Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Taylor lake Yurt Gatineau Park 2011-12-18

Tripper, Kenmore and I made our annual winter camping hike into Gatideau park this year a week before Christmas 2011. There wasn't enough snow to ski in so we walked it the old fashioned way. I had finally picked up one of those "Canada Goose" winter coats that make you look like some sort of arctic scientist/explorer (I've been seeing people in the bush with them for the past few years and have been wanting one for awhile) and the darn thing is TOO warm. I was sweating bullets after the first hour.

What I like about it though, is the absolute ubiquitous orgy of pockets and zippers everywhere, not to mention the huge sewn-in strap at the back to make it easy for your buddies to haul your body out of the woods should anything go wrong.

There was a nice sheen of ice on the lakes when we went in. Not strong enough to chance a walk on but strong enough to bounce big rocks off of (see the vid).

I skipped bringing a sleeping back this trip, because I have not ever needed them in past trips, the cottages and huts, etc being so warm you just sleep without one. This trip was the first time we stayed in a YURT though. A thing about YURTS.. They cool down right fast when the fire goes out. A funny by-product of this is that the guy with the lowest Celsius grade sleeping bag (make that no sleeping bag) wakes up cold in the dead of night and is going to be the one who restarts Mr Fire so he doesn't freeze to death while the other two guys (I know they're awake) pretend to be asleep.

The insides are pretty snazzy, plenty of room to get around in. The sides of the thing look like a heavy vinyl material (nothing that would stop a bear or other large mammal intent on gettin' at ya). The main feature is a huge skylight that you could crank open a touch with a long pole. The inner walls are supported with a lattice of old-fashioned baby gates. The bunks were adequate, a 6 foot person just able to fit and brush the bottom of your feet on the metal rails. 

The wood burning stove was plenty warm, just that it needed stoking about 3 times during the night (by Mr No Sleeping Bag here).. There was even a gas stove for us to cook on. After eating way too much food - it's easier to carry it out inside you than in your backpack the next day(  actually depending on how your body works, there might not be all that much to carry back. There's this type of bowel movement called "The $h1t of Life"!)

I had brought my mini Washburn Rover "travel" guitar up and we had a concert to end the evening off. All in all it was a good hike up. I'd do a Yurt again, just remember to pack a sleeping bag. In the cabins, you don't seem to need them. The next day we hiked out over some fresh snow, took in some nice natural ice sculptures, and stumbled into some place they store a pile of extra equipment in the Park, including the BEAR CAGES. This is a towable cage that you stock with some type of attractant (like a poodle or something) and when the bear goes in it slams shut and you can truck him outta there. It must be very disturbing to have one of these show up in the camp site next to you out of the blue.

All in all a good trip. If you join us next year, remember you don't need a sleeping bag (I want someone else to get up in the middle of the night and fix the fire)