Everyone was all smiles at the beginning of our day of skiing in Gatineau Park. The nine of us had water and plenty of food packed. The temperature was -15, we had sunshine, no wind and about 3.5km steadily up hill to get to our lunch stop.
B6 led the way and set a great pace which kept us going but didn’t stop us from enjoying some conversation along the way.
We stopped for lunch in one of the cabins maintained by the NCC for use by skiers and hikers. It is heated by a wood stove and there are tables and a clothes line for drying your gear while you rest and eat. Each table has a candle sconce on the wall beside it so you can eat by candle light if you are skiing at night like Andrew was last month. It was warm and we had plenty of food and even the very chilly outhouse experience didn’t dampen everyone’s spirits.
After lunch however, we began to hear a few differing views on what should happen next. The two adults had no intention of stopping yet but we had to play the Smarties card to keep some skiers going. The next leg of the trail was nowhere near as long as the first but a lot more encouragement was required. When we got there we were treated to a display of chickadees, at least eight bluejays as well as what we think was a purple finch.
The trip back to the parking lot was mostly down hill much to everyone’s delight. B6 was pretty weary by then so he and I brought up the rear. We talked about his favourite books and movies and didn’t talk about our tired muscles. Once we hit the downhill sections he discovered he could practically sit on his skis and fly along so that is what he did, calling from behind,”I can’t stop, Mummy, you’d better go faster.”
We worked out that we had probably skied 11km and the concensus was that it had been a great day. We ended it by joining up with the dads, who had been at work all day, for for chili, beef stew and a tart bought on the way home.