Monday, September 12, 2011

Behind Mount Benson

I finally did it.  Paul led the ride today and showed me the route from Doumont Rd to the main logging road that runs around the back of Mt. Benson for its entire length, ending on Nanaimo Lakes Road.  What a fantastic ride!  We stopped first at Boomerang Lake and then made our way down the main logging road heading south.  We met up with Ryan and Adrian coming from the opposite direction.  They had just taken their bikes up to the aerial towers on one of Benson's summits.  There's no way in hell I'd get up there!  They're very skillful riders, both of them.  I've a long way to go to get to that level of riding.  :)

Onward we plodded.  Paul was in the front for the whole day today and being as dry as it was, I sucked in several pounds of trail dust into my lungs.  I gave up watching my tach after thirty minutes; the dust had completely covered me and the entire bike and none of my controls were visible.  A dust mask of some kind is a must next time!  A bandana would work well.  Next we turned right off the main trail in search of  Lucid Lake.

Google Earth View of Benson and Lucid Lake

  We took a wrong left turn not far up this trail which ended abruptly after a reasonably steep climb over some nasty logs and uneven terrain.  We did get a great view of Ryan and Adrian's aerial towers though, right before we turned around and headed back to the Y.

Dead end on first attempt to Lucid Lake.  That's Mt. Benson's aerials in the distance which you might be able to see if you click on the photo and zoom in on that high rock in the background.


 Down we went, rejoined the trail at the Y and took the other Lucid Lake choice.  This led us to a large clearcut area where we dismounted and walked off in search of the lake.  After trudging through deep dry tinder for 100 yds or so, we saw a logging road off in the distance and a smaller trail leading off to our left.  We followed it and within five minutes we were at the beautiful Lucid Lake.

Looking for Lucid Lake.
The Clearcut.  I have no understanding of logging and replanting practices, but this sure looked like the area had been stripped and not replanted at all.  Maybe there's a timely plan underway.  Sure looked like a tinderbox wasteland.
We found it!
Absolutely beautiful... elusive Lucid Lake
Lucid Lake...  Fly fisherman on the far side.
We had planned to go fishing today.  We weren't ready to stop yet... we decided to press on to the gate at the far south end of the main logging road where I had been skunked on my solo ride a week ago.

A quick stop further along the main logging road to catch the views of Ladysmith Harbour
The same view zoomed in (Ladysmith Harbour)
And... just a little further down the road, the elusive back view of the nasty yellow gate that stopped me the first time.  It was so much nicer to be on this side of it.  Paul took me up the road a short distance and showed me the "work around" that he had learned about a week before.

THE INSIDE OF THE GATE
Mission accomplished... now for some fish.  We decided to try Round Lake since it had been stocked with trout this year.  Round Lake looked fantastic except there was nowhere to cast a line in the water without standing on moving logs.  Is wasn't working, so we moved on to "Dragonfly Lake," or "Bladder Lake" as it has been more recently dubbed because of it's proximity to "Kidney Lake."  (It actually has no name according to local maps).  *NOTE:  On Oct 11th, 2011 this lake was named by the Triumph Thruxton Committee and shall be officially known as "Triumph Lake" from this moment on.  No fish there today.

Dragonfly/Bladder/Noname Lake
Setting up the rods at the only easily accessible spot on the lake
A view straight across the lake.  Note the very thin line of trees the logging company has left to obscure the nearby forest massacre.  I wonder if it's replanted???  Silly question.  
This was taken from the same "easy" location.  The far left of the picture shows another location that Paul tried, but it was difficult to get to.  These were the only two hard bank fishing spots we could see. 
Mt. Benson from the Black Bear Pub!
There, what a spot to finish our ride.  It was a perfect way to wash all the dust out of my throat!  What a terrific ride that was.  This is another one I want to do by myself more slowly so I can get my bearings.  I think I'll re-travel some of the routes we took and map them out with my GPS.

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Just for fun, here are two 3D red/cyan anaglyph images that you can view if you have any red/cyan glasses kicking around.  (click pics to enlarge).

The "clearcut" near Lucid Lake
Rock formations near "Dragonfly/Bladder/NoName Lake"

1 comment:

  1. Very nice post, Andy. You're putting lots more effort into it than me, lately. Got to find my 3 d glasses! Looking forward to Rhodo and Okay...

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