Friday, July 08, 2022

MINK LAKE 2023 07 07

 Six stalwarth hikers started out from Spine Rd Beach .  We started  on the OFSC Trail west to a trail leading to the Hector Lake swamp.  Lots of beaver activity  was visible:  downed hemlock trees and 2 beaver dams holding back the water into the swamp .  Barely a  trickle of water  was in the creek leading from the swamp.

A healthy, heart pounding  hill climb brought us up to a ridge .  Each of us shared trail tape spotting duties as we made our way west along the ridge trail.   One of our number  added some more trail tape to make it easier for other hikers  to follow the trail after us.

We took a break at the shore of Hector Lake near the Puddingstone Boulder .  We took another trail back to the Upper Cross Country  Ski Trail .
Huge trees have fallen since our last hike along this trail 3 weeks ago.   We stopped frequently to take pics of the tree that a  woodpecker  had been carving and    of the root systems of trees that had been uprooted by the wind storm last August .  We saw glimpses of  what we think was  a hawk.  It was shrieking at us. It might have been  protecting  its young from us bug slapping intruders!!

A miscalculation of the distance to Mink Lake almost  caused us to turn back early. .  We were going to turn back at the third loop   to head home.  However a recalculation showed us that we were  only about 400 meters  from Mink Lake !!  So we continued on with a moment to inspect the carcass of of a mole.   The access trail into Mink Lake   brought us to a rocky shoreline which was enjoyed by our group searching for aquatic life.   A tadpole was seen . That access also lead to a skidoo trail to the east.  We assume it would take us to Hector Lake.  Another hike, perhaps?

Anyway, we met our initial objective of seeing Mink Lake.  A southwest wind was beginning to push waves towards us.

Our troupe headed back to Spine Beach on the lower Cross Country Ski Trail .   

Our group was joined today  by a new resident of Elliot Lake .  Welcome to Tony.