Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Walking on Water - Frozen Elliot Lake

Walking on Water - Frozen Elliot Lake
Monday, January 19th, 2015

For those of you who know me - coupled with the fact that I originated in the U.K. - you'll understand the fascination I still entertain about the lakes being frozen enough for people to actually walk on them! Yesterday, we took our snowshoes and ventured out onto Elliot Lake to explore along both sides of the lake. It was going to be interesting seeing the familiar from a different  perspective. 

Spine Beach is just 2 minutes drive from where we live, and is a place we frequent in the summer - especially when we want to cool down in the heat of an August evening. This was our starting-off point for our trek across the lake. 

As we were donning our snowshoes, a car was towing an ice hut onto the lake. It still astounds me that cars and trucks can venture out onto a lake! 

We made our way clockwise on a planned 'route' and reached the first 'jutting-out bit', around which we had not set eyes upon before. We knew the lake to be large in area, and we saw this for the first time. Aware that the lake extended beyond the furthest we could see, looking westward, it wasn't until we arrived back home and checked on a map that we realized how we had hardly touched the halfway mark!

The route we took (enlarge for clearer view)

We had wondered about trying to reach the far end of the lake to see the waterfall that we'd heard about, but it would have taken too long. We would have to leave early in the morning to dust off that ambition. 

Crossing to the other side of the lake, at a fairly narrow part, it was interesting to look back at the edge of the city, noticing the hospital and the other beach, further along the shoreline. It was also enchanting to see how many little islands there were on the lake that we had not known about before.
View of the town from the middle of the lake

The inevitable 'selfie'!

Of course, we're always on the lookout for wildlife, and we noticed a proliferation of animal footprints in the snow - even as far out as the middle of the lake.
Deer tracks? ... At least, that was what Mark was hoping they were!
At one time, when we were near the northern shoreline, we heard the deep-pitch sound of a pileated woodpecker. Well camouflaged among the evergreens, we had to be content with the sound only.
Woody wouldn't come out to be seen

We passed a man who was ice-fishing (without a hut). He had a lawn chair to sit on, but was checking his lines to see what was happening. 
Ice fishing

Turning eastward, we hiked around an islet then traveled past Sylvah Island before heading back to Spine Beach. 
Onward we go

Where we'd been

The lowering sun looked amazing through the trees on this island

By the time we got back to our starting point, the sun had gone down and the temperature dropped somewhat. 

To think that this is just 2 minutes from where we live, makes us feel a great sense of appreciation for the lifestyle we are carving out for ourselves. 


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