Monday, April 12, 2010

Sunday Outing in the Park

A couple of years ago I made a promise to myself to get out more and explore. Ottawa and area is huge and diverse and I've only seen the smallest fraction of what it has to offer. Strangely, though, the Plan Fairy didn't come and hand me a schedule of events, so I never did do much. After some time spent thinking this over, I began to realize that if anything was to happen, I needed to make it happen. Accordingly, I informed my husband that we were going to go hiking in Gatineau Park on the weekend. (Four years in the NCR and I've never been there. That's flippin' shameful.)

My stepdaughters were with us that weekend, and they were less than impressed when my husband shared my big plans with them. Nonplussed, I went to the store the evening before and bought the makings of deli bun-wiches and a box of Pop-Tarts. (I love 'em but I only eat one every half a year or so on Special Occasions. Everyone in the house loves them, too, and was completely freaked out that I love them too and bought them. Also surprising is the fact that all four of us adore strawberry... I think this is the only thing that all four of us agree on.) We made our sandwiches after breakfast on Sunday, packed a couple of backpacks with munchies and thermoses of hot tea, and set out for our big adventure.

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The park wasn't as green as I thought it might be, and was a little disappointed at first, but careful attention revealed signs of spring everywhere.

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We also had the pleasure of watching a lovely red-headed woodpecker rat-a-tat-tat on a tree for a spell...

We were searching for the Waterfall Trail, but due in part to The World's Worst Trail Map (that we actually paid $5 for at the visitor's center) and the complete lack of signage in the area we were at, we didn't find a waterfall at all. However, we did run across the ruins in the Mackenzie King estate... which were really just as picturesque.

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We walked for hours, poked around the woods, admired flowers and kidded around. We sat on a toppled birch tree and ate when we were hungry, enjoying our lunch and its treats, and the hot tea warmed our cold fingers. We got lost a little, thanks again to the utterly useless map, but found our way to the car eventually, tired, wind-burnt and happy. The girls talked eagerly of future trips camping and canoeing, and my husband and I smiled at each other, remembering the surly attitude with which they greeted our trip. The day was a total success.

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6 comments:

XUP said...

That's so nice - you all got along and everyone had a good time! What are those first white flowers that look like giant teeth?

Susan said...

XUP... Those flowers are called "Dutchman's Breeches".
It really was a nice day, and it encouraged me to continue planning new family adventures.

kate said...

What a great field trip! And how fantastic that a great day was had by all. Well done, Sue, well done!

Laine de Bergère said...

Yay for poptarts for bringing you all together!! Sooo happy you had this wonderful adventure together... and many more to come. Those photos are much appreciated. hugs A. xx

Velda said...

I haven't had poptarts in years!

What beauitful photos, especially the ruins, as you know I love history and such.

Looks like a wonderful day, good for you!

knitjo said...

Even I know where that waterfall is despite getting lost in the streets of Gatineau every time I have dared to venture that way...You know what taking advantage of the beauty around you is what makes great memories for you and also your step-daughters...Beautiful pics too.