Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Wednesday 11 February 2015 – O’Brien to Herridge

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The sun wasn’t as bright today, and with wind chill it was about minus 25C, but we enjoyed good snow conditions on the classic 10 km trail from O’Brien (P11) to Herridge Cabin.

A little way into this route there’s a shortcut across Meech Lake. Sue couldn’t resist it.

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Herridge Cabin was empty and cold. Sue laboriously lit a fire. I went to nearby Healey Cabin. It was full of French in front of a roaring fire. I went back to retrieve Sue. Back at Healey the cabin was now empty and hot. Our toasted ham and cheese sandwiches nearly got over-toasted. We were joined in front of the fire by a friendly couple from Ottawa.

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Then we left the cabin, which had been occupied by a farming family until 1955. They also served as caretakers for the Prime Minister’s nearby residence, so the humble farming family got to know a variety of Canadian Prime Ministers, foreign heads of state, and royalty. None of these was in evidence today – probably hidden behind private gateways.

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Trail 36 back to O’Brien is an entertaining route, with three steep downhill sections that can form icy luges in some conditions. Today they were easy and fun, as was the ‘Black Diamond’ (hard) trail from P11 to Fortune Parkway. We nipped up that before coming home, and enjoyed the sometimes tricky steep cambered descent back to the Imprezza that Ken kindly lends us whilst he is slaving over air traffic control software systems.

Pneumonia hasn’t dampened Helen’s culinary skills. We enjoyed a sumptuous dinner tonight, perhaps helped by the fact that her illness prevented her from joining us skiing, so she could enjoy pottering around the kitchen all day!

Today’s 24 km route is shown below:

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