If you read my last post, you know that I was hiking up near Huntsville, Ontario, searching for “Dogleg Lake,” an unnamed L-shaped lake I found on Crown land (public land). The reason I chose it was that there were no hiking or ATV or snowmobile trails that went near it, so it would be a little difficult to get to. In my experience, the more difficult a place is to reach, the less likely it is to be visited by a bunch of yahoos who get hammered and throw their fucking trash everywhere.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not afraid to cut down a live tree or two to turn a good campsite into a perfect campsite. But I’m not going to hammer the place flat, toss empties everywhere, leave piles of shit and toilet paper lying around on TOP of the ground, and generally turn it into a nastier version of a highway rest stop. When I’m gone, you won’t know I’ve been there.
Plus, I like having the place to myself. Part of getting away is escape. Feeling like you’re the only one on the planet. It’s hard to reach that Zen-like state of calm when 100 meters away, there’s a group of potheads whooping it up and playing Billy Squier’s “The Stroke” at maximum volume.
I couldn’t take my truck the first day and got dropped off, spending most of my exploring time hiking up the logging trail that led to the point at which I intended to hit the woodline in search of Dogleg Lake. So, rushed for time, I stupidly followed what a couple of different maps showed was an active logging road, even though the satellite photos didn’t show it. Even if there’s heavy tree growth, if there’s a trail, you can see what looks like a “crease” in the trees on the satellite photo.
Dumbass move. It wasn’t there. And the harder I tried to make my way up it, the more not there it became. I turned back about 300 meters short of the lake, according to my GPS.
That’s why I ended up doing the Solo Stove video – I was out of time and energy.
The next day, I went back and took the route I originally had planned and made it to the lake, but it still wasn’t ideal. On the way back to my truck, I tried yet another route and it was way easier. The north shore of Dogleg Lake looks like it’s got some promising high ground to make camp, once black fly and mosquito season are over at the end of the summer. My buddy Mike is coming up with me in a couple of weeks and we’ll scout out that side.