Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Monday 1 February 2010 - ‘Friends and Family’, and the delights of Trail 3 – ‘The Burma Road’

A view from Trail 3 - The Huron Trail - in Gatineau Park
It’s worth reiterating the purpose of this ‘blog’:

“The main purpose of this blog is to keep in touch with friends and family, and maybe entertain others with common interests, particularly in relation to the outdoors. We hope you enjoy it, and your comments are valued....”

The original intention was to keep in touch with family and friends during a trip to New Zealand some two years ago.  That worked a treat.  In those days ‘followers’ didn’t exist, but there was a small network of UK Outdoors Bloggers – numbering about 50 when I joined.  Numbers have now drifted up to about 130, and various members (and others) follow each others blogs.  Friendships have developed, even with people who have not yet met.

This is all great, but, back to basics, the medium is fantastic for achieving that original aim, keeping in touch with family and friends.  I’m currently across an ocean from most of those, and as you may have gathered from recent postings and comments, my mum (84) is recovering from a major operation and my wife has been unable to join me on this trip because of a debilitating neck problem.  So, at this time, regular postings, mundane though they may be, are valued by those closest at home.  Even by children who may occasionally refer to these pages on the basis of ‘Where’s Dad?’ and ‘Will I be getting Sunday dinner this week?’

I notice that a new blogger, Laura, appears saddened by the loss of a ‘follower’.  Never mind, Laura, they can come and go, but I’m sure those at home appreciate your postings, and that you enjoy the process of blogging (and the excitement of cross-country skiing).  Any more than that could be considered a bonus.


Helen and I enjoyed a lovely ski up and down Trail 3 – The Burma Road (aka The Huron Trail).  5-10 cm of snow overnight had freshened it up and made it delightfully easy (it undulates a lot and can be tricky at times).  So we went up it to Huron Cabin, and back down the same way.

Here’s Helen setting off up The Burma Road from its junction with Fortune Parkway.  It was sunny, and about –10C with a cool breeze.

Setting off up trail 3

Once up the initial steep hill, you pass a variety of forest scenery.  Some looks desolate and boggy, such as that at the head of this posting.  By then the sky was turning grey, with the threat of snow flurries.

We paused for hot chocolate and various goodies at Huron Cabin, but this was a short 15 km ski, so the usual toasted sandwiches didn’t appear, as we returned home for lunch.

The local red squirrels were tucking into their all-day breakfast provided by the nice custodians of Gatineau Park.

Red Squirrel outside Huron Cabin

After a little circuit to the Etienne-Brule Lookout we regained The Burma Road, which had very few visitors today and was pristine, before getting back to the Parkway and returning to P10 parking lot in a snowstorm.

Approaching P10 at the bottom of Fortune Parkway


So there you have it – a perfect way of keeping in touch with family and friends, and an indulgence whereby one can, within reason, write any sort of drivel, publish any sort of photos, and innocently communicate with anyone in the world at large who cares to listen.

But there have to be a few minor snags, like ours at present – the internet connection is ‘down’, so who knows when this will be published…

PS – Sue, you need to look at A+H’s email and give them a call!  And I’m sorry to hear you lost at Scrabble again!  To an 84 year old!


Laura said...

Thank you for your kind comments about my blogging efforts! I love the x-c skiing and the area you are in looks stunning. My problem is choosing whether to downhill in what this year are perfect conditions or struggle round a x-c circuit instead (I'm not so good at it as at the downhill!). I should be so lucky to have such a choice!

afootinthehills said...

I have to say, I enjoy your blog no matter who the postings are primarliy aimed at. I was the 'follower' that Laura lost but how it happened I know not. It's reinstated now but for the life of me I can't get M&G back, who disappeared at the same time.

I hope this doesn't qualify as 'drivel'!!

Phreerunner said...

Thank you Laura, thank you Gibson, for your kind comments. I'm sure you'll get M&G back, Gibson, if you wrestle a bit more with Google Reader or some other Blogger setting. Trial and error usually works for me.
Laura, there is downhill skiing here, but not that good, and my previous experience of downhill was that it resulted in a ACL replacement. Since then I've managed quite a bit of x-c skiing with no lasting damage. The mountain scenery isn't spectacular here, but there are several 100 km of ski trails which are a delight, especially with the strategically placed lunch cabins.
PS The drivel is all mine! Apart from that of one or two regulars who shall remain nameless but are nonetheless welcome visitors.