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Red Rock Dam

N 46°18'53.3" W 83°17'21.6"

46.314817  -83.289329


46°19'10.3"N 83°17'05.0"W

46.319540, -83.284720

I asked a local gentleman where he goes to get away, and it led me here. A stand-alone in my collection located about five miles outside of the little town of Iron Bridge, the Red Rock hydroelectric dam has caused a lake on the Mississagi River. You will need a boat to visit the actual campsite I established since there is no trail and it’s a rugged slope all along the lake. I did start breaking a trail to my camp but never completed it even though it’s less than a kilometre to the dam from my site. There are a lot of free camping sites just off the side of the road driving up to the dam and plenty of room for camping right at the automated Red Rock Dam around its large sandy parking lot (2023 construction crews re refurbishing the dam and the parking lot is closed). It looks like it’d be reasonably comfortable to spend a night or two. I was originally going to set up camp there but changed my mind while I was out kayaking. It was too fucking pleasant, so I decided on a spot to pitch camp and started shuttling over a few things at a time. I never brought over food and boated over to the car to eat every single time; it just seemed like common sense in some really lonely bear country. I developed a beautiful camping site and when I left, I left the cleared stone beach, a step under the bank, a fire pit and a flattened levelled surface for a tent. The biggest footprint I’ve ever left behind at one of my campsites. Everything was sloped towards the water so leaving the mossy soft bed I’d built to level up my tent seemed modest enough and there was no vegetation which was why I set up there. I plan on going back, but I also don't mind sharing. This is to tell the truth the lake that also inspired me to apply for my fishing license and buy some of the gear, so a heads up to any of you fishermen. As I paddled around there were just so many fish and every single day I watched people fish for a few minutes and drive away with dinner for that night. I shared my little corner of this man-made lake with a mink. I originally thought it was a ferret or a weasel (I am from the city.) but thanks to search engines I now know better. He was nosy and confident enough to sit at the far end of my kayak checking me out the first day. Also, I had an angry red squirrel for companionship. Every campsite seems to have one, but this guy would sit in my woodpile under the birch bark and watch me for half an hour at a pop and in the mornings, I'd call out and within minutes he'd be above me cussing me out while I talked to him. Entertaining. I'd never seen a ring neck snake before either but caught a little one there. The raspberries were red and delicious on top of being everywhere. This lake is simply teeming with copious amounts life. Just an incredible place. Crazy storms there in 2020. Ground shaking thunder and torrential rains kept me on my toes. Thankfully I have a fair amount of practice pitching camp and it lasted, but there were a lot of tense moments as I worried about my tarp blowing off or a tree coming down. Something about the energy of a storm, though…It makes you feel alive. I stayed there for nine days this year. If you do boat out there take note of the dramatic rising and lowering water levels and make sure you pull your boat well up out of the water for the night.

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© sleeping under the stars 2021

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