On Monday it was +9C in Ottawa. Today it was –20C. Taking account of wind chill, say –30 to –35C in Gatineau Park.
Both Ken and Helen skilfully averted their attention to the cold, by going to work.
Having dropped Helen off, returned home for breakfast, dallied with washing, blogging, etc, I was left with a free day.
So I went skiing. P7 at Kingsmere is about 30 minutes away. It really was minus 20 with a cutting wind at the start of trail 30. But that could be the least of my problems, according to this rather prominent sign.
It was nearly 11 am and I was the only visitor at this popular place. The Impreza looked very lonely in the huge car park - and there’s another similar sized one across the road – they can get full, but not today!
Not many photos were taken today, as I wore heavy duty gloves to protect my delicate digits. The steep hill out of Kingsmere helped to warm them, but it wasn’t until I passed the small Shilly Shally cabin some 40 minutes later that I felt happy to pause for long enough to take a photo.
It’s my hands that struggle in these cold conditions; feet are fine with a single pair of socks; legs are very cosy in long johns, trousers and overtrousers; and my upper body is more than warm enough in a long sleeved t-shirt and a ‘Vapour Rise’ smock. My three hats are more than sufficient to keep my head warm.
Anyway, now with nicely warmed hands I stormed along the freshly groomed Ridge Road. There was nobody else about on this brilliantly sunny day, so my shadow would have to do as foreground…
At the turn to Western Cabin, I headed down the still ungroomed trail 1B, then on to Huron for lunch, where someone had kindly lit the fire and a lady called Jackie provided good company for half an hour.
The chickadees (birds) were very cheerful here today, but I failed to get a presentable picture. My thermometer, at the end of the day, turned out to be a more obliging subject, even if it had been in the sun and was giving an optimistically warm reading.
This was a lovely two and a half hour ski – about 20 km – in lovely conditions once you got used to the cold. I’ve not seen the Park so quiet on such a sunny day – the locals do seem rather averse to going out in cold weather. Sadly, mine is Hobson’s Choice, as I’m only here for a short time and have already been ‘rained off’ on two days.
It’s another dinner party tonight, this time with Michael and Sayuri – hurrah!