Friday, March 23, 2012

Finally, No Rain and Snow! Great Day to Ride to the Back of Kidney Lake

It has rained here for days and when it's raining down here the local mountains are getting a fresh dump of snow.  Well, the rain stopped today for the whole day and the temperature went up too.  I tried getting up through the Doumont Trail last week but there was so much snow it was impossible.  I thought it would be worth a try today.

I planned out a quick route on Google Earth...  Too snowy to pick a "must do" ride like the climb to Okay Mt. summit or Mt. DeCosmos.  I'm still busting to do them both, but right now I figured I should pick a much safer, lower and warmer spot!  I decided to try heading to the back of Kidney Lake using the trail I've seen quite a few times now as I ride from Sundew towards home.  I mapped it out, socked the route into the Garmin and off I went.

Route begins at "Start Doumont Trail" on the orange section.  Yes, there is a quicker way to this lake, but this is the only way to the SW side.  The return trip followed the same route reversed.

A close-up of the south heading red trail that leads to Kidney Lake.  (Line travels left to right).  Lower portion is an elevation profile, also reading from left to right.  The red arrow marks the high point in the trail.
A close-up of the lake.  We usually fish off the northern bank where the small photo icon is placed.  The lake is extremely difficult to reach where the road passes close by on its SE side;  That's a pretty steep hill.  
I met with a bit of snow and lots of slush going through the Tank Traps and the surrounding area, but generally the logging roads were clear of snow and ice.  The road in has been chewed up quite badly here and there, mostly by 4x4 trucks and quads.  Some spots are actually a bit hard to recognize.

180° Panoramic of the Bog leading to the Tank Traps.  I've been through this section enough now to pick a clean path through every time.  People get fooled by the easy looking dry section on this side of the bog.  It's a guaranteed "get stuck" route!  Stick to the wettest, boggiest looking section...  Easy as pie and not nearly as bad as it looks! 
Some snow patches are lingering in shadowed sections of the roads, but this is as bad as it got today.  Much better!  The darkened area just below the middle is a splotch of mud on my GPS.  :)

Beautiful clear day to view the Winchelsea Islands from the logging roads.
The new unexplored section of road (red trail) was in great shape.  It gets pretty craggy towards the lake and I needed to slow down for some sharp chunky rock sections, but on the whole I was able to ride quite fast on most parts.  There are a few turns here and there that are calling for a return trip.  The lake was easy to find!  As far as fishing goes, the north entrance to the lake is far better...  There are few, if any,  good locations for shore fishing on this side of Kidney Lake.

220° panoramic shot of the lake side.  Some kind individual had prepared a nice fire for me.  I needed a bit of warming up too!

170° Panoramic
Returning through the Tank Traps.  Actually past the traps here and about to enter the bog that goes off to the left side.  Gives me something to wash off when I get home.
Altogether a great ride.  It was terrific to get back out and ride properly without having to pick my way between chunks of ice and snowdrifts.  Here's a timelapse video of the red road section.  Looks way better if you up the Youtube settings to 720p.  Bit shakey... it was pretty bumpy at the end.  :)

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