Seeing all the boating traffic on the ocean during this long, warm summer has us all forgetting about the dozens of little — and some not so little — lakes that are hidden inside the inner reaches of North Island.
Nimpkish Lake is, of course, the largest, with several others such as Victoria and Alice challenging its length and breadth. But there are many that are tucked away so well that it takes a bit of exploring to find them. Many of them are so unassuming that you may pass by them and not realize what little treasures they are.
The painting shown here is a six-by-twelve-inch sketch of one of them. Let me describe its location for you.
I hope I’m not divulging someone’s private little paradise, but, nevertheless, here it is. (The forest workers will laugh at this remark because many of them pass by it every day to and from work.)
The easiest way to get there is from the Anutz Lake road. Go by Anutz Lake itself, continue on past the Hustan Cave turnoff and then watch carefully for the Diane Lake sign. It appears rather quickly on this road that meanders along high above Hustan Lake, eventually connecting with the Atluk Main.
Once you make the turn into the Diane Lake road, you are almost there, but you will be frustrated because there is literally no view of the lake except for the odd glimpse through the trees. You really need a canoe or kayak to see to see this little gem but it is well worth the trouble. There is only one, easy to miss, small place for launching so you have to watch closely for the opening in the trees between the road and the lake.
This whole area, Anutz Lake and beyond, is full of fascinating attractions such as Hustan Caves and Hustan Lake itself. But what makes Diane so special is that, being so small and picturesque, it can be a total experience in a short time. It is perfect for a canoe or kayak and offers breathtaking views of Pinder Peak and its range of mountains. I did this little 6×12 acrylic right from my canoe while my wife was practicing her fly fishing! Go and enjoy!
Gordon Henschel is a longtime North Island artist who owns a gallery in Nimpkish Heights. www.henschelfinearts.com