Saturday, January 21, 2006

Blizzard of '06

A snow storm! Yeah baby!!

With nearly 15cm of fresh snow on the ground, and still falling, Mike and I set out with the intention of going for another x-c ski in Gatineau Park. Well we didn't get far (Greenbank and Hunt Club) before we decided that this was not a good idea. The plan then changed from an afternoon adventure in the GAT to touring/pushing/pulling the car down the snow clogged backroads of Ottawa.


It all started when Mike got his car stuck in my driveway. (not overly surprising as his front tires are nearly bald - apparently you can't drive more than 3 years on the original dealer tires Mike). Being the good passenger I am, I pushed him out which he immediately thanked me with a face full of slush. This was a sign of things to come.

Not long after leaving the house (Greenbank and Fallowfield) we watched the guy in front of us roll down his window and rather awkwardly reach out with his full sized windshield scraper to clear off the snow and ice from this front window. I nearly got a picture before his wet frozen arm slunk back inside. Personally I think it was my laughter that caused me the photo.

Anyhow from that point on the day was doomed to be a series of mis-adventures. We spotted cars stuck on islands, another car somehow managed to plow into the snowbank of a completely empty parking lot, an OC Transpo bus stuck and smoking his tires at a stop sign, and then it was our turn (again).

PHOTO: Two girls slammed into a snow covered island. It wasn't long after this photo that there were 8 lonely guys helping the poor ladies get there car out.

PHOTO: Bruce Pit parking lot. How they managed this move, I don't know.

PHOTO: Bus stuck (I just missed the smoking tires with this pic but not the reverse lights as he navigated his way out of this predicament. I don't know why the door to the engine was open).

After travelling the sideroads looking for the "perfect" spot to park a car in a snow storm with absolutely no traction we decided to go for it. It was a cleared parking lot with only one other vehicle (a supercab truck). The only trick would be to get up the small incline to the lot. Well we didn't make it. Stuck. After some manoeurving we then managed to slide down sideways completely blocking the parking lot entrance. Well done.

PHOTO: Mike t-boned in the parking lot entrance.

Thankfully the owner of the monster truck came back from his walk and asked if we needed a hand. (like he had a choice, what was he going to do sit in the parking lot all day and watch us?)

After that we did one more loop around the Kanata trails passing two other busy parking spots before we found what we were looking for - a completely snowless surface with a slight downward grade. Perfect. Time to ski. Kind of...

Turned out that everything was so blasted with powdery snow that we could not manage to find the trail let alone stay on it.


After about an hour of bushwhacking we stopped for a beer alongside a large pond. Standing there staring out over the pond and sipping a cold Grolsch we quickly recognized where the trail should be (we'd been here once before last year). After the refreshing drink and a laugh or two at Mike's tumble in the snow (he managed to get fall down after his skis entangled and soaked his glove in some stinky swamp water) we slapped the sticks back on and crossed the pond to hook up with the trail. It was smooth sailing all the way back to the car after that.


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