Friday, November 25, 2011

The "Butt Crevice" at Queer Lake

11/25/2011 The "Butt Crevice" at Queer Lake

The title appears to be sophomoric, but it really isn't. Used the 3 day weekend to spend time at Queer Lake in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness. Why it has that name is unknown to me. perhaps it is the "strange" shoreline. Anyway, the 3.5 mile hike in was in seasonal warm temps with about an inch of snow left over from the storm early in the week. Plenty of ups and downs as we traversed from vly to vly and skirted a small private inholding. Creek crossings were plentiful, but very easy. We heard and located a few small waterfalls both on the way in and out. About halfway to Queer Lake we caught up to three senior ladies taking a day hike to Queer. They stopped at the landing and we continued to the leanto, 0.8 miles farther on the peninsula on other side of the lake. At the leanto, we ate lunch and Ian set up his hammock while I scouted for wood. This is a well used leanto so wood in the immediate area was scarce. Up on the neighboring hill, plenty was found. While the leanto site gets plenty of use, the adopter does a great job of keeping it clean (and berating the slobs in the shelter logbook). With a hefty pile of wood, I set up my hammock and Ian got to cooking. The sun was going to set soon after dinner. We had steak and baked beans. I cooked apple turnovers for dessert. We retired early and I slept great until just before sunrise. Sunrise over Queer Lake Saturday AM, I restarted the fire and made myself some coffee. I prepped for breakfast and went to the lake edge to watch the sunrise. I contemplated waking Ian, but he wasn't feeling well the night before so I let him sleep. When he finally arose, the sun was fully up but still pretty. I made sausage a biscuits for breakfast and we ate and planned the day. After sitting around for a while I began to carve a chuck of white cedar I had found. it slowly took the shape of a spoon. Ian began to carve a turtle for his wife. I went and got some more wood and on the way back noted an old path along the shoreline. We decided to hike along the path and check out some of the cool rock formations. We hugged the shoreline along the old path even though there was some blowdown to deal with. The ridge above was worse. At one pint we looked up and saw a neat looking cliff, so we decided to get to the top of it for a view. We scrambled up the side and climbed through some horrendous downed hemlocks until we got above the cliff. Nice view through the trees was worth the effort. We continued on our way until we found a good place to get back to the lake level. As we headed down we found a cave between some boulders. This was really neat. Not nearly as large as French Louie's Cave, but cool nonetheless. Back at the shoreline we continued for a short while and then turned back. back where we came down from the cave we looked up and saw a giant crevice in the cliff wall just about the cave. The cliff bulged out at that point so it looked like a butt, hence the name "butt crevice". Crevice No idea how we missed it as we were less than 20 feet from it earlier in the hour. We just had to check it out, so back up the hill we climbed. The butt crevice wasn't much. It looked way cooler from below. And back down the hill we went. Soon we were back at the leanto and we gathered some more wood. After dinner we stayed up late, till like 8:30 burning all the wood we collected. Stars were out in full force as it was the new moon. Ian told me to wake him before the sunrise the next day.

I slept soundly until 5am and then got up to restart the fire. I yelled for Ian to get up before the sun. We ate breakfast and hit the trail. Saw some moose tracks about a mile before the trailhead. All in all a great trip. the weather was fantastic. Sat. AM