Category Archives: hiking

Lac Philippe

We manage to find ourselves at Lac Philippe at least once every year for a walk or a hike.  It’s a beautiful little lake in the National Capital Commission (NCC) ‘s Gatineau Park.  This weekend we camped there for the first time!  We arrived Thursday around 5:30 (after a very very stressful work day)….the weather was beautiful and it wasn’t long before we were cooking beans on the Coleman stove and sausage over the fire.  We only saw one other couple that night and they weren’t camping anywhere near us.  We were all alone in our sector of the park.  It was idyllic, quiet, dark – oh so peaceful!

Friday we rented little kayaks and paddled around the lake.   We paddled around the entire perimeter of the lake, saw many beaver huts (no beavers though), a loon happily diving for fish, a big blue fish which we have no idea what kind he was (coloured fish are fairly unusual in Canadian lakes that I know of), birds galore!  At the far end (near the entrance to Lusk Caves) we banked the kayaks and had a picnic on the beach, then headed back down up the other side.  We stopped at a little island and did some exploring and took the kayaks back.  It was a great day…oh so quiet out there!

Saturday was big hike day – we hiked to Lac Taylor (another lake within the same area), passing Lac Renaud on the way.  We picnicked at an empty campsite overlooking the Taylor Lake and then looped back through the forest trail and old logging road back to our campsite.  We think it was about 11 k altogether.  Lots of wildlife along the way (as is evidenced below).

Our evenings consisted of reading by the fire (with our geeky headlamps on)!  Nights got COLD….down to about 9c (with the day times in the mid to high 20’s).  Sunday morning we awoke to a lot of sounds..weren’t really too aware of what it was…and then it started to rain…once we looked out we realized that everyone who was near us (those that arrived Friday night) had all been smart enough to pack up and head out before the BIG RAIN started.  Needless to say we left with a lot of wet gear.  It was only 9:30 in the morning, so we grabbed Tim Horton’s breakie and coffee near Wakefield and decided to go for a drive up the valley to Maniwaki.  If you live in the Ottawa area and haven’t driven up there it really is a nice drive (in spite of the crazy drivers).  I had no idea that Maniwaki was so large, with traffic lights, Canadian Tire.  A section near the main street was cordoned off with police blockade and a huge police bus.  When we got home we read that a young man had been found dead in the area.  Sad 😦

Once home we stowed the gear, showered the wood smoke off and headed to Murray Street kitchen for a delectible meal!

That’s it – no more camping until July 7th.  City work & fun until then!

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Beaver Hut in the background

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A2 was our home for the weekend

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Rented kayaks on site for 4 hours and paddled around the perimeter of the lake.

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Melva

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Wee fish near the beach where we rented the kayaks

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More wee fish

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Mom? Dad? & Goslings…

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Oh Deer

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Cute little guy

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Ants at work

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Same Goslings with Mom? Dad?

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The biggest, tallest trilliums I’ve ever seen (above and below)

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the requisite selfie – I shouldn’t wear hats or go without make up…OR do closeups – Johnny’s good though 🙂

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I’ve never seen caterpillars at this stage before..not sure what the heck is next (above & below)

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I should have left some space between our last hiking photo and our dinner the next day 🙂

Below – Johnny’s meal on top – Fred’s Pork – my meal below – Joe’s Fish.  The menu has changes/additions almost daily.  The ‘names’ of the dishes stay the same – but the dish itself may change.  My walleye (pickerel) was amazing..YUM YUM!

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Long Weekend Mini-Get Away!

What a weekend!  As posted previously, Friday was surprise birthday, Saturday Escape Manor – then the girls headed off!  Johnny & I decided the weather was perfect for a trip to the Toronto Zoo!  Toronto was a 5 hour car trip on a beautiful sunny day!  We arrived at 1:30 and spent the next 3.5 hours wandering about in the drop dead gorgeous weather snapping photos of all of our favourite animals!  The draw back to this time of day is that a lot of the animals have been fed and then head off for a siesta after lunch…we didn’t get as up close and personal as I’ve been in the past!  Overall, it was a really great afternoon and we had fun!  From there we headed off to the small town of Cobourg, Ontario!  I haven’t been in Cobourg for years and forgot just how pretty it is.  Nestled along the shores of Lake Ontario with a great harbour front featuring a beautiful marina and a big sandy swimming beach makes it a perfect retirement type of town!  We stayed at The Woodlawn Inn on Division Street, head a great impromptu Turkey Dinner and a bottle of bubbly then retired to our well appointed room with a little balcony!

Next day we did the scenic route home, a little along Lake Ontario then crossed over around Napanee to head toward our next destination Hell Holes near Roblin/Centreville.  The hike is only 3.5 km long but the scenery is beautiful!  Incredible rock formations, a 22′ deep cave to climb into, an ethereal valley to walk through, loved it!  After that we wandered back through Westport, stopped for ice-cream and then reluctantly headed back home with the knowledge that this was probably going to be the last warm weather weekend we would experience in Ontario until Spring (although, we will get a couple of hot weekends in Mexico & Belize in February/Marh)!!

Canada is an awesome country and if you dig a little you can find the some amazing things to do (especially if you are a nature lover)!  We have committed ourselves to enjoying our weekends and this is evidenced in our silly little blog posts of our summer filled with camping, hiking, road trips and the like!  Honestly, this was my best summer ever!  Of course, the fact that I had committed myself up front to losing weight (58 pounds altogether this year), and exercising (hiking counts) as often as I could helped me to thoroughly enjoy everything!  The big challenge now will be winter….I’m not a fan of winter……need to find fun indoor things in Ottawa to do to make my winter go by as quickly as our idyllic summer went!  Any suggestions people?? 🙂 !!

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