, when it’s this windy.

IMG_0030 Panorama

Another panorama of Dension Lake, at the base of the dam. By the way, all pictures of this hike were taken with the little Canon A495, unless otherwise noted. All videos, and a few pictures, were taken with the bigger Canon SX40.

IMG_0038 Panorama

This is the other side of the dam, and the big tailings lake that this dam is holding back.

IMG_0042 Panorama

Here, a bit further along the dam, we have Stollery Lake at the base of the dam.


The road in the middle, going away, is the road I came in on.


This is the way I usually come up to the top of this dam, where that black pipe snakes down the hill to Stollery Lake. However, snow conditions made that the more difficult route this time.


Many south facing slopes are already clear of snow.


Now, I’m off the dam, heading down the north side of the big tailings lake. There is a road, about midway down this lake, that I’ve never been on, and I wanted to see if I could explore some new territory along this road. However, I’m not sure about the snow conditions, since I don’t believe that this road will have been plowed.


Can’t see too much snow in this shot, but it is down there, hiding in the bush, waiting for some old, and feeble, hiker to set foot, and regret it.


Here you can see that, north facing slopes still have a lot of snow on them.


The road was starting to get a bit mushy in places, and the aforementioned feeble mind did not wear his winter boots, as he should have. The cheap Canadian Tire hiking boots I had on were not the best choice for the prevailing conditions.


From here on, the road turns into a mushy mess of soft, muddy gravel, and melting ice.


Signs of wild canines in the area.


Last year I went into this rough bush road, but was turned back because of high water levels.


Road conditions are deteriorating.

The sound of water running in the bush was everywhere, and that spring smell was in the air.

IMG_0005 Panorama

A colourful frozen pond along the road. Taken with the Canon SX40.

IMG_0008 Panorama

An open area, with a river running through it. Canon SX40.

IMG_0082 Panorama

Looking out, over the big tailings lake, and the road that continues along the north side of it, into the distance. I won’t be going that way today, because I have now reached the new road that I was interested in exploring.

So, there ya have it. The hike leader has called it quits for this venture. We have to bow to his supreme experience, and head back from whence we came. His word is final. šŸ™‚


I made my way back, through the sloppy roads, enjoying the beautiful sunshine, and warm temperatures.

IMG_0104 Panorama

I decided to get some panoramas of this huge Dension dam on the way back. This one taken with the Canon A495.

IMG_0015 Panorama

Another panorama of the dam, this time with the Canon SX40. Both of these panoramas were in the vertical shot position.

IMG_0018 Panorama

Here’s a panorama, from the Canon SX40, in the horizontal shot position.

So, it was a very enjoyable hike, but I’m taking tomorrow off for sure. They are calling for rain anyways, so I have an excuse. šŸ™‚

I do have a couple of surprises in the works though. šŸ˜‰


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