Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Wednesday 21 January 2009 – Lunch at Keogan Cabin

A group of French Canadians leave Keogan Cabin after a sumptuous lunch

Yesterday’s blue skies were replaced by snow flurries at -10°C, plus another -10°C for wind chill. Sue strapped up her ankle and off we headed to P7 – the car park at Kingsmere. From here, trail#30 heads up a steepish hill, quickly gaining 100 metres of altitude before joining #1 – Ridge Road – for a pleasant, undulating and twisty few kilometres to Keogan Cabin.

We should have stopped to light the fire here, but my fingers had only just warmed up, so we continued on – along a pleasant route in light snow, except when the sun appeared briefly as we passed the Champlain Lookout.

We headed from Keogan, up Fortune Parkway, along Champlain Parkway and past the Lookout. Then down #1B, back onto Ridge Road to the junction with #24. This was our turnaround point, but we made a loop by turning down #24 to head back to Ridge Road via this more interesting route with a few sharp bends. I misjudged one of these and spread-eagled myself briefly across the track. With only my pride dented, we were able to continue once Sue had recovered from a coincidental laughing fit.

Rejoining Ridge Road we flew past Huron Cabin, down the Khyber Pass and on to Keogan Cabin for lunch. It was 12.30, so surely the stove would be lit...
The cabin was fairly full, but we paid for our lack of attention earlier – we should have lit the stove. It had only just been started, so we had to wait a while for it to get hot enough to toast our sandwiches.

Never mind, we earwiged various conversations, notably a group of diehard back country skiers berating the fact that their ‘black diamond’ trails had been compacted by a grooming machine. This actually makes them more manageable for unskilled skiers such as us, and it also provides protection from rocks. But the die-hards clearly object. Fortunately for us, they appear to be in a poorly catered for minority!

All the cabins sport bird feeders. Today the one at Keogan was home to Chickadees, Bluejays, Downy Woodpeckers, tiny red squirrels and, pictured below, Nuthatches.

Today’s 21km trip took us from 9.50 to 13.35, including 45 minutes of breaks – an excellent little excursion.

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