Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winter is coming

Winter is coming

Winter is coming. Soon the snow will stay and we'll finally get to pull out the cross-country skis, the snowshoes, the canal skates, and all our favorite toques.

As well, the snow will bring out all the favorite winter foods. Soup, chili, turkey, gingerbread and molasses, and of course a pint of Guinness to wash it all down. Hmmmm, I think I've started the food part early this year...

Loaded Potato Soup Molasses Cookies

Now bring on the snow.

PS: Speaking of "Winter is coming."... Check out some of the early clip's from HBO's Game of Thrones to be released in 2011. Should be awesome.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Busy beavers

Beaver puts the finishing touches on the house before winter

Gatineau Park: P7 to Keogan
P7 Kingsmere: N45 32.221 W75 53.968
Keogan: N45 30.353 W75 52.816
Click here for a trail map.

The snows still haven't fallen over the nation's capital but at the same time the great weather has allowed me to slip in one more hike. This time of year is great for hiking in Gatineau Park. Normally the foliage is so thick it's like walking through a living green tunnel but this late in the fall there are no leaves on the trees whatsoever making it a hell of a lot easier to spot the wildlife. Another obvious benefit to fall outdoors is that there are no bugs which helps to encourage one to relax and stop from time to time to soak it in. Like I need encouraging...

This hike had me zigzagging around some of the smaller side trails (with a couple of unwise bushwhacks) as I made my way from P7 to the Keogan hut. The stealthiness of my solo adventure certainly helped me catch a couple of beavers hard at work prepping their house for winter. One of them was so busy that I very nearly stepped on him as he sat on the shoreline chomping down on a bark salad.

Nice beaver Nice pecker... piliated that is...

Lunch was at Keogan hut. This time I opted to sit indoors out of the wind where I enjoyed a bowl of soup, a turkey sandwich, and some crackers all washed down with a pint. Not surprisingly I had the hut to myself so I hooked up my iPod with HBO's, "The Life and Times of Tim". Simple humor, but hilarious nonetheless.

Lunch at Keogan xc ski Falling ice

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Annual Remembrance Day hike

Remembrance day hike in the GAT

Gatineau Park: P19 Lac Philippe to Lac Taylor (12-13 km)
P19 Lac Philippe: N45 37.394 W76 00.546
Lac Taylor: N45 36.292 W76 02.741

November 11th, time for our Remembrance Day hike in the GAT. This year Mike, Ken, and I decided to head up to Lac Phillippe to soak in the last of the hiking season before the snow falls and we slap on the skis. The day was beautiful, sunny and 11 degrees, thus providing me with the perfect opportunity to test drive my new camera. Yep, I finally decided to throw my money at a DSLR. I opted to stick with Canon and jumped at the new 60D with its awesome flip-screen that I have come to love so much in the Canon point and shoot series. That said, I have no clue how to operate this monster. Give me time...

Remembrance day hike in the GAT Remembrance day hike in the GAT

Lunch time was timed perfectly for our arrival at the new Lac Taylor yurt. After Ken won his battle with the cook stove we warmed up some soup and cracked a pint. Afterward, I peaked inside the yurt to see that it had six beds, a skylight, a propane stove, AND a fridge. Sweet. Unfortunately they lock this haven in the hills up tight - guess they don't want somebody skiing off with that new fridge.

Taylor Lake yurt Kenmore makes fire

While hiking one of the back trails that we normally only ski, we (well at least some of us) noticed the old ruins of a long ago farmhouse. If only these old stones could talk... and would they be bilingual?

Ruins Kenmore in the hole

Cheers to the GAT! Now bring on the snow.


Closed for the season

Here's a quick review of our Annual Remembrance Day hikes over the last few years.