In the early fifties, a huge ore body of uranium was discovered in this area. So the city was designed as a planned community for the mining industry, and by the late 1950's there were 25,000 people living here.
The mining industry has had several boom and bust cycles over the years, and the population here has ranged from a high of 26,000 to a low of 6,600. By the early 1990's, a combination of depleted reserves and low prices caused the last of the mines to close. The current population is around 11,500.
Pretty fall colors at the side of the road near Elliot Lake.
Our hosts Diane and John took Ruth out for a drive yesterday morning. I had some kind of a bug at the time and unfortunately stayed home for the morning outing. No idea what it was, but I was quite a bit better by the afternoon so was able to join them then.
Kayaker out on the lake.
Statue of uranium miner in the 1950's.
Elliot Lake, with the city on the left. Taken from the Mount Dufour fire tower lookout.
Lots of pretty fall colors.
Elliot Lake has become known as "the perfect retirement community", with inexpensive housing. You can buy a nice two bedroom bungalow for around $100,000. So a lot of new retirees will sell their overpriced home in the Toronto area, pocket the proceeds, and move here.
One of the old mine entrances. There is a trail here that leads to Rooster Rock, and another lookoff.
Friends Dianne and John on the way to Rooster Rock. The sheer rock face drops straight down to the water.
After lunch, they came back to see if I was well enough to join them for the afternoon outing, and I decided I was! So off we went north of Elliot Lake to see some more sights.
A unique geological attraction at Flack Lake is "Ripple Rock". They say this is where the old continent of Pangaea broke apart 200 million years ago. This rock was formed by thousands of years of wave action.
Interesting mushroom that Ruth spotted.
Diane, John, Ruth, Kevin.
Minutes after this picture was taken, I was putting our new camera back in it's case and didn't zip it up, thinking I would use it again shortly. I turned around and slid the bag towards my back when I heard something fall onto the rock we were standing on.
Oops. Remember I mentioned I didn't zip the camera bag up?
When something like that happens, you cannot cry or get upset. You can feel a little depressed, but what's done is done. Amazingly, despite the broken lens cap and the slight bend on the lens housing, the camera works perfectly fine. At least it seems to so far. Lucky!
At Laurentian Lodge there are some pretty cabins to rent.
More fall colors.
Today, we do our final leg of this part of our trip. A fairly long drive of 594 kms (368 miles) will bring us from Elliot Lake to Ruth's dad's house in Galetta, Ontario (just outside of Ottawa) where we will be based until October 15th.