Yesterday I did a long run in Gatineau Park. I had been planning this run for a long time, and now that I'm leaving Ottawa soon I decided it was my last chance to do this run. The plan was to explore some of the more remote and interesting parts of the park that I hadn't visited before. I'm going to let the pictures do the talking here.
Me at the very start of the run. 8:30am Saturday at the college in Hull.
About 12km in. This is a part of the park that I know like the back of my hand.
A nice view of the Ottawa Valley
At Meech Lake
I almost stepped on this little guy! He was standing so still that I didn't even notice him until I had to jump out of this way.
Going down this hill was fun, but I knew that I had to go back up and over.
About 2km from Wakefield, this was the furthest north that I reached on my run.
Running in Gatineau Park you get lots of glimpses of lakes through the trees.
I made it to Lake Phillipe, a popular camping area, about 45-50 km into the run.
If anyone ever tells you that going spelunking in the middle of an all day run is a bad idea, tell them to bring it up with me.
I was prepared with a headlamp and two flashlights. Other cavers has less foresight, and I had to share my lights with them.
Inside Lusk Cavern. It may look like there is lots of light, but a large portion of the cavern is complete darkness
The last time I was in here was five years ago, and the cave has become noticeably different in that time. For much of the way through, you are in chest deep water.
The exit from Lusk Cavern. How did my camera stay dry?
Lusk Lake. Yesterday, I had it all to myself.
I almost cried when I saw this at the side of the road near the Taylor Lake campsite. I was thirsty from trying to conserve water, and I knew that I was starting to run low. But I didn't know how low I actually was. When I started to refill my bottles and my backpack, I realized that I had less than a cup of water left.
This was the moment that I decided to cut my run a bit short. I had lots of water with me from the tap, but the damage was already done. I had covered 70-75km, and was very happy with my day. But I was exhausted and didn't want to spend the night in the park.
I reached a road about 2km from here and hitched to Eardley, then from there to Aylmer. Note to self, Highway 148 is a lousy place to ride the thumb. I caught a bus from there back to the city, and arrived home around 8:30. My feet were in pretty good shape despite being soaked and shriveled up, but my back was red and raw from the bouncing of my hydration pack. I literally screamed when the water from the shower hit my back. All in all, it was a pretty great time. Here is a map of my approximate route: