On a warmer day, only about minus 6°C, Ken, Sue and I headed to P10 car park at the foot of the big hill on Fortune Parkway.
The trails were all freshly groomed, and relatively quiet. That's partly due to the 160km Canadian Ski Marathon being held this coming weekend. The many participants will be resting today. We are not attempting the marathon this year.
Ken and Sue had to keep waiting for me; I'm very slow on the skis at present. So they had plenty of time to watch the birds on the feeder at Shilly Shally cabin (top picture). After noting some Evening Grosbeaks outside Healey cabin yesterday, we spotted a Brown Creeper outside Shilly Shally today.
Moving on, we passed Huron cabin (second picture) before continuing on to Western cabin for lunch. This cabin is on the edge of the escarpment. The final three pictures were taken here - outside, inside, and the view from a window.
Most of our skiing starts from the back of the escarpment and involves quite a bit of climbing to the undulating trails that we can enjoy once the height has been gained. At the end of each outing there's usually a thrilling downhill section to negotiate. Great fun!
I'll make a note to do a posting about the cabins of Gatineau Park. Many of them are former farm houses; some such as Shilly Shally are much smaller, perhaps having been used as gamekeeper cottages. Why were there farmhouses in this area of forest? Apparently this, like much of Canada, was a forested region. In the late 19th century the forest was cleared and replaced by subsistence farming. Many cabins are named after the families who formerly farmed the area. Farming proved a tough occupation in the rocky environment with poor soil.
The farms were gradually abandoned in the mid 20th century, since when the forest has grown back. More recently, the abandoned farms have been converted to some of the cabins that are our luncheon venues. Most cabins aren't equipped for overnight stays.
P10 > Fortune Parkway > #1 (Ridge Road) > Shilly Shally cabin > Khyber Pass > Huron cabin > #1 > #1B > #2 > Western cabin (lunch) > #2 > #1 > #3 (Burma Road) > Fortune Parkway > P10. 17.8km.
Burma Road was notable for the attention afforded to trackside trees by beavers, who appear to be setting up their own logging business.
That's all for now. We were home by 3pm, and soon afterwards Susan and Roy arrived to cook dinner for us.