Thursday, November 06, 2008

Annual fall hike on the Wolf Trail

Wolf Trail, Gatineau

P13 parking (Blanchett): N45 32.604 W75 54.582
Wolf Trail, Gatineau Park: 10 km

It's that time of the year again. In between fall and winter when the weather is known to take some crazy shifts from snow and toques to sunshine and shorts. Lately we've been experiencing the latter with the temperature reaching the high teens. Prime time for a hike - especially given that the next 5 days are calling for rain and cold.

Needless to say, it was all the excuse I needed to switch my Friday off for today and head out to the Gatineau hills for a hike. Alas I was alone as neither Mike nor Ken nor even Dave were willing to leave the excitement of their office cubicles. They must have really great jobs. ;)

The morning fog along the Ottawa Parkway was as thick as I've ever seen it but the moment I hit Gatineau Park I saw nothing but blue skies and sunshine.

Small pond along the Wolf Trail

I had hiked about 2 km along the trail when I had to stop and change into a t-shirt (the shorts were already on). 10am and it was already a warm 17°C. I certainly wasn't complaining but I was already looking forward to the cool refreshments I had packed to help wash down my lunch.


I arrived at one of my favourite Gatineau benches and sat down for a whole 3 seconds before a gaggle of elderly gentlemen swarmed me with chatter, padded seats, and granola bars. I quickly finished my snack, said my hellos and goodbyes, and left the bench and the view to them. It wasn't exactly a huge sacrifice though as I knew there were other views just a little further along the trail.

Crossing signs

At Ridge Road I met up with a fellow hiker who had decided to take a mental health day and prescribe himself a dose of sunshine in the GAT. As fate would have it his name was Mike. He mentioned that he was heading to a nice lookout along the Tawadina Trail which sounded to me like the perfect lunch spot so I tagged along.


After lunch we started back down the trail towards P13. At some point Mike and I parted ways as he mentioned that he was pressed for time as part of his day's duties were to cook supper for the gang back home. Of course the other possibility is that maybe he just wasn't interested in my suggested side trip of bushwhacking up a steep hill to look for a box full of trinkets. Either way, I thanked him for the company and he thanked me for the lunch time beer. Cheers Mike, I hope the Gatineau hills cured you in time to get back to work tomorrow.

After a couple more short side trips for some newly planted geocaches, I arrived back at the parking lot just in time to whip back home, pick up the kids, and cook supper myself. Another great day under the sun.

Tawadina lookout
Tawadina lookout

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