Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Monday 30 January 2017 – An Outing to Hog’s Back Falls


Sue and I enjoyed a day off skiing today.

We popped down to MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) for a bit of retail therapy. I’d planned on getting another pair of Keen Targhee ll trail shoes, but a quick look at the prices led to the speedy conclusion that buying any gear over here would be foolish to say the least. Due to the dire exchange rate, what used to be a good deal is now at least 30% more than we would pay in the UK.

Thank you, Brexit people.

So we left.

Helen kindly dropped us off beside the Rideau Canal for a 7 km stroll back to Quinterra Court. We went via the Hog's Back Falls, officially known as the Prince of Wales Falls, but rarely referred to by this name. They are a series of artificial waterfalls on the Rideau River. The falls are located just north of Mooney's Bay and the point where the Rideau Canal splits from the Rideau River.

Prior to the construction of the Rideau Canal, these were a gentle set of rapids originally known as Three Rock Rapids. The name Hog's Back came into use shortly before canal construction. Civil Engineer John MacTaggart, in 1827, described them as “a noted ridge of rocks, called the Hog’s Back, from the circumstances of raftsmen with their wares [timber rafts] sticking on it in coming down the stream.”  They were navigable by canoe, no portage was required.

The head of the original rapids is now buried beneath the canal dam, but the lower section of the rapids can still be seen today and is shown above.

This location marks where the route of the Rideau Canal leaves the Rideau River and enters a man made canal leading to the Ottawa locks. A series of locks lowers boats from this location to the Ottawa River.

Sue is pictured below, next to the Rideau Canal that is used as an 8 km skating route when temperatures are a bit lower than they have been of late. In fact, today brought the colder, sunnier weather that is more familiar to us on these trips. Consequently the canal should be open for skating in the next few days.


Here’s one of the locks near the falls.


Meanwhile, Susan enjoyed an energetic ski from P3 to MacKenzie-King and back.

Unfortunately ‘social media’ has failed to isolate us from the woes of the world. Luckily the Canadians are very sympathetic when we (jokingly?) describe ourselves as a refugee from Trump (Susan), and refugees from Brexit (Sue and me). There’s an all pervading sadness, and not a small level of fear amongst Canadians concerning these issues, in particular in relation to their nearest neighbour.


AlanR said...

MEC Targhee $160 converts to £97 today rate on tinternet. Webtogs £89.59. That's around 10%. more. (That's shoes not boots). Buy in England Martin and buy us all a curry at this and that with the change. Ha.
Enjoy the rest of your stay M and S. Weather not looking good here for the next week.

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Alan, it certainly looks as if we are missing some rotten weather, even if we can't empty our wallets here!

The MEC price - Can$150 in Ottawa - excludes 13% tax, and there are better UK deals than the Webtogs one, so the price difference is more like 20 to 30%. I can see this happening widely - we'll just have to buy everything in the UK (as we usually do) but I'd expect the prices in the UK to rise.

Luckily some things in Ottawa are MUCH cheaper than in the UK, but they can't conveniently be brought home - namely petrol, which isn't allowed on the plane, and lobsters, which we can't resist eating before we leave...

You can look forward to that curry in March. I should be able to afford extra onions and chillies to go with your glass of water.

AlanR said...

I looked at the Ottawa store, didn't realise that tax had to be added on top. Yes, there are cheaper places than Webtogs but I wasn't trying to prove you wrong, just a comparison. Petrol starting to rise slightly here, up 2p at Tesco. It might come down again when we start buying it off Uncle Donald.