Posted by: kimmeroo | January 14, 2013

Merry (Belated) Christmas!

Okay, I realize we’re well into January already, but blogging consistency is not my forte. Anyhow, it’s a slow and rainy weekend, so what better time for a recap of the great ski trip we took over Christmas?

To clarify, when most people hear ski trip they think about heading to the mountains, riding the lifts up, swooshing down… yeah, not so much. Ours was a cross country skiing road trip, so skiing up the hills, and then swooshing down. At least we earn the right to eat more chocolate that way.

We headed out on Dec 23rd, and spent that night with my parents at their cottage. Weren’t sure we were going to see them at all over the holidays, so glad that worked out! The next morning we hit the road and headed to a friend’s camp near Sudbury. Parked at the end of the plowed road, and skied in around 5k to their place.

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That afternoon we went for a little backcountry tour in the area. Skiing with Jorma generally involves at a minimum one section like this:

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Christmas morning we headed out very early. Jack stayed behind – he stayed with Jorma and Lorraine and their pups for the holidays (thanks!). Skied back to the truck in the dark, and headed towards Ottawa. En route we stopped to ski a 15k loop on the Leaf Lake system in Algonquin Park. It was beautiful – definitely worth the stop for a ski if you’re having passing through. Unfortunately, neither of us brought our camera.

A second reason for heading to the Ottawa area was to visit a canoe builder in Wakefield QB, and to pick up an old beater canoe from him for Conor to fix up. He and his family were also kind enough to invite us for Christmas dinner, so instead of rice and beans in the motel we arrived just in time for a lovely dinner.

The next few days we hit the trails in Gatineau Park. Our motel was in Chelsea, so we were about a 10min drive from the main access points, and about a 5min drive from a northern access point. We’re hoping to do a ski marathon in January, so were trying to get some mileage in. A recent snow storm had wrecked some havoc on the trails, knocking down lots of trees and thus closing lots of trails until crews could get out with chainsaws. There was still plenty to keep us occupied though.

On the 26th we skied on the parkway (the main road through the park becomes a ski trail in the winter. Very cool). I classic skied 35k, and Conor skate skied over 40k. Then we went back to the hotel and passed out.

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The next day brought a pretty major snowstorm, so we headed to the access point near our hotel, which turned out to be a really nice trail called Pine Rd. with some huts along the way. We each skied at our own pace, but met at the farthest hut for a break. This was a bit of a shorter day – about 25km for me. Vegged in the hotel for the afternoon, and then the weather cleared enough in the evening for a run into Ottawa to visit Mountain Equipment Co-op.

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Pine Rd. and a random skier

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Lac Phillipe

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Hut on Pine Rd.

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Conor skating on Pine Rd.

On Friday, our last full day in the area, we skied the parkway in the morning. This time I skated a loop, covering 26km. In the afternoon Conor was doing canoe stuff, so I skied the trail near our motel again, so managed a total of 45k for the day. Not bad! On the last morning we skied 10k together, checking out the huts along the trail.

After a morning ski, we headed off to see some friends near Orillia. We went via Peterborough and checked out the Canadian Canoe Museum on the way. Neat stuff.

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Sunday morning we did a quick ski behind our friends’ place. It’s private land, but they’re lucky enough to have neighbours who don’t mind them skiing through. We’re pretty jealous of all our friends who can ski out their back doors. Then we hit the road for the last time and headed back home. Definitely a good way to spend the holidays. Included family, friends, good skiing, and not too much epic driving.  Hopefully future years can measure up :).

And lastly, just for fun, Happy Holidays from Reindeer Jack!

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