Gatineau Park: P16 to Herridge (10 km)
P16 Pine Rd: N45 34.345 W75 53.134
Herridge: N45 34.255 W75 56.353
Late in the evening I fired off a txt message to Ken to see if he was interested in a hike in the GAT on his Monday off. Of course he said yes and in no time we had a plan. A hike to Herridge hut with a few stops here and there along the way.
After dropping my wife off at work, I met Ken at the P16 gateway to Gatineau Park. Surprisingly there was no frost on the trail which would have made for a great shot of the small valley with it's wooden bridge and fast flowing creek. Hard to complain though when the sky is cloudless and the temperature hovering around the 6 degree mark.
By the time we arrived at Herridge we were ready for some lunch. The menu consisted of Red Pepper Black Bean soup, toasted turkey and hot salami sandwiches, and a couple of pints of the Long Trail ale. It was a little chilly outside so we opted to dine indoors by the warmth of the woodstove. Again I broke out some tunes - Patterson Hood (from Drive-By Truckers), and Kenny Wayne Shepherd (10 Days Out CD). It doesn't get much more relaxing than this aside from blowing up an air mattress and having a catnap (note to self: pack air mattress).
The timing of our departure was perfect. As we left the Herridge gates we crossed paths with about 20 grade 7-8 students. They were all geared up for a sleepover - some looked happy, and some not so much. Few realize (or care) that they will one day look back on these camp-outs with fond memories of a carefree age. Another example of how "youth is wasted on the young".
After the hike on the way home, Ken and I made two stops. The first stop was not far from the parking lot where we strolled up an overgrown driveway to the top of a hill where Ken pointed to an old family plot that he'd come across while geocaching some time ago. The old farm house was long gone along with the original owners but this tiny graveyard lives on. One of the tombstones dated back to 1879 (born 1806) while the most recent was 2000. The location also came with a great view - though likely not fully appreciated by the current residents.
The last stop was at the nearby bungee jumping / rock quarry facility. The season was over for jumping but we were still able to stroll through the area and see the attractions. There was a zip line, a beach, a huge hanging pot over an open fire (likely for dispersing the bodies of the poor clients that die on the bungee jump), a playground, and a walking trail. The quarry pit below the jump is now filled will crystal clear water that allows you to see straight to the bottom. It's here that you can spot the eerie skeletal remains of a small prop plane. A nice touch. I'll have to make a note to come back here in the summer and test out the zip line and the snorkeling but I'll pass on the jumping.