Archive for the ‘Skiing’ Category


Monday, March 1st, 2010

I went on a beautiful little ski trip with Jen and Nan this past weekend. It was our first time going to Québec together, and we drove to the Réserve faunique de Papineau-Labelle, about 2 hours drive north-east of Ottawa.

Natalie Maxson and Jen Preston climb a hill on skis.
Jen rests partway up while Nan approaches the crest of a hill on trail La Ouest en route to the réfuge Ernest.

Leaving Toronto on Thursday night we many snowy kilometres driving slowly to beautiful Brockville in the “World Famous Thousand Islands.”

Jen Preston, Best Western White House Brockville, Room 108
Jen catches a few more minutes of sleep in the motel room on Friday morning while Nan showers.

After a full day of logistics on Friday we skied away from the Accueil Gagnon in the park on Friday afternoon. We were happy to have a nearly full moon on Friday night as we skied the last hour by the light of our headlamps and the moon.

Natalie Maxson in Réfuge Ernest.
Nan washes pots in the hut.

We enjoyed a good dinner (basmati rice, eggplant and zucchini stir fry, asiago cheese), some nice wine (cabernet sauvignon), a warm hut (with roaring woodstove) and we slept in Saturday morning. Highlights from Saturday include: Pancakes with maple syrup, reading by a roaring woodstove, snowshoeing on the lake, trying to link a few telemark turns in wet, heavy snow.

The three of us take a break on our Saturday afternoon snowshoe.

David Parsons, Jen Preston and Natalie Maxson on snowshoes at Lac Ernest, Québec.
Le gang.

We left by a different route, and both Jen and Nan were feeling more confident on their skis as we cruised back to the Accueil and the rental car.

Papineau-Labelle Ski Route
Our ski route in (pink highlighter) and out (yellow highlighter).

Getting changed and packing up, it was back to Ottawa for an expensive and generally lackluster dinner (my fault) at a restaurant that I only barely managed to track down after several wrong-exit misadventures on the 417 .

Nan Maxson and David Parsons with sparklers.
Nan and David celebrate with sparklers.

It was a perfect way to celebrate my birthday, and I was lucky to share it with these kids. Jen made me birthday brownies, they sang me the birthday song, and they even brought sparklers.

Jen Preston sparkler art.
Jen hearts davie.