Today’s weather was warmer, but at the expense of the sunshine. It was still minus 17C, so Helen and Sue opted for a day at the spa in Chelsea, having decided against utilising a fisherman’s ice hole for a bracing swim in the Ottawa River.
Not even the kayakers are out at this time of year, whereas in the summer the rapids are buzzing with them.
After dropping off the ladies, I drove the mile or so to P10 car park and set off up Fortune Parkway. It was indeed warmer than of late, with one pair of gloves sufficient, and the Vapour Rise smock perfectly adequate over a long sleeved t-shirt.
I took trail 3 for a few kilometres, stemmed a nose bleed that must have made the trail look as if some terrible wildlife encounter had taken place, then headed across the easiest section of the ‘Black Diamond’ back country trail number 9 to Ridge Road.
Eventually, after about 13km and an excursion around the trail 24 loop, I wound up at Huron Cabin. This is often a busy place, but on a cold day like today you can be alone in the cabin.
Common Redpolls joined the ubiquitous Chickadees, Nuthatches and Hairy Woodpeckers on the feeder outside the cabin.
Luckily, others had already lunched there. The place was warm and cosy, with the fire in good shape. My sandwich toasted in no time, and lunch took only about 20 minutes instead of the more usual 45.
I was soon off down the ‘Khyber Pass’ to Gossips Corner, and descending through slow snow down Fortune Parkway to P10, and back to the spa to pick up the ladies – I was only ten minutes late.
19km in 3hrs 20mins, in light snow for most of the time, on ungroomed tracks: P10 > Fortune Parkway > #3 > #9 > Ridge Road > #24 > Ridge Road > #1B > Ridge Road > Huron Cabin > Ridge Road > Fortune Parkway > P10.